It’s summer and the time when many people pull their boat or RV out for the first time of the season. But before you take that recreational vehicle on the road, you need to make sure it’s roadworthy! According to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, here are the ten things you need to do before you take off for that next camping or boating adventure.
Top 10 Trailer Safety Tips for Boats & RV’s
- CHECK YOUR BRAKES! Not sure how? Check out the info below including videos and links below for more information.
- Make sure the vehicle you’ve chosen is capable of hauling the trailer and everything you plan to stow in it. Underpowered vehicles aren’t just slower on the road; they may not be able to stop the weight of that trailer either.
- Make sure all lights are in operating correctly. Make sure the brake lights come on when the brake pad is depressed. Turn signals work appropriately, and backup lights come on when the transmission is put into reverse.
- Verify the safety chains are in good condition and crossed when connected to the tow vehicle. Don’t forget safety pins and clips.
- Check that the vehicle license and/or trip permits are current and don’t expire until after your journey.
- Check your hitch and make sure it’s greased and connecting properly. Trailers with 3-inches or more of sag or “tongue low” need to be adjusted to eliminate trailer sway and wiggle.
- Inspect your lug nuts and check the tire pressure. Are your tires over 10-years old? It’s time to replace them. Old tires are a leading cause of blowouts on trailers.
- For truck mounted campers, make sure the connections and turnbuckles are properly lubricated and secure.
- Before you head out, make sure to properly secure all windows, awnings, and other exterior equipment.
- Are your propane tanks properly secured and connected? They should also be checked for leaks. Did you know that many RV dealers and store will do a leak check for free? Call ahead to be certain the retailer near you offers this life-saving service.
More about RV Trailer Safety
How to Check Your RV Trailer Brakes
A quick RV how-to project to show how to check and care for your RV Trailer brakes; something you should do every year.
More About Boat Trailer Safety
How Boat Trailer Brakes Work & How To Inspect (Quick Short Tutorial) video
Light Truck and Trailer Trip Inspections
The proper way to hook up a small trailer and test the electric break-away system.
Also, check out the Boater’s World Trailer and Tow Vehicle Checklist which includes things you may not have thought of. For instance, a 6-foot length of chain to secure the axle to the trailer frame getting you from being stuck on the side of the road to being able to limp along to the next exit and help. You’ll also find an informative article on Trailer TLC which includes the things you should do mid-season to keep your boat trailer in peak condition.
Now that your RV or Boat Trailer is in peak condition, where to go? In Washington, we have plenty of fantastic places to camp and boat.