Evasive maneuvers are part of towing trailers in traffic. Cars coming up on-ramps, can cut you off in your right towing lane, side winds can push your trailer hard, and then there’s bad weather. Sometimes you can control some trailer sway by using the manual lever on your brake controller. But what is your reaction time, will you remember what to do in an emergency in less than a second? Tuson Sway Control is also like stability control.
Tuson RV just introduced a little box that attaches inside of your bumper pull trailers nose. The module in the box connects to your trailer brakes, left and right. The module learns from your trailers movements and controls your trailer in a sway event. Similar to how your newer pickup trucks Electronic Stability Control controls your truck when it goes a different direction than your steering wheel on slick roads.
Tuson, the folks with trailer ABS and DirecLink trailer brake controller, now have a module that controls sway on bumper pull trailers. It will actually steer the trailer left and right to keep the trailer towing straight. It complements modern pickup trucks trailer sway control but works better and faster. If you have a sudden gust of wind, and get cut off on a freeway or have your trailer load shift, Tuson Sway Control will keep the trailer towing straight. The module can read how worn your trailer brakes are and how big your trailer is and use your trailer brakes accordingly. Tuson can read automatically between a big trailer movement and a lane change making the right amount of trailer control.
We tested trailers again at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison Colorado. Same place we tested Tuson ABS trailer brakes and DirecLink trailer brake controller a couple years ago.
The test trailer was a 2014 Logan Coach trailer weighing 8200 lb when balanced with 3 water totes.
We tested with and without Tuson Sway Control, with and without the trucks trailer sway control. First tests we used a balanced trailer with front and rear water totes full, middle, 1/3 full of water. Second 1/2 of the eight tests were with water just in the rear water tote. Trying to cause sway with a pendulum action from the trailer.
Two runs for each test. Eight tests. Starting each sway at 50 mph. The water totes were braced forward but allowed to move side to side to dramatize sway. All balanced trailer test runs started sway by driver. Most of the tests were done with the two Ford F250′s towing just the 18′ Logan Coach Stockman Combo bumper pull trailer.
Amazingly the test runs using Tuson Sway Control with a balanced trailer or the rear loaded trailer, controlled well, and felt the same. Verses any configuration with Tuson disconnected, which had disturbing trailer sway.
We emptied the front two water totes leaving a 2200 lbs water container at the rear of the trailer to create sway, total trailer weight 5700 lbs. When the weight was moved just to the rear of the trailer, sway was tried to be initiated by trailer, but with Tuson Sway Control, it wouldn’t sway. So the driver tried to force trailer sway, but couldn’t. The trailer came back to the middle immediately.
Very effective trailer control. Truck responds well with Tuson, during sway maneuvers, with Tuson controlling trailer sway, it had little affect on the truck.
Used tow mode for both trucks. 2012 Ford F250 with trailer sway built in, under a hard brake without Tuson, with induced sway from the driver, the truck braked hard with a front truck brake opposite of the trailer sway. A hard brake almost stopping the truck straight but not braking the trailer. During the incident a dash warning light came on “trailer sway, reduce speed” It was something to experience, wouldn’t want that to happen in bad weather. When using Tuson Sway Control, the same maneuver was dramatically less abrupt and didn’t cause the truck to use it’s “trailer sway control.”
Truck trailer sway control and electronic stability control are designed to automatically control your truck, with your trailer control a second priority. Tuson Sway Control’s only purpose is controlling your trailer.
The truck in our test with integrated trailer sway control couldn’t control the trailer, just the trucks reaction to trailer sway. Tuson Sway Control didn’t interfere with the truck trailer sway control, but did react before the trucks sway control did.
With the full water container at the rear of the trailer, driving the truck was scary as you would expect from a trailer with no tongue weight. But even with the trailer tongue bouncing on the ball when using Tuson, the trailer steered straight.
The Tuson module, self adjusts for more or less brakes according to the trailer action side to side. Angle of the sway from the ball self adjusts to how much brake was needed to control left-right movement. The computer learns from sway activity. It self adjusts for brake wear or brake adjustment independently. Pivoting rotation measuring movement from hitch ball happens in milliseconds. Trailer brakes are wired in parallel to the module box.
Two basic controls the module concentrates on, controlling average swaying of the trailer and hard sway from a fast instant side wind gust or unexpected evasive driving maneuver. Working when it’s needed and self-adjusting, what else would you expect in 2013. The laptop that was wired to the module during our tests indicated a 33% reduction in swaying. My experience would put it at 90% from the sensation of driving.
With the Tuson Sway Control installed, I had to do aggressive steering to try to sway even with the water tote at the rear of the trailer, which the module controlled through the trailers brakes.
Without Tuson Sway Control, light steering would create sway with the loaded water tote at the rear of the trailer.
Installation is simple, mostly just wiring. The module mounts parallel to the axles centered in the nose vertically flat. 5 wires come out of the module.
Trailer brakes are wired to the module parallel. We wired the module box into my trailers junction box and to the electric brakes. A junction box between the trailer tires made it easier to wire to the trailer brakes. We ran the ground wire for brakes back through the truck connection for a better ground.
For a safe confident trailer towing experience, Tuson Sway Control is one of the most important conventional (bumper pull) trailer accessories you can buy. And it’s affordable, cheaper than top trailer brake controllers.
Thanks to Bandimere Speedway for the use of the great track. Bandimere.com
Thanks to Transwest Truck Trailer RV for the nice warm shop for installation, TranswestTruckTrailerRV.com
This was an aggressive series of tests. Trailer tests were done on a closed race track by professional drivers.
www.DirecLink.com for www.MrTruck.com for more video’s.