We’d say one of the hardest parts of going on an RV adventure is hitching your RV to your vehicle, but with these tips, you’ll be a hitching pro and ready to hit the road in no time!
With all the extra weight attached to the back of your vehicle, it’s a good idea to drive slower. Yes, you’ll get to your destination later, but you’ll get there safely, and that’s what matters the most.
Choose the right size camper
You may be limited in your option of camper, depending on your vehicle. The first step in finding the right size camper for your family is finding your tow capacity. This is how much your vehicle can tow, including the RV itself, everything in the RV, and the people in your car. Your car’s manual may also specify whether your vehicle is rated to tow a trailer. Use an online calculator to find how much your vehicle can tow and what sized RV you can have.
Just like packing a box or moving truck, distribute the weight evenly throughout your RV. Do your best not to overload the trailer in the front or back as this will make the trailer uneven and harder to drive.
Part of the perks of traveling with a trailer is that you don’t have the same weight limits you would have if you flew to your destination. But that doesn’t mean you can pack your whole house into your travel trailer for the weekend either. Take a minimalist approach to your packing and make your drive easier with fewer things in your towed trailer.
Go for a test drive
Before you hit the open road, take your vehicle and trailer out for a test drive. This allows you time to get used to the new towing set up before you start your big adventure.
Besides taking a test drive, also practice parking. You have a lot of additional length and weight that you need to maneuver, sometimes in a smaller space.
There’s no shame in having someone help you park. Just like when you’re learning how to parallel park, it can be easier to park with a trailer when you have another set of eyes helping you get where you need to be.
Make sure you can see
Along with accounting for your vehicle’s extra length when you’re parking, you also have to be mindful of it when trying to see behind you. Not being able to see around your trailer creates a safety hazard. While you’re on your test drive, make sure you can see around your RV, just like you would be able to see around your regular vehicle. If you can’t see, consider purchasing mirror extenders before your trip.
Get your trailer ready
Getting your trailer ready for transport means more than hitching your RV to your vehicle. You need to make sure you’re ready to leave as soon as you get your trailer hooked up. This means disconnecting all your appliances, putting your belongings away, and having everything packed and ready to hit the road.
Use a checklist
There’s a reason why pilots use a checklist during every flight – because it works! Keep your list handy whenever you need to tow your trailer, and it will help you remember every cable and safety chain you need to hook up, so nothing’s left to chance.
Make sure you feel good about using your vehicle’s hitch before you go on your next adventure. Towing a trailer will take some getting used to, but it will be well worth it when you make it to your destination safely!