Tips For Towing your Travel Trailer - Colonial Airstream
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Tips For Towing your Travel Trailer

Towing a travel trailer may seem like a nightmare for first-timers. In reality, towing a trailer behind you is really quite easy, especially an Airstream.  Today we are going to cover some helpful tips to get you on the road and towing safely.

Pre-Travel Checklist

At this point let’s assume you have a quality tow vehicle equipped with a tow package and a brake controller system. One of the most important things before hitting the road is making sure your tow vehicle and trailer are hooked up properly.

Step 1. Make sure your ball and hitch and properly aligned and locked in place. The last thing you want is to not see your trailer behind you when driving.

Step 2. Connect your safety chains and cross them in an X pattern, be sure they are not dragging on the ground. Having an anti-sway system is always a plus. Make sure to properly set that up before taking off. And while you are back there, make sure to plug in your 7-way plug.

Step 3. Take a walk around your trailer and make sure that all brake lights and turn signals are in working order.

Step 4. One of the most important and easily overlooked details is making sure the weight is distributed properly, make sure to never overload the rear of the trailer. Try to keep heavier items towards the front of your trailer to avoid sway while towing. When traveling the lighter the better, if possible, reduce weight by emptying the holding tanks.  

Driving

Now let’s talk about driving and towing. We suggest you practice in a big open parking lot before hitting the road. Always try and allow more distance for stopping while towing a trailer. What this means is you need to take into consideration that you have a lot of extra weight behind you that it will take longer to slow down.

Allow extra distance when passing and merging. Sudden and quick lane shifts can cause unwanted swaying. Instead, take your time and have enough space in front and behind you to move over comfortably.  

When driving downhill. Keep your speed to a moderate pace. Apply your break in small intervals to avoid overheating. Brakes should only be used to supplement the braking effect of the engine. If possible shift your vehicle into a lower gear to help as well.

If you find yourself driving in rainy conditions avoid making any sudden lane changes or slamming on the brakes.  Driving at a slower speed without disturbing the flow of traffic can also help. If the conditions are too extreme pull over and wait a bit before continuing. 

Backing Your Trailer

When backing up, remember that the slightest movement of the wheel goes a long way. Here is a Tip, put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel,  if you want to turn the trailer left, go to the left, if you want the trailer to go right, go to the right. If you prefer keeping your hands on the top of the steering wheel, then just remember it is backward, Left goes right, and right goes left. 

When turning left and right you need to be aware of tail-swing. Your trailer will swing out just a little bit past the path of your vehicle and if not careful can clip other cars or the curb. Make sure to give yourself a little extra room when turning. If need be make wide turns to give your trailer plenty of turning space. 

Are you ready to get out of the parking lot and on the open road?  Take your time and go slow and in no time you will be towing your trailer like a pro. 

If you have any questions about towing your Airstream contact us below or give us a call at 800-265-9019.