5 tips for packing, hitching, and towing your trailer like a pro
Nothing beats taking a motorhome out on the road and being able to enjoy your home comforts while on holiday. However, some of us like to drive our own cars while on holiday. Thankfully towing motorhomes offer the best of both worlds.
If you’re a fan of flexibility and like driving then a trailer motorhome may be the right choice for you. You can have all the benefits of a motorhome without having to drive them around country roads.
In this article, we have collected our 5 top tips for towing your trailer. These tips will save you the hassle and fuel costs, they will make driving with a trailer easier, and they will make your trip a lot safer.
#1 – Pick the right trailer
Our absolute top tip for having a good towing experience is picking the right trailer for your car/truck.
It can be tempting to buy the biggest trailer out there. So that you can enjoy the luxury and comfort of trailer camping. However, if you only have a 0.8 liter Fiat 500 to tow it then you’re going to be in trouble.
You might want to consider investing in a Toy Hauler – like a wolf pup travel trailer. Toy Haulers are a lightweight motorhome trailer that is designed to offer a large amount of comfort while weighing very little.
To start your trip off on the right foot, make sure your car is powerful enough to pull your trailer.
#2 – Pack smartly
Our next tip is to think about the process of towing while you are packing your trailer.
Remember that everything that you put into your trailer adds to its weight and will make it harder to tow. However, you can pack your belongings in a way that can negate this a little.
You want to aim to pack 60% of the weight in front of the front axle. Trailers are typically back-heavy. So by packing your trailer in this way you can distribute the weight more evenly. Which in turn will make it easier to tow.
#3 – Pick the right hitching method
If you’re new to towing then you may want to learn a little bit about hitching methods. Getting the right hitch is important for two reasons:
- It prevents your trailer from falling off the back of your car
- It supports the weight of the trailer, making life easier for your engine
There are 7 main types of hitches:
- Rear Receiver Hitch.
- Front Mount Hitch.
- 5th Wheel Hitch.
- Gooseneck Hitch.
- Pintle Hitch.
- Bumper Hitch.
- Weight Distribution Hitch.
The type of hitch you need will be affected by two things: the type of trailer you want to tow, and the type of vehicle that you are using to tow your trailer.
#4 – Think about the outside of your trailer
We find that most people think a lot about how to pack the inside of their trailer. But nowhere near enough time thinking about the outside of it.
There are a few things that you will need to do to keep the outside of your trailer safe while on the road.
Firstly, you should make sure any canisters with flammable liquids are emptied. Lots of trailers come with external fuel storage. However, these can be very dangerous if left full while driving and even more dangerous if there is an accident. To be safe you should empty them before hitting the road.
Secondly, you should avoid hanging anything from your tailgate and you should never strap things to the top of your trailer. Doing either of these things will affect the delicate balance required for towing.
#5- Things to remember on the road
Finally, here are some tips that will make driving on the road while towing safer.
Let’s start by talking about the swing. Two things can affect your swing – wind speeds and steering.
Every time you turn a corner or adjust your steering you need to remember that that will affect your trailer. It will not follow the same arc as your car wheels, so you will need to allow for the swing and wider turning circle.
Sometimes you may notice that your trailer has developed swing, or is swaying, while you are driving at high speeds. If you see this you need to slow down. Gently tap on your brakes to slowly bring your speed down. If the sway does not stop then you have a more serious problem and will need to pull over.