Preventing Caravan Sway

You’re happily singing along to your radio while towing your caravan and then… The dreaded snake begins.

Caravan snaking can be nerve-racking at best, so the first thing is don’t panic.

You need to bring the trailer back under control, so gradually slow down until the snaking stops. Don’t brake harshly or change direction until the trailer is in alignment with your tow vehicle and has stopped swaying.

There are several things that can help to prevent your trailer from swaying while towing.

Kill Speed

A major contributing factor in most cases of trailer sway is speed. The faster you travel the more likely that your trailer will sway. As you know, driving faster increases wind force and enhances any directional movement. Keep your speed within the legal towing limits and slower if weather conditions aren’t ideal.

Smooth Turns

Sharp turns, especially prior to or after overtaking a vehicle can induce caravan sway. Keep turns smooth while towing.

Side-wind Snaking

Side winds can play havoc with the stability of caravans. If you must drive in windy conditions keep your speed down and try to avoid areas that are subject to side winds.

Passing Vehicles

Large vehicles that are passing or that you’re passing will generate a force that pulls and pushes your caravan and can lead to sway. Keep at a steady speed and keep your caravan and vehicle straight to minimise any movement.

ALKO Trailer Control (ATC)

The ATC system when installed on a caravan detects sway and automatically applies the brakes to bring the sway under control.

Having trailer sway technology active on the towing vehicle.
Many vehicles now have the technology to detect and react to caravan sway when towing. When the vehicle detects sway it will attempt to automatically bring the sway under control. This technology is only active when your vehicle has it installed and when it is activated, normally this requires dedicated towing electrics and vehicle coding.

Loading your load.

A major factor that affects trailer sway more than any other is the loading of the caravan.

Weight must be kept away from the rear of the caravan. When loading your caravan keep any weighty objects at or near to the front, things such as rear-mounted bike carriers should never be used on caravans. Please see the video below…

Understand the best way to load your caravan and drive within the limits of your towing vehicle and experience. Better to be a steady Eddie rather than a lost-load Larry.

Keep on towing

Team Ultimate.