Can You Back Up With Sway Bars? (Backing Up With Sway Bar)

The discussion on this topic seems to be split 50-50 on whether or not you should take the sway bar off before backing up. It is not a big deal to take that bar off as it only takes about 20 seconds to get it off.

Some people have reported that they have had no problem backing up with the sway bar left on. They have had no problems as long as they have not made sharp turns. Others have bent their frame so you may need to be the judge here.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can make a wise sway bar decision. In the end, it will be up to your preference and how careful a driver you are when you back up.

Can You Back Up a Travel Trailer With a Sway Bar On?


Yes, you can even though some product boxes, retailers, and possibly dealers say you can’t. All we have to go I-on are the words of the different owners who have done this successfully or have done this and failed.

Trailer owners are almost evenly divided on this topic and in the end, you may have to decide for yourself which way to go. It is a bit risky to leave the sway bar on as you never know when you have to make a sharp turn.

If the sway bar is on, then you run the risk of damaging the trailer frame or even the hitch, etc. Without it, you can back up easier and with peace of mind.

Backing Up a Trailer With Sway Bars


If you are going straight back, there should be no problem backing up with your sway bar attached. It is when you have to make turns that you will find the problem with leaving it in place.

Sway bars are designed for forward motion and backing up is not the best situation for them. If your trailer is prone to jackknifing then you should remove the sway bar.

If you are backing into a very tight parking area, then you should remove the sway bar. While some trailer owners say they have never had a problem it is because they may always back up in ideal conditions.

Some sway bars do not allow backing up so make sure to read all the instructions before you try it. Also, those that own some discontinued sway bars, may not allow it either. Your decision may be dictated by the product’s design

Do You Have To Remove The Sway Bar When Backing Up?


No, you don’t. There may be some sway bar makers that have changed the design of their product and have made it so they will allow backing up. We say may because these things change all the time.

Some product packaging does not address the issue so it is highly recommended that you remove the sway bar before backing up. It is just a cautionary move in many cases.

Strange things do happen and you have to suddenly make a sharp turn. That means you could damage more than the sway bar. While you do not have to remove the sway bar in many situations it is highly recommended that you do.

You will want to take the safest action for your trailer, hitch, tow vehicle, and your pocketbook.

Can You Back Up With Curt's Sway Control?


It is interesting that the same source has 2 different opinions on this topic and the brand of the sway bar. Their differing opinions are of course based on 2 different Curtis sway bar models.

One opinion focuses on the Curt # 17200 model and the expert says you can’t back up with this option on your trailer. He also stated that was attached to a 3500 lb. axle.

The opinion that says you can was talking about the Curt TruTrack Weight Distribution System w/ Sway Control - Trunnion - 15,000 lbs GTW, 1,500 lbs TW item # C17501.

It will depend on the Curtis model that you buy and whether you can back it up or not with it attached. Check with Curtis if you have any doubts or questions on this topic.

Can You Back Up With An EAZ Weight Distribution Hitch?


According to one expert the Eaz Lift R3 & R6, the Trekker, and the Elite WDH do not have to be unhitched for you to back up. However, there is one caveat to this permission.

The sway bar on these devices does need to be unhooked before you back up. We checked their website and only a couple of their hitches and it is possible to turn off or adjust the sway control.

That adjustment may allow you to back up without having to remove the sway bar. It is best you contact the company for a more definitive answer.

Can You Back Up With a Husky Weight Distribution Hitch?


One expert says that you can and we again checked the Husky website and found nothing that says you can’t. But then we may have missed that warning. Their article on safe towing did not mention this topic and it may be covered in the instructions when you buy the hitch.

Play this by ear though as these hitches cost a lot of money and putting them at risk can cost you a lot more than replacing the hitch.

Some Final Words

Backing up with a sway bar attached is going to be your decision to make. Some people say it is okay and some hitches and sway bars do allow this maneuver.

Other people and sway bar makers say it is not okay. Read the instructions or call the company before trying to back up. That way you get the best answer. They are the ones that made the sway bar and have tested it so they should know.

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