You've finally got your travel trailer and want to get out on the open road! Now comes getting it stocked for travel and then towing! It may be tempting just to start packing it up but you need to keep in mind that, where you put things matters! If one area of the rig is much heavier than the rest, it can make for a dangerous situation! Lacking the proper equipment while towing can cause issues with handling and stopping. Here are 3 easy steps to load and tow your travel trailer that will make you road trip safer and easier!
1. Loading a Travel Trailer
Packing isn't fun! Sometimes just the thought of it can be overwhelming. There are so many things to bring along on camping trips, from kitchen essentials and bathroom necessities to grilling tools and clothing. So when you finally have your bags packed and everything laid out, you can just toss everything into the RV and call it good, right? Wrong! How you pack your gear into your travel trailer can greatly affect the tongue weight of your RV. If a trailer is counter-balanced, it can cause damage to the RV and it can be dangerous to pull down the road at high speeds. A correctly loaded trailer will have about 5-15% of the total weight of the trailer as its tongue weight. So, when packing your gear into your travel trailer, pay attention to what you put where. Do not load all of your heavy items toward the rear of the RV. Also, do not load all of your heavy items, such as a tool box or a big box filled with canned food, in one spot in the RV. Your RV will lean to one side if it's not evenly loaded, or it will ride low in the back if it's loaded too heavily back there. So as not to create a top-heavy RV, store your heavy items on the floor and your light items up higher in cabinets or on shelves. How you pack does matter! To keep your travel trailer under control on the highway, make sure your cargo weight is evenly distributed and nothing will cause it to sway one way or another.
2. Equalizer Hitch
Redistribute the weight of your RV evenly across your tow vehicle by using an equalizer hitch. Attach the safety chains to the bars of the hitch to transfer tongue weight to your vehicle's front axle. You want to create tension on the bars so your trailer won't bounce out of place on bumpy roads. An equalizer hitch can improve your tow vehicle's ability to turn, brake, and steer, especially if you have a large, heavy load.
3. Sway Controls
Sway controls do exactly as you'd probably guess from the name: they use friction to help minimize or eliminate swaying back and forth as you travel at high speeds. They join the side of the trailer's tongue to the side of the vehicle's hitch. They're fully adjustable so you can increase or decrease the amount of pressure.