It's summer in Seattle--which for many of us in the greater Puget Sound Region means getting outdoors and camping. We want to soak up as much of the heat and sun as we can before autumn's dreary rain sets in again, so some of us may find ourselves headed to one of the many local RV dealers to help us on our way.
Any new Recreational Vehicle owners who've forgone a motorhome to become the new owner of a trailer should first learn how to safely tow their RV. A reliable vehicle capable of transporting additional weight will be critical to your ability to tow your RV with safety and confidence. To check this, consult your car or truck's manual to learn about the towing capacity, and make sure you purchase an RV trailer that is within this weight range (expert tip: this will include everything you put inside of the RV, too!).
You must also learn how to properly hook up your trailer to your vehicle, and how to verify that the safety components--like the all-essential brake lights--are functioning properly. Consult Washington's laws about towing trailers, or, for a concise break down of the rules around towing, check out this website.
We know it's hard to do, but packing light may be beneficial for a safe towing experience. One gallon of water weighs eight pounds--so, RVshare points out, it might be helpful to fill up on water once you arrive at your camping destination. Put 60% or more of the weight in the front of the trailer, which wisely comes frontloaded with its heavier appliances to help your course stay straight and clear.
We Seattleites have one thing in common--when it's sunny, we want to rush outdoors. But don't rush too quickly. Plan ahead with your new RV and spend adequate time practicing hauling your trailer before you embark on a summer adventure. Practice changing lanes, accelerating, stopping and turning. To further prepare, make a towing check list to go over a couple of times before leaving home; then, check your list every time you stop for gas or a snack to make sure all of your safety equipment is still intact and functioning properly.
Most important: have a great summer! We here at Dean Standish Perkins & Associates wish you a fun and pleasurable PNW vacation. Enjoy your time outdoors, and please enjoy it safely.