Troubleshooting: 5 Common Blue Ox Sway Problems

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The Blue Ox Sway Pro is an anti-sway RV or trailer hitch that greatly reduces or generally eliminates trailer sway. It’s a mid-priced unit that can be found new for less than $1000 dollars, making it a pretty good deal in the world of anti-sway hitch technology.

As a general rule, trailer sway can be caused by high speed, high winds, improper towing methods, going down hills or even the turbulence from passing, or being passed, by another vehicle, particularly larger vehicles like buses, coaches or 18 wheelers. Sway is the largest factor in towing accidents, so reducing or eliminating sway goes a long way towards safe towing and peace of mind when you are on the road.

The Blue Ox Sway Pro is not as easy to hook up as is a tongue and ball would be. You’ll have to make adjustments to some components, and possibly the trailer itself before an anti-sway condition can be attained. After any adjustments are made, a trial run is advised before setting out on your journey.

Follow Directions

When hooking up your Blue Ox Pro, it is very important that you follow directions religiously. You must adhere to chain adjustments and make sure your vehicle is on solid level ground. If your vehicle is level, and you follow all applicable instructions, you may still experience some sway. Use the troubleshooting guide below to reduce or eliminate it.

Troubleshooting Problems

If you are in the market for a towing vehicle, here are some things to consider. A vehicle with a longer wheelbase will be automatically better at minimizing sway. A longer wheelbase means more stability, and more stability means less sway in any condition.

Also, get a vehicle with a factory or dealer installed towing package. When done by the factory or dealer, these are as close to a genuine extension of the vehicle as if you were to put one on yourself. Factory towing packages generally come with different suspension rates, a strong frame for mounting the hitch, and possibly greater engine and transmission cooling options.

These additions would be difficult and very expensive to replicate yourself. Trailer light circuitry and a wiring harness are also commonly included, among other upgrades, that will make towing easier and safer.

1. Don’t Overload Your Trailer

All trailers have a maximum weight capacity that should never be breached. Overloading a trailer not only may increase sway, but it also may cause premature tire or bearing failure.

2. Trailer Weight Distribution

A good rule of thumb for trailer weight distribution is to load about 60% of all the weight near the front, but make sure only about 10% is resting in the tongue area. If more weight is stacked in the back of the trailer than the front, the chance for trailer sway greatly increases.

3. Avoid sudden movements

Rapid acceleration, jamming on the brakes, making hard and/or radical turns at speed, may induce trailer sway. Granted, in some instances these things can’t be avoided, but under normal circumstances, you should be able to drive smoothly down the road without resorting to sudden steering, braking or chassis movements.

4. Tire Pressure

After Blue Ox installation, check the tire pressure of your vehicle and the trailer. Low trailer tire pressure, in particular, may cause the trailer to snake or shimmy down the road. No anti-sway hitch is designed to control that, and if you drive long enough with under inflated tires, you have the potential for tire failure and a loss of trailer control.

5. Drive Slower

The absolute best way to control trailer sway, in any condition, is to drive slower. Any trailer that sways at a higher speed, whether or not the Blue Ox Sway Pro is hooked up, will not sway at a lower speed. Having to slow down to a substantially lower speed than desired may not make you happy, but it will certainly be a better choice then maintaining a higher speed and inviting trailer sway, with a possible tragic accident to follow.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, the Blue Ox Sway Pro will eliminate trailer sway, but there may be some times when adjustments are needed on both the unit itself or on the trailer.

If sway is still a major problem after a test run, backtrack from trailer to hitch and make absolutely sure that the trailers weight distribution is within range, the tires are inflated correctly and the hitch itself is correctly mounted. On the rarest of occasions, a component on the hitch could be faulty and need to be replaced. The Blue Ox Sway Pro has a limited lifetime warranty for defective parts.

If there is a part that is defective, you will get a new one, or a complete new Blue Ox Pro at no charge. Bear in mind, however, that if you attempt to alter a component yourself, you will void the warranty in its entirety.

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