Stabilize Your Ride: Top Sway Bars for Camper Safety and Control

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It’s a scary experience. You’re driving down the beautiful coastal highway in Maine. Even on that dreary, soon-to-be stormy day, there’s an inescapable beauty. And then the sea breeze turns into a gale that makes your vehicle shutter. 

For a moment, you think you’ve lost control of your SUV as you pull hard on the steering wheel just to stay in your lane. And then you see it. Your trailer swaying behind you on the slick road. 

As the gale passes, you pull over, wondering what just happened. All the tires are fine. Your chains are connected to the trailer. Nothing is loose. But you just experienced an extreme form of trailer sway. 

Even for the long-time RVer, it’s frightening when you’re towing your home behind you, and Mother Nature takes control. Fortunately, finding a good sway bar stabilizes your camper and gives you peace of mind. That way, you’ll be prepared for anything a windstorm throws at you.

Key Takeaways

  • Sway bars that are also known as “anti-roll bars,” are what you have on cars, SUVs, and trucks. They’re different from the sway bar that enables your weight distribution hitch to provide sway control.  
  • There are two main options for sway control on your camper: anti-sway bars or integrated sway control systems.
  • Choosing the right sway bar depends on factors including trailer size and weight, budget, and compatibility with the tow vehicle and hitches.

Trailer Sway and Sway Bars: What Is It and How Do They Work?

Firstly, you are not required by law to have a sway bar. In fact, if you pack your camper well and balance the weight properly, you usually don’t need one.

But sway bars are a helpful safety accessory that can give you peace of mind in windy conditions or on curvy roads. The sway bars attach from your tow vehicle’s hitch to your trailer to provide sway control. 

Sway control is just a way of saying that your camper stays in line with your vehicle as you’re traveling. That means no constant correcting with your steering wheel and no strange janky noises.

Now, you might be thinking, “Wait, isn’t that the job of my weight distribution (WD) hitch?

And the answer is maybe.

Many WD hitches come with an integrated sway control system. So before you go out and buy one, make sure your WD hitch doesn’t already have it. 

If your hitch has sway control built in and you still have trouble with trailer sway, then you need to check your weight rating to ensure it’s properly sized for your trailer and evaluate how you’re loading it. 

More tips on that later. 

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The Best Sway Bars for Your Camper 

Nowadays, most weight distribution hitches have a sway control system built into them. But there are still a few options if you need just the sway bar. 

#1: CURT 17200 Trailer Anti-Sway Bar Control Kit

Price: $91.95

Best For: The adventurer who changes terrain or has multiple trailers to haul. 

Available through Curt’s official site

    Curt has a reputation for all things trailer-related, from hitches to sway bars for any length or type of trailer. Their kit fits most weight distribution hitches and offers versatility for multiple hauling setups. With the on/off handle, you can easily engage and disengage sway control when you turn off the paved roads and onto rougher terrain where you need that flexibility. Plus, the adjustable bolt accommodates different load sizes.

    #2: Husky Friction Sway Control Kit

      Price: $73.00

      Best For: RVers who prize easy installation and setup. 

      Available through Husky Towing Products

      The Husky Friction Sway Control Kit is as basic as it gets. It’s super easy to install and uninstall, and it also has an on/off lever that engages and disengages sway control. It also comes with everything you need to install it. 

      #3: Blue Ox BXW2000 SWAYPRO Weight Distributing Hitch 

      Price: $878.90

      Ball Size: 2 ½”

      Trailer Weight Rating: 20,000 lbs.

      Tongue Weight Rating: 2,000 lbs.

      Best For: Drivers who regularly haul heavy loads – like toy haulers. Or, say you’re a full-time RVer who hauls their life in your camper. 

      Available through Blue Ox

        True to its name, Blue Ox is tough–but not an overly-built macho kind of tough. Blue Ox makes the SWAYPRO out of high carbon spring steel because it’s strong and gives – just a little. That little bit of give in the steel means a smoother, more comfortable ride for you. 

        #4: REESE 49911 Pro Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control 

        Price: $361.22

        Ball Size: 2-5/16”

        Trailer Weight Rating: 6,000 lbs

        Tongue Weight Rating: 600 lbs

        Best For: Those who aren’t comfortable adapting their trailers to fit a new hitch. 

        Available through Reese

          Some of the previous options that offer the most stability for your camper involve having to drill holes in your weight distribution hitch to secure the sway bar. But Reese Hitches offers you a no-drill fit as long as your trailer frame is less than 7 inches. That makes installation easy and decreases your chances of messing up your trailer hitch. 

          #5: Camco EAZ-Lift Elite 1,200lb RV Weight Distribution Hitch 

            Price: $534.99

            Ball Size: 2-5/16”

            Trailer Weight Rating: 14,000 lbs.

            Tongue Weight Rating: 1,400 lbs

            Best For: RVers who need flexibility in how much sway control they need at different points in their journey.

            Available through CamcoOutdoors.com

            With the EAZ-Lift’s adjustable sway control, you’ll be able to engage or disengage its sway control capabilities using a simple clamp. Plus, the universal spring bars are easy to exchange when necessary, no matter where you are on the road. All in all, the EAZ-Lift provides you with the versatility and flexibility you need on long road trips.

            #6: Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch 

              Price: $845

              Ball Size: 2-5/16”

              Trailer Weight Rating: 10,000 lbs.

              Tongue Weight Rating: 1,000 lbs.

              Best for: Dedicated towing set up for your camper

              Available through Equalizerhitch.com 

              The Equal-i-zer is another Hitch with built-in sway control. Using 4-Point Sway Control™  technology, the Equalizer keeps your trailer securely under control even in windy interstate conditions. From hauling your camper around to hauling horses, this hitch lives up to its reputation as a high-quality all-in-one solution to sway control. 

              (They make several other sizes, too, from 400/4,000 lbs weight ratio to 1,600/16,000 weight ratio.)

              Tips to Prevent Trailer Sway

              Even with your sway bar in place, you still need to take certain precautions before you pull out onto the road. These precautions work together with your sway to prevent trailer sway.

              #1: Balance your Load

                Distribute your trailer’s load with the weight over the axles. This harnesses gravity as your ally. With most of the weight pressing down on the axles, your trailer is less likely to go rogue. You also need to make sure you understand your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating so that you don’t overload your camper.

                #2: Check your Tires

                  A damaged or worn tire – far from preventing sway – can actually cause trailer sway. That’s why it’s important to regularly inspect your tires for damage, bulging, or excessive wear. A good set of well-balanced tires will keep you from having to make constant steering adjustments.

                  #3: Drive Safe 

                    That means no last-minute turns. It’s okay to miss the turn and perform a safe and legal U-turn. Give yourself plenty of room to brake if the car in front of you stops unexpectedly, and don’t follow cars closely on the interstate.   

                    Summary

                    To sum up, sway bars are the safety net that keeps your trailer firmly in its place behind your tow vehicle as you’re cruising down the interstate.

                    Just like you want to keep your trailer securely hitched behind you while you travel, you also want to store it securely when you unhitch it. That means looking for covered/fully enclosed RV storage options to protect it from inclement weather and prying eyes. 

                    But where can you find covered or enclosed RV storage in your area? 

                    Check out Neighbor, a peer-to-peer RV storage marketplace that offers covered/enclosed RV storage up to 50% cheaper than traditional storage options. 

                    You can find listings from pre-screened hosts near you!

                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Sway Bar for My Camper?

                    When choosing a sway bar for your camper, consider your trailer size, weight, towing frequency, budget, and trailer braking system. It’s crucial to ensure compatibility with your towing vehicle.

                    How Can I Prevent and Reduce Trailer Sway?

                    To reduce trailer sway, make sure to balance loads, maintain tires, practice safe driving, and install a sway bar properly.

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