If you are new to RV towing, take time to practice towing your travel trailer before driving on main roads. Most seasoned RV drivers recommend finding a large vacant lot and setting up some traffic cones to practice turning and backing.
Check the Tire Pressure on both the Tow Vehicle & your Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel to ensure they are properly inflated. Tire with low pressure or high pressure as speeds can cause a blowout.
Never allow anyone to ride in or on the travel trailer.
Before you leave on a trip, remember to check routes and restrictions on bridges and tunnels.
Use the trailer hitch system the manufacturer recommends for towing.
Drive at moderate speeds. This will place less strain on your tow vehicle and RV trailer. Trailer instability (sway) is more likely to occur as speed increases.
Avoid sudden stops and starts that can cause skidding, sliding, or jackknifing.
Avoid sudden steering manoeuvres that might create sway or undue side force on the travel trailer.
Slow down when traveling over bumpy roads, railroad crossings, and ditches.
Make wider turns at curves and corners. Because your trailer’s wheels are closer to the inside of a turn than the wheels of your tow vehicle, they are more likely to hit or ride up over curbs.
Importance of Weight distrabution check out this Video
Parking Your RV
Try to avoid parking on grades. If possible, have someone outside to guide you as you park. Once stopped, but before shifting into Park, have someone place blocks on the downhill side of the trailer wheels. Apply the parking brake, shift into Park, and then remove your foot from the brake pedal. Following this parking sequence is important to make sure your vehicle does not become locked in Park because of extra load on the transmission. For manual transmissions, apply the parking brake and then turn the vehicle off in either first or reverse gear.
When uncoupling a travel trailer, place blocks at the front and rear of the trailer tires to ensure that the trailer does not roll away when the trailer hitch coupling is released.
An unbalanced load may cause the tongue to suddenly rotate upward; therefore, before uncoupling, place jack stands under the rear of the trailer to prevent injury.
If using Sway Control disconnect sway control before backing your trailer through any tight turns as this can cause damage to the hitch or equipment
Put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. To turn left, move your hand left. To turn right, move your hand right. Back up slowly. Because mirrors cannot provide all of the visibility you may need when backing up, have someone outside at the rear of the trailer to guide you, whenever possible.
Use slight movements of the steering wheel to adjust direction. Exaggerated steering control will cause greater movement of the travel trailer. If you have difficulty, pull forward and realign the tow vehicle and trailer and start again.
Apply the parking brake, shift into Park, and then remove your foot from the brake pedal. Following this parking sequence is important to make sure your vehicle does not become locked in Park because of extra load on the transmission. For manual transmissions, apply the parking brake and then turn the vehicle off in either first or reverse gear.
When uncoupling a trailer, place blocks at the front and rear of the trailer tires to ensure that the trailer does not roll away when the coupling is released.
In smaller trailers an unbalanced load may cause the tongue to suddenly rotate upward; therefore, before uncoupling, place jack stands under the rear of the trailer to prevent injury.
Try to do what you can so that you will be turning on the driver side, such as going down a few roads to turn your self around as passenger's side is you blind side.
There are a few terms you should familiarize your self with is Neutral, Jack and Chase Neutral is when your steering wheel is in the position of your truck going straight, Jack Such as Jack-knife when your trailer is turning in the opposite direction to the direction your truck is turning, Chase when your trying to straighten you truck and trailer so you are effectively chasing your trailer
Before parking in the campsite get out and scout the campsite for possible obstructions you will need to avoid
Have some one guide you from outside. Work out signals that both you and your spotter will know and if at night have them use a flash light so you can see them. They should will be telling you which way your trailer needs to go.
If you find you are out of room to get the fifth wheel & tow vehicle straight pull forward to help straighten it out.
If you have an electric trailer brake controller and excessive sway occurs, activate the trailer brake controller by hand. Do not attempt to control trailer sway by applying the tow vehicle brakes; this will generally make the sway worse.
Always anticipate the need to slow down. To reduce speed, shift to a lower gear and press the brakes lightly.
When passing a slower vehicle or changing lanes, signal well in advance and make sure you allow extra distance to clear the vehicle before you pull back into the lane.
Pass on level terrain with plenty of clearance. Avoid passing on steep upgrades or downgrades.
If necessary, downshift for improved acceleration or speed maintenance.
When passing on narrow roads, be careful not to go onto a soft shoulder. This could cause your trailer to jackknife or go out of control.
To control swaying caused by air pressure changes and wind buffeting when larger vehicles pass from either direction, release the accelerator pedal to slow down and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.
When excessive sway occurs, activate the trailer brake controller by hand. Do not attempt to control trailer sway by applying the tow vehicle brakes; this will generally make the sway worse.
Towing Your RV on Downgrades and Upgrades
Downshift to assist with braking on downgrades and to add power for climbing hills.
On long downgrades, apply brakes at intervals to keep speed in check. Never leave brakes on for extended periods of time or they may overheat.
Some tow vehicles have specifically calibrated transmission tow-modes. Be sure to use the tow-mode recommended by the manufacturer.
Make sure your dinghy - (What you are Towing) is approved by the manufacturer for all wheel towing. You can find this information in you vehicles instruction manual or an online resource for the vehicle.
Prior to going any where check your Motorhome & tow vehicle making sure that all the lights work, which includes breaks, turn signals, & general taillights.
Follow the speed limit and towing laws of each state you are traveling through. This may take a little research before you set out on the road.
Maintain a save distance from the vehicle on the road ahead of you this should be a minimum of 5 seconds from the closest vehicle.
Tight turns should be avoided due to the high levels of pressure on the tow bars as this could cause them to bend or break. Can also damage hitch as well.