Controlling sway?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by dgarbers, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. dgarbers

    dgarbers New Member

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    Oct 30, 2008
    We took our 2002 Coleman/Fleetwood Niagara out for a quick trip this weekend -- first time we've been out in a while. Had new tires put on just a week or so ago, too. It seemed like we were getting more sway than in the past, especially in the 62 - 70 MPH range. We use an anti-sway bar, and I'm wondering if it might be worn or need replacement.

    What makes the camper start to sway in the first place? At first we thought it was from a truck going by or coasting down a grade, but it wasn't ever consistent. We'd be going along just fine and then suddenly it'd feel like our rear end was being pulled back and forth.

    Can anybody suggest some ways to manage / control sway better? What's the chance that our sway bar needs new pads (and how would we check that)? Is there something the driver can do once sway starts to reduce it? For us, sometimes it seemed like speeding up a bit helped; other times slowing down helped. Thanks for any advice you can offer!
  2. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Oct 15, 2006
    Dukes, Fl
    Usually caused by not enough tongue weight, or loading to heavy on the rear. you should have around 15% tongue weight. Some trailers are more prone to sway than others too.
  3. RockyRoo

    RockyRoo Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD

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    Jun 8, 2012
    Some Colemans definitely are prone to sway, not to say other brands aren't, but there are definitely certain Colemans that get complained about. That said, probably just have to get a new sway bar if you want to go that route. Not expensive at all.

    What kind of tires did you put on it, radial or bias ply? Are they at max pressure? Are the van tires at max pressure? Keep your speed down, I know it's easy to pull a pup with a van at 70-75 mph, but the faster you go the more prone you are to sway.

    As for stopping sway once it starts, does the trailer have brakes? If so, just reach down and manually apply a little braking to the trailer and it should straighten right out.
  4. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 26, 2012
    Shell Rock Landing, Hubert NC
    Load it front heavy. Tighten up the sway bar and then go tighter. Air tires on camper to max PSI on sidewall. Do not tow with water in tank.

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