If you've never towed a 5th-wheel camper before, there are a few things that you should understand before you head out on the road for that first grand adventure. Hitching up anything to the back of your truck will alter the way the truck responds on the road. Here's a look at a few things that you should know to make the process easier.
A Routine Can Keep You Safe
Once you've learned the process for connecting your 5th wheel, it's important that you commit the steps to memory in the proper order. This establishes a solid routine that might help you ensure that you get everything done right each time. It also helps to reduce the risk of missing a crucial step that could jeopardize the safety of your truck and the trailer. For added safety, have a second person go through your hitch-up checklist when you've finished connecting the trailer. He or she can ensure that you didn't overlook a step.
Always Use The Emergency Brake Cable
Every time you hitch up a trailer of any kind to your truck, make sure you connect the emergency brake cable. That cable is designed to bring the trailer to a full stop in the event it's disconnected for some reason. This reduces the risk of disaster on the road caused by a runaway trailer.
Never Raise The Jacks Without Testing The Hitch
Before you raise the front jacks on the trailer, roll the truck forward just a little bit to tug on the trailer and the hitch mechanism. This locks the jaws on the hitch so they're fully engaged. It ensures that you don't lose the trailer when you raise the jacks, which can damage your hitch, the bed rails on the truck and the trailer.
Drive With The Trailer In Mind
Any time you tow anything, it adds quite a bit of weight to the truck. That extra weight alters the truck's on-road response. Always leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. The heavier your trailer is, the more space you'll want.
Always move the wheel smoothly and slowly because jerky and sharp movements will transfer to the trailer and leave it bouncing all over the place. Be methodical and controlled to avoid this. It often means leaving yourself plenty of extra time to get where you're headed.
With these tips, you'll be better prepared to tackle that first tow. If you're investing in a new trailer hitch and fifth wheel, talk with a hitch manufacturer to make sure you're getting a strong, durable hitch that fits your truck.
For trailer hitches, contact a company such as Burnsville Trailer Hitch.