How to stop the
fish-tailing and snaking of your caravan.
There is nothing more frightening than the feeling of your
caravan or trailer starting to sway or ‘snake’ behind your
tow vehicle. There have been many reported accidents and
roll-overs as a result of loss of control of the tow vehicle
steering due to uncontrollable sway of the caravan or
You insure your tow vehicle, you insure your caravan or
camper trailer so why not buy yourself some more peace of
mind by purchasing one of these sway control or stabilizer
devices designed to reduce “snaking” when towing. As they
say, ‘Prevention is better than Cure’. These sway control
devices or stabilizers limit excess movement when towing and
ensure good tracking of the caravan or camper trailer behind
the tow vehicle.
If your tow vehicle is fitted with self-levelling suspension
then you must follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when
hitching up your caravan or camper trailer.
Hayman Reese manufacture a friction sway control bar. The
sway control unit comes with a metal plate, on which is a
small ball mount, that can be bolted onto the A frame or
draw bar of your caravan or trailer. The hitch receiver can
be modified by welding on a small ball mount for the other
end of the sway control bar to attach. For safety reasons
this welding should be done by a qualified person or Hayman
Reese distributor. The manufacturer claims this friction
sway control bar can be used for ball weights from zero kgs
Dual Cam Sway Control
Hayman Reese also have a dual cam sway control
device or straight line hitch to suit ball loads
over 160 kgs. The manufacturer claims it will keep
your tow vehicle and caravan in a straight line at
highway speed when sway might develop due to wheels
running off the edge of the road, passing trucks or
cross winds. If there is a sudden maneuver such as
a short swerve the cams seek a straight line that
helps the tow vehicle retain control.
AL-KO also have a AKS 3004 Stabiliser Coupling that the
manufacturer claims reduces even small snaking movements in
both horizontal and vertical directions. It has a maximum
capacity 2,500 kg loaded trailer weight and 250 kg maximum
towball weight. AL-KO also have an AKS hitch lock to
Other brand names for stabilizers are Reese, AL-KO,
Curt Manufacturing, EAZ-Lift, Husky, Draw-Tight,
Bulldog and Equal-i-zer. These sway control devices
are available from distributors, caravan accessory
stores and on-line RV stores.
Some European caravans come standard with
stabilizers. For example, Adria Caravans use the
AL-KO AKS stabilizer and Geist Caravans provide an
option for the AKS stabilizer or the Winterhoff
stabilizer which incorporates friction pads and are
suitable up to 3000 kg.
Winterhoff also have a hitch lock which secures the
towing hitch and mounting bolts plus a newly
developed ‘Robstop’ anti-theft device.