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Sway is NOT Okay

The following is a news release from the Colorado State Patrol:

(Colorado) – Seeing a camper, boat or trailer swiftly moving side to side as it is pulled down the road can put the fear into most passing motorists for good reason, it can be deadly. Ensuring that a vehicle is hitched safely, distributing the weight on the trailer or camper properly and driving responsibly are key in avoiding trailer sway.

One of the biggest errors people make is not paying enough attention to the weight distribution of what they are towing. “You want to see a flat plane between your vehicle and your trailer or camper,” stated Major Rob Marone, District 5 Commander of the Colorado State Patrol.

“If you see that what your towing is tipping forward toward the hitch or back away from the hitch, this indicates less traction and more swaying.”

Generally speaking, motorists should have more weight placed before the axle (or closer to the vehicle in front of the trailer’s wheels). Front loading helps to evenly distribute the weight between the tow vehicle and whatever you are towing.

Next, if you are pulling a camper, place heavier items lower to the ground in the camper. That means only light things go in the overhead cabinet to help keep a lower center of gravity.

Finally, remember that the bigger the trailer the more sensitive to the wind and the faster you go the more you will sway. So be prepared to drive slower and allow folks to pass you when there is an open lane to do so safely.

To help, watch this helpful video on how to properly load your trailer from Trooper Lewis: Prevent Trailer Sway

As part of a summer awareness campaign, Super Cruising in Colorado, the Colorado State Patrol has created a web resource to help prepare visitors on the scenic byways and mountains roadways throughout the area as well as common traits of two-lane roads. In addition, check out the video on how to properly distribute weight on your trailer.


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