Smart Ideas: Vehicles Revisited

What Causes Trailer Sway and How to Avoid It When you are towing your RV, one of the challenges you may find on the road is sway. Your trailer can start swaying or fishtailing when there is a sudden burst of wind or a passing semi-truck. No matter how experienced you are, a sway can make you lose control on the road. When you lose control, your vehicle can tip or end up causing an accident. Your vacation can be ruined when you get a sway while towing your RV. What leads to trailer sway? When towing your trailer with a hitch, it can sway or fishtail while on the road. The hitch that is between the two vehicles works in the same manner as a pivot between their centers of gravity. You will have to steer the trailer suddenly in a different direction when an unexpected force appears. The trailer can end up separating or tipping if the force is too strong. Sometimes, the car or truck may also tip over. Crosswinds are among the most common causes of fishtailing. Braking incorrectly when you are driving down a hill can also lead to a sway or fishtail. The design of the front of the trailer is special in that it makes towing gas mileage efficient. However, the sides are not. A large force caused by a seemingly slow wind and push on the side of the trailer. For example, a 35mph crosswind can cause a force of 3440 pounds on the sides of the trailer and lead to a sway.
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Fishtails can also be caused by balance and weight problems. The trailer is bound to become unbalanced if you load a lot of gear on one side. The trailer will then easily swing since it is unbalanced. You can compare the swinging of the trailer like that of a pendulum.
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You can ensure the trailer is more stable by balance the weight in it. About 12 to 15 percent of the trailers’s weight should be on the hitch. However, make sure you do not go past the recommended tow rating as you are trying to balance the trailer. How to Avoid Fishtailing To prevent fishtailing, the best thing to do is to ensure it does not happen in the first place. Plan your travel when there are no crosswinds. Apart from this, when on the road, check for large semi-trucks that may be passing you from behind. You can also use a commercial scale to know whether the weight you are carrying is balanced in the RV. It is important to know the causes of sway before you set of for your journey towing your RV. The above is an overview of the causes and prevention of sway.

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