Top Tips for Fifth-Wheel First-Timers
by Nicole Michael
Being a “fifth wheel” at a party actually has its benefits! When it comes to tailgating before and after a game, the person who has the storage space and sleeping quarters is always the winner. But if you’re brand new to hauling an RV such as a fifth-wheel on the road, it may seem daunting at first. Here are some beginners’ tips for towing that will have you “taking the fifth” in no time!
- The art of towing – Fifth-wheel trailers are popular due to their ease of use. When hitched to the back of a four-wheel truck, it’s almost like they become a part of the vehicle, hence their name. And with the ability to pivot, fifth-wheels can adjust to changing road conditions such as bumps, curves and potholes.
- The fifth’s dimensions – Before you tow, make sure you know the size and weight of your fifth-wheel. Find out not only the trailer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), but also the limits of your tow vehicle (check the manual) and hitch before you hit the road and end up, literally, up a hill with no way down!
- Take it easy – Speaking of which, be mindful of mountains and changes in altitude – and other tough terrain in general – that can put strain on your tow vehicle’s transmission.
- Mirror, mirror – In addition to your truck’s rearview and side mirrors, tow mirrors are a must for keeping track of your trailer’s movement and ability to clear distances while driving. If your truck didn’t come with these mirrors, you can buy them for temporary or permanent installation.
- Ride like the wind – High winds can threaten not only the stability of your trailer, but also put a major strain on your gas mileage. It is often recommended to try not to tow your fifth-wheel in winds higher than 30 miles per hour.
- The more you tow – Finally, as with anything, practice makes perfect! From hitching the trailer up to towing it behind your truck, follow your instruction manuals and, as your comfort level grows, safely make any minor adjustments that best fit your travel style.
And before you head out on the road with your fifth-wheel to tailgate or camp, remember you can always speak with a Foremost agent to shop for coverages so you can protect the things you tow.