Best Preparation Practices for Travel Trailer Towing
Learning to tow a new travel trailer can be a stressful experience. You know that you need to tow and prepare it properly, and then there comes the seemingly difficult task of safely hauling it down the road. Thankfully, you can make your job much easier just by implementing a few simple strategies. At RV Value Mart, we compiled a few of the best travel trailer towing tips into this brief guide to help you out with all your adventures in the future. Also, remember that we’re your one-stop shop for all your RV needs, so if you want more information, need service, or just want to take a look at our selection of travel trailers and other recreational vehicles, come visit us at one of our locations.
MAKING A CHECKLIST
The very first time you get ready for an RV vacation, you can make every subsequent journey easier and safer by creating a checklist or spreadsheet to be used each time. This list will include everything you need to do during your pre-drive process, some of which we will explain more below. That way, after you’ve done all of your preparation, you can walk from the front of your tow vehicle to the back of your travel trailer, checking everything along the way to make sure you didn’t miss any important step.
When towing an RV, it’s important that you can see the back of your travel trailer. Since the trailer more than doubles the length of your tow vehicle, you need to be able to keep an eye on the back to make sure that it doesn’t stray out of your lane in the middle of a corner. In order to see the rear like this, you should install some extended mirrors on your tow vehicle. Make sure to adjust these before every trip so that you’re ready and have full visibility as soon as you hit the road.
LOADING THE APPROPRIATE WEIGHT
Probably the most important aspect of travel trailer towing preparation is to load your RV appropriately. That means that you’ll need to distribute the weight. If it’s too heavy in the front, the weight will actually lift the rear tires of your tow vehicle off the ground, making it nearly impossible to drive. On the other hand, too much weight on the tail will give less control to your tow vehicle, as the weight won’t be supported by the axle, which will cause the trailer to sway behind your tow vehicle. That’s why you need to put between 10-20% of the total weight in the front of the trailer, and from there, make sure to distribute it evenly all the way to the back. Also try to load the trailer in a way that it’s balanced from the right side to the left. Otherwise, it might tip when you’re taking a steep corner, which would be a disastrous way to start your vacation!
Finally, you should take a look at your tires before and throughout your drive. A travel trailer has a lot of weight on it, and you don’t want to lose control of all that because of something simple like a blowout. We recommend getting a tire pressure gauge, which allows you to quickly check the pressure in each tire individually. That way, you’ll know whether or not you need to stop at a service station long before you run into a problem.
Hopefully you’ll now be better prepared for your next travel trailer towing experience, but if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to come visit us at RV Value Mart. We also sell a great selection of RVs at our dealerships, serving the areas of Reading, Allentown, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as the states of New York and New Jersey.