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Towing Safely post #5415776 04/28/20 04:21 PM
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wwillson Offline OP
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I have a couple motivations to post this here from my other website. There are many eyes here and few there and I would like to get as many comments as possible, but I won't post it here, because I don't want Google to index it here. I would also like to some folks here to sign up and contribute there :-)

Please let me know what you think and what you would add or modify.

https://rvthe.us/community/threads/towing-safely.74/#post-203

Thanks,

Wayne

Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5415798 04/28/20 04:54 PM
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supton Offline
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I don't tow often, but one thing I do is "check often". Like, after 20-30 minutes (or miles), check everything. chains still attached, lights still working, no tires or hubs getting hot? Whenever I stop I do a quick check, make sure nothing has changed.

Something I've gotten bit by a couple times is potholes and uneven ground. It becomes very easy to drag the hitch. For a while I carried around some cut up 2x's so that I could level off if I needed to (if I was towing an RV I might have a stack already, being the cheapskate that I am).

Also, whenever I back up my trailer and manage to have a spotter, I tell them "if you can't see me in the mirror then I can't see you". It might be helpful to work out some hand commands so that all are on the same page.

Something I have only recently had a chance to use is a backup camera. I bought a cheapo one to go onto my rearview mirror for my truck, as it has such lousy rearwards visibility--but thought ahead and bought a camera to put onto my enclosed trailer, so I could see what was behind me. And wired it up so that I could easily switch between the two. For what it cost, and the work to install, it seems like a cheap way to make things better when you have to back up solo.

Edit: I tow rarely, so I'd take the above with a grain of salt.

Last edited by supton; 04/28/20 04:55 PM.

2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 205k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 159k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k, his
Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5415808 04/28/20 05:03 PM
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wwillson Offline OP
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Supton - these are great suggestions! I do the same - my rule is when I stop I do a walk-around and check the hitch area, feel the hubs to see if they are hot, etc.

Thanks

Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5415810 04/28/20 05:04 PM
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I have seen people using very old dried out cracking tires that were obviously under-inflated and barely an adequate size for the weight of the trailer (RV) they are being used on even when the tires were new, driving at faster speeds than I would normally drive at on highways.

I shake my head and think that they have no idea how serious a blow out can be.


Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5415835 04/28/20 05:37 PM
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As others mentioned, I check all my equipment at fuel stops. I tow often, and find that tires are the most important thing to keep tabs on.
My last trip to Moab, I brought 3 spare tires and used 2 of them! One for me, and one for a friend who was already on his spare.
The road debris (mostly tire "gators") was horrible.

Regarding a spotter, I feel comfortable enough not to need one, but it's not a bad idea in a camp ground as a precaution.

I recently replaced my ball/ball mount. My son asked why as it didn't look too bad. I showed him the elongation caused by the pin and corrosion inside. It's now retired to ATV duty.


2019 Escape EB AWD/2016 KIA Optima SXL 2.0L Turbo/2012 F150 Ex-cab 5.0L
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Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5415896 04/28/20 06:40 PM
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Some states require that the safety chains be crossed to prevent the tow bar from hitting the pavement in the event it becomes disconnected.

Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5415994 04/28/20 08:59 PM
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Select a ball mount that has your trailer level or slightly higher in the front than the back. That way, when you load it with payload slightly in front of the axle, the trailer won't dive on bumps. Can't over-emphasize how important trailer tire inflation & condition is-especially with the Chinese trailer tires that are common now. I'm getting to the point that I carry TWO spares on long trips with a trailer!


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Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5416142 04/29/20 07:04 AM
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Tow with a 3/4 ton pickup. Even if the trailer brakes (surge brakes) don't work all that well, you should be OK.


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2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5416223 04/29/20 08:52 AM
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Most utility trailers are not towed to often. Most people check their tires but never look at he tire stem. Found out that tire experts recommend replace tires 7 years. Stems just seem to look worse earlier and they.like to fail when adding air to the tire.

Re: Towing Safely post [Re: Donald] #5416439 04/29/20 01:08 PM
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02SE Offline
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Originally Posted by Donald
Tow with a 3/4 ton pickup. Even if the trailer brakes (surge brakes) don't work all that well, you should be OK.


That's good advice if the trailer doesn't overload the 3/4 ton truck. A 3/4 ton truck would be very overloaded with the 5th wheel trailer we tow.

The point: Make sure the tow vehicle can safely tow the load.

Last edited by 02SE; 04/29/20 01:10 PM.
Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5416871 04/29/20 09:28 PM
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I have very little towing experience, but saw something this past weekend that scared me to death.

Guy was pulling one of the little U-Hauls behind a 1/2 ton at 70mph about a quarter mile ahead of me. The next thing I know, I see sparks flying, things going squirrely, and him quickly getting into the shoulder. I had plenty of time to slow down and actually came to a near complete stop along with getting over into the other lane.

What I saw when I passed was the hitch from his truck scarred and laying in the road, and the tongue on the ground. Fortunately, it looked like the chains(crossed over) had held it well enough for him to get it off the road and stopped.


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Re: Towing Safely post [Re: wwillson] #5416877 04/29/20 09:34 PM
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Wayne

One thing i always do, is after i have engaged the ball on the tongue of the hitch , i feel under with my hand to make sure coupler latch is under the ball, not on top of it. Might be what happened with what bunnspecial witnessed.


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