Trailer Sway Statistics
If you Google “trailer sway accident statistics,” you’ll discover something shocking–they don’t exist. If such statistics did exist, Hensley Mfg. would have had them printed in every one of our monthly newsletters and advertisements since the company’s founding in 1993. Colin Connell, founder and CEO of Hensley Mfg., has spent a considerable amount of time on his campaign to improve the safety record of the RV industry, or at least force the RV industry to be forthcoming with the inherent dangers of towing a trailer. While Colin is one of the almost unknown heroes of the RV enthusiast, he has never managed to force the truth from the giant corporations of the RV industry.
You don’t need statistics to realize the truth, though. Most of us have seen the results of at least one or two major travel-trailer accidents in our lifetimes. Most of us have also been in a position to get a clear, and frightening, view of a fishtailing trailer. And for those of us who have been towing trailers for a decade or more, we’ve been in more than one scary situation in which we felt we were losing control of our trailer. The size of the truck doesn’t matter. The size of the trailer doesn’t matter. Trailer Sway occurs and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it as long as the ball & coupler remain the pivot point of the trailer.
Where are the Trailer Sway Improvements?
There have been an amazing number of improvements made to RVs over the past five decades. We’ve seen motor homes with sides that fold down into furnished decks, bedrooms that convert to entertainment centers, and trailers with an upstairs loft. That’s all fantastic and I’m glad those luxuries are available, but why has so little been done to reduce the number of trailer sway accidents? Any engineer can see that a ball & coupler design invites disaster, no matter what friction or cam-style sway control hitch you attach. You simply cannot stop trailer sway with friction or spring resistance. It’s an 8,000 lb. trailer on a 2 5/16″ ball, folks. The trailer wins. Every time. The only reason we don’t see more trailer accidents is because most RVers simply will not tow during unfavorable conditions. If the forecast calls for strong winds, we stay home. It’s the moments when we’re caught by surprise, when the conditions are just right to initiate a dangerous sway, that accidents occur.
Here are the facts:
- No one can give you an accurate number of travel trailer accidents or how many are caused by trailer sway.
- Our experience and observations tell us that trailer sway is most likely the number one cause of trailer accidents.
- If you tow with any regularity, you are very likely to experience trailer sway and somewhat likely to have a minor accident.
- Even a minor accident will cost you thousands of dollars and lost vacation time.
The last fact that you need to know is there is only one company with a twenty year proven track record in the elimination of trailer sway, and that is Hensley Mfg. The initial design perfected by Colin Connell and his team of engineers has undergone only minor changes, and only after considerable testing has been performed to prove that the change had no detrimental effect on the Hensley’s primary function: to eliminate sway and keep you safe. Gimmicks do not impress us. We will not offer a “New and Improved” design for the sake of advertising when the simple fact is the original design has never been improved upon. Hensley Mfg. was started by RVers and engineers, not salesmen. We believe in our product, use it on our own trailers, and trust nothing else with our families in the tow-vehicle.
Why we are so Passionate about the Hensley Hitch
If you do Google “trailer sway accidents,” you’ll discover some disturbing images. In our Davison, Michigan office we have a file cabinet full of letters from our customers. Most are positive and upbeat, but a few begin with some very tragic stories. We keep these near the front of the file cabinet and pull them out from time to time. They serve as constant reminders for our reason for doing what we do. They are why we are so passionate about our product. Because we have, or have had, our own children along for a family vacation, and we never want to be on the wrong side of one of those tragic letters, nor do we ever want to see one from any of you.
Please, before you hook up to that new trailer, look at your family and ask yourself how you can ensure their safety. We’ve already shown that the trailer salesman and the RV companies aren’t watching out for them. It’s up to you.
Get our free video and information package here. And, of course, call us if you have any questions at all.
See you safely under the awning.
Jeff Newkirk says
I need to put in a disclaimer here. I do not work for Hensley, nor do I receive any monies from them for my comments. I will be as quick to complain about their products as I am to give credit to their products. Since purchasing my Hensley Arrow hitch in 2007, I have NEVER felt the need to COMPLAIN about anything to them or anyone else about this hitches performance.
I have been towing trailers exceeding 10,000 lbs since about 1985. I tow an average of 5,000 miles a year. I started using the Hensley Arrow in 2007. I have towed trailers about 28,000 miles since installing the Arrow. I have NEVER experienced any SWAY in all those miles. So many people I talk with about towing balk at the price of the Hensley Arrow. I try to put it in these terms.
My tow rig cost upwards of $33,000.00 in 2007. Any trailer I have towed in the past 6 years has cost upwards of $33,000. That is over $66,000.00 of rolling stock, not counting what is in them.
My total investment in the Hensley equipment I use is about $3,5500.00.
Do the math, that comes out to 5.30% of the value of my tow rig and my trailer.
Now if you use the usual anti sway/weight distributing hitch at today’s value you can spend in the area of $279.99 for the Pro Series Weight Distribution System w Friction Sway Control – Round – 10,000 lbs GTW, 1,000 lbs TW from Etrailer.com, or from your favorite retailer. Using this hitch, your hitch will be about 0.42% of the value of the same rigs I own.
Looks like quite a savings, spending 0.42% instead of 5.30%, for your hitch? Only if you are a short sighted BEAN COUNTER! I did mention that in 28,000 miles of towing I have never experienced ANY sway, didn’t I?
What value do you put on safety? When was the last time you experiennced sway using a conventional hitch? When will the next time happen? How much damage will occur, and worst of all, how many injuries will occur.
Ron Mealncon says
Yes I have them…www.dangeroustrailers.org