Special thanks to the Getaway Couple for these tips!
Many new RVers can find themselves in a situation where their bumper scrapes the ground, hits a curb, or loses a SnapPad by dragging their jacks. Not only does city life present hazards, but towing or driving your RV off-road comes with its risks too. Here a few tips and tricks to keep in mind the next time you take your RV on unlevel terrain to avoid accidents or mishaps during your travels.
Know Your Departure Angle
When towing your trailer or driving a motorhome through the city, it’s important to be aware of steep hills, be cautious around curbs, and pay very close attention to the angle of driveways. All of these suburban obstacles can be just as damaging as towing off-road!
“Departure angle” is the maximum angle your motorhome or trailer can descend without the tail dragging. If you are towing a trailer (or driving a motorhome) with a long overhang behind the rear wheels, you won’t be able to travel over very steep terrain without dragging the bottom. Or worse, getting your bumper stuck.
Always be aware of the distance between the RV’s tires and the bumper. Additionally, within this space, some larger RVs will have jacks. It’s important to ensure your jack is within your departure angle to prevent scraping or catching it on something!
Get Out And Look
If you’re feeling unsure of a situation or particular area, get out and look! This is the best and safest approach to towing on unlevel terrain. Sometimes dips and unlevel areas look much smaller while you’re in the vehicle. It’s much safer to get eyes on the situation than take a chance if your RV makes it.
Additionally, scouting an area will help you decide the best approach to take. If you have a passenger, have them stay outside to help you navigate over tricky terrain.
Ensure Your RV Is Towing Level
Ensuring your RV is towing level is essential when taking your fifth wheel, toy hauler, or travel trailer on unlevel terrain! If the front end of your RV trailer is lower, you increase the risk of scraping your hitch or getting hung up on an unlevel spot. If the rear of your trailer is lower, you increase the risk of scraping the underside of your RV.
Keeping your RV level will put less stress on your RV, hitch, and tow vehicle while traveling over uneven terrain. Towing level will also ensure the contents inside your RV stay level and prevent damaging your personal belongings.
Add Skid Wheels To Your Bumper
Skid wheels mount to the undercarriage of your RV and on the bumper to help prevent damage. With skid wheels, your RV undercarriage will roll off the ground instead of scrape and cause damage.
Skid wheels help prevent you from getting stuck, too, because they roll when they come in contact with the ground. Skid wheels are an excellent investment if you plan to do a lot of RV towing off-road!
Keep Your Trailer Load Light And Balanced
Keeping your trailer load light and balanced is always a good idea, driving on unlevel terrain or not. Having your trailer load light and adequately balanced makes a more comfortable towing experience. It also places less stress on your tow vehicle and hitch. Finally, it helps you maneuver your trailer over steep angles and rocky terrain.
You can tow a trailer on unlevel terrain and even off-road, but it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and know your RVs limit!