What Are Trailer Sway Bars? Are They Necessary?

If you’re traveling with a bumper pull, you may notice that your trailer has quite a bit of sway, especially at high speeds and in strong winds. This could be very dangerous, even for those who are experienced at towing.

Trailer sway bars offer more stability and can help prevent your trailer from swinging from side to side. They work by transferring some of the weight from the trailer to the tow vehicle, which helps to keep the trailer in line. While they’re not required by law, I highly recommend investing in a good set of trailer sway bars. They could save you from a serious accident.

what are trailer sway bars

What Are Trailer Sway Bars?

Trailer sway bars are designed to stabilize trailers that are being towed behind a vehicle. They work by connecting the trailer to the tow vehicle and transferring some of the weight from the trailer to the tow vehicle.

This helps to keep the trailer in line and prevents it from swinging from side to side.

How Do Trailer Sway Bars Work?

Once you connect your trailer to the ball, your sway bars will transfer some of the weight from your trailer to your tow vehicle. This will help keep your trailer in line and prevent it from swinging from side to side.

They do this by attaching to the frame of your trailer and attaching to the axle of your tow vehicle.

When you turn or brake, the weight is distributed more evenly between the tow vehicle and the trailer as well as between the sway bars and the traditional hitch.

This enhanced connection means that your trailer is less likely to swing out or jackknife because the sway bars don’t have as much give as the bumper hitch connection does.

Are Trailer Sway Bars Necessary? Why Do You Need Them?

While trailer sway bars are not required by law, I highly recommend them for anyone who is towing a trailer. They offer a number of benefits that can help keep you and your family safe while on the road.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in trailer sway bars:

  • They help to keep your trailer in line. This is especially useful when making turns or changing lanes because it helps to prevent your trailer from swinging  too wide and pulling your tow vehicle along with it.
  • They help to distribute the weight of your trailer more evenly. This can help to prevent your trailer from jackknifing or tipping over.
  • They help to reduce the amount of wear and tear on your tow vehicle. By distributing the weight of your trailer more evenly, you’re putting less strain on your tow vehicle and its components.

Even though trailer sway bars aren’t necessary or required, they’re a really good thing to have for any bumper pull trailer.

They increase your safety, reduce wear and tear on the trailer and the tow vehicle, and make your trailer much easier to pull.

What Causes A Travel Trailer To Sway?

There are a number of factors that can cause a travel trailer to sway. Here are a few of the most common:

  • The tongue weight of the trailer is not properly balanced. This means that the weight of the trailer is not evenly distributed between the front and back axles.
  • The trailer is not hitched correctly. If the trailer is not hitched correctly, it can cause the trailer to swing from side to side.
  • The trailer is overloaded. This means that there is too much weight in the trailer for the tow vehicle to safely handle.
  • The wind is blowing. Strong winds can cause a trailer to sway, even if it’s properly hitched and loaded.

There are a number of ways to prevent trailer sway, but the best way is to invest in a good set of trailer sway bars.

They can help to keep your trailer in line, even in strong winds or when making turns.

How To Install Trailer Sway Bars

Installing trailer sway bars is a relatively easy process. You’ll need a number of tools to get this done including a drill, a socket, and wrenches.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Park your tow vehicle and trailer on level ground.
  2. Jack up the front of the trailer and support it with jack stands.
  3. Put the rear jack stands down and chock the tires so your trailer doesn’t roll. If you feel more comfortable, you can jack up the back of your trailer and remove the tires so it can’t roll.
  4. Disconnect the trailer’s electrical system.
  5. Attach the trailer sway bars to the frame of the trailer using the instructions that came with your sway bars.
  6. Reattach the wheels to the trailer if you removed them.
  7. Reconnect the trailer’s electrical system.
  8. Lower the jack stands and remove them from under the trailer.
  9. Hook up the trailer to your tow vehicle and hit the road!

How Many Sway Bars Do You Need on Your Trailer?

The number of sway bars you’ll need depends on the size and weight of your trailer. Most trailers will come with two sway bars, but some may have four.

Low profile trailers may only need two sway bars to provide the stability you need while heavier trailers could often benefit from four.

If you’re not sure how many sway bars you need, it’s best to consult with a professional or the manufacturer of your trailer.

They can help you determine the right number of sway bars for your trailer.

Can You Back Up A Trailer With Sway Bars?

Yes, you can back up a trailer with sway bars. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the trailer will not have as much control while backing up.

This is because the weight of the trailer is not evenly distributed when backing up.

If you need to back up your trailer, it’s best to go slow and use extra caution.

You may also want to consider removing the sway bars before backing up to give yourself more control over the trailer.

Trailer Sway Bars vs. Weight Distribution Hitch

Trailer sway bars and weight distribution hitches serve very different purposes. It’s tough to compare them apples to apples to determine which will work better in every situation.

A weight distribution hitch is a device that helps to distribute the weight of the trailer more evenly between the front and back axles of the tow vehicle.

This can help to prevent trailer sway and give you more stability, but it doesn’t necessarily prevent the trailer from swinging from side to side.

A trailer sway bar, on the other hand, is a device that helps to keep the trailer in line by reducing the amount of side-to-side movement.

This can be helpful in preventing accidents, but it won’t necessarily prevent the trailer from swaying back and forth.

The main differences between weight distribution hitches and trailer sway bars are:

  • Weight distribution hitches help to distribute the weight of the trailer more evenly between the front and back axles of the tow vehicle whereas trailer sway bars help to keep the trailer in line by reducing the amount of side-to-side movement.
  • Weight distribution hitches can be used with trailers of any size whereas trailer sway bars are typically only used with trailers that are under 10,000 pounds.
  • Weight distribution hitches must be properly adjusted in order to work correctly whereas trailer sway bars do not need to be adjusted.
  • Weight distribution hitches can be more expensive than trailer sway bars.

Both weight distribution hitches and trailer sway bars can be helpful in preventing accidents, though.

For these reasons, many experts recommend using both a weight distribution hitch and trailer sway bars to prevent trailer sway.

This combination can provide the best possible protection against swaying, rocking, and jackknifing.

Conclusion

Trailer sway bars are useful components of a bumper pull trailer because they can add to the safety of your rig and make it easier to tow.

Sway bars work by limiting the amount of side-to-side movement of the trailer, which can help to prevent accidents. Some trailers benefit from two sway bars while others need four.

Madeline Cooper
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