The Best RV Must Haves to Invest In

sway controlAre you a camping aficionado? Lucky for you, there are more than 16,000 public and privately owned campgrounds nationwide, according to the latest figures. So if you have an RV, it is time to roam the campsites from sea to shining sea. But before you go, make sure to equip your camper with some of these necessary RV accessories and tools.

A solar device charger
It is no secret that there is a lack of plugs on your RV. To bypass this, bring along a solar device charger. After all, power is always available when the sun is out! These battery packs just need some time in the bright sun, and they’ll provide hours of power to your handheld devices.

Walkie-Talkies
Two-way radios are a must-have for any group of campers to keep track of each other at all times. They’re great for keeping in touch in large campsites, during hikes, and even when it’s dark outside so you won’t have to constantly shout.

Sway control hitch
For ease of comfort when driving, you will want to invest in a trailer hitch sway control. This little device will prevent your RV from swaying on the road, which is a significant safety risk. It also works as a brake controller, as the RV sway control system provides simultaneous braking when sway is detected.

A bike
Don’t forget that your camper is only a vessel to get you from one destination to the other. You will want to explore the different campsites you end up at, so make sure to get an all-terrain bike to bring you wherever you want to go.

Tankless air compressor
You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road when you have a flat tire. A tankless air compressor takes up very little space and will be a lifesaver when you are in the middle of nowhere.

Flameless operated candles
Not only are these accessories great for decoration, they are a great source of light. They are also perfect to be used around kids to prevent any burns, and are good if you want to sit under a canopy in the rain.

Folding step stool
Everything is higher than you’d like it to be on an RV. Having a small, folding step stool will help you fiddle around with the awning, reach high cabinets, wash your RV, and pitch a tent.

Keep stock of these RV must-haves and you will be good to go for your next camping vacation!

Tips for Pulling a Trailer Safely

brake controllerTowing a trailer behind your vehicle takes some getting used to. It’s not as fluid as simply driving a car, so there are a few tips and tricks to be learned before you start hauling.

  • First things first, before you get behind the wheel, make sure to check your state’s driver handbook for road rules of operating a trailer. Many states require operators to stay in the far right lane, for example. You can obtain a driver handbook through your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Secure the trailer hitch correctly. For a ball hitch, the tongue on the trailer (the metal piece in front of the trailer) should fit over the towing vehicle’s hitch and should be secured with a locking mechanism. Sway control hitches are recommended in order to better control the tow behind you. Weight distribution hitches are also available, and should be used for heavier tows that exceed half of the towing vehicle’s weight.

    There is a locking mechanism on the hitch that should have a locking pin for extra security. If the tow isn’t locked correctly, the trailer could come loose and hit a vehicle behind you. Pull the trailer connection upward to see if it detaches before you continue with anything else.

  • Set up your electronic trailer brake controller according to the manual. The brake controller device, which should be installed in the cab of your vehicle, activates the trailer’s electric or electric-over-hydraulic brakes whenever you press the brakes in the tow vehicle. If the trailer brake wiring was not pre-installed in your vehicle, you’ll have to purchase a separate brake controller system.
  • Be sure to check the brake lights and signals after you’ve connected the electrical wires from the trailer to the vehicle. Pro tip: If no one is around to tell you if the brake lights and signals work, find a reflective surface, like another car or a window, to check the signals in your rearview mirror.

    If your signals and lights don’t work in the dark, other vehicles won’t be able to see you at all. Checking your lights right before you get on the road is a crucial part of preparation.

  • Especially if this is your first time towing a trailer, it’s a good idea to practice maneuvering the vehicles in an open lot. After making sure there are no obstructions, practice backing up and making left and right-hand turns, as well as stopping the vehicle — to gauge how long it will take your trailer to come to a complete halt.

    Make sure that you avoid jackknifing, especially when backing up. Jackknifing is when the angle between the vehicle and trailer is less than 90 degrees, forming a V-shape. This can severely damage both the hitch and trailer. If you feel like you’re close to jackknifing, pull your vehicle forward to straighten out. Keep your steering wheel movement to a minimum and guide the trailer gently.

Hayes Towing Electronics has the most advanced brake controlling systems available; they are easy to set up and don’t require hard-wiring to your tow vehicle. If you have a heavy load to tow, contact us for the most secure brake systems available.