Before you head out of the road and make the best out of your vacation trip, you have to be prepared enough to ensure that everything will go smoothly as you already planned it. Nevertheless, properly towing your travel trailer is essential as it will ascertain the safety and security of the fifth wheel throughout your journey. Additionally, your pick-up is not strained with hitches because it only pulls and not carries the trailer’s load. Thus, your peace of mind is guaranteed as you drive towards your supposed destination.
7 essential tips and tricks for towing your fifth-wheel trailer
Sure, going on a vacation with your motorhome is fun and exciting. But to guarantee that you will not encounter any trouble along the way and your excitement will not turn into disappointment, you have to secure the attachment of your trailer. To do that, we listed – trips and tricks you may opt to consider in towing your travel trailer.
1. Inspect your tire condition
One of the most important things to check before you travel off the road is your tires. You have to make sure that both your trailer and pick-up have tires ready for your journey. Check the treads and make sure they are not worn out or do not have any damage.
Additionally, always have spare tires with you even if all your tires are in good condition. You will never know what could happen along the way, so you have to be prepared. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
2. Consider the weight limit
When you plan on towing your motorhome, you have to take note of the weight of the trailer itself, as well as the equipment and appliances inside it. Your motorhome is often loaded with all these things, making it too heavy for your pick-up truck to pull.
It would be best if you do not always assume that your truck can handle the weight of your trailer. Like any other vehicle, your car and motorhome have weight limits too. You have to know the maximum trailer weight your car can tow and make sure it is capable enough. Never strain your pick-up as it will affect your transmission and will cause it not to run smoothly. However, doing otherwise will trigger dangerous driving situations, especially if you go to high places.
3. Adjust and make use of your side-view and rear-view mirrors
Always position your mirror and make necessary adjustments to have a complete vision spectrum around your vehicle. Ensuring that your side-view mirrors and rear-view mirrors are in their proper places increases your visibility and eliminates blind spots that can cause serious road accidents and unsafe driving conditions.
4. Install your hitch properly
The connection of your motorhome and pick-up truck is made possible through a fifth-wheel hitch. When you set up the hitch, make sure you position it correctly, and you have fully tightened the lug bolts. Keep in mind to use the advised torque value as indicated in the installation manual.
You may opt to use a torque wrench. An adequately tightened hitch will ensure that the physical connection between your car and trailer is secured, thus eliminating the chance of your trailer getting dislodged during your trip. Further, it will give you the privilege to travel safely and a lot easier.
If you have the right tools and enough knowledge, you can install the hitch yourself. But if not, do not dare to set it up without proper guidance. You can always ask an expert to do it for you for safety purposes. This way, you can ensure that the hitch is installed correctly, and you will not have any worries about your trailer being detached while driving.
5. Reduce your speed
No matter how excited you are to reach your destination, you have to keep in mind that you have a trailer attached to your pick-up car. So, you have to take note of your speed and never overdrive.
Driving with your trailer being pulled is not the same as your daily road trips. It requires you to determine the length of your motorhome and the car you drive. Plus, the trailer’s weight behind your truck will make it hard for you to stop or slow down when needed. These are the main reasons why you should take it slow and always go after safety.
6. Allow necessary braking distance
As mentioned above, driving with a trailer installed behind your car is quite different than your usual driving. Since you are pulling an additional weight up to thousands of pounds, it will be difficult for you to stop when you need to suddenly. In that case, you need to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you to have enough time to slow down without bumping it.
Furthermore, you need to check whether your brakes are working smoothly before leaving. The last you should experience is losing your brakes in the middle of the highway, which can cause severe accidents and injuries to you and other people on the road.
7. Practice driving
If you are not used to driving your car hitched with your trailer or motorhome, you should not hit the road as you please. It requires you to practice first and get used to slowing down or stopping when needed. Moreover, due to the additional length of what you drive, you may need to make wider turns than usual. It can be pretty tricky and unsafe if you do it wrong on a dangerous curved road.
You also need to practice being cautious about your trailer’s height and ensure that you do not pass under bridges that are too low for your trailer. Otherwise, you will damage your vehicle and ruin your supposedly enjoyable trip.
If you want to fully enjoy the perks of your vacation trip with your motorhome, you have to ensure the safety of your journey first. We understand that you may be too excited but always remember to take it slow.
Before you leave, see to it that you have considered all the things we have mentioned above. Towing your trailer can only be easy, safe, and secured if you do it with utmost preparation and caution.
See there you go. Have fun and see you on your next road trip!