Towing an RV is not always a simple task. Sure, millions of people drive RV’s all across this country, but that doesn’t mean you can go into this job without any preparation. To make sure you are towing your RV safely as you travel, you may want to keep the following tips in mind.
#1 – Even Distribution
One of the cardinal rules of towing an RV is to evenly distribute the weight of your load as successfully as possible. If you were traveling to a bowling competition, for example, and your stacked all of your bowling balls on one side of the RV, trouble would be sure to follow (that is a silly example – but you get the idea). As you pack, keep weight distribution in mind and spread out the weight as best as possible between the front and back as well as the left and right of the RV.
#2 – Test Everything Before You Leave
Are the brake lights on your RV working properly once hooked up to your tow vehicle? The only way to know for sure is to check them before you leave. Double check your hitch connection, electronics, and everything else before getting out on the open road. Traveling at 50 or 60 MPH down the freeway with a poorly connected trailer is a recipe for disaster.
#3 – Get a Good Look
One of the other things to check before you leave your driveway is the visibility you have from the driver’s seat. Specifically, make sure your side-view mirrors are positioned properly to see adjacent lanes as you travel. It is nearly impossible to merge an RV safely if you can’t see behind you on either side. Depending on the vehicle and RV in question, you may need to purchase side-view mirror extenders to provide the angle required for a clear view.
#4 – Stay Within Your Limits
Towing an RV which is too heavy for the vehicle you are using is a sure way to get in trouble out on the road. Only head out for a trip when you are sure your RV is within the towing capacity limits of your vehicle. Error on the side of caution on this point, as you can create danger for yourself and others on the road if your vehicle is over matched.
#5 – Practice is Important
It is not a great idea to hitch up your trailer for the first time and head immediately out to the freeway for a long journey. Instead, find an open parking lot or other safe space to practice your driving. Spending even a short amount of time learning how to operate such a long and heavy rig will help you immensely on the roads.
#6 – Be Wary of Wind
As you drive along, remember that your RV – when combined with your vehicle – has quite a significant profile out on the road. If there are strong winds blowing, you may find it tough to control the rig. Reduce your speed when driving in a strong wind, and consider pulling over to wait for better conditions if you think your safety is in question.
#7 – No Sudden Movements
One of the key rules to keep in mind while towing an RV is avoiding sudden movements when at all possible. That RV behind your vehicle is carrying a significant amount of weight, so you don’t want to force it to do anything in a hurry. Start braking well in advance of stop signs or traffic, and accelerate smoothly as well.