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Tips for Towing a Camping Trailer

A Breakdown Isn’t the Only Reason to Tow an RV or Travel Trailer

A motorhome is a big investment, so if it breaks down, is involved in an accident, or needs to be transported long distances, chances are the owner will do whatever it takes to have it moved safely and efficiently.

Santa Fe Tow Service helps owners tow their RVs short and long distances, whether it’s a cross-country move or just to the repair shop across town. If you own a motorhome and need it shipped or transported, we highly recommend hiring a professional tow service like Santa Fe.

But we’re also happy to offer advice on how to transport your own camper if you’re unsure about how to do so safely. Here are some tips from Kansas City’s RV towing pros.

How to Prepare Campers for Transport

Tow Capacity

Nowadays, campers can be rented for anything from moving furniture to weekend getaways and multi-week vacations.

Make sure you have a vehicle with the appropriate tow capacity for the unit you’re pulling.

Matching camper weight to the towing capacity of the vehicle is an important rule to follow. Not only because mismatched ratings increase the chances that something will go wrong, but your insurance may not cover it either.

Safety Check

Campers can be extremely heavy, which means even at slow speeds a collision can cause serious damage. So, before hitting the road, be sure to check things like:

  • Vents – Close them before heading out
  • Lights – Are the brake lights working? Are the backup lights bright enough?
  • Turning signals – Are they visible to other drivers?
  • Wheel alignment – Have a shop check alignment on your camper if you’re not sure.
  • Hitches – Check for damage before hooking up.
  • Mirrors – Can you see behind the trailer?
  • Pre-existing damage – Note any damage or take photos, especially if you’re renting a trailer.
  • Load in the trailer – Uneven load can cause trailers to sway while driving. Make sure the load is proportionate before starting your journey.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Driving with something attached to the back of the car is tricky if you’ve never done it. So, before there’s any pressure to get to the destination quickly, try driving around on some wide, less busy streets or parking lots for practice.

You’ll soon realize that turning needs to be wider to avoid hitting curbs or taking out road features such as trees and signs. If you have access to an open parking area, place a road cone or another object that won’t damage the tires on the ground and practice turning around it without contact. Having a friend to assist outside the vehicle might be helpful as well.

Braking is also very different when you’ve doubled the weight of your vehicle. Go easy on the acceleration and braking, and test how it feels to slow and stop at various speeds.

Finally, despite your best efforts to avoid it, the time will come when you have to put your vehicle in reverse and back it up. In fact, very few campsites offer the luxury of a pull-through, so it’s best to be prepared. This is another skill that’s best to develop with a friend in an open parking lot. Try by backing into a marked parking spot without going over either of the lines.

A bit of practice, the right safety checks, and awareness of your surroundings will help make your trip a good one. And if you find yourself in a pinch, call Santa Fe Tow Service. We’re available to help 24/7, rain or shine to help with RV towing services.

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