Monday, December 10, 2012

Five Tips for Towing a Teardrop Trailer

If you are thinking of purchasing or building a teardrop trailer, but you've never towed anything before, taking your new camper on the road may feel daunting. Because these miniscule trailers are so light, you'll tend to forget that you are towing it, which can get you into trouble on the road.  In all, you just need a bit of practice before taking off on that first camping trip. Here are a few tips I've learned over the years from towing a teardrop trailer.


1. Slow down: I'm a pretty slow driver anyway, but even if you are a faster driver, slow down and stick to the right lane. Other drivers will appreciate it, you'll get better gas mileage, you'll be more prepared to react, and you can appreciate the scenery more.

2. Be ready to brake: Even if your teardrop is really light, don't forget that you have an extra 800 to 1,200 lbs behind you. It will take you longer to come to a full stop and since most teardrops don't require their own braking systems, you and your vehicle are in charge of coming to a complete stop.

3. Watch those curbs and bumps: While coming out of a driveway, or around a corner, watch those sidewalk curbs, planters and other bumpy things that can damage your teardrop tires or even cause axle damage. The tire fenders on my teardrop stick out and I have to really watch it if I go through a tight entrance or even a fast food drive-thru (yes, you can take your teardrop through a Taco Bell).

4. Honey, we spilled the salt: No matter how well you pack your teardrop, things are going to go flying as you motor down the highway. We've had the lid pop off our coffee and send grounds spilling over the rest of our food, the items on the inside shelves usually end up in the bed and clothes in the cupboards will tumble out when we open the doors. Each campsite stop usually requires a bit of cleaning up.

5. Check, check and double check: At nearly every rest stop, we check and re-check the tow hitch, the chains, the tires, the locks on the hatch and the windows, the electrical connections and the teardrop lights and signals. You can never be too careful.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for creating this blog! will you be showing pics of the sleeping area? thanks! Louise

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    1. Thanks Louise. I will having more photos coming soon, and there is also a video in the works. Do you have a teardrop trailer?

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  2. Before towing your trailer, check the label first to make sure your trailer does not exceed the maximum recommended weight tongue and towing capacity. Check for cracks and rust, with no connection problems. The hook is 10% of the total load when towing trailer is loaded properly. Anyway, you can Learn More information about Heavy Hauling.

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  3. It is a smart idea to check your trailer connection at every stop. My dad used to be paranoid about the trailer coming off when we were hauling it. There was actually a time that he realized he forgot to connect the lights up. It is a good thing he did because we could've been pulled over without them.
    Jayden Eden | http://www.allroads.com.au/#!dollies/c24vq

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    1. Thank you Jayden. I totally agree. I also have a fear that the trailer will detach and go crashing down the road. We stop and periodically check our chain, electrical connections and the hitch. I also check the locks on the doors and the galley. One time I forgot to lock the galley door. I can just imagine the mess on the road if that thing had popped open.

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  4. Thanks for the fantastic tips. I've been trying to set up my trailer for when I go on my camping trip. I'll have to use some of these tips when the day comes, thanks again.

    http://www.mikestowingandrepair.com/contact.html

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  5. These are some great tips for anyone new to trailers. I remember the first road trip I took with a trailer was very difficult. I couldn't park, I couldn't turn..it was a nightmare! I wish I would have found this article a few years back, it would have been very helpful to me then! Thanks for your tips. http://www.bradstrailer.com/contact-us

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    1. Thank you for your comment Sergio. Yes, I still have major problems backing up my trailer!

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