While RV trailer safety is not exactly the most exciting aspect of your upcoming summer vacations, it is vitally important that you take it very seriously. Towing your new trailer will be a new driving experience for you. You can expect that it will take a bit of time to get adjusted to the feel of towing a trailer behind your vehicle. The trailer will sway and pull and you need to learn to compensate for the weight through your steering.
There are some important things that you need to verify when purchasing your RV trailer to ensure that you can safely tow it behind your vehicle. Some of the most important are:
Additional Electrical Power Requirements
You might be surprised to learn that your new trailer will place an additional electrical load on your towing vehicle. This excess power comes from your vehicle's alternator and needs to serve the lights and brakes of your trailer.
If your vehicle was not designed specifically to tow a trailer, then it may not possess enough power to meet the needs of your trailer. If this is the case, you could find yourself broken down on the side of the road.
Your vehicle's alternator can be replaced if it is found to be too small to tow the trailer you wish to purchase.
Trailer Hitch Weight Rating
Never tow a trailer that is too heavy for the manufacturer's rating on the trailer hitch. While you vehicle may still be able to tow the trailer, it will not be stable or safe. In fact, towing a trailer on an inadequate hitch is illegal and can cause you to be found at fault if you are involved in an accident.
Emergency Chain Connections
Most states require that you have no less than two emergency safety chain connections between your tow vehicle and your trailer. The chains are in place to stop your trailer from becoming detached from your vehicle. Detachment can happen if your trailer begins to sway back and forth from excessive speed. When this happens, the trailer can flip over and break away from the trailer hitch.
You should ensure that your new trailer has the maximum chains required, based on the states you wish to travel in. Your local DMV can provide you with this information.
If you have additional questions about your vehicle's ability to safely tow your new RV trailer, then you should consult with a mechanic at a trailer dealership like Camping World of Orlando. This issue comes up frequently, and the mechanic is the best person to advise you.