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4 Ways to Stop Your Caravan Trailer Swaying

4 Ways to Stop Your Caravan Trailer Swaying

4 Ways to Stop Your Caravan Trailer Swaying

Have you ever been happily towing your van and suddenly had the terrifying experience of trailer sway? Before you can do anything, your caravan or trailer starts to oscillate from side to side, causing your towing vehicle to become unstable and difficult to control. It might have been a sudden gust of wind or a truck passing that started it off and now your peaceful drive has just turned into a nightmare. This sudden swaying motion you are experiencing can rapidly increase in amplitude, leading to a complete loss of control over your vehicle.

The causes of caravan swaying are numerous, but some common ones include high winds, uneven road surfaces, poor weight distribution, passing trucks, sudden changes in direction, heavy braking and excessive speed.

Experiencing caravan swaying can be a terrifying and dangerous experience for you as the driver and your passengers. It can cause the vehicle to veer out of control, potentially leading to a serious accident. As the driver, you may feel powerless as the caravan sways back and forth, making it difficult to steer or apply the brakes.

To prevent caravan swaying there are four (4) essential things you can do:

  1. Make sure your caravan is loaded correctly, with the weight evenly distributed across the van.
  2. Ensure the weight is balanced between your towing vehicle and your caravan by using a Weight Distribution System.
  3. Use a Friction Sway Control Unit.
  4. Use an Electronic Sway Command Kit.   


1. Make sure your caravan is loaded correctly, with the weight evenly distributed across the van.

Here are some steps to follow to make sure your caravan is loaded correctly:

  • Determine the total weight of your caravan: The first step is to determine the maximum weight that your caravan can carry safely, which is usually indicated in the manufacturer's instructions or on the compliance plate.
  • Organise your gear: Before you start loading your caravan, organise your gear into categories such as bedding, kitchen, clothing, and other essentials.
  • Create a plan: Plan where you will store each item in your caravan, making sure to distribute the weight as evenly as possible.
  • Load heavy items first: Start by loading heavy items such as water tanks, gas bottles, and spare tyres at the front of the caravan. This will help distribute the weight evenly across the axles.
  • Balance left and right: When loading items, make sure to balance the weight between the left and right sides of the caravan. This will help prevent the caravan from swaying while being towed.
  • Keep the centre of gravity low: Try to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible, which will help to increase stability while towing.
  • Check weight distribution: After loading, check the weight distribution of your caravan using a weight distribution scale. There are a number of weight scales, including the Reich Caravan Weight Control 1500kg which are capable of weighing each wheel and of giving you a very accurate measurement of your weight balance.
  • Recheck after driving: Finally, after you've driven some distance, stop and check the weight distribution again. This will help you make sure that nothing has shifted during the journey.

 2. Ensure the weight is balanced between your towing vehicle and your caravan by using a Weight Distribution System.

A Weight Distribution System (WDS) can help prevent a caravan from swaying while towing, by distributing the weight of the trailer more evenly across the towing vehicle's axles, as well as providing additional stability and control.

One of the superior but cost effective, WDS’s available, is the Eaz Lift Weight Distribution System.

When a trailer is attached to a towing vehicle, it can cause the front of the vehicle to lift, which reduces steering and braking control. This is known as weight transfer or "sag."

 The Eaz Lift Weight Distribution System helps to prevent this by improving the weight distribution and centre of gravity of the trailer and towing vehicle, which reduces the likelihood of sway occurring.

The Eaz Lift Weight Distribution System works by using spring bars to transfer some of the weight of the trailer to the front axle of the towing vehicle and some to the trailer's axles. This helps to level the vehicle and the trailer, which improves handling, stability and braking.

In addition, the spring bars in the weight distribution system provide added tension and resistance against the trailer's movements, which helps to dampen any swaying back and forth.

 3. Use a Friction Sway Control Unit

A friction sway control unit helps to counteract sway by applying frictional force between the trailer's ball mount and the A frame of the trailer. This force helps to dampen any side-to-side movements of the trailer, thereby improving stability and control while towing. They work using a using a double friction disc brake principle, which provides constant sway reduction & thus improves handling

The Camco Eaz-Lift Screw-On Friction Sway Control unit or the Curt Sway Control Kit, for example, are designed to reduce sway in trailers with a gross towing weight of up to 10,000 pounds. They work by clamping onto the trailer's A-frame and using a friction pad to create resistance against the trailer's ball mount. The level of friction can be adjusted to suit different towing conditions, which can help to further improve stability and control while towing.

Either a single Friction Sway Control Unit can be used for vans up to 6,000 pounds or two, one on the drivers side of the A frame and one on the passengers side of the A frame for vans up to 10,000 pounds in weight.


4. Use an Electronic Sway Command Kit.

An Electronic Sway Command Kit is a must for any serious towing of caravans or trailers.

An Electronic Sway Command Kit is a device that helps prevent swaying of a trailer or caravan by applying the brakes automatically to the appropriate wheels.

For example, a superior Electronic Sway Control Kit is the Lippert LCI Sway Command Kit 1.5 with an Accelerometer and a Gyroscope. An accelerometer is a device that can measure lateral forces, while a gyroscope is a device that can measure angular velocity. Together, these sensors can effectively and precisely distinguish between horizontal and vertical motion, providing quick and accurate data on side-to-side and up-and-down movements determining the difference between swaying or a bumpy road, thereby not falsely applying the brakes when unnecessary.

Once the sensors detect trailer sway, the information is sent to an electronic microprocessor which analyzes the data and determines the appropriate response and braking of each wheel to bring the van back in control. This is all done automatically and in a split second, far quicker than even the driver can react and take preventative action.

The Lippert Sway Command Kit also features LED indicators that provide visual feedback to the driver. The LED indicators can be installed on the dashboard of the tow vehicle, and they will flash to alert the driver if the trailer is swaying, or if the Sway Command system is actively applying the brakes.

The Lippert Sway Command Kit is a sophisticated electronic system that uses sensors and advanced algorithms to detect and correct trailer sway. By automatically applying the trailer's brakes and providing visual feedback to the driver, the system can help to prevent accidents and make towing a safer and more comfortable experience.



Why bother towing a caravan on holidays if it is going to be a stressful and dangerous experience. These 4 solutions will change your experience of towing once and for all. Happy Caravanning everyone.

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Peter Casaceli - March 22, 2023

Thank You so much for this advice on 4 ways to stop your caravan Trailer swaying,this is so well written i have sent this to the Australian Caravan Association and recomended this as essential information for all people driving with a Caravan,thanks outback vagabond

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