11 Excellent RV Towing Tips for Beginners
RV towing as a beginner can be an intimidating and daunting task. But it’s one that you have to learn eventually.
Luckily, you can quickly get the hang of the whole process. And there are many things you can do to make the experience more comfortable.
Here we have 11 RV towing tips for beginners.
Let’s take a look!
RV Towing Tips for Beginners
From practice and practical advice to trailer add-ons, there are many things you can do to make towing an RV easier. Here are 11 of the best tips for RV towing for beginners.
1. First: Practice RV Towing!
First thing’s first when you’re learning to tow an RV trailer: Practice! It’s best to practice towing your trailer on roads with little traffic or in empty parking lots.
Taking your RV to a large, empty parking lot is a great way to practice backing up without the risk of damage to property or your RV.
2. Make Sure Everything Is Connected Correctly
This might sound obvious, but this is a step you should never overlook — even once you’re a seasoned RVer. Always take a final walk around and check all your connections after connecting your RV to your tow vehicle.
Make sure your hitch is secure, and you connected all chains and cables correctly. While you’re at it, make sure you closed and locked all the storage bays and doors on your RV.
3. Use a Trailer Towing Checklist
A trailer towing checklist is a great way to make sure you never forget a single thing when towing your RV trailer. Towing checklists aren’t only good for beginners. Seasoned RVers should use a checklist, too.
You can find printable checklists online like this one from Getaway Couple. However, if you don’t want to keep track of paper, the Ultimate RV Checklist app is customizable for your RV and tow vehicle. You can find it on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
4. Load Your Trailer Weight Properly
When you load a trailer, place 60% of the cargo weight in the front half of the RV. Also, make sure the weight is even from side to side.
An improperly loaded trailer can be a serious safety concern. Stay within your trailer’s cargo carrying capacity and keep the weight near the front of the trailer to reduce sway and risk of blowouts.
5. Drive Slowly When Towing
One of the best tips for any new RVer is to take it slow. Driving slowly gives you more control over your RV and will ensure you get to your destination safely. Slow driving also helps reduce the chance of trailer sway.
Don’t let other drivers intimidate you. Driving slowly keeps you and them safe.
6. Turn Wide and Slow
If it’s your first time towing an RV trailer, turns might be the most intimidating part. Your mirrors are the most important tool for towing an RV. Make your turns wide and slow, and give yourself plenty of room in the intersection and on both sides.
Use your mirrors to watch for cars, curbs, fire hydrants, and other obstacles. In addition, you can use your mirror and watch your tires as an indicator of when to turn your wheel.
It’s helpful to set up cones or other markers in an empty parking lot and practice making your turns.
7. Give Yourself Plenty of Braking Room
An RV is heavy and takes a lot longer to come to a complete stop. When you attach an RV to your vehicle, you need a lot more braking room. Leave a lot of distance between yourself and the cars in front of you, and start braking well before you arrive at a stoplight or turn.
8. Use Sway Bar and Weight-Distribution Hitch
Sway is when your trailer sways back and forth behind your tow vehicle. When sway happens on a highway, it can escalate into a dangerous situation. Many things cause sway, including wind, passing cars, and improper weight distribution. A sway bar helps eliminate trailer sway.
Many RVers use sway bars in combination with a weight-distribution hitch. A weight-distribution hitch helps evenly distribute the weight of the RV trailer on the frame of the vehicle.
These hitches distribute weight for a safer and more comfortable towing experience.
9. Avoid RV Towing on Windy Days
Windy days are scary for any RVer, beginner or not. Wind can cause trailer sway, and it’s exhausting to drive in. If you can help it, avoid RV travel altogether on windy days.
Keep in mind: This is an RV guide for knowing when it’s too windy to drive.
10. Follow the 2/2/2 Rule
The 2/2/2 rule is something RVers use to help prevent exhaustion and burnout on travel days. This rule states that you should drive no more than two hours a day or 200 miles and arrive at your campsite no later than 2 p.m.
When you follow the 2/2/2 rule, you give yourself plenty of time to get settled into your campsite, and you also don’t wear yourself out by driving too much. Some RVers also add that you should stop for at least two days at a time.
Alternatively, some RVers follow a similar 3/3/3 rule.
11. Only Camp in Pull-Through Sites While You’re Getting the Hang of It
Pull-through campsites are a beautiful thing for new and inexperienced RVers. There’s no need to back into these campsites; you simply pull right in! And when you leave, you drive straight out.
You can find pull-through campsites at many RV parks and campgrounds around the US.
Practice Makes Perfect
Towing an RV is intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never pulled a trailer before. But with time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it. There’s no shortage of helpful RVers on the road and in online communities.
What are your top tips for learning to tow an RV?
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