Caravan sway is when your caravan starts moving left to right, behind your tow vehicle. What starts as a very small amount of movement, can quickly lead to being out of control!

Sway can be caused by several factors and is a contributing cause in most crashes involving caravans. 

4WD tow vehicles on beach

Weight distribution

The greatest factor is without a doubt, weight distribution issues caused by incorrectly loading a trailer. Heavy items should be placed as low as possible, near the centre of the van and over the axle. Avoid loading heavy items on drawbars or at the front or rear of your van. You need to ensure you are distributing the weight evenly.

Read our full article on how to correctly load a caravan here.

Do you need a weight distribution hitch?

If you’re experiencing caravan sway, your car sags at the rear, or you have difficulty steering when towing, you may benefit from fitting a weight distribution hitch to your setup. A weight distribution hitch can reduce trailer sway often caused by wind, unsecured loads, and uneven road surfaces.

Get in touch with our team to discuss whether a weight distribution hitch may be necessary for you or if you might just need to reconfigure your setup.

Towing speed

Speed is also a key factor in caravan sway, particularly when overtaking. Ensure you are capable and it is safe to overtake before attempting to do so. If you have any doubts, you should seek professional advice. There are a number of companies in Adelaide that run towing courses and they are invaluable to those with limited experience. 

Try one of the below:

Other potential causes of caravan sway

  • Incorrect or uneven tyre pressure
  • Slipstream from large vehicles such as oncoming or overtaking trucks
  • Suspension issues
  • Side winds
  • Poor road condition

What to do if you experience caravan sway

It is alarming when a caravan starts to sway. Stay as calm as possible. Any harsh movement will make the sway worse.


  • Reduce acceleration by taking your foot off the accelerator pedal
  • Very softly apply the vehicle brakes 
  • Use the override on your electric brake controller


  • Slam on your vehicle brakes
  • Oversteer to correct the sway
  • Accelerate abruptly

Caravan sway is a common cause of crashes and can result in serious and dangerous incidents on the road. If you have experienced caravan sway before, you need to seek professional advice and find a solution, which can often be simple and inexpensive.

Get in touch with our team for advice.

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