Ever wonder if there are any simple solutions to hooking up your travel trailer? Maybe you are by yourself or your significant other isn’t very good at helping direct you.
When we were workamping at RV parks, we have seen a lot of different things. One of the most memorable was this couple trying to hook up their camper. It wasn’t even a huge camper, just a pop-up. He was backing up the truck and she was attempting to direct him. After about the 3 or 4th try, he was starting to get really mad at her and was screaming and throwing things. I would have offered to help, but I didn’t want to be anywhere near a guy with a temper like that.
Forest and I have a good system, I suck at directing so I back up the truck and Forest directs. This system works well for us and we get it on the first try.
Not all couples have a good system in place or maybe you are on your own and don’t have anyone to help you. There are a couple of different options available to help you if you are in this position.
Non-tech options to use
We will start out with the cheap non-tech options. This is the ball trailer alignment system.
These are a very budget-friendly option. They are magnetic so all you do is stick them on backup and align the balls. There are different brands of these ranging from Performance Tool, TruePower, Reese Towpower, and Camco. I can’t say one is definitely better than the other because I haven’t tried them personally. I have seen people use them at the RV parks and they appear to work pretty slick.
Tech options for hooking up your trailer
The other option is using a backup camera. A few popular favorites include Rear View Safety (RVS) Camera, the wireless camera from Camecho, the smart hitch camera system from Hopkins, and the wireless & waterproof camera from Podofo.
There are plenty of different options to hooking up your truck to your trailer by yourself. Some are as cheap as $10 and others can be quite expensive depending on what you are looking for.
How to hook up RV to truck?
Towing a trailer is not an easy task. The routine that everyone who tows needs to perform every time they hitch up their vehicle could save your life and the lives of others on our roadways.
It is extremely important to make sure that your vehicle is properly hooked up to a trailer. The last thing you want is a trailer swaying wildly from side to side while you are driving down the road. That could also lead to other problems like someone rear-ending your vehicle because they were watching the swaying trailer instead of their own driving.
So take the time and check these things before you even attempt pulling out onto the road. It could save your life! One of the most important parts of hooking up a trailer is safety check.
Safety chains may seem like a small detail to many, but they can be an essential piece of equipment in preventing accidents. With the right safety chain tension and sufficient length for maximum turn radius, you’re on your way to reducing the risk of injury or death that comes with trailer mishaps!
Towing is a very important job. Chains may be dragging on the highway, and these chains can cause fires! To prevent this from happening you should always cross your safety chains one time when going across them to make sure they are secure. It’s also required by law that state regulations require crossing of the safety chain under the trailer tongue and connected to hitch assembly or other towed vehicle members.
Keep your trailer and tow vehicle safe when towing. Never use an R-clip, always make sure the coupler locking lever is secured with a proper safety pin or padlock! Perform routine maintenance checks on the hitch assembly and trailer coupler per manufacturer specifications. Ensure that both required safety chains meet or exceed GVWR ratings of your load as well by using appropriate weight rating chain types for each chain you are attaching to receiver hook assemblies located at either end of twin horizontal links in single axle trailers.
Do I need a weight distribution hitch for my camper?
It is not necessary to have a weight distribution hitch but it does make a world of different to reduce swaying. A weight distribution hitch is designed to distribute the load on an RV. A lot of people install these hitches in order to keep their trailer level as they travel down uneven roads and help reduce swaying during high winds.
Most weight distribution hitches are built with a swiveling base. The heavy parts of the hitch are generally mounted to it and can move in relation to the trailer. This movement keeps the trailer level during rough road conditions. The trailer is kept level because one end of the hitch is always attached to the frame of your RV while the other end is connected to either a tow vehicle or other structure such as an overhead bridge or barrier.
Can a weight distribution hitch be too big?
A weight distribution hitch is a great way to keep your trailer balanced with the tow vehicle. However, there are limits and you can’t have too much of it either! The spring bars must be matched closely with the trailer for this system to work properly so make sure they’re not too weak or else not enough weight will transfer onto your truck’s front axle. As the bar gets heavier, it can add stress to your frame. However, this isn’t a huge issue when you’re mainly driving on roads.
Weight distribution hitches can make a difference in the amount of sway you have on the road. Because they are designed to keep your RV level, they use displacement of weight to control how much sway there is. The more weight that is contained within your trailer and that is properly transferred to the hitch through the bars attached, the less sway you will have. That being said, there will always be some sway when driving with a trailer. It’s just part of towing and it’s not anything to worry about as long as you’re following the law and within a safe frame of reference.
Is it OK to leave camper hooked to truck?
When you’re trailering your camper, is it OK to leave the trailer hooked on for a day or two? Yes. But be careful about leaving it attached too long; otherwise icky things could happen like springs and struts potentially taking permanent set in an undesirable way!
If you’re going to leave your trailer hooked to your truck overnight, make sure that you raise the jack so it’s not resting on the springs. This will help take some of the pressure off the springs. Keep an eye on your RV, too, and be sure to check the jack often so it doesn’t slip down into the RV.
Also, try parking it on the ground so that it’s not sitting at an angle. This will keep the weight of the camper off its springs and make things easier when you finally take it off again.
Will my camper drain my truck battery?
Your camper can drain your truck battery if you leave it on all night. Some vehicles have a plug that disconnects the camper when the key is off, but others don’t – so check yours with a meter!
There are many ways to tow a camper, and there are many opinions about which is best. If you do a little research, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and find the system that’s right for you. Happy camping!