Often, campers choose a travel trailer rather than the conventional RV. They could be affordable if you have a proper tow vehicle, and it’s a perfect getaway if you don’t have to set up the camp and just park it. It also offers flexibility that other motorhomes don’t. You can explore the destination on a smaller vehicle which is always handy, especially in remote areas with difficult terrain. Travel trailers are also more affordable and functional than motorized RVs in terms of space and luxuries.
One apparent drawback of tow trailers is that many drivers don’t want to drive it themselves. Urban areas could be really difficult, like towing in Queens NY could be really hard for a novice. There are so many questions that crept up inside the head of a novice about braking, turning, and distributing the weight.
Here are some practical tips to tow a travel trailer properly
Table of Contents
1. Hitching and Weight Distribution
Before speeding away with your trailer, you need to check first that you are hitched properly. The main thing to keep in mind is that the hitch is on, clicked in, and cables are connected at their ports.
The other main factor is weight distribution. It means you must have a flat plain between your motor vehicle and the tow trailer. The most accurate way to check weight distribution is to visit truck station and measure the weight on all tires. If this is not possible, park the vehicle on a flat surface and look at the base of both cars. It will work too.
Optimum visibility is necessary to ensure the safety of the vehicle and all on board. If your rear view is limited to the side mirrors of your motor vehicle, you need rear view cameras to augment your vision for tow trailer. To ensure you could see the rear end of the tow trailer, consider side mirror extensions that will give you wide angle view along with the regular mirror view.
3. Brakes and Brake Controller of Travel trailer
The brake controller activates tow trailer brakes when you apply brakes on your motor vehicle. It always comes with settings that controls how hard it applies the trailer brakes.
Before going out, make sure to test the configuration of the trailer brakes. Turn the controller settings up if you feel the trail tug the motor vehicle when you apply the brakes. If it makes a push, turn down the settings a bit.
Your aim is to set the controller in a way that it applies a little bit more brakes than the motor vehicle. It will ensure the smoothest braking.
4. Height of The Travel Trailer
It is very important to know the height of your trailer, especially if you need to move through urban areas with over-head bridges. Add a foot to the height of your trailer and avoid all the routes that are marked with bridges under that number.
There is a very little maneuverability in your vehicle when it is towed with a trailer. It would be harder to cut through dense traffic on narrow roads. Having a navigation system with settings for RV or a trailer is a serious plus for you. It will help you in plotting the best route to your destination; It will keep you from running into low bridges; and it will let you know the optimum speed for your vehicle to avoid accidents.
Mountain hills and steep passes can be a challenge for some drivers. If you know what to do, there it is not a problem to push tow ratings of your motor vehicle. If you are going up, the best option is to keep in the slow traffic lane. This is what most of the best towing companies will suggest you. things could become dangerous if you are coming down, engine braking is the best practice to play safe and avoid burden on the brakes. On a very steep lane, apply brakes and take turns slowly to avoid accidents.
With a trailer, your stopping distance is much longer than with the individual vehicle. Maintain considerable distance between vehicles while applying brakes. Always borrow more room for braking because you are packing extra carriage.
The trailer will follow your motor vehicle when moving forward. The only thing to keep in mind is to turn wide as far as the length of your trailer. A long trailer can cause corner bumps that can seriously damage vehicle.
Right-angled turns should be avoided as much as possible. If you can’t avoid them, turn as wide as possible.
9. Backing Up in travel trailer
This is also challenging for a novice. The bigger your trailer, the more difficult it becomes. Try learning it before doing it in real conditions. Avoid pressure while backing up with the trailer. Never fall for your intuition with smaller vehicles. Trailer wiggle on its own and you need to adjust before getting into an accident. One tip is to back up where enough room is available. Also try steering in the opposite side and align the swivel with the turn.