Although it may seem rather difficult and even scary at first, towing a travel trailer isn’t exactly rocket science. Much like it is the case with any type of driving skill, experience is the key. But, certain basic aspects of towing can be learned via an article, and we at Phoenix Towing Service are here to provide you with some of the elementary travel trailer towing tips that should come in handy.
1. Make sure you’ve hitched the trailer properly
First things first. In order to embark on your towing expedition, you must first correctly and safely hitch the travel trailer. Always double check if the hitch is locked in firmly, ensure the cables are connected and that the electronics are working properly.
2. Check the weight distribution
Once the hitch is on, you will want to check if the weight distribution is on point. Park on a flat surface and visually check your vehicles. If everything is in order, your travel trailer and your tow vehicle should be leveled as one nice flat plane. If you notice that they are tipping away or towards the hitch, this means that something is off.
This is very important since unbalanced weight can cause the act of towing a travel trailer to go badly. An unbalanced travel trailer is much more susceptible to sway, so in this case, visit the nearest truck scale and have your vehicles balanced.
3. Make sure you have good rear visibility
Adjusting the side mirrors is a must, especially if you don’t have a rearview camera. Adjust your side mirrors so the rear end of your travel trailer is visible via both side mirrors.
4. The brakes and brake controller check
Once your side mirrors have been set, it is time to check if your brakes work properly and if your brake controller is calibrated the right way. For those of you who don’t know, the brake controller is the mechanism that triggers the brakes on your travel trailer when you step on your tow truck brakes.
Here’s how to test it:
- Get in your truck and go up to about 10 mph
- Apply the brakes (this when you should feel your travel trailer slightly tugging back on your truck)
- If the tug can’t be felt (or you feel the trailer pushing your tow truck) you need to set the brake controller setting higher.
- If, however, you feel a sudden jerk and you feel the trailer stopping you uncontrollably, you will want to lower the setting down.
Test it and find the sweet spot
5. Height check
Make sure you know how tall your travel trailer is at all times so you don’t damage it, or even worse, destroy it completely by driving under the bridge or an overpass that is lower than your trailer.
6. Turning with a trailer behind you
Although turning is not too complicated, there are is one main rule of thumb you should be aware of: the longer the travel trailer, the wider turn will be necessary. And make sure you don’t turn too fast, especially when it comes to turns close to or sharper than 90-degrees
7. Careful with the brakes
Even if you have calibrated the brake controller the right way, you should be careful with the act of braking. Remember, the combined weight is huge when towing a travel trailer, so when you apply the brakes, your stopping distance will be longer. This is why you should always make sure you keep enough distance between your towing convoy and the vehicle in front of you.
8. Stay in the right lane on the highway
Typically, vehicles that are moving slower than cars should maintain their position in the right lane whenever it is possible.
9. Speed is not your friend
Be sure not to rush anywhere. Towing is not a race. It is better to arrive late at your destination than to never arrive at all.
This concludes our list of 9 travel trailer towing tips. Do you think there are some relevant aspects of towing that we failed to mention? Feel free to mention them in the comments section. For towing services in the area of Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, contact Phoenix Towing Service!