5 Safety Tips for Towing Your Car

Towing your car behind your RV is one of the best ways to travel because you get the comfort of the RV as well as the ease of driving a small vehicle anytime you need a quicker way around town. Driving a big rig can be a bit of a challenge, and towing a vehicle behind your RV may even seem daunting. Although you can't control everything about your road trip, you can take certain precautions to ensure the safety of your vehicle on the road.

1. Double Check the Lights

It is essential that you understand the exterior lighting system on your RV and make sure that all of your RV lights are working properly before connecting a tow dolly. After you have connected the lighting system on the tow dolly to the lighting system on the RV, it is essential to have someone stand behind the tow dolly and make sure that all of the lights are connected properly. This includes brake lights, tail lights and turn signals. Do not tow a vehicle of any kind on your tow dolly if the lights are not working properly. You may have to have a technician show you how to hook up the lights the first time if you are unfamiliar with vehicle lighting systems.

2. Don't Exceed the Weight Rating

Anyone who owns or drives an RV should know what the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of their RV is and take care not to exceed it. The weight rating is usually listed on a plate on the outside of the vehicle. You can look this information up online if the plate on your vehicle is missing. The plate will also list the weight of your vehicle when it is empty. You can estimate the RV's weight after it is packed for a trip, but it is better to take your RV to a truck stop where there are scales big enough to weigh your unit. Then you will know for sure if it meets the GVWR and you can make adjustments before you have gone too far down the road.

3. Check Hitches and Brakes

It’s important to check the condition of your hitch every time you connect it to a tow dolly and before each trip to make sure it is in good repair. Major accidents have occurred on freeways because a tow dolly was not properly secured behind an RV and managed to come loose while it was traveling down the road. Avoid major damage and injury to other motorists and their vehicles simply by checking hitches and brakes every time you gear up to travel.

4. Don’t Compromise on Quality of Tow Dolly Parts

If you’re going to invest in a tow dolly, do it right. Two important elements of a quality car tow dolly are disc brakes (instead of drum brakes) and sealed bearings (instead of unsealed bearings).
Disc brakes are superior to drum brakes for two main reasons. First, they stay cooler than drum brakes, even in situations like driving down a hill where you might need to “ride” the brakes for an extended period of time. Because of this, they last longer. Second, they repel water more efficiently than drum brakes, making them safer for unexpected weather conditions. Cool and dry brakes are safe brakes.
Sealed bearings are superior to unsealed bearings because they require less maintenance, last longer, and enable a smoother ride. With sealed bearings, lubrication stays in while debris and water stay out. Sealed bearings will need to be replaced every so often, but they work better for a longer period of time than unsealed bearings.
Disc brakes and sealed bearings aren’t only important for the vehicle you’re driving; they’re essential for your tow dolly as well.

5. Allow Extra Following Distance

Recreational vehicles that are towing vehicles behind them are some of the largest vehicles on the road. Large, heavy vehicles take much longer to stop than regular passenger cars and trucks. This means that anyone who is driving a motorhome should leave plenty of space in front of them so that they have time to stop without hitting anything if the vehicle in front of them stops suddenly. They should also pay close attention to the vehicles around them and make sure they have plenty of space and have given other drivers proper warning before changing lanes. Reduce road rage and potential accidents by staying in the slow lane. You’ll maintain better fuel economy that way as well.
It's always important to make sure your equipment is in good working order before each trip. It is also essential that you know your vehicle's weight rating and don't exceed it. Always leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you and be extra cautious when switching lanes. By taking heed to these simple precautions you can avoid major accidents and create safe and secure travel every time you tow your car.
 

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