New RV owners often find the idea of towing their RV intimidating, but you don’t have to! Here is our guide to help you get onto the road and confidently towing your RV.
Adequate preparation will minimize the risk of disaster on the road. First, you want to ensure that you have a capable tow vehicle to pull your RV. Click HERE to check out our handy towing guide to help find your vehicle’s towing capacity.
Travel Trailer Hitches
There are two hitch types for towing a travel trailer with a receiver type hitch. A weight distribution hitch uses two long arms to transfer hitch weight and better balance the vehicle to minimize swaying while towing.
Weight Distribution Hitch
Photo Credits to Lippert
Weight Carrying Hitch
Standard RV hitch balls come in 3 different diameters, depending on the hitch capacity. Always check that you have the correct size hitch ball for your RV weight and trailer coupler.
Fifth Wheel Hitches
For Fifth Wheel owners, the two common hitches are a Fifth Wheel hitch and a Gooseneck hitch. The Gooseneck hitch uses a ball and coupler connection, and the Fifth Wheel hitch uses jaws and a king pin.
Fifth Wheel Hitch
The Gooseneck hitch is minimally invasive to the towing vehicle, and very lightweight and simple. The 5th Wheel hitch provides a smoother and more stable towing experience, and also offers sliding options for short bed vehicles.
Our Traveland team includes knowledgeable RV experts who will be happy to assist you with your towing needs!
Practice, Practice, Practice!
If you are totally new to towing, it might be wise to find an empty parking lot to practice in before embarking on a camping adventure. Practice turning to help you learn how your RV follows the tow vehicle, and practice backing up so that if you have to back into a campsite, you are prepared!
The longer your RV, the wider you will need to make your corners on the road. The RV will cut in compared to the tow vehicles path, so it is very important that you keep an eye on your vehicles tow mirrors to watch that your RV follows you safely.
It is important to pack correctly so that you can travel safely. 60% or more of the RV’s total load weight should be concentrated to the front end of the RV. A “tail heavy” RV often sways and can be dangerous to tow. Always make sure your RV’s holding tanks are empty before you set out on the road.
Slow and Steady On The Road
Slower speeds mean a safer journey, which is important when you are towing a vacation home on wheels! High speeds can increase the risk for tire blowouts and other accidents.
When you are towing it takes a lot longer to slow down and speed up due to the weight behind you. By reducing your speed, you reduce the amount of time needed to stop or go! Even so, it is still wise to give yourself a larger than normal gap between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
Stay in the right lane to allow faster traffic to pass, especially when you are going up or down hills. Use engine braking as much as you can to avoid overheating your RV brakes, and avoid braking too hard in a turn or downhill as this could cause the trailer to jackknife.
If you are feeling tired, stop and rest before an accident occurs! When you are parking your RV, ask someone to get out of the vehicle so that you have eyes on the ground to help.
If you have any questions, our Traveland team is always here to help!