Sway Stability of 5
Wheel RV Trailers
This paper presents trailer sway testing results of a 5th wheel RV toy-hauler being towed by a conventional “dually” pick-up. Tests were performed at various speeds, trailer gross weights, king pin weights, and tire pressures. Results validate the understanding that 5th wheel trailers, at 20% pin weight generally have substantially better sway damping than conventional trailers. Tests at 10% pin weight show trailer sway damping is substantially reduced, but still is well above minimum industry accepted standards. Much of the improved sway damping for 5th wheel trailers can be attributed to the forward hitch location and not just the higher hitch loads that are typically used. What this means is that, although the recommended hitch load for a fifth wheel trailer is typically 20% or more, the sway response of the combination may be acceptable with substantially lower hitch loads, and they may maintain acceptable stability when the tow vehicle to trailer weight ratio is substantially less than 1:1, which does not generally occur with conventional travel trailers.