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Sway when towing an RV? Watch this!

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Text Comments (344)
willysunday (1 day ago)
Thanks! Great info for this newbie. Understandable and nice model.
MoneyPit Jku (20 days ago)
Your third issue that causes sway should be number 1. That's the trailer flipper.
Bo Mcgee (24 days ago)
Big Truck Big RV, do RockWood make a 5th wheel for a 1/2 ton pick up can tow ?
Flamester stats (26 days ago)
Very informative...great video!!!
Todd Anderson (29 days ago)
How would you suggest the best way to get your truck and trailer with a WD hitch setup if you buy a trailer from a private party vs a dealer?
John Kidd (1 month ago)
Marty Young (1 month ago)
You didn’t address another cause of sway with improper weight distribution of the trailer. The weight pressing down at the hitch point should be 11-15% of the total trailer weight for best stability. Also of note is the ratio of weight between tow vehicle and the trailer. As the weight of the trailer approaches the weight of the tow vehicle (and many times surpasses it) the setup becomes less stable requiring additional equipment to abate sway. The reason for this is also physics and is in addition to the other causes you covered. Thank you for the video.
Scott Sampson (1 month ago)
Is there a way to change the travel trailer (ball and hitch) to a 5th wheel style?
Denny Gobel (1 month ago)
How about a video on how weight distribution within the trailer causes sway?
Rich Ceretto (1 month ago)
Thank you! You are my new teacher! We are just getting into looking for a trailer to pull and have a 95 4x4 k1500 suburban with no towing package other than a ball hitch. Thanks to God 20 plus years ago I hauled three horses from Nebraska to nw Illinois through a blizzard with it without incident and want to be much smarter about towing now. You bet I will be following you and again thanks for caring and educating us. 🙏🏻
lisa j (1 month ago)
My rv swayed and ended up on its side on hwy 69 scary as hell
RussC (1 month ago)
What were the size tires and lift in that first burnt orange colored f250 with n this video? Any airbags in the back? Looked great!
Jim Goodchild (1 month ago)
Great explanation. I can personally attest to the effect of wheelbase. For all sorts of reasons we use an SUV as our TV, and a couple of years ago changed the TV from one with a 118" wheelbase to a 131". Our trailer and WD hitch (Blue-Ox Sway-Pro) remained unchanged (apart from height adjustments to fit to the new truck). With the old TV, driving in any kind of crosswind was a white knuckle affair, and I'd usually find myself dropping my speed to 80 km/h (50 mph). With the new TV, I can hold my speed at 100 km/h with no sway. However, you missed one critical factor: Speed. Since sway is a dynamic effect caused, in large part, by the airflow over the sides of the trailer, for any setup there is a critical speed, above which the tendency to sway will be amplified with each oscillation of the trailer. Therefore, one easy (and free) means to control sway is to slow down. A side benefit is the greatly reduced fuel consumption!
GandC Gabent (1 month ago)
Just watched your video.  I have a 2003 Ford E350 Diesel Cargo Van (same size as a vanpool van, 9600 lb towing capacity, with airbags, blue ox 1500 lb hitch). I bought a 2016 Keystone Vaporlite toy hauler (7600 lb). Have had it for a couple of years. I live in it while contracting.  Had real difficulty driving from Idaho to New Orleans last April (where I still am). Tried putting a motorcycle in before I left and was all over the road (left it home). I am guessing I just don't understand how to set up the hitch and the air bag combo. I am pretty sure I had way too much air in the airbags. Any advice?
Paul Spoliansky (2 months ago)
Do you recommend distributing cargo a certain way inside the trailer to lessen the occurrence of sway?
Steven Meyer (2 months ago)
A word about loading of the towed vehicle such that the majority is in front of the trailer axles(s) would be helpful.
Richard Nowak (2 months ago)
The pivot point is defined as the fixed point on a vehicle or trailer at which it rotates and is located over the center of the rear axle. The tow vehicle and trailer each have one pivot point. The hitchpin of a fifth wheel is located over the pivot point of the tow vehicle (center of the rear axle) which eliminates the pivot point of the trailer. The system has only one pivot point and is stable. The coupler on a towed trailer is connected to the vehicle some distance away from the pivot point of the tow vehicle. As a result, the pivot point of the trailer remains, and the system now has two pivot points which is not stable and will likely sway with slight perpendicular forces to the system. Hensley has developed an anti-sway solution which creates a virtual pivot point forward of the trailer close to the pivot point of the tow vehicle resulting in a stable single pivot point system. Any method which removes the distance between the trailer coupler and the pivot point of the tow vehicle will work. Friction surfaces is not one of them.
jeffdcarruthers (2 months ago)
I must have missed the point about how much weight should be put forward or rear of the axles on the trailer. seems my trailer has less sway with more weight in the front of the trailer.
JK 241 (2 months ago)
need video on different weight distrubution/sway hitches.
Jim Buckley (2 months ago)
Excellent video, you are a natural teacher. So many things to learn about pulling an rv in safe safe and stress free manor. Thank you
Cade Baker (2 months ago)
Thank You for this I've been towing trailers for years, and your explanation of the Weight Distribution Hitch cleared up some gray areas for me!!
Joe O (2 months ago)
Good explanation! An interesting aspect of the sway control is that when installed properly, the tongue weight doesn't cause your back end to squat down and front to point up! It loads the weight as if it is a bridge between the trailer and truck. Your sway control adds a substantial amount of weight to your front tires. Your trailer and truck should stay level.
Lee Winbush (2 months ago)
Wow, easily the granddaddy of videos on sway with RVs. Great job!
joshua martin (2 months ago)
What an excellent demonstration 10\10
scrap2cash (3 months ago)
I just watched a video of a dually truck with fifth wheel camper flipping after having bad sway..
Richard Nowak (2 months ago)
Probably wasn't sway. Bad driving more likely or not a fifth wheel camper(?)
DeVoNmotorsports (3 months ago)
WATCH THIS..................https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2fkOVHAC8Q
chris m (3 months ago)
its all about tongue weight buy a sway conrtol bar weight dist bars arent made for sway control but they do help your video is a waste of time
Icutmetal (2 months ago)
Army truth (3 months ago)
That Ford @ 3:20 lookes like mine but I have a supercrew cab
Army truth (3 months ago)
My F-150 has sway control
Icutmetal (2 months ago)
Jay Carlisle (3 months ago)
Very well explained video. I towed a skid steer yesterday but required 4x4 to get back out of the site. Forgot to kick it back off and had extreme sway. DO NOT TOW IN 4x4 ON HIGHWAY
Anthony Agadis (3 months ago)
I watched this video just before towing a travel trailer for the first time. Gotta be honest, thought it was a bit exaggerated but quickly learned you were spot on!!! Thanks for sharing!
Doug (3 months ago)
Excellent educational video ! The reasons you give here are the same as I suspected but it's always good to listen to others who most likely know more than myself. I tow a double trailer with two jet skis so the principle is the same with the fifth wheel of course being much larger and the sway more prevalent. Then there is the height difference with wind as well. I'm getting ready to purchase a fifth wheel the take to Montana for 6 months and wanted to be sure I was educated on towing something much larger than I'm used to. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.
Made u Look (3 months ago)
Thank you. New sub
J EV (4 months ago)
Sure. Our Tundra can pull a 37 ft trailer. It’s Ulta lite. ...said every salesman
Larry Cox (4 months ago)
Glad I found this before buying. Learning RV stuff all the time & looking forward to new "safe" adventures with my bride!
Hitchport (4 months ago)
Yes, proper setup is key! Have you considered weight distribution hitch storage? HITCHPORT Hitch and Spring Bar Mounts are the solution. The noise can also be quieted with Equal-i-zer Sway Bracket Jacket.
Drone & Video -AZ. (4 months ago)
I am new to the travel trailer thing and thinking of getting a travel trailer and tow with my dodge hemi v8 . looking at a 21 ft trailer possibly. Now how essential is the anti sway and is a simple one side anti sway ok to use or should i get a more heavy duty one. Thankx for any help . Great video.
Lou Fazio (4 months ago)
Vortex shedding: it can be easily found by (shortly) tailgating (drafting) a truck-trailer with both of the car windows down.
Corey Adams (4 months ago)
Great video on sway while towing.
Dmb25108 (4 months ago)
Also ideally speaking with 5th wheel your hitch should be above your drive axle or slightly ahead. Proper 5th wheel placement places weight on your steer tires too making your front end more stable.
Dennis Ritter (4 months ago)
Ok so i got a 2014 f150 4x4 8ft bed , pulling a 2006 keystone outback 31rqs , curt 10000 lb weight dist. Setup , with sway control and still have sway and lite front end , what should i do , i never dry camp so tanks always empty , and dont overload the trailer , can i have the hitch set up wrong , or (as i told my wife ) is it to much trailer for my truck ??
Rex Goliath (4 months ago)
Dennis Ritter This is too much for a half ton. Very unsafe.
Dmb25108 (4 months ago)
Dennis Ritter trailer is too much for truck. Your trucks towing capacity is around 9600lbs.
Linda Rickert (4 months ago)
Great explanation!
Captain McFury (4 months ago)
let me save yall time. trailers sway because of wind and improperly inflated tire. not much you can do.
Lamond Secret (4 months ago)
Thanks my wife and grandchildren going to get a camper soon i almost got the down payment
saleen308 (4 months ago)
We just bought a 5th wheel and it is a night and day difference on trailer sway compared to our bumper pull TH.
Jon Smith (4 months ago)
34' bumper pull tag trailer no sway bars ever. My trick I've learned how to slow down save gas mileage wear and tear on everything. and keep my electronic brake close at hand if needed. I never even put the sway bars on. they're hard on the trailers tongue and have completely snapped some trailer tongues off.
B Jones (4 months ago)
Wish i saw this before i bought a 45k travel trailer!Great vid,and if i get another rv it'll be a 5th wheel....lesson learned🇨🇱
Thomas Potterf (4 months ago)
Thank you for a great video, the sign of a good teacher is when he can explain the subject matter in a way that the general audience can understand. Unlike some of your critics who try to impress themselves with complicated remedies.
John VH 2019 (5 months ago)
If you experience sway you have a serious problem and a sway control hitch is just an attempt to compensate for that problem. Most sway issues stem from too much weight behind the trailer tires. Learn how to load your trailer properly. Also get a heavier truck. The factory weight rating of most pickup trucks are greatly exaggerated. I tow with a GMC 6500 diesel truck. I can tow 40k lbs and never feel my load.
H. R. Lawrence (5 months ago)
Well, unless I'm missing something. The best way to reduce (get rid of) sway is to add a set of wheels underneath the end of the A-Frame hitch assembly.I hope I'm not the first to think of this simple solution. (something smaller to what is used on combination trailers) The low cost would be well worth it.
naught yue (5 months ago)
instant props on intro bass riff
Maj. Tom (6 months ago)
Very good video...one comment though....a Hensley adds a "lot" of weight. Our Hensley adds about 100lbs more than our Reese did to the TW of our Airstream. I guess that's OK if you consider 100lbs a lot with a 1200lb tongue weight.
Brian W (6 months ago)
OK, if you have a PU with a single axle, get air bags! And a really good weight distribution hitch. Really, the air bags drastically reduce the bouncing. Weight distribution is so important I like the Blue Ox. Simple and works for me. Whatever you use, go slow and watch your flanks. Be very mindful of windy conditions when you are approaching a field after transit through tree lined terrain. Cross winds are hell.
woolengrappler (6 months ago)
How does something like a land cruiser 200 series compare to say an F150, Chevy 1500? The LC has coil springs rear, solid rear axle and is rated to tow 8,500lbs.
Holger Hansen (6 months ago)
The elevator music in the background put me to sleep.
Henry Romero (7 months ago)
No sway when towing an 5th wheel.
Robert Mcdonald (7 months ago)
I would like to say thank you.
Jim Taylor (7 months ago)
Wrong wrong wrong 90 percent of sway is caused by overhang the distance between the rear wheels of the tow vehicle and the hitch. That is why 5th wheels dont suffer from it
gunslingr45 (7 months ago)
Not getting the alignment thing because my 33 FT has 2 straight axles with the tires and hubs connected to the axles. How do they get out of alignment?
Rex Goliath (4 months ago)
gunslingr45 The trailer tires do turn at an angle when you are turning. It is not anything you have control over. All the other factors have more to do with controlling sway.
lisa y (7 months ago)
Great explanatory video! But i do agree that weight disbursement in the trailer is critical as well...ie like w tractor trailers...proper weight disbursement over the axels...thru the body and up to the hitch. This is always something to take into consideration for all trailering.
Vin DeLoach (7 months ago)
Thanks for the clear and concise explanation.
Anton Deta (8 months ago)
You do not need to cable your drive away car. No more loose connection and signal failure on your tow away vehicle. We have developed a kit, TA67, for wireless transmission between the tractor and tow away vehicle. check out our YouTube video below for more info. https://youtu.be/RnHTr7ZAqQk
cupofjoe2988 (8 months ago)
This video was very informative, interesting, and very well done. Thank for the post. It sounds like a really good quality weight distribution hitch with sway control and maybe an electronic sway control system are the best ways to prevent sway. Is that true?
John Gee (8 months ago)
I don't think you know what the components of the Weight distribution hitch and anti-sway bar are for.
Scott Elder (8 months ago)
Watched almost all your videos. Thank you. \ere now about to add airlift to our f250. How will that works with our weight distribution hitch? Thanks again for all your videos.
VOOODOOO (9 months ago)
great video, takes the mystery out of it
dj511185 (9 months ago)
Can anyone comment on the use of a Ram 3500 DRW / Mega Cab with a 6'4" bed for a 5th wheel?
dj511185 (9 months ago)
@Greg Pecaut Thank you. I was worried the mega cab could interfere with the 5th wheel or goose neck.
Greg Pecaut (9 months ago)
Just don't go over the max gross combined weight, load weight, or axel weights. Great truck.
David Dion (9 months ago)
I’m sure all you Hensley fans are absolutely correct as the Hensley’s seem to have a tremendously popular following and seems like that practically everyone swears by them. I would like to get one also. I’d also like to get an F350 Dually Diesel loaded and a 35ft Grand Design with at least two slides but I don’t have unlimited amounts of disposable income to brag about what I’ve purchased. I’ll have to do with what I can afford. IF, IF, IF
michaeldublg (10 months ago)
Thanks for the education... Watching trailer sway accidents on YouTube looks pretty terrifying. Good to know how to keep it from happening to oneself.
David P (10 months ago)
I had a f150 that swayed really bad and I put some spring helpers on it and it pretty much eliminated the swaying problem
Greg Pecaut (9 months ago)
Means you were probably over loaded. Not smart.
Eddy A (10 months ago)
Well done!! I definitely have a better understanding of what sway is. I use an old Curt weight distribution hitch without anti-sway bar. I learned that by moving more weight to the middle of the truck bed I was able to control sway much better without an anti-sway bar.
Brent Davies (11 months ago)
I have a stupid question. If I get to where I am going and will be doing a few sharp turns to get into the site or campground at low speed obviously, should I disconnect the sway bars? BTW great video BTBRV, very informative and basic yet things people should know for sure.
Greg Pecaut (9 months ago)
On a lot of the sway bars you can just back the brake off. Take it off if you want, but not necessary.
Ric Aldrich (11 months ago)
Really well done
F-350 Guy (11 months ago)
Excellent, thank you ☺️👍
Ian Mac (11 months ago)
you should read some articles by COLLYN RIVERS
RV Traveler (1 year ago)
In your opinion, which Weight Distribution Hitch is best; the Hensley Arrow or ProPride 3P?
Greg Pecaut (9 months ago)
Correctly loading makes the biggest difference.
Goodoz (1 year ago)
Nope. Move load on the trailer as far forward as possible/practicable. Use a weight distribution hitch. Zero probs/biggest TTs. Cheers! Oz
Art Webb (1 year ago)
Weight distribution is a huge Factor Back when I was working for a motorcycle shop, I went about halfway across Texas pulling a 16 foot lowboy behind a half ton pickup with five big dressers and a side-by-side loaded on it Coming down this one long slow Hill the trailer started wagging the truck like you wouldn't believe Pulled over, move the side by side and two of the motorcycles further forward on the trailer, not a hint of sway the rest of the trip That's back when I was still green enough pulling trailers to pull a load like that with a half ton with a V6 🤣
Jeff Lass (1 year ago)
If I were to pull a 31' or 34' trailer with an even shorter wheelbase vehicle, like a late model Tahoe, would investing in a Hensley/ProPride make this a feasible setup? 8600 lb. tow capacity. Ultra lite trailer at either 4885 lbs. for the 31', 6000 lbs. for the 34'.
Gunner Charlie (1 year ago)
great job in explaining. thank you
Stan .Rarick (1 year ago)
Fifth wheel eliminates the lever arm which the rear hitch has. Hinge still exists
steve senchuk (1 year ago)
Some comments about loading a trailer evenly would be good advice, as an improperly loaded unit with too much weight in the rear will cause a very dangerous situation on the road.
F Huber (1 year ago)
You left out balance of load inside the trailer. A trailer with too little tongue weight will sway. It is VERY easy to have the travel trailer loaded with too much weight to the rear.
Travis Pfannmuller (6 months ago)
By far the most important factor. Everything else is a bandaid. It is so important to know trailer axle weight and tongue weight. Anyone who's pulled in the mountains can attest to this
Jane Camisa (1 year ago)
Thank you , very informative.
Flat Earth Reset (1 year ago)
Improper weight load with to much in the back can cause sway just with that factor alone.
Kurt Richter (1 year ago)
You need to show proof of your explanations by showing the load analysis and by actual verification or tests. The cardboard models do not represent real life action. Put wheels and weights on them and test with on a conveyor with motion in different configuration. You will find that the best way to prevent sway is by locating your load center of gravity in front of the trailer axle. Tests show that this is the biggest factor . See https://youtu.be/6mW_gzdh6to for a demo.
A. O. (1 year ago)
Clear as mud thanks! I'm more confused than ever, can I un-watch this video?
ted rubinstein (1 year ago)
Great video, it makes it easy to understand the forces going on. As kind of an all around vehicle we recently bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee with the tow package and Hemi which has a towing capacity of 7200 LBS. We had in mind getting a 17 to 20 ft. camping trailer with about 22 to 25 ft. total length with empty weight being 4000 to 4500 lb. and thought we'd be fine. Shortly after getting the rig my friend tells me I'm nuts to get such a short and narrow vehicle to tow a trailer. With getting a good weight distribution / sway control system what size trailer do you think would be a good or maximum size to have a stable ride even in hi winds or being on two lane roads with Semi's going the other direction. I imagine we will have to find some extra long extended mirrors. Thanks for your help.
Swayn Forkbeard (1 year ago)
I have the same suv and am trying to learn about these towing factors so I know what kind of trailer to get. What did you end up with for a trailer or what else have you learned? Any experiences pulling a trailer yet?
Michael Forbes (1 year ago)
Absolutely fantastic visual explanation. Thank you
Jim Fraser (1 year ago)
Really what a crock of shit you dont need any of that junk ive never used sway bars special hitches I just buy a hitch they can take the load is long as the trailers balance sitting straight across you should have any problems I don’t understand all this hoopla bullshit if you have a three-quarter ton truck or 1 ton truck that’s all you need
Jim Fraser (1 year ago)
Here’s an idea stop pulling trailers with half a truck
Ken A (1 year ago)
Nice video...... I spent big bucks on an EQUALIZER unit from Utah. Took some time to install but haven't had any problems
Thomas Hudgins (1 year ago)
Thank you. Great information.
Just Me (1 year ago)
Excellent video. Ive been driving Class A trucks for 20 years but I've never towed a trailer with a pick up truck. I got myself a 1 ton dually because it's better to have more than you need and not need it then to not have enough. First thing I did was to install airlift in the rear. After this video I have decided to pay the extra money for the fifth wheel trailer.
Norine Davis (1 year ago)
Any hints for backing up with the Hensley hitch?
Kraig Snowden (1 year ago)
I’ve got a 36’ Jayco that I just got that I pull behind my 2010 F250 Diesel. I can’t get over about 60MPH before it starts wanting to dance all over the road. I have a weight distribution hitch on it now, and I’m almost wondering if it’s making it too light on the front of the trailer and hurting more than it helps. It’s got a tiny kitchen at the front, and some bunk beds and that’s about it. Is that a possibility that the distribution hitch is actually hurting me more than it’s helping me? It’s maddening. I had a 150 that pulled my last camper amazing with the distribution hitch, but this setup I just can’t seem to dial in. Any suggestions?
Rex Goliath (4 months ago)
Kraig Snowden Check weight distribution and tire pressure. Your back tires should be adjusted with more air pressure accordingly. Unfortunately, I’ve never found a chart showing how much in relation to tongue weight. Passenger truck tires (ALL half ton trucks) do not have any leeway to adjust air pressure like E rated truck tires do.
Kraig Snowden (1 year ago)
Oh, I’m also running airbags that I just added thinking may help, didn’t make a bit of difference. Thinking about ditching everything and pulling it with bags only to see how it does.
Mike Vagg (1 year ago)
Good Video, but why did you ignore the fact that the spring bars also transfer weight to the front wheels of the tow vehicle, another reason the setup is important.
OZ Camper Travels (1 year ago)
Have a look at this it's all to do with weight distribution not wind. https://youtu.be/nd-hUX8memY
bwhntr11111 (1 year ago)
Why I never bumper pull anything bigger than my boat.5th wheels the way to go.
Charles Bailey (1 year ago)
Very well done one of the best videos on youtube well informed. Thanks