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How Does an RV Sway Control System Work?

Recreational vehicles are part of the American culture, and according to statistics from a reputable industry body, there are roughly 16,000 public and privately owned RV campgrounds countrywide. Thus, RVers can freely roam the country’s roads during weekends or even take months-long trips. A sway control system is a must-have for any RV hitting the road, but what is it?

What Is an RV Sway Control System?

Recreational vehicles tend to sway from side to side on the road. This sway is typically caused by the wind vortices created by the RV as it cuts through the air or the vehicle instability as the driver maneuvers it on curvy roads at high speeds. It can also be caused by gusts of wind emitted by passing semi-trucks or an imbalanced load on the RV trailer. The swaying can make the driving experience exhausting as it forces the driver to constantly steer adjustments to keep the RV on the road.

What Does the Sway Control System Do?

The RV sway control system is meant to reduce or eliminate the swaying of the vehicle. This makes the driving experience much easier and safer. The sway control system comprises a weight distribution apparatus and sway control bars.

How Does It Work?

A weight distribution apparatus distributes part of the trailer’s weight from the back to the tow vehicle to the front. This apparatus is a must-have if the weight of your travel trailer is 50% or more than that of your tow vehicle or the tow vehicle slumps backward when it’s pulling the travel trailer. On the other hand, there are dual sway control bars, which are typical for large trailers. It utilizes hooks on either side of the trailer to prevent sway; the hooks unlock when the vehicle makes a turn.

There are also friction sway control bars that rely on friction to prevent the travel trailer from swaying. Although these are the most affordable option, they have the disadvantage of interfering with the turning ability of the trailer. Lastly, there is electronic tow control that utilizes electronic monitors to detect swaying of the trailer and applies brake pulses to the wheels to keep it straight.

It’s critical that you install the right sway control system to your RV to enjoy traveling and stay safe on the road. Avoid picking a cheap sway control system that can easily fail under challenging conditions. Reach out to us today if you are interested in learning more about the RV sway control system.

Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.

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What Are the Best Types of Brake Controllers?

If you own an RV, then a brake controller is one piece of safety equipment you should consider. It protects your brake pads from wearing out, helps you gain more control over your trailer, and ultimately reduces the risk of an accident. When choosing a brake controller for your RV, you need to consider intuitive control, clear readouts, and ease of installation.

Irrespective of the category of RV you use, either towables (towed behind your car, pickup, or van) or motorhomes, it is important you choose from the best types of brake controllers that will match your preference. If you’re an RV owner reading this article, the next question on your mind would be “what are the best types of brake controllers?” Well, below are three good options to pick from.

Syncronizer

The syncronizer trailer brake and controller wing is a great option for all 12-volt negative ground vehicles. It provides both automatic and manual braking, has the exclusive Quik-Connect feature, as well as has built-in automatic current limiter protection from trailer brake wiring shorts.

Engage

The Engage digital time-based controller has a display that shows the current, percent of power, and voltage. The display allows you to select adjustable voltage and power ramp-up times. This option also has the Quik-Connect feature and is compatible with single to tri-axle vehicles.

Endeavor

The Endeavor digital proportional brake controller has the ability to sense deceleration which provides premium braking. This controller also has a digital display that allows you to select the percent of power, voltage, or current along with a microprocessor that saves your settings. Unlike the other brake controllers mentioned above, the Endeavor can handle up to four axles.

Now you don’t have to ask the question “what are the best types of brake controllers?” You can weigh your options among some of the best types of trailer brake controllers listed above from Hayes Towing Electronics and choose the model that fits your budget and preference. Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.

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Enhance Your RV’s Safety With RV Trailer Brake Controllers

In recent times, more people in the U.S have gained ownership of an RV trailer. RVs are perfect for recreation and adventure, justifying why over 11% of head of households between 35 to 54 years old have an RV, exceeding the 9.3% of 55 years old and above who own an RV. Regardless of your age, your safety is paramount, especially when driving an RV trailer. Among other things, your RV trailer brake goes a long way in ensuring your safety. Here are three reasons why you should install RV trailer brake controllers before your next trip:

They Help You Gain Control

It can be difficult to be in total control of your RV when fully loaded. The additional weight, reduced vision, and fatigue from driving for hours can reduce your performance and make you lose control more easily. RV trailer brake controllers make you more assured of your safety on the highway. In addition, they will help control the sway of your RV because sometimes, your trailer can sway carelessly, especially on rough roads, affecting your stability.

Better Stopping Distance

You’ve probably seen jackknives resulting in severe damage. RV trailer brake controllers help to prevent such events from happening. Sometimes, a collision happens because a vehicle can’t come to a stop in a shorter time. Brake controllers help your RV come to a stop at a shorter distance. You can have many reasons to come to a quick stop when driving, but braking and accelerating can be slow, especially when heavy. Brake controllers are additional security that makes you safer on the road regardless of how heavy your vehicle is.

They Enhance the Longevity of Brake Pads

Without brake controllers, your RV is responsible for all the braking power. After some time, the brake pads will start wearing out, and you will be left with no choice but to change them from time to time. Your car may refuse to stop when your brake pads have faded away, which is more likely to result in an accident, so it’s important to keep these in mind.

The benefits of installing brake controllers in your RV cannot be overemphasized. You will not only reduce your risks of having an accident but also save costs in the long run. Contact us today to see how we can keep you and your family safe in your RV.

Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.

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The Towing Tips You Need in 2022

Towing is not always straightforward. According to a Knott Laboratory study on commercial vehicle towing incidents, a 35-mph crosswind can exert up to 3,440 pounds of strain on the side of a large trailer. Let’s have a look at some tips for towing in this new year.

Weight Distribution

Maintaining adequate weight distribution is a simple method to make towing easier and safer. It’s preferable to carry the heaviest stuff in the front, securing it with rope or bungee cords so it doesn’t shift while driving. Smaller cargo should fill in the gaps. The cargo’s center of gravity should be low, with 60% of its weight in front. The trailer’s sides should also be balanced to prevent the risk of it flipping.

Brake Synchronization

A brake system that works synchronously with the tow vehicle’s lighting is called for. A separate braking system is required by most state legislatures. So the tow vehicle doesn’t have to perform all the work when braking.

In the event that the cargo brakes fail, the additional weight of the load makes a collision even more perilous. It’s advisable to use the brake gently rather than hard to avoid excessive wear.

Keep it Slow

When towing, speed is the last thing you want to experience. The faster you travel with a towed car, the riskier it becomes. Increasing your speed increases trailer sway and makes it difficult to stop quickly without fishtailing or flipping. Speed also makes traffic maneuvering a challenge. Slowing down is the right approach to ensure towing safety.

The Correct Hitch

There are two kinds of hitches: weight-carrying and weight-distributing. Weight-carrying hitches are advised for journeys weighing less than 3,500 pounds (1,588 kilograms). For larger weights, weight-distributing hitches are recommended.

The tongue weight, the downward pressure the tongue produces on the hitch ball, can become excessively heavy. This causes the tow vehicle and trailer to sag, giving the appearance of a broad V. A weight-distributing hitch redistributes the tongue weight to the tow vehicle and trailer axles, keeping both vehicles level.

Vehicle towing needs to be approached scientifically. Correct weight distribution, brake synchronization, slow speed, and using the correct hitch are all important tips to consider for towing safety. For your towing safety, ensure you contact the right specialists for the right equipment.

Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.

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The Trailer Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed

When planning your next road trip, hitching your trailer packed with everything you need for your outdoor adventure is an important safety step. Even the most spontaneous adventure requires a little bit of planning, and you must plan around your trailer. Here are some tips that are easy to follow to ensure you are safe while traveling with your trailer:

Tip 1: Correct Loading

Controlling a vehicle with a loaded trailer hitched to it can be quite a daunting task. If you lose control, you risk causing an accident or damage to your vehicle and trailer. For the best trailer sway control, you need to load your trailer properly.

You should consider side-to-side and front-to-back weight distribution so your trailer isn’t heavier on one side than the other. Between 12% and 15% of the trailer’s weight should be resting on the tow vehicle’s hitch. If you’re not sure how to properly load your trailer, check out its owner’s manual for instructions.

Tip 2: Do Regular Reviews

An important aspect of safe towing is regularly reviewing your equipment, including your vehicle and trailer’s signals, and the hitch. There are some other elements you need to review often as well. They include:

  • Tire pressure
  • Signs of damage or wear on tires
  • Webbing straps conditions
  • Tie-down points
  • Reflectors’ conditions

Tip 3: Know Your Trailer and Vehicle

It’s important that you know the vehicle and the trailer you have so you can make good decisions while you drive. If you have to drive someone else’s vehicle or trailer, try to take it for a test ride before loading the trailer and hitting the road.

You should know the size of the trailer as well as the height and weight of the load in it to have proper trailer sway control. If you don’t know all these things, you may make mistakes when driving and parking.

Driving with a trailer doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking. Factors such as trailer sway control need to be kept in mind at all times. Just know your vehicle and trailer, load it properly, and always keep an eye on the condition of the two.

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How Can You Make Your Trailer Safer?

Driving with a trailer is a skill that can take time to master. Here are a few things you can do to make your trailer safer when traveling.

Invest in a Good Weight Distribution System

If your trailer weight is more than 50% of your vehicle’s weight, then a weight distribution system is recommended for safe towing. A weight distribution system is designed to create a level, stable ride when you’re towing a trailer. Essentially, the system helps to keep the towing setup level and prevent the trailer from placing undue stress on your vehicle.

Adjust Brakes According to Load

Electric brakes will not work without a trailer brake controller, so if your trailer is equipped with electric brakes, this is one piece of equipment that is absolutely essential to safe driving. A trailer brake controller can also be set according to the load you’re towing. If your trailer has hydraulic brakes instead, it may be using a system that uses the trailer’s own weight and momentum to activate the braking system.

Allow For Longer Stopping Distances

Driving with a trailer means you’re pulling more weight than just your own vehicle. This also means you’ll have to take longer to stop since you’re having to overcome more momentum. Even if your trailer brake controller is working perfectly, it will still take longer to stop than if it were just your vehicle without the trailer. Brake early.

Make Wider Turns

Curves and corners can be the bane of an inexperienced driver’s existence when it comes to driving with a trailer. Remember to allow for the trailer when cornering and navigating around curves.

Don’t Ride The Brakes During Long Downhill Stretches

Riding the brakes is a good way to burn them out. Instead, use the brakes to slow down, then allow the vehicle to pick up speed before you touch the brakes to bring the speed down again. This ‘start and stop’ kind of driving isn’t advised on flat roads, but ignoring this advice on a hard downgrade means you’ll be putting a lot of stress on your brakes, and may potentially burn them out and cause them to fail completely.

Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.

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5 Critical Safety Tips For Your Next RV Outing

Many people like to take their RVs out for a trip now and then. If you’re planning a longer trip, however, there are some important safety checks you should do before you head out. From generators to electric brakes for trailer safety, every part of your RV and anything you may be towing will need to be looked over. Here are a few ways to keep your next RV adventure safe.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Ensure that your carbon monoxide detector is installed and functioning correctly. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas which can make you very sick and even kill you. If you start feeling unwell and are not sure why, make sure to take a break and get outside the RV for a while just in case.

Fire/Smoke Detectors

Fire/smoke detectors are absolutely critical to have, especially in a relatively small and enclosed environment like an RV. Battery-operated smoke detectors are available in most hardware stores.

Trailers

When setting up your trailer, make sure that between 12 and 15% of the trailer’s weight is resting on the vehicle’s tow hitch. Electric brakes for trailer safety are sometimes easy to overlook, but they’re some of the most critical road safety equipment you can have.

Generators

Generator exhaust leaks are a common cause of CO(2) incidents, so it’s a good idea to inspect the generator each time before use. Don’t sleep with the generator running and always leave the roof vent open while it is, even if you’re traveling during the winter.

Keep Exhaust Away

Make sure that exhaust vents and dissipates away from the RV as much as possible. Try to avoid parking in places that can trap exhaust or prevent it from spreading out, such as tall grasses, snowbanks, buildings, walls, and fences.

The Bottom Line

There are many things that need to be looked into when it comes to traveling safely in an RV. Electric brakes for trailer safety on the road, ensuring that the proper alarms are installed and working correctly, and making sure that generators and other exhaust are properly vented are just a few of the larger items on the list. Take the time before each trip to inspect your RV and you should have no trouble having an enjoyable trip, wherever it takes you.

Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.

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3 of the Most Common Questions About Trailer Sway, Answered

Many people who tow a trailer just accept that sway control is limited. The fact is, trailer sway is a common issue, but there are things you can do that will improve sway control greatly.

There are plenty of questions about sway control and how to improve it. The top three questions are listed below.

What Causes the Trailer Sway?

A lot of haulers get frustrated with trailer sway because they feel like they have done everything on their part for sway control and yet they are still struggling with the sway. The fact is, many times, trailer sway is caused by things outside of the driver’s control.

A gust of wind, a semi-truck passing, and even a simple and slow lane change can throw the trailer off and cause it to sway. A gust of wind can cause two pounds of square foot pressure on your trailer and push it around.

In some cases it is driver error that causes an increase in sway. Lane changes made too quickly can be a huge contributing factor.

How Should Weight Be Distributed?

Ideally, about 15% of the weight of the trailer should be on the hitch. About 60% of the cargo should be loaded on the front of the trailer. This weight distribution can help to reduce sway. Redistribution of weight can help if you find that your trailer is swaying more than usual.

What is the Best Sway Control Method?

The best way to control sway is to have the right hitching mechanism. A typical ball hitch setup allows the truck and the trailer to act as separate pieces. This means that the trailer is free to move around on a ball hitch. As you are driving, the ball hitch encourages an oscillating action moving the trailer from side to side.

A straight hitch can force the two units to work as one. With a straight hitch, there is no oscillating motion. The truck and the trailer become the same unit with the right straight hitch, which means, where the truck goes so does the trailer.

You can trust Hayes Towing for all your towing needs and make towing safer. Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.

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3 Tips to Help You Choose the Best Trailer Brake Controller

When it comes time to look at new trailer brake controller solutions, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed. If you’re not sure what to look for, then you’ve come to the right place. From looking at reviews of brake controllers to examining your towing habits, here are three tips to help you choose the best brake controller for your trailer system.

Look at Reviews of Brake Controllers

One of the most underrated tools you have for choosing a brake controller is other customer reviews. Reviews are an incredibly helpful tool for you as a consumer. Not only will they give you a well-rounded idea of how each trailer brake controller works, but they may also help expose some issues you may not have known about. It’s also indicative of a brake controller company’s reputation. If you’re seeing a lot of four- and five-star reviews, it’s definitely a good sign. It’s also good to see reviews from repeat customers. Someone who has left multiple reviews on different products is a reliable source.

Determine What You’ll Need to Tow

As with any piece of equipment for your trailer, it’s important to consider how you’ll be using it. The trailer brake system that you choose will ultimately depend on your intent for your trailer. If you’re going to use your trailer solely for heavy-duty towing, then it’s important that you take that into consideration before you choose a brake controller system for your trailer. You might end up going with a more expensive or heavier-duty model if you make heavy use of your trailer on a regular basis. More recreational use may not require a brake system that’s so intense.

Examine How Often You Use Your Trailer

Similar to determining what you’ll be towing, you need to examine how you regularly use your trailer. If you’re only using your trailer for the odd annual camping trip, then you may not need a brake system that’s super intense. Daily towing, on the other hand, may require a brake system that’s designed for heavy use. These trailer brake systems may be more expensive, but they’re well worth the cost if you’re using your trailer daily.

Whether you’re one of the 30 million RV enthusiasts in the nation or you’re using a trailer for work purposes, it’s important to make sure you have the right brake system. Don’t forget to look at reviews of brake controllers.

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Towing Safety Facts You Should Know

Most drivers don’t realize that towing is different from driving normally. There are some towing safety facts that you must observe when you are towing so that you don’t end up causing accidents. For instance, a 35-mph crosswind can put as much as 3,440 pounds of force pushing against a huge trailer. This is from research done on commercial vehicle towing accidents by Knott Laboratory.

Take Your Time

Speeding is very dangerous, especially when you are towing another vehicle or a trailer. When you have a trailer, you must move at a slower speed than you usually do. Ideally, you should maintain your speed at about 55 km/h. This will help you maintain control if your trailer starts to sway. If you are moving very fast and your trailer starts to sway, it might start to whip. Unfortunately, if this happens, the car will be very difficult to control and stay on the road. Also, as you go uphill, slow down and engage a lower gear. For additional safety, you will also have to turn your flashers on to warn other drivers that you’ll be moving slower than usual.

If You Lose Control, Don’t Panic

It’s not uncommon to lose control if you are towing. However, if this happens, don’t panic. Rather, remember your towing safety facts. Panicking might cause you to make all the wrong moves and worsen the situation. For instance, remember never to steer sharply or apply your brakes if you lose control. If you are towing something heavy, making sudden moves can cause accidents because your momentum can send both your car and the trailer in the wrong direction.

Stay Within Capacity

Every vehicle has a towing capacity. You must always check the towing capacity of your car before you go on the road. Going past your capacity can be very dangerous. This can affect the performance of your brakes, and this can cause handling complications. You might also end up damaging your suspension, engine, or drivetrain. Also, when towing, remember to factor in any passengers and extra luggage. This will contribute to your total load.

Inspect Your Trailer

Before you head out, you must inspect the trailer to ensure that everything is working as it should. For instance, you must check to see if the trailer lights are working before you start. You must also double-check to see if the trailer is hooked to your car properly.

There are a lot of towing safety facts that you should know about towing. Before you go on the road, you must also find someone to help you perform a final check of your trailer. They might spot something that you would have missed.