Trailer sway, tail swing, snaking, shimmy, fish tailing, and wobble

Trailer sway, snaking, tail swing, fish tailing, shimmy, wobble, or whatever you want to call it, it’s exceedingly unpleasant, extremely dangerous, and sometimes deadly, and it’s almost always avoidable.

When your trailer begins to swing from side to side behind the tow vehicle, this is known as trailer sway. If the trailer is not brought under control, it will swing more violently, causing the back of the tow vehicle to swing wildly with it.

The most prevalent and preventable causes of trailer sway are poorly loaded trailers with excessive weight rearward of the axle(s) or with too much weight on one side of the trailer.

Concession trailers, caravans, stock trailers, and covered furniture/U Haul type trailers (concession trailers, caravans, stock trailers, and covered furniture/U Haul type trailers) are more prone to wobble when there are strong or gusty cross winds, especially when being overtaken by buses or large trucks.

Significant vehicles create a bow wave of air in front of them, pushing a large volume of air to the side of your tow vehicle and trailer. As the vehicle passes, an area of negative pressure forms, sucking your tow vehicle and trailer towards the passing vehicle. Under normal circumstances, a well-balanced trailer will quickly return to normal towing, while an unbalanced trailer will not.