"We like camping better!" --Raymond Alexander Kukkee

view of the north shore Critter Pond, KOA Canandaigua NY [c] 2009 jcb

Travel trailer towing tips: Safety checklist before you hit the road

by Jim Bessey editor  Part One of Two

See Part Two "On the Road" here 

Towing safety begins in your driveway.
camping tips also on Jim's portfolio
Other than driving in a blizzard or hurricane, pulling a camper trailer down the highway is one of the most dangerous things you can do with your tow vehicle. On the other hand, what's better than being on the open road, with your living quarters on wheels? With sound attention to detail and a reasonable level of caution, you can safely haul your family camping trailer down the highway for a memorable vacation. Make it a habit to go over your camping rig with a safety checklist before you hit the road.

There's a lot riding on your tires.

You've heard the expression, "kick the tires before you go," right? That's a great place to start. Proper inflation for all eight tires (at least!) on your tow vehicle and your travel trailer is critical. Use the high-end of your tires' listed cold pressure numbers for good-weather hauling. All four trailer tires should have identical readings. You can use a mid- to low-range setting for your vehicle's front tires to ensure smooth handling. Visually inspect all tread surfaces for unusual wear while your adjusting tire pressures, too. Never needlessly risk a blow-out on the highway!

Look for trouble before you hitch up your wagon.

Two sure warning signs of trouble are rust and frayed wires. A rusty hitch could be dangerously weakened. Use a wire-brush and good lighting for a closer look. See any cracks? If you have any doubt about your hitch's integrity, have it checked by a qualified shop. Replacing a damaged hitch component is a minor inconvenience compared to the potential consequences. If all you're seeing is surface rust, brush it clean then prime and repaint. If your safety chains are badly rusted, consider installing a new set - a small investment that looks good. Take a minute to lubricate moving and load-bearing parts, too. Make good connections.

Hook it up and check it out.

Leave yourself plenty of time to hook-up your camper trailer and do a serious "pre-flight" inspection. . ... keep reading

  Reprinted from the original hosted on Helium. Copyright 2009 -- Jim Bessey, all rights reserved.

See this story as it appears on Helium.com

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