Towable RV Trailer Safety TipsMaddy Scheinost2023-10-16T06:19:55-05:00
Safety Tips for Towing Your RV: Preparing to Hit the Road
There’s no two ways about it—towing your RV can be stressful, whether your recreational vehicle is a popup camper, a luxury fifth wheel camper, a teardrop camper or a toy hauler. If you’re feeling a bit anxious facing your first time traveling with a tow behind trailer, know that it gets easier with practice, and with experience. But whether you’re a newbie or have done it plenty of times, you can still de-stress your trip with proper preparation before you head out. The tire experts here at Treadworld are here with tips to help you with get on the road armed with a feeling of confidence regarding you and your family’s safety.
Make Sure Your Towing Vehicle Is Powerful Enough to Tow Your RV
In a nutshell, it’s simple. Just find out what your vehicle’s towing capacity is and make sure it’s able to handle the gross trailer weight—that is, the loaded weight of your trailer. Just because your truck has a hitch, doesn’t mean it can tow any travel trailer you connect to it. The fact is, trying to tow a trailer that exceeds your vehicle’s towing capacity not only creates a big safety concern by stressing the engine, transmission and brakes beyond their limits, but it will likely void your insurance policy should the unexpected happen. You can find the manufacturer’s specs for towing capacity in the vehicle owner’s manual, and your trailer will have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate that includes the serial number and loaded and unloaded weights. Find ‘em and do the math.
Double-Check Your Hitch Connection
When you lower the trailer coupler onto the vehicle's hitch ball and lock the safety pin, make sure your coupler is in good shape, and you have a good connection. Bent, rusted and corroded parts are unacceptable from a safety perspective and should be replaced. Make sure your cables are connected and working properly. And while you’re at it, take a look at the load distribution to be certain there is a nice flat plane between the two, that indicates your load is well-balanced. If there is tipping in either direction, take the time to redistribute your load, which will probably entail moving heavier items toward the front of your RV, and lighter items toward the back. RV safety cannot be over-emphasized.
Check to Be Sure All Trailer Lights Are Working
Plug the trailer lighting cable to your tow vehicle, then run a full check to make certain running lights, turn signals, brake lights, and hazards lights on both the tow vehicle and the RV trailer are in working order. Use your trailer lights at all times, even during the day.
Check to Be Sure You Have Good Solid Brakes
One big thing to keep in mind when you’re towing an RV is that you’re going to need a longer distance for stopping. You need reliable brakes any time you’re on the road, but especially with tow behind trailers. States vary on the weight limit that requires brakes, though it is typically 2,000 to 3,000 lbs. or more—which means most towable RV trailers have electric brakes and a remote brake controller in the tow vehicle, or surge brakes that use hydraulics to apply the brakes with a device mounted on the trailer itself. Understanding your towable RV’s braking system, and how to inspect it and maintain it are all important.
Verify You Have a Good Field of View
Having towing mirrors that provide a good field of view and eliminate blind spots is one of the big road safety tips. Adjust your mirrors accordingly so you can see your vehicle, your trailer and traffic behind you, especially during turns so you won’t turn corners too tight, and lane changes won’t be an adventure. If necessary, consider adding mirror extenders. This is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the height of your RV because sheering off the top of your recreational vehicle because you tried to go under an overpass with an inadequate clearance is…no good.
Carefully Inspect Your Trailer Tires
Failures of any kind are a bad thing with a pull behind travel trailer, but blowouts in your RV tires or travel trailer tires can prove to be especially dangerous. Clean your tires with soap and water if they’re dirty—to contribute to their longevity and to make your inspections easier. Be alert for signs of wear, cracking on the tread surface or bulges in the sidewall, which are signs it’s time to start looking for replacement trailer tires. Check the pressure of your tires for RV and towing vehicle both on a regular basis to be certain they are properly inflated to maximum PSI (pounds per square inch). PSI that is too low or too high is a common cause of blowouts. Keep an eye on the treadwear—not just to be certain that your tires aren’t getting worn down to the nubs, but because irregular, uneven and patchy wear can be an indication of a bigger problem on the horizon.
When You Need Tires for Your RV Trailer, Count on Treadworld
When you’re looking for the best travel trailer tires, camper tires, tires for your RV trailer, trailer wheels and tires, or a spare trailer tire, count on us here at Treadworld to provide you with the high-performing, long-lasting trailer tires you want, in a wide range of styles and a huge selection of sizes. All our RubberMaster Trailer Tires are manufactured to strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, then triple-tested for quality, balance and uniformity before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect. Easy ordering, fast shipping plus your satisfaction is guaranteed with our no-hassle Ultimate Advantage Warranty. We make changing trailer tires easy. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat, or email with any questions you may have, and to get the ideal trailer tires—or the perfect ATV tires, UTV tires, golf cart tires, lawn and garden tires, and many others—from our extensive selection.