Summer is a time for family vacations. And although many families are catching planes and trains, road trips are still a popular and traditional way for families to travel together! If a long distance road trip is part of the plan for your family vacation this summer, it is likely that you will be hauling a camper along with all your vacation supplies. Just be sure you remember how to tow a camper, safely.
Continue reading to review the top three safety tips for towing a camper.
❶ Adhere to Weight Capacity
It is vital to know and understand the weight capacity of your vehicle in order to prevent damage to your vehicles, as well as, serious accidents. Your camper should come with an owners’ manual that will tell you the total weight of the vehicle you are planning to tow. With this number in mind, compare it to the weight of the vehicle doing the towing. Generally speaking, the heavier your vehicle is, the larger the load it can haul. In contrast, if you have a lighter vehicle, it will only be able to haul light loads.
❷ Use Proper Distribution
Not only does your load weight need to be an appropriate match to your vehicle’s towing capacity, it is vital to evenly distribute the weight in both vehicles. It is common practice for travelers to pack up their vehicles with luggage and supplies for their vacation, as well as their camper or RV. This is perfectly safe and acceptable so long as the weight ratios remain similar in both vehicles. Packing too much in the camper can outweigh the vehicle towing it, which can lead to distress on the hitch and the vehicle doing the hauling.
❸ Use the Proper Towing Hitch
It is crucial to use the right towing hitch for the type of towing you need to do. Your towing hitch set up should be able to hold the total trailer weight of the camper. A stabilizer bar is another tool that can greatly reduce the chances of swaying and swerving on the road. It is highly recommended to use a stabilizer bar along with your tow hitch to ensure a safe and secure ride. Once you have the right hitch, it is helpful to simply back the vehicle up to the front of the camper. The towing ball should be set directly underneath the hitch so that you can lower the hitch over the ball and complete all the necessary connections.