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Old 12-30-2018, 04:38 PM   #1
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Best Emergency Sway Stop Procedure

Sway is something no one likes, and yet it happens sometimes. I've seen scary dash cam videos of trailers and tow vehicles rolling over in cases where sway got out of control. Some folks have told me that in the event that you sense sway getting to the point that you feel it might be dangerous, the best procedure is to take your foot off the gas and then pinch the brake control activator most new pickups have on their dashboard. The idea seems to be that assuming you've previously adjusted it so that it activates the trailer brakes before the truck brakes, activating the brake controller will momentarily slow the trailer (but not the truck) and cause the trailer to get re-aligned with the truck's direction of travel. Would most experienced towers recommend this as the best emergency procedure in such a situation? It goes without saying that you should try to avoid sway as much as possible by proper loading, tire pressures, reasonable speed limits, etc. The question relates to the situation where all else has failed.

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Old 12-30-2018, 06:48 PM   #2
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thats always what I've been told. Thankfully I've never had to do this. I installed a dual cam sway control system on my TT and that pretty much eliminated the little bit of sway that I was getting before the install.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:11 PM   #4
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It works well for me also. I have been told that accelerating with the tow vehicle at the same time as applying the trailer brakes helps even more, but so far the brakes-only method has worked fine.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:11 PM   #5
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I have always been told that accelerating at the same time as applying the trailer brakes will bring everything back into line quickest.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:21 PM   #6
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just pinch the TBC then let off the accelerator. It will stop any trailer sway immediately.

The answer to what can my 1/2 ton tow; Generically whatever TT has a GVWR less than TVís max tow rating. Specifically is found on CAT scale via weight distribution with TV TT & WDH. Best motor & gearing all 5 Mfgs within specs IE safe & stable normally to 8k but passengers & bedload reduce this. RAM 1500 ED max tow 9,200, max axle ratings 3,900, max 09-18 CVWR 15,950, axle weights me & gear 3,240 steer 2,560 drive
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by VernDiesel View Post
just pinch the TBC then let off the accelerator. It will stop any trailer sway immediately.
This is the correct procedure as I have learned it. If you let off the gas you will make sway MUCH worse.

Paddles till you feel it straighten out; then slow. Never the other way round.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:26 PM   #8
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Accelerate to straighten out and hold it straight then use Trailer brakes and slow back down. Never had an issue with fifth wheels just bumper pull with heavy rear slides.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:28 PM   #9
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Apply trailer brakes while foot is on accelerator then slow down 5 mph or until sway is eliminated. Never, ever take your foot off the gas then hit the brakes. The whole point to applying the trailer brakes while driving is to stretch the TV-TT unit out, which stops the sway. Typically, slowing down about 5 mph will eliminate the problem until you can find the cause.

Many tow vehicles have a utility that performs this while towing if tow/haul is engaged. The computer in the TV detects the oscillations and applies the appropriate braking to end the sway.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:32 PM   #10
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Activating the trailer brakes when violent sway starts has the same effect as deploying a parachute from the rear of the trailer.

Proper loading and tow vehicle tire pressures go a long way toward preventing violent sway as well.

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