Safe Towing Tips for Travel Trailers
Over the past couple of years, demand for RVs and towable travel trailers has grown. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people have recently purchased travel trailers as a way to get out of the house and have some fun without having to spend time in spaces shared with strangers, such as hotels or airplanes. But while travel trailers have helped give people the ability to get out and about, there’s no denying the fact that they take some extra care to make sure they’re being towed safely on the road.
There are many different factors involved with safely towing a travel trailer, such as making sure you know your vehicle’s tow capacity, having the right trailer hitch, and not carrying too much weight. But what else can you do to tow your travel trailer safely?
Practice in an Empty Parking Lot
Remember the days of heading over to an empty parking lot with one of your parents to practice parking and making turns when you were just starting to learn how to drive a car? If you’ve just purchased your first travel trailer, it’s a good idea to spend some time doing this all over again as a way to get used to towing your trailer.
Given the size of a trailer, you’ll need extra room to make turns and backing into spaces and other basic driving maneuvers can be more difficult. For example, you’ll also need extra time to fully stop your vehicle. You simply cannot stop them on a dime. Taking the time to get used to towing your trailer before hitting the road is a great way to prepare for safely towing it in traffic.
Have the Right Mirrors
The large size of a travel trailer also means that it’s harder to see around your vehicle when it’s being towed. Your blind spots will be much larger driving with a trailer than they would be without the trailer and standard side mirrors aren’t large enough to provide the coverage you need. Instead, you should look into getting extended mirrors installed on your towing vehicle. Another option to consider is getting clip-on mirror extenders which can be taken off when you’re not towing the trailer.
Watch Your Speed
When you’re driving a regular vehicle, you know that the posted speed limit is the highest recommended speed in ideal conditions. But the posted speed limit might not necessarily be the safest maximum speed for vehicles towing a trailer. Your trailer and tires may have speed ratings that are lower than the posted speed limit. Driving above the recommended speed for your trailer and tires can make it more likely that you’ll experience trailer failure or tire blowout.
Generally speaking, being mindful of your speed is also extremely important because of the extra time it takes to stop a vehicle towing a trailer, to reduce strain on your tow vehicle, and to prevent trailer instability/sway.
Do Your Research
Planning a trip with a travel trailer can involve some extra planning that you wouldn’t have to deal with if you were taking a road trip in a standard car. For example, some states may have different speed limits for towing vehicles that are different from your home state. So if you’re planning a trip that takes you through multiple states, it’s important to know what the laws are in the areas you’ll be traveling through. Or will your trip involve stopping at campgrounds? If so, make sure you research campgrounds before leaving to make sure you stay at one that will have spaces that are large enough for your vehicle and trailer or if there are any other obstructions you should be aware of, like inclines or low-hanging branches.
Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents happen to good drivers all the time. Even if you do everything you can to be a safe driver, the negligence of another driver can easily cause serious injuries. If you’ve been injured in a crash, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in handling Michigan car accident cases. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.