Before You Tow
Once you have the perfect RV, you will need to get it set up and ready to roll. This is a process, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get everything you need, install things correctly, and learn the ropes before it’s time to hit the road.
Invest in Good Insurance
Obviously, the goal is to never be involved in an accident. That said, sometimes accidents are unavoidable. Make sure you invest in good insurance before hitting the road so you can rest easy knowing you are covered if something should go wrong.
Learn How to Hitch Up Properly
You might have the right trailer and tow vehicle combination. You might even have a great hitch for your rig. However, having these things doesn’t mean you know how to use them properly. Learn how to properly use your hitch and practice, practice, practice until hitching up is no longer a challenge:
For dolly towing, refer to the instructions provided by your dolly manufacturer.
Grab Some Extended Mirrors
If you’ll be towing a large trailer or fifth wheel, regular truck mirrors likely won’t cut it. Invest in some extended mirrors made for towing in order to ensure you can see everything you need to see when making decisions out on the road.
Install a TPMS
Having a tire blowout while towing is no fun at all and can be damaging or even dangerous. Do your best to avoid these issues by installing a tire pressure monitoring system on your trailer so you’ll be alerted of any tire issues while driving.
Know How to Pack
The way you pack an RV can make all the difference in the world, keeping your RV from swaying side to side as you drive. Generally speaking, the goal is to pack in such a way that weight is evenly distributed from side to side with about 60% of its cargo sitting in front of the front axle. Placing the heaviest items near the axle can also help keep everything balanced well.
Once everything is packed, check trailer tongue weight as well as the overall RV weight (head to a truck scale at a truck stop) to make sure you’re within the safe limits.
Research Your Route
Doing a little bit of research before you leave can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Use a trucker’s atlas to ensure you won’t be driving under any low bridges or on any steep grades. We recommend using an RV or truck GPS such as the Garmin RV 785. Another option? Get an app such as RV Life to help you navigate safely.
Check Lights, Tires, and Brakes
Once you’re hitched up safely, you’ll want to check all your lights, making sure the turn signals, brake lights, and tail and running lights are all in working order. You will also want to test and adjust the trailer brake controller if necessary and take a close look at the tires, looking out for any unusual wear, bubbling, or other potential issues.
Check these things before driving every single time you tow!
Do a Walk Around
Last but not least, you will always, always want to do a final walk around before you tow your RV. Look at the hitch, safety chains, trailer plug, storage bays, and make sure everything looks ready to go. You might be surprised what things you can miss in earlier stages of the hitching process, even with some road experience under your belt.
Pro tip: You might even put together a running checklist you can reference each time to make sure nothing goes amiss.