Sunday, July 21, 2024

Install a Sway Bar on Your Travel Trailer for Stability

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A sway bar, also known as an anti-sway bar, is an important safety device that helps reduce swaying motions in travel trailers. Installing a sway bar on your RV can help improve handling and stability when towing, making your travels safer and more enjoyable. Let’s go over the benefits of sway bars, the tools you’ll need, and a step-by-step guide to installing one on your travel trailer.

Benefits of Sway Bars

Sway bars work by resisting side-to-side movement of the trailer. This helps keep the trailer aligned behind the tow vehicle and prevents “fishtailing” at high speeds or during sharp turns. Benefits of adding a sway bar include:

  • Improved stability and handling when towing
  • Reduced swaying motion on curves and in windy conditions
  • Decreased strain on tow vehicle suspension and hitch
  • Lower risk of jackknifing or loss of control

Risks of Sway for Your RV

Driving without a properly installed sway bar can be extremely dangerous. The risks include:

  • Difficulty maintaining control of the trailer
  • Increased swaying that can lead to a serious accident
  • Fishtailing, jackknifing, or rollover accidents
  • Dangerous loss of control, especially at high speeds

A quality sway bar will minimize these risks and give you much better control and stability.

Tools You’ll Need

Installing a sway bar is a straightforward DIY project if you have the right tools on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Adjustable wrench or sockets
  • Drill with 3/8” drill bit
  • Hex keys
  • Lubricating oil or grease
  • Protective gear like gloves and eye protection

You may also need additional tools to securely lift and support the trailer tongue during installation.

Steps for Installation

Follow these key steps to safely and successfully install your new sway bar:

Secure the Vehicle and Trailer

Park your tow vehicle and trailer on level ground and chock the tires. Use jack stands to lift the trailer tongue to a comfortable working height.

Position the Ball’s Post

Slide the sway bar’s ball post into the hitch receiver. Align the holes and insert a hitch pin to hold it in place.

Drill Holes Through Tongue Rail

Mark and drill 3/8” holes through the tongue rail where you’ll mount the sway bar arms. Clean any debris from the holes.

Apply the Lubricating Oil

Lightly lubricate the bushings and brackets with oil or grease to prevent squeaking and help prevent wear.

Mount the Arms

Bolt the sway bar arms onto the tongue rail using the provided hardware. Tighten everything securely.

Adjust Angle and Tension

Adjust the arms to the proper angle and tension. The bar should be as parallel to the ground as possible.

Contact an RV and Truck Repair Shop for Sway Bars for Your RV and More

Installing a sway bar for an RV is usually a simple DIY job, but you may need help choosing the right sway bar for your specific trailer. An experienced RV service shop can recommend and install sway bars matched to your trailer’s weight and dimensions. They can also perform related services like hitch adjustments and wheel alignments. Contact an RV and truck repair shop today to learn more.

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