The Best Sway Bars for Travel Trailers: Reviews and Buying Guide
If you've ever taken a road trip with a travel trailer, you know how important it is to have a stable and secure rig. Unfortunately, even the most well-built trailers can experience swaying and rocking while on the road, which can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. That's where sway bars come in.
Sway bars, also known as anti-sway bars or stability bars, are designed to improve the stability and handling of your trailer by reducing lateral movement. They work by transferring weight from one side of the trailer to the other, helping to counteract the forces that cause swaying and rocking.
In this article, I'll review the top sway bars for travel trailers on the market. I'll cover everything you need to know, including how sway bars work, the different types available, and the key features to consider when choosing the best sway bar for your needs.
What are Sway Bars and How Do They Work?
Sway bars are essentially long, sturdy rods that are attached to the trailer's suspension system. They're designed to improve stability and handling by reducing lateral movement and swaying.
When a trailer is being towed, lateral forces are exerted on the trailer's suspension system, causing it to sway and rock from side to side. These forces can be caused by a variety of factors, including wind, uneven road surfaces, and the weight distribution of the trailer itself.
Sway bars work by transferring weight from one side of the trailer to the other, helping to counterbalance these forces and reduce swaying. They do this by using a combination of torsion and compression, which helps to keep the trailer more stable and secure while on the road.
Different Types of Sway Bars
There are two main types of sway bars available for travel trailers: weight-distributing sway bars and friction sway bars.
Weight-Distributing Sway Bars
Weight-distributing sway bars are the most common type of sway bar used for travel trailers. They work by distributing the weight of the trailer evenly across the tow vehicle's axles, helping to reduce swaying and improve stability.
These sway bars typically use a spring-loaded mechanism to transfer weight from one side of the trailer to the other. They're typically more effective at reducing swaying than friction sway bars, but they can be more expensive and require more maintenance.
Friction Sway Bars
Friction sway bars are another type of sway bar that can be used for travel trailers. These sway bars use a friction pad to transfer weight from one side of the trailer to the other, helping to reduce swaying and improve stability.
Friction sway bars are generally less expensive and easier to install than weight-distributing sway bars, but they may not be as effective at reducing swaying. They also require more maintenance, as the friction pad needs to be replaced periodically.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Sway Bar
When shopping for a sway bar for your travel trailer, there are a few key features to consider:
- Compatibility: Make sure the sway bar you choose is compatible with your specific tow vehicle and trailer. Different sway bars have different weight limits and mounting points, so it's important to get the right one for your setup.
Weight capacity: Pay attention to the weight capacity of the sway bar you're considering. It's important to get a sway bar that can handle the weight of your trailer, as using a sway bar that's too small could be dangerous.
Adjustability: Some sway bars are adjustable, which can be useful if you want to fine-tune the level of sway control or if you have a trailer with a particularly high or low center of gravity.
Durability: Look for sway bars that are made from high-quality materials and are built to last. You want a sway bar that can withstand the rigors of the road and won't break or wear out quickly.
Ease of installation: Consider how easy the sway bar is to install. Some sway bars can be difficult to install, especially if you're not particularly handy. If you're not comfortable installing the sway bar yourself, you may want to look for one that's easier to install or consider hiring a professional to do the job.
The Top Sway Bars for Travel Trailers: Reviews and Comparison
CURT 17200 Trailer Anti-Sway Bar Control Kit , Black
The CURT 17200 Trailer Anti-Sway Bar Control Kit is a simple yet effective way to improve the control of your trailer. This kit helps to limit the lateral movement of your trailer, using a brake pad type material to restrict and deter trailer sway.
This versatile sway bar is compatible with a wide variety of weight distribution hitches, including almost all CURT weight distribution hitches, and can be used on most A-frame trailers. It is highly adjustable, using a simple hex nut toggle to adjust the level of trailer sway restriction for different trailer types and load sizes.
Setting up this trailer sway control unit is fast and easy, with the included trailer balls mounted in place and an on-off handle that makes it easy to engage or disengage the sway control whenever needed. The complete kit includes everything needed for installation on your camper or RV as well as your weight distribution hitch or sway tab ball mount.
- Improves control of trailer.
- Versatile and compatible with many weight distribution hitches and trailer types.
- Highly adjustable.
- Easy to set up and use..
- Complete kit includes everything needed for installation.
- May not be as effective for larger trailers or those with heavier loads.
- Some users may find it difficult to adjust the hex nut toggle to their desired level of sway restriction.
- May not be compatible with all weight distribution hitches or trailers.
- Some users may prefer a more permanent or automated sway control solution.
XtremepowerUS Heavy Duty Weight Distribution Equalizer Trailer Sway Control Towing Hitch Bar 1,000lbs 2-Inch Shank
The XtremepowerUS Heavy Duty Weight Distribution Equalizer Trailer Sway Control Towing Hitch Bar is a top-rated sway bar designed to improve the stability and handling of your travel trailer. With a weight capacity of 1,000 lbs and a maximum weight capacity system of 10,000 lbs, this sway bar is suitable for a wide range of trailers.
One of the standout features of the XtremepowerUS Heavy Duty Weight Distribution Equalizer Trailer Sway Control Towing Hitch Bar is its durable steel construction. It's built to last and can withstand the rigors of the road.
This sway bar is also easy to install, with a 2" shank and pre-installed brackets and hardware. It comes in a sleek black finish and is easy to attach to your tow vehicle.
- Durable steel construction
- High weight capacity (1,000 lbs)
- Easy to install with pre-installed brackets and hardware
- Some users may find it heavy (83.1 lbs)
- Assemble required
Overall, the XtremepowerUS Heavy Duty Weight Distribution Equalizer Trailer Sway Control Towing Hitch Bar is a reliable and effective sway bar that's well worth considering if you're looking to improve the stability and handling of your travel trailer. Its durable construction and high weight capacity make it suitable for a wide range of trailers, and it's easy to install with pre-installed brackets and hardware.
Reese Integrated Sway Control Weight Distribution Kit
With a weight capacity of 12,000 lbs and a 2-1/2" hitch and 5" rise, 4" drop, this sway bar is suitable for a wide range of trailers and can help to reduce swaying and improve stability while on the road.
One of the standout features of the Shocker Air Equalizer & Sway Control Kit is its innovative design. It uses air shocks to absorb road shock and reduce swaying, providing a smooth and comfortable ride for both the trailer and the tow vehicle.
This sway bar is also easy to install, with a no-drill, clamp-on design that fits up to 7" trailer frames. It's finished with a durable powder coat to protect against rust and other types of wear and tear.
- Innovative air shock design for improved ride comfort and sway control
- Easy to install with no-drill, clamp-on design
- High weight capacity (12,000 lbs)
- Durable construction with powder coat finish
- Some users may find it expensive
Pro Series 83660 Value Friction Sway Control, Regular
This sway bar uses friction to resist pivotal movement and work against the effects of induced sway, helping to reduce swaying and improve stability while on the road.
One of the standout features of the Pro Series 83660 Value Friction Sway Control is its simplicity. It operates on a simple, uncomplicated principle and is easy to adjust to suit various trailer weights and towing conditions. It includes a sway control ball and mounting hardware for easy installation.
This sway bar is suitable for use with A and C trailer tongues, but it cannot adapt to a pole tongue trailer frame. It's not recommended for use with surge brakes.
- Budget-friendly option
- Easy to adjust to suit various trailer weights and towing conditions
- Includes sway control ball and mounting hardware
- May not be as effective as weight-distributing sway bars
- Not suitable for use with surge brakes or pole tongue trailer frames
Hellwig 7643 Rear Sway Bar
With a weight capacity of 26 pounds and a sleek smooth exterior, this sway bar is suitable for a wide range of vehicles and can help to reduce swaying and improve stability while on the road.
One of the standout features of the Hellwig 7643 Rear Sway Bar is its easy bolt-on installation. It comes with high-tech polyurethane bushings and is engineered and developed for your specific application, making it easy to install and ensuring a perfect fit.
This sway bar is also built to last, with a high-quality 4140 chrome moly spring steel construction. It's backed by a lifetime warranty, so you can have peace of mind knowing that it's built to last.
- Easy bo t-on installation with high-tech polyurethane bushings
- High-quality 4140 chrome moly spring steel construction
- Lifetime warranty
- Suitable for a wide range of vehicles
- Some users may find it heavy (26 lbs)
- Not adjustable
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In conclusion, sway bars are an essential component for improving the stability and handling of your RV. They work by transferring weight from one side of the trailer to the other, helping to reduce swaying and improve stability. There are many different sway bars on the market, each with its own unique features and capabilities.
When shopping for a sway bar, it's important to consider factors such as weight capacity, adjustability, durability, and ease of installation. It's also a good idea to read reviews and compare different sway bars to find the one that's best suited to your specific needs.
Some of the top sway bars for RVs include the Equal-i-zer Hitch Sway Control, the Reese Strait-Line Hitch Sway Control, and the Fastway e2 Weight Distributing Hitch Sway Control. These sway bars are all designed to work with a variety of tow vehicles and trailers and offer excellent sway control, durability, and ease of installation.
Ultimately, the best sway bar for your RV will depend on your specific needs and preferences. By considering the factors mentioned above and doing your research, you can find a sway bar that will help to improve the stability and handling of your RV and provide a safer, more comfortable ride.