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How Do Sway Bars Work on Caravans?

Updated July 20, 2017

If your caravan trailer isn't properly balanced, is loaded unevenly, or if the hitch is located at the wrong height, then the caravan will put extra weight onto the rear of the towing vehicle, affecting driver control. This safely issue can often be corrected through the use of sway bars.

Sway Bars

Sway bars go under a variety or names, such as weight distribution hitches, stabiliser bars, load equalisers and anti-sway bars. The sway bars are made of a ball to which the caravan trailer hitches and two long, metal arms that attach to the trailer frame.

How They Work

Equipping the tow vehicle with a correctly fitted sway bar allows it to be in a level position while towing the caravan. The stabilising arms use leverage to redirect weight from the travel trailer onto the front of the tow vehicle and the rear of the trailer, eliminating the problem of sagging at the hitch.

Benefits

Using a sway bar to properly balance the weight distribution of the towing vehicle improves traction in the front wheels. This is especially critical in front-wheel-drive vehicles, but balanced traction improves steering and braking control even in rear- and all-wheel-drive vehicles.

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About the Author

Tracy Hruby has been writing since 2006. Her work has been featured in local publications, including "Prism Magazine," and in a collection of sociological poetry. In 2010, her work was selected by the Kennedy Center of American College Theater Festival. She graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English.