Tips for Driving While Towing a Travel Trailer 5972

Towing a trailer can be one of the most stressful things about camping with a travel trailer. This is especially true for people who don’t tow that much. Most of the time, towing is something that people do occasionally if at all. This means they’re likely not going to be very comfortable doing it. If you’re one of these people, keep the following tips in mind. They should help make towing your travel trailer a little easier.

Make Sure Everything Works and Is Connected Correctly

Family vacation trip, leisurely travel in motor home, Happy Holiday Vacation in Caravan camping car. Beautiful Nature New Zealand natural landscape Scenic route with camper van in New Zealand.
Image by Vichai Phububphapan from Getty

My first tip is a simple one and actually starts before you set off. Make sure everything is connected properly and working correctly. This goes for the hitch, chains, lights, trailer brakes and anything else on your rigs, like a backup camera or some kind of proximity sensors.

Setting off without something properly connected means you’ll have a hard time and could be dangerous. Before you head out on the road, make sure to check everything. Also, double-check your weights. If the RV is overloaded, it can negatively impact your tow vehicle or the RV itself. Here’s our Towing Guide to help.

Go Slow and Give Yourself Plenty of Braking Room

Your tow vehicle will accelerate slower and take longer to slow down. Be ready for this. While you’ll need to keep up with traffic and stick to posted speed limits, you should take things slower when your travel trailer is attached to your rig. Most travel trailer tires are rated for 60-65 mph, so keep that in mind when on the highway, too.

When driving, look far ahead to see if you’ll need to brake. Don’t wait to brake like some drivers do in a car. Also, make a point of giving yourself more room between you and the car in front of you. The added weight of the travel trailer will increase stopping distances, you need to account for that on the road. Sudden stops with a travel trailer attached to your tow vehicle are not advised, so give yourself plenty of room at all times.

Take Turns Wide and Go Slow

Wet winding road through a lush green forest in the Pacific Northwest

When turning, you need to remember the length of your rig. If your trailer is short, you’ll have an easy time. Long trailers are where things can get a little tricky. The longer your travel trailer the wider you’ll need to take turns. The RV will follow the path of the tow vehicle, but taking wider turns helps ensure you won’t clip things on the inside of the turn.

Going slow in turns is also important. It will help ensure your RV doesn’t lean too far or the other. The chances of it tipping are extremely low, but you’ll likely have items like dishes inside your RV. The last thing you want is for them to go thrashing about because you took a turn too quickly. Go slow and you’ll have a smoother drive and all your camping gear will be right where you left it.

Avoid Backing Up Under Pressure

You want to give yourself plenty of time to back your travel trailer up properly. Unless you drive with the travel trailer all of the time, the more time you give yourself, the less stressful backing up your trailer will be. Try to avoid any situations that can put you under pressure. Let other vehicles move past you or around you if there’s someone waiting on you.

If you find yourself in some traffic congestion, take steps to avoid tight spaces whenever possible, and look for areas where you can simply pull through instead of backing up. If you must back up, try not to let the impatience of others impact you. You need to be able to think clearly and not rush. This will help you avoid any accidents or issues when backing up your rig.

What tips do you have for towing a travel trailer? Leave a comment below!

Tips for driving while towing a travel trailer

Wade divides his time among various outdoor activities in both urban and rural environments. An adventurer by nature, he is always up for a challenging hike, fun hunt, or day out on the water with friends and family. When he isn’t enjoying the outdoors, he’s writing, reading, or tinkering with motorcycles and cars.
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  1. Great topic. I saw pictures of travelers with caravan on worldee. Its a inspiration for me. I think its better than flying…

  2. I like your advice to go wide and slow while turning. My sister and her husband want to buy an RV travel trailer. I’ll share this advice to help them stay safe!

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