Trailer Sway Control

There are two main styles of sway control devices, proactive and reactive. Proactive are commonly mechanical style devices and reactive are generally electric style. While both have positions in the towing market there are some differences that need to be considered.

Mechanical Devices

Friction Sway Controller

Friction sway controllers are great for lighter tow ball weights. Some things to consider when using Friction Sway Controllers include:

  1. For the Best performance, it should be used in conjunction with a weight distribution system [WDS] to give maximum stability and control. Since 2011, Hayman Reese WDS have the friction sway control mounting tab built into the Trailer Ball Mount [TBM].
  2. The system can be fitted directly to a TBM, using the optional bracket plate.
  3. They are better suited to trailers that have a tow ball weight under 200kgs. If used on higher ball weights, ideal performance may not be achieved.
  4. Set up will require some vehicle and trailer specific fine tuning. Using two fingers wind the hanle as far as you can, ensuring the handle stops at the next horizontal. Take care the car and van for a drive, if you still feel the van swaying then stop and wind the handle another 180 degrees. Go for another drive. Continue repeating the process until you feel the van no longer being affected by sway but still able to manoeuvre around corners and drive comfortably.

Dual Cam Sway Controller

The dual cam sway controller is the superior mechanical sway controller available. It positively an proactively controls the amount of sway movement from the caravan when affected by cross winds or when being over taken by larger vehicles. Some things to consider when using the high performance dual cam system are:

  • A correctly installed WDS is required.
  • The spring bars of the WDS need to have the hook/cam in the end of them . From early 2011, this comes standard on Hayman Reese WDS.
  • For best results the caravan tow ball, ideally needs to be above 200kgs. Although this system will work with lower tow ball weights, the higher the tow ball weight the better.
  • During initial fitment, proper aligning of the the dual cam arm and the spring bar hook is paramount. Without this, the system will not reach is optimum performance.
  • Use of the optional bolt on bracket is encouraged. This prevents any holes being drilled into the trailer a-frame.

Electric Devices

Electric Sway control devices while having a good place in the market, are predominately reactive systems. This means they sit at rest and wait for the trailer to start swaying and then respond accordingly. In some cases the trailer may need to have two sway movements before they engage.

Electrical devices fitted to the trailer will engage the trailer brakes to a preset output until the sway is removed. At the same time, systems fitted as part of the tow vehicle will engage the stability control functions of the vehicle, again until the sway is removed.