Have you ever experienced almost rolling over when towing your travel trailer because of its swaying motion? You can avoid such back hair-raising experiences if you know how to install a sway bar on a travel trailer. This add-on keeps your travel trailer’s wheels on the road all the time, stabilizing it as you move.
Installing a stabilizer bar can be daunting for many people. However, sway bar manufacturers design their products for installation ease. You can resume your roving adventures in no time. Here is how.
Table of Contents
- Things You Need for this Tutorial
- Steps to Installing a Sway Bar on a Travel Trailer
Things You Need for this Tutorial
Installing a stabilizer bar on a travel trailer is a straightforward project, requiring only a few hand tools and the best sway bar for your travel trailer.
It is essential to understand that sway bars work with specific weight limits and tow hitch types. It would be best to check your travel trailer and tow vehicle’s specifications to determine the best possible sway bar to buy.
For example, if you have a large and long-pull travel trailer, your best option will be a dual-cam sway control system. Other popular options include friction sway control bars, two-point sway control bars, four-point sway control bars, and electronic sway control systems.
As for the tools, you will need a ratchet and a torx bit. Having a wrench will be advantageous, too. You will also need vehicle immobilizers, such as jacks and wheel chocks.
Steps to Installing a Sway Bar on a Travel Trailer
Step 1. Prepare the tow vehicle.
Park your tow vehicle on a flat and solid surface to ensure safety during travel trailer sway bar installation. Place wheel chocks to prevent it from rolling. Engage the parking brakes, too.
Pro Tip: You can raise your car to facilitate a more hassle-free installation.
Step 2. Remove the car’s end links.
Go under your car’s chassis and locate the sway bar’s end links. You should see bolts on the top and bottom. Use a torx or allen wrench to remove the bottom bolt while countering the top bolt with a torx bit and ratchet. Do the same with the bottom bolt.
Step 3. Move the muffler.
Check your muffler and look for bolts that secure it to the car. Use the appropriate hand tool to loosen and remove the bolts. Once removed, you can slide the muffler to the side or take it out altogether. Removing the muffler lets you install the sway bar for trailers more effortlessly.
Step 4. Remove the sway bar.
Look at your car’s existing sway bar and locate the bolts that secure its bushing strap. You should see a pair of these fasteners on each side. Ensure to note their orientation because you must reposition them in the same way later.
Grab the sway bar and maneuver it around the car’s exhaust, preferably on the passenger side. Check the bushings and apply grease to lubricate them.
Step 5. Install the travel trailer sway bar.
Look for bolts under the car’s subframe and remove these. Get the subframe reinforcement or brace and slide it between the chassis and the subframe. Make sure to support the differential housing.
Install the sway bar, ensuring its U-shaped curve points to the car’s rear. Grab the sway bar bushing strap, support the sway bar, and align the holes.
Insert the bolts and tighten them using a torque of 35 pounds if the fasteners are small. If the bolts are large, you can apply 100 pounds of torque.
Step 6. Finish the installation.
Reinstall the sway bar end links by fastening the top bolt and the bottom hardware with a wrench. Remove the subframe reinforcement or brace and the differential housing support.
Have someone support the sway bar while removing the bushings straps. Secure the end links to the sway bar and reposition the bushing brace. Tighten the bolts using 40 pounds of torque (for small bolts) or 55 pounds of torque (for larger fasteners).
Dan Holt has an exciting video about anti-sway bar installation on travel trailers.
Step 7. Test your sway bar.
Installing a sway bar on a travel trailer does not end with the tightening of the last fasteners. You must also run some tests to determine if you need to adjust sway bar for travel trailer.
Load your travel trailer, observing its weight limits. Connect it to your tow vehicle and take it for a drive at a safe speed of 40 to 50 miles per hour. Have someone look at your travel trailer’s movements or actions. Try turning your vehicle and observe how your travel trailer behaves.
Park on flat and firm ground, and look for the tension screws on the sway bar. Twist the screw about a quarter-turn to the left or right to decrease or increase the tension.
Take your travel trailer for a spin again and observe the trailer’s movements. Did you see improvement or was the sway more noticeable? If the roll is more obvious this time, you will have to adjust the tension screws by turning them half-turn in the opposite direction.
Continue testing your sway bar until you can ascertain travel trailer stability on the road.
Improving safety when towing your travel trailer is a cinch if you know how to install a sway bar on a travel trailer. The uncomplicated process can have newbie RV owners doing this project on their own.
If you think this tutorial made you more confident about installing a sway bar in your travel trailer, would you share the knowledge with your friends? I am sure they will love to learn it, too. You can also send me your comments, feedback, or questions, and I will do my best to answer you.
I am Stephen Ryan, content director for RV Web. After seven years of working as an interior decorator, I am confident in turning my clients’ dream houses into reality. I find it rewarding to help others make the best of their space and resources.