You’ve decided that a fifth wheel trailer is the type of RV that meets your needs. Now what? How do you tow that thing around? Don’t worry. With practice and experience comes knowledge, and once you’ve learned and implemented a few steps into your travel regimen, you’ll be towing your rig like a pro.
Consider these five tips about fifth wheel towing:
- Practice! – If you’re just learning how to tow a fifth wheeler, then you’ll want to practice, practice, practice. Don’t be afraid to hitch up your rig and go to a large parking lot somewhere and practice making turns and pulling through and backing into “camp sites.” It’s especially important to pay attention to and get a feel for how braking is different with your fifth wheel attached to your tow vehicle – the amount of time it takes to slow your vehicle down by itself will increase as you’re towing an RV.
- Use your mirrors – Your tow vehicle’s mirrors will be invaluable to you as you tow your rig. Make sure that you can see from the top of the rig down to its wheels and check your mirrors frequently when driving forward and backing up.
- Take it easy on the road – Don’t forget that you’re towing a lot of weight, potentially upwards of 13,000 pounds. Staying in the slower right-hand lanes and maintaining a steady, reasonable speed is important. Let others fly by you. Also, try to maintain a good amount of distance between the nose of your tow vehicle and the back of the vehicle in front of you. You’ll need that space and time to slow down if you suddenly need to hit the brakes.
- Plan your route – Plan out the exact route you want to take to your destination. Consider the heights of overpasses you’ll encounter, the type of terrain you’ll be traveling through (hilly, winding roads, etc.), and which fuel stations have enough space to allow you to maneuver your rig easily.
- Know the weather – Towing a fifth wheel is not easy to do, even in the best weather, so it becomes an even more difficult task in poor weather conditions. Try to tailor your travel plans around the weather, particularly rain and wind. Fifth wheels are large, boxy rigs and can very easily get tossed around in windy conditions, and with rain added to the equation, the situation can become dangerous quickly. Leave a day early or later to avoid inclement weather.
Ultimately, you should never be afraid to tow your rig. Just practice and be prepared. Sure, you might have some onlookers when you back into a campsite for the first time, but don’t worry about that. Everyone who drives a fifth wheel had to start somewhere, right? Just take the time you need to get it right.
Want to learn more about buying a fifth wheel? Contact us today and let us help you find the rig that’s right for you!