If you are a new RVer with a fifth wheel, or even if you are experienced in towing a trailer, here are some angles on safety that you should know. If you miscalculate, or make a mistake it will cause far more damage than it would if you were driving a car. Some of these may sound elementary, but it never hurts to review the basics.
Basic safety precautions
- Before you get into the tow vehicle, make sure that both truck and trailer are current on their maintenance.
- Verify that all of the required lights are connected and working.
- Check your brakes.
- If you are a newbie, or have not driven for a while, find a large vacant lot in which to practice.
- Do not ever allow anyone to ride in the trailer, or on it.
- Make sure that your hitch mechanism is one that is acceptable for your vehicle.
- Drive carefully, and at a sensible speed for the road, weather, and weight of your trailer.
- Be prepared to stop gradually. Sudden stops can be the starting place for sliding, or worse.
- Do not make any sudden moves with the steering wheel. It may cause your vehicle to sway.
- Drive slowly over gravel, railroad crossings, and uneven ground.
- In order to execute a safe turn, go wide to give the trailer room to get around the corner without going up over the curb.