When it comes to RV safety, there is no regulatory board to govern how RV’s are safely attached to the tow vehicles. Although there is legislation on safety procedures, the Department of Transport simply doesn’t have the manpower or recourses to mandate the number of RV’s on the roads today. This responsibility now falls on the shoulders of the operators to insure that they are towing according to this legislation. Unfortunately, for most us, we find out the hard way when we are pulled over by the authorities for some type of safety infraction.
Safety is a big part of camping, so don’ let the excitement of heading out, get in the way of taking your time to follow a few safety checks first.
For those who are new to trailering, you should implement a safety check list to follow as you hook up.
• Most equalizer hitches use a 2 5/16 ball size, so make sure your ball size is compatible. Common sizes are: 1 7/8, 2, and 2 5/16.
• Once the ball is attached to the RV coupler, lock the coupler, so that it doesn’t unlock during travel. There is usually a hole to insert a locking pin to secure this.
• Put a block of wood under the foot petal of the tongue jack and raise the tongue jack on the RV which also raises the tow vehicle. This process makes it easier to attach the torsion bar chains to the saddles on the RV. There should have a leverage bar the slides over a stud on the saddles which assists in fastening the chains. You may have to tow your RV a few times to determine the best chain link setting based on the performance of towing. It is called an equalizer hitch because the weight of the RV is distributed equally between the tow vehicle and the RV itself. The RV and tow vehicle should appear to be level. Lower the tongue jack to raise the foot pedal off the block of wood.
• The safety tow chains on the RV should be attached to the equalizer hitch on the tow vehicle. These chains must be CROSSED. This means, the RH chain on the RV must go to the LH loop hole on the tow vehicle and visa versa.
• The final step is to plug in the 7 pin connector from the RV to the tow vehicle. Check the operation of all exterior lights, and move the tow vehicle and ahead to test the operation of the electric brakes. Adjustments to the brakes can be made from the brake controller in the tow vehicle.
When you want to detach your RV, do the list in reverse order. Please note that the ball and coupler, should NEVER be detached when there is pressure on the torsion bars.
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