If you’ve ever been driving along the highway when your caravan has started to sway from side to side, you’ll know that it can be a terrifying experience. And, if you aren’t able to get the van under control, it could lead to a serious accident. Read on or watch our video to learn about why caravans sway and what you can do to prevent swaying from occurring during your travels – including why you need to make an asymmetrical sway control system part of your repertoire.

What causes sway?

There are a number of different reasons why your van may sway, including:

  • Incorrect weight distribution;
  • Uneven or incorrect tyre pressure;
  • Suspension problems;
  • Towing speeds (ie driving too fast downhill);
  • Side wide; and
  • Slipstreams created by larger vehicles.

How can I reduce sway?

To reduce sway when it occurs suddenly, your reaction will vary depending on the scenario:

  • Driving downhill – Manually apply the electric trailer brakes, which will let the caravan slow down your tow vehicle as well as reduce any sway almost immediately.
  • Driving uphill – Speed up a bit until you see that the swaying has stopped, then slow down and continue driving at a slower speed.
  • Driving on flat roads – Slow down gradually without using the brakes of the tow vehicle.

Keep in mind that, whilst some caravans are sensitive to swaying, certain road or weather conditions can make it impossible to avoid (ie extreme winds).

What is an asymmetrical sway control system?

One of the most useful caravan camping accessories you will ever own, an asymmetrical sway control system can be used in conjunction with a weight distribution hitch to help eliminate sway. These systems are mounted next to the hitch ball and onto the tongue of the van, passing through brake pads that help to provide resistance between the van and tow vehicle. When the vehicle moves, the system moves back and forth, maintaining the balance between your van and tow vehicle.

How do I fit the system?

Fitting your caravan with a sway control system is actually quite a straightforward process; most people can do it with relative ease. Follow the instructions provided with your system and be sure to ask a Camec representative if you require any assistance.

Something important to note is that if you hear a grinding sound when towing, you need to loosen your system.

How do I adjust the system?

Once your sway control bar has been installed, you’ll need to adjust it. The level of friction can be manually set – you'll need to use the bolt below the on/off handle in order to do this.

For the most optimised setting, you will need to perform some road tests – using a loaded caravan will help to simulate real life scenarios, which is why it’s best to perform this the day before your trip (when the van is already loaded). Increase or decrease the tension before each test. Repeat this a few times until you’re happy with the control the system provides.

Sway – and the disasters it leads to – can be avoidable in many instances with an asymmetrical sway control system. Purchase yours today and feel the difference in your tow experience.