How Sway Control Works on a Trailer

SwayBar Don't let  your trailer get out of hand by swaying too much!

Towing a travel trailer behind your truck can be hazardous if not done properly and can be made more dangerous by the tendency of a trailer to sway. When a trailer isn’t balanced properly, it gives enough leverage to affect the movement of the towing vehicle. This causes a back-and-forth movement that is known as sway, or fishtailing. A well-balanced trailer with a proper trailer hitch  installed can correct itself in the event of minor sway caused by wind, passing vehicles, rutted roadways and more.

But, in order to avoid these issues of fishtailing and sway, what can you do? There are a couple of options – and one of them is to install sway control on your trailer. The use of a sway control improves the ability of a trailer to resume normal towing alignment.

 

SwayBar2Function of the Sway Control
There are a few different kinds of sway control available. The two most common types include independent friction sway control and dependent two-point sway control. Independent sway control is designed to bolt onto your trailer tongue and features telescoping arms and friction pads to stop sway once it’s begun. Two-point dependent sway control is designed to be built into a weight distribution system and relies on the springs to create enough friction to prevent fishtailing and sway.

Another major aspect to consider for sway control is tension. These trailer accessories have tension controls that are tightened manually and must be  adjusted to reflect road  conditions. Over-tightening the sway control on your trailer can result in the trailer having a reduced ability to follow easily through turns. Under-tightening the sway control can  prevent the sway bar from functioning efficiently and will not reduce sway adequately.

 

Are there other products that can help with towing instability?
SwayBar3While sway control is designed to be installed around the trailer tongue and directly help the trailer, there are other products available that can help improve towing stability as well. The StableLoad suspension upgrade is meant to assist your truck with heavy towing or hauling. Installed on your truck’s rear overload suspension, it dramatically improves vehicle handling characteristics by "pre-activating" the stabilizing effect and keeping the springs actively under load.

Vehicle factory engineers designed suspension overload springs to operate in a specific way, and the StableLoad maintains all four points of contact in the springs rather than reducing it to two points of contact like other aftermarket suspension products. When installed on your truck and combined with the sway control installed on your trailer tongue, you have the ultimate stability and safety while towing a trailer behind your truck.SwayBar4

Features of the StableLoad suspension upgrade include:SwayBar5

Dramatically improves safety, handling, body roll and porpoising while towing and hauling
Ability to turn on and off in seconds*
Universal fit for all vehicles with factory installed upper or lower overloads
Quad contact design complements the vehicle’s specially engineered suspension that automotive manufacturers have invested millions of dollars designing, while all other rear suspension products reduce contact to only two points
Quick no-drill installation**
Enhances airbag performance by lowering airbag overload air pressure and activating the factory overloads
Kit includes four StableLoads (outfits one complete vehicle)
Legendary Lifetime Warranty includes coverage for the vehicle factory leaf springs
Proudly made in the USA
* Applies only to the StableLoad Quick Disconnect (Lower Overload).
** Does not apply to the StableLoad Quick Disconnect (Lower Overload) A7311 (with Drill Kit).

If you’re interested in purchasing the StableLoad suspension enhancement from Torklift International, visit one of our Certified Dealers near you. To contact us for more information or questions, you can reach out to us at support@torklift.com or call our tech support at 800-246-8132.

 

 

kerstin

Written by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing, and has loved every minute of working for Torklift for over 2 years. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes for baking and daydreaming about future travels. 

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Towing 101: What are the different trailer hitch classes?

Truck CamperAt Torklift we strive to help educate customers so they can learn everything they need to get on the road safely and have a fun time. Whether you’re a newbie wanting to buy your first hitch, or a veteran who’s had many hitches before, it’s always best to do research to find the best hitch class you need for your vehicle to fit your needs.

The hitch is one of the starting points that ensures you’ll have fun on your next adventure because it helps you bring your bike rack or tow trailers behind your vehicle for camping trips or big toys like ATVs or dirt bikes. Learn all you need to know about the different hitch classes that exist and get some ideas of what you’ll be able to tow or haul with each:

hitch class2

1.) Class I Hitch

Class I Hitch

Considered weight carrying hitches – Class I hitches are typically rated up to a maximum of 200 tongue weight and 2,000 pounds towing and traditionally come in a 1 ¼” receiver with few hitches available in 2” as well. Most vehicles in this hitch class include compact cars, sedans and SUVs. Class I hitches are perfect for smaller accessories or towing small trailers.

Examples of what you can use/tow: bike rack, cargo trays, small tent camper, jet skis


2.) Class II Hitch

Class II Hitch

Class II hitches are also considered weight carrying hitches similar to Class I hitches, but have the ability to handle more weight. Typically rated around 350 pounds tongue weight and a maximum of 3,500 pounds towing, this type of hitch also traditionally comes in both 1 ¼” and 2” receiver sizes. Vehicles in this hitch class are usually sedans and SUVs.   

Examples of what you can use/tow: bike rack, small campers, jet skis, boats


3.) Class III Hitch

Class III hitchClass III hitches are what you normally see on small trucks, SUVs and larger sedans. These hitches tend to be rated at around 500/600 pounds tongue weight and up to a maximum of 5,000 pounds towing and normally come in 2” receivers. There are adapters available where you can convert your 2” to a 1 ¼” receiver, but we would suggest getting the receiver size you need so you don’t have to use the adapters while hauling heavier loads.

Another fun fact about this class of trailer hitches is that you can start using weight distribution to help even out the load you are towing, prevent sag around the tongue of the trailer and be able to tow more weight. Not all hitches available are rated for both weight carrying and weight distributing, so this is where your research will come in handy, especially if you plan on hauling heavier trailers and are going to need weight distribution.

Examples of what you can use/tow: medium sized campers, jet skis, utility trailers, boats, bike rack, cargo trays and more


4.) Class IV Hitch

chevy TRAILER

Have a large truck and a beefy looking hitch? You probably have a Class IV hitch. These hitches are typically rated around 1,000/1,200 pounds tongue weight and a maximum of 12,000 pounds towing. They come in 2” receivers, but there are some 2.5” receivers available. Class IV hitches are where you start getting into the heavier towing and will most likely need weight distribution for what you’re planning to pull.

Examples of what you can use/tow: trailers, large boats, toy haulers, small travel trailers, utility trailers


5.) Class V Hitch

Class V Hitch

The highest class available for hitches (well, kind of – we’ll explain more below) made for large SUVs, pickup trucks and vans. These hitches are typically rated around 1,200/1,700 pounds tongue weight and 20,000 pounds towing, and come in 2” and 2.5” receivers. Class V hitches are where you are doing the heaviest towing, will need weight distribution and most likely sway control to help make your towing experience more enjoyable and easier to drive down the road.

Examples of what you can use/tow: large trailers, equipment haulers, multi-car trailers, large boats, toy haulers, large travel trailers, utility trailer

o To the right is a photo of the SuperHitch Original 20K – rated at 2,000 pounds tongue and 20,000 pounds towing with weight distribution. This is a great example of a Class V hitch that is strong enough to tow heavy duty items – especially with its dual truss design that adds strength and stability


6.) Beyond Class V Hitch

SuperHitch MagnumNow that it’s 2018, trucks are getting more heavy duty and are manufactured with greater strength to tow and haul heavier trailers and RVs. Hitches must keep up with demand. Recently, there are hitches coming out with a 21,000 pound tow rating from the factory which is the highest that many companies go on ratings.

But, there is another hitch available that is the only one if its kind. Not as expensive as a custom hitch of the same weight rating, there is a bolt-on hitch that comes ready to install. This is the SuperHitch Magnum. This hitch is rated at 3,000 pounds tongue and 30,000 pounds towing with weight distribution. Which means that when it comes to towing with this hitch, the only limit is how much your truck can handle!

Also made with a patented dual receiver design, the SuperHitch Magnum is the strongest and safest hitch available that will literally exceed all your towing needs.

vehicles

If you’re interested in getting a hitch for your vehicle and want to do some heavy hauling, we have your back with the SuperHitch Original and SuperHitch Magnum! You can purchase it from one of our Torklift Certified Dealers. Or, visit here for more details about this truck hitch and give us a call at 800-246-8132, we’d love to help you with your next hitch.

 

kerstin

Written by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing, and has loved every minute of working for Torklift for over 2 years. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes for baking and daydreaming about future travels. 

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