Towing a travel trailer, 5th wheel trailer, boat or utility trailer can be a stressful and anxious experience if your hitch and tow setup is not properly suited to your specific needs. At Rick’s RV Center in San Diego, CA, we have seen many trailer owners come to us after a towing situation that caused them fear and concern. That is why we always encourage our customers to choose the right hitch and tow setup, based on their specific situation.
To determine the hitch that is right for your RV, you need to understand the different hitch classes and their capabilities. Hitches are categorized into classes, which are defined by their maximum Tongue Weight (TW) and Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) capacity. It is essential that you choose the hitch and tow setup with a capacity that meets or exceeds your tow vehicle rated towing weight.
The next item to consider is your vehicle's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This rating defines the maximum weight allowed for your vehicle, including passengers, cargo, and fuel. In addition to this, you must also consider the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). This rating is the combined weight of your vehicle and trailer.
It is also important to get the right accessories that will help you tow comfortably and securely. Accessories like sway bars will help control the side-to-side movement of your trailer, while weight distribution bars will help distribute the weight evenly over both the trailer and tow vehicle axles. By choosing the right accessories, you can have a more relaxed and comfortable towing experience.
Additionally, periodic inspection and maintenance are critical to ensure safe, reliable, and worry-free towing. Critical maintenance includes keeping the hitch and tow setup clean and lubricated, greasing the ball-joint connections, regularly checking the hitch’s bolts and nuts, and all lighting is functioning.