Towing a camper successfully isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of technical aspects involved in the process due to which many travelers prefer to tow their trailers through expert towing services. However, if you’re a beginner and still confident enough that you can manage it on your own, follow these guidelines to tow your camper, trailer, or an RV effectively for the first time.
Always Consider Weight Compatibility
One of the critical things to keep in mind before towing your trailer is knowing weight compatibility; trucks and vehicles come up with their particular towing weight limits. That’s why it’s essential to know the exact weights of both tow trucks as well as campers. Ensure that your vehicle is capable of handling the weight of your trailer.
It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in this regard. Each tow truck is provided with maximum towing capacity by its maker. For this reason, always check out the supplied user manuals of tow vehicles first before you start towing your trailer.
Understand The Towing Language
Learn the basics of the towing process so that it becomes easy for you to buy an available tow truck, tow your trailer effectively, and also follow towing rules applicable to your area. There are some acronyms involved in towing and trailering you should know. Most of them are related to weights and capacities.
- Max tow rating is the maximum weight recommended for towing by the tow truck producer for safe towing process
- Gross vehicle weight rating GVWR is the maximum weight a fully-loaded truck can carry securely as recommended by the manufacturer. The total amount of towing weight includes cargo, passengers, fluids, and any applicable tongue weight
- Gross combined weight rating GCWR is the maximum allowable weight of a fully-loaded tow truck and trailer including all passengers, fluids, cargo, tongue weight and other accessories
- Gross trailer weight rating GTWR is the maximum allowable weight of trailer and cargo combined
- Gross axle weight rating GAWR is the maximum weight one trailer axle can safely carry without help of the rest of the rig
Hitch Ball Is A Critical Safety Gear
Hitch ball needs to be attached to the tow vehicle receiver hitch. It provides support to camper weight and helps in connecting your camper with a tow truck. Trailer hitches are classified by tongue weight (the amount of weight on a vehicle hitch). The higher the hitch number, the greater the amount of tongue weight it can handle. Always refer to the suitable amount of tongue weight your tow truck can carry as prescribed in the user manual.
Utilize Trailer Safety Chains
RV’s contain safety chains that you can attach to the hitch easily. Always cross those chains enough instead of leaving them straight. If the connected vehicles attempt to disconnect from each other, the crossed chains will keep your trailer from hitting the pavement surface. Also, keep strings loose enough to aid in making sharp turns, yet not so in a loosened state to run the road surface.
Driving With A Camper
When driving with a camper, make sure you’re maneuvering your tow truck at half the speed without a container. This will help you have more time while turning and stopping your vehicle for a safer driving experience. Allowing twice the amount of distance for increased mass also allows for an extra length while changing lanes. Last but not least, look much farther ahead than normal driving to observe objects and situations in front of you in advance so you can have enough time to react.