Tow Cars and Towables – Part 2 – Bernice’s Tips

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September 24, 2008

Today in Part 2 of my series on Tow Cars and Towables, I give some general tips for using a trailer and begin my tips for towing a car behind your motorhome. If you haven’t begun towing a car yet, trust me when I say that once you give it a try, you’ll be glad you did!

Here are general tips for using a trailer:

  • Check the air pressure in your spare tires.
  • Use a checklist before driving away from home or a campsite.
  • Do a last walk around the rig, looking under and over for missed details.
  • Torque the lug nuts on the wheels.
  • Check turn signals and brake, four-way, backup, and running lights every time you hook up the trailer to your vehicle.
  • When driving, keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front. If you can read the license plate of the vehicle in front of you, you are too close.
  • Keep to the right when being passed by trucks.
  • Don’t drive in the blind spot of trucks.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Keep your CB radio and cell phone in good working order. Pay attention to weather conditions.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or two hours to keep alert and get circulation.
Be safe, be courteous, be patient, be calm, be friendly, and enjoy!
– William Bucher, Biglerville, PA
Put white lithium grease on the trailer ball. It helps stop squeaking and rust and is a good ground for the wiring. – Richard Hayden, Leonardtown, MD

Towing a Car

  • Be sure your tow car is attached safely. While parked on a level place, measure to make sure that the center of the ball on the motorhome hitch is about an inch and a half higher than the pivotal point on the tow bar attached to the car. This keeps the car from pole vaulting into the motorhome during a sudden stop.
  • If you want to be independent and not inconvenience others when caravanning, tow a car yourself.
  • When towing a car, allow 100 feet or more for braking because you have two vehicles to stop instead of one. Towing a car also affects how closely you should follow another vehicle.

Next week I’ll conclude the series with some final tips to use when towing a car.

Bernice Beard

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3 comments

  1. In 1989-90 when my mother and I toured all 50-states (www.huson-travel-letters.com), I pulled a Chevy Nova behind our 1972 Class A Landau. Although there were wiring connections between the two for lights, signals, brakes, etc. , there was no ADDITIONAL braking system in the car.

    I’m now retired in a Class C and debate whether or not to tow my Saturn ION. The issue is that I’m told I would now need an AUXILIARY braking system in the car which doubles (at least) the cost of hitching to two together.

    Is this really a legal requirement now? Or just a recommendation?

  2. Jim

    Auxiliary brake systems work and all who tow a vehicle behind a motorhome should use one. Believe me they are worth the money. Also check with your insurance. If you are in an accident and no toad brake system you might not have coverage……

  3. David Dively

    Any suggestions on the best rock guards/grass skirts to use on the rear of the motor home to protect the toad? Links would be appreciated. Feel free to email me directly if appropriate. [email protected]