how to set up a sway bar hitch

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A sway bar hitch is an essential component for towing a heavy trailer safely. It helps in distributing the weight of the trailer evenly, and reduces the chances of the trailer swaying during transit. Before we delve into the process of setting up a sway bar hitch, let us first understand what it is and why we need it.

What Is A Sway Bar Hitch?

A sway bar hitch is a device that connects the trailer to the tow vehicle and helps reduce the sway or wobbling of the trailer. It is especially useful when towing a heavy trailer on highways, where high speeds and sudden turns can easily destabilize the trailer. The sway bar hitch operates by transmitting the weight of the trailer to the tow vehicle's suspension, preventing the trailer from swaying while in motion.

Setting Up A Sway Bar Hitch

Now that we know what a sway bar hitch is, let us take a look at how to set it up. The following steps should guide you on how to install a sway bar hitch:

Step 1: Assemble the Sway Bar Hitch

The first step is to assemble the sway bar hitch. Most sway bar hitches come with an instruction manual that guides you on how to assemble them. Ensure that all components are present and that you understand how they all fit together. Follow the instructions to secure all nuts and bolts tightly.

Step 2: Attach the Sway Bar Hitch to the Tow Vehicle

After assembling the sway bar hitch, attach it to the tow vehicle's hitch receiver. Ensure that the hitch ball is clean and lubricated. Place the hitch ball on the ball mount and secure it using a hitch pin and clip or lock. Use a torque wrench to tighten the hitch ball nut to the manufacturer's recommended specifications.

Step 3: Attach the Sway Bar Hitch to the Trailer

Next, attach the sway bar hitch to the trailer. Slide the support brackets onto the trailer's frame and position them. Ensure that the brackets are far enough apart to prevent any interference with the trailer's components. Secure the brackets using bolts and nuts, then slide the sway control arm onto the brackets.

Step 4: Adjust the Sway Bar Hitch

Once you have attached the sway bar hitch to both the tow vehicle and the trailer, adjust it so that it is properly aligned. The hitch should be level with the ground when you are towing the trailer. Adjust the ball mount or the hitch shank as required to achieve a level position.

Step 5: Test the Sway Bar Hitch

Before you take the trailer on the road, test the sway bar hitch to ensure that it is working effectively. Drive the tow vehicle and trailer on a quiet road and test it at different speeds and on different surfaces. Observe the trailer's behavior and ensure that it is not swaying or wobbling.


In conclusion, a sway bar hitch is an essential component when towing a heavy trailer. It helps to distribute the weight evenly and prevents the trailer from swaying. Setting up a sway bar hitch involves assembling the components, attaching it to both the tow vehicle and the trailer, adjusting it correctly, and testing it before taking the trailer on the road. By following these steps, you can ensure your safety and that of other road users when towing a heavy trailer.


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