This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Saturday 31 December 2016

Hayes Sway Master

Opening the box and unpacking the contents made me realize that this installation will be a disappointment for my tool collection. I had really hoped to have an excuse to get into the truck and run down to Harbor Freight or the Northern Tool store in pursuit of buying some more tools for a difficult and time-consuming installation of the Sway Master, but after reading the supplied installation and operation manual the shock set in. I discovered that this installation is an easy and simple undertaking, which as well, could be done by my lovely wife, Marlene. All that is involved after I determined the proper location for the Sway Master is to drill four holes. Yes, gentlemen, only 4 lousy holes. A girl can do this, right? No hard wiring, filing or painting, just 4 holes. This is a plug and play situation. Your existing trailer cord with female connector plugs into the Sway Master and the new, already attached 5-foot pigtail cord from the Sway Master plugs into the truck. By adding a small amount of dielectric silicon grease to the female connectors you prevent corrosion and it guarantees a good electrical connection. Of course with some plastic cable ties you could beautify the cable run for a neat look, but you could wrap the cable around something else, too. The nice thing about this unit is you could unplug the trailer’s original cord from the Sway Master and plug it directly into the truck to bypass the unit in case you feel the need to do this.
The installation is a breeze. After you position the Sway Master and mark the 4 holes with a sharp pointed tool or marker, you use a center punch to give the 7/32 or 5.5mm drill a starting point and then drill the holes. Once the holes are drilled, use a skinny 3/8-socket driver and drive the provided self-tapping screws in with the power drill on low speed. Reverse the power drill and remove the screws, add a little synthetic grease onto the screw threads and mount the Sway Master with a not a too high torque setting of your power drill’s clutch. Hayes even supplies a bracket for an out of the way storage of the pigtails female trailer cord connector. This bracket can be mounted at a convenient position of the tongue with 2 supplied self-tapping screws after you drilled two 9/64 holes.

Contents of the package

Tools needed: 3/8 socket driver, drill, center punch, self-tapping screws

A bird already marked the location :))

4 drilled and tapped holes

Mounted Hayes Sway Master

Side view
Bracket for the trailer plug to keep it off the ground

How did I come to the decision to purchase this electronic sway controller?  At the time we purchased our new 2016 White Hawk 24 RKS, Jayco offered a factory installed sway controller as an option, but they took it off the market in July of 2016. There were some problems with certain towing vehicle’s own brake controllers, which lead to troubles.
While towing our previous Jayco Swift 19RB, we managed okay and Marlene and I alternated driving duty on long runs. My honey is a good driver, even on our boat when not on autopilot she could hold course a lot better than I ever could. She has a very relaxed driving style. Yes, strong crosswinds or some large and fast driving 18-wheelers would shake the 19ft Jayco Swift but it was manageable.
While picking up the new 24ft Jayco White Hawk in the spring, I did notice a different trailer movement during the tow. The White Hawk is a lite weight trailer and it has a lot more sidewall surface. The crosswinds and fast moving, big trucks that passed us were playing a different game with the movement.
I was thinking we could manage it, but reality taught me a lesson when that 70+ mph driving 18 wheeler flatbed nailed passed us on our way down from Canada to Florida a couple of weeks ago between Detroit and Toledo during blowing and blinding snow on the I-75 south.
Snow had started to pack on the Interstate with ice patches in some areas. That fast driving 18-wheeler displaced a lot of air and created a vacuum that sucked our 24ft White Hawk into fishtailing. I was doing about 48 mph and lots of folks had their flashers going. Instinctively I throttled up a little which straightened out our rig. I have to admit, at this moment when the trailer started to fishtail, it scared the “dickens” out of me. I normally don’t get into panic at all, but this was a close call. A driver could have hit the brakes in panic and that is the wrong approach in that moment and would end in a disaster.
I investigated three of the electronic sway controllers that are on the market: The Hayes Sway Master, the Dexter Sway Control and the Lippert Sway Command, which Jayco discontinued. The Sway Command and the Dexter Sway Control both needed hard wiring into the trailer’s brake wiring, which I object to. I opted for the Hayes Sway Master.
An electronic sway controller with built-in Gyro and GPS like the Sway Master from Hayes would have taken the beating out of our fishtailing ordeal and straightened the rig a lot faster. The “Hayes Sway Master” was $224.99 and shipped free from Amazon. I think for the safety sake this is not too expensive. A smashed up truck and trailer can be replaced, but not our lives.

There is an installation video on the Hayes website, just click this link below:

Wishing all our readers a Happy and Healthy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. It is a disappointment when you have no excuse to buy a tool especially at prices that are not seen in Canada.
    You are right about putting Safety First. A few dollars is much better than one's life.
    Be Safe and Enjoy a Happy New Year to you both and your Family.

    Rick and Kathy Rousseau

    It's about time.