Jayco is making a late addition to its 2016 lineup that the company says will add value and improve safety in its travel trailers.
After making a recent deal with Lippert Components, the Middlebury manufacturer added the Sway Command product to its 2016 travel trailers, according to Lippert Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Jarod Lippert.
Click here to see video on how the Sway Command works.
“It’s a pretty revolutionary thing, from an industry standpoint, because it’s the first time it’s been done. In reality, it’s one of those no-brainer decisions,” Lippert said.
Jayco has exclusive OEM rights to the product through May 2016, and will showcase the addition to its travel trailers at the RV Industry Association National RV Trade Show next week (Dec. 1-3) in Louisville, Ky.
“We were particularly drawn to the Sway Command system when they were able to demonstrate its capabilities on the test track during an adverse sway event,” Jayco Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brad Whitehead said. “It’s not complicated, it works in conjunction with mechanical sway control equipment, and we were able to take it to market at a very affordable price point.”
The Sway Command utilizes a number of sensors, including a gyro, to electronically detect trailer sway and apply the brakes automatically to correct for the offset.
The Sway Command system uses both accelerometers and gyro sensors to differentiate between side-to-side and up-and-down movement to prevent false activation.
A light pod mounts to the front of the trailer and features red and green LED lights to signal to the driver that it has been activated and is working properly.
Versions of the technology are available in the aftermarket, but Jayco is hoping that the addition can add value for its dealers and end users in the form of safety.
“We feel like this is one of the most significant options we’ve made available for a long time, primarily because of the peace of mind it can deliver to the Jayco end user,” Whitehead said.
In recent years, several aftermarket automation and electronic safety products have made inroads as OEM products, including tire pressure monitoring systems, backup cameras and road sensors.
Lippert is betting that the trend will include electronic sway correction, too.
“Why wouldn’t you have a backup camera? Why wouldn’t you have self-adjusting brakes?” Lippert said of the new technologies. “There are a lot of things on an RV that we should say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t we do this standard on an RV?’ It’s just a safety factor.”
In the past two years, Lippert has leaned into its electronic offerings, signing a distribution deal with Furrion this fall, and creating a team to oversee its electronic development in August.
The personnel and technology acquired in Lippert’s 2014 acquisition of Innovative Design Solutions played a major role in developing the Sway Command, according to Lippert.
But many of the electronics added to RVs as safety features aren’t actually new. Lippert notes that the automotive industry introduced tire pressure monitoring systems and backup cameras years previously, and electronic sway control systems are standard on most European RVs.
Lippert hopes that the trend continues, not only because it would be a windfall for the company, but also result in better RVs.
“I’d like to think (the adoption will continue),” he said. “Tire pressure monitor systems aren’t required, and to me that would be one example because the auto industry made TPMS a standard item years ago, so it’s one of those things where we’re always a little behind the auto industry. Eventually we catch up to them in most cases, but you never know. I’d like to think the answer is yes.”