Getting a fifth wheel trailer for the first time can be an exciting thing, especially for those starting retirement and looking to travel a lot more. Unfortunately, the practicality of driving with a fifth wheel trailer can be a bit daunting if you have never done it before. Before you set off on your first excursion, consider these tips for driving with your fifth wheel trailer.
Practice Before Your Trip
The best way to learn how to do anything is with practice. Before you hit the road, take your fifth wheel trailer to an open space where you can practice maneuvering with it. Parking lots work great, since you do not have to worry about traffic or other cars. The parking space lines will also give you a reference for how long it will take to brake as you get used to the additional length and weight.
Understand How The Weight Affects Your Drive
You will not be used to all of the additional weight that you will be towing at first. You'll no longer be able to stop as quickly as you used to, and even doing basic maneuvers on the road will be different.
For example, changing lanes should be done in a deliberate and steady motion. If you change lanes too quickly, you'll find yourself needing to adjust as the fifth wheel starts to fishtail on the road. You will also need to give yourself more room to stop. There are electric brakes on the trailer, but they are not as effective as the brakes on your car when driving alone.
Don't Drive With Distractions
Because of the additional weight, reaction time will be much more limited. Even having an additional second to react to other drivers on the road is crucial, so make a greater effort to avoid using your phone, adjusting your radio, or reading a map while the vehicle is in motion.
Use Your Mirrors
Your most helpful asset when towing a fifth wheel trailer is your vehicle's mirrors. Now may be the time to upgrade the mirrors on your vehicle if the current ones are on the small side.
It helps to have a mirror that is tall enough so you can see the entire side of your fifth wheel, which includes the trailer's wheels, so that you can spot a tire blow out if it happens when driving. A secondary fish eye mirror will help you see your blind spot, which will help deal with the additional length of your vehicle with the trailer.
With these tips in mind, you'll be sure to have safe travels with your fifth wheel trailer. for more information, contact companies like Brad's Trailer Supply.