How to Prepare Your Pickup for Towing

If a trailer is not properly setup, the results could be disastrous

How to Prepare Your Pickup for Towing

By Eric White

Towing a recreational vehicle, otherwise known as an RV, with the use of a pickup truck, such a Ford Raptor, is not an easy process. Therefore, it is important for you to perform extensive preparations prior to your trip to ensure that the towing rig is secure. 

If a trailer is not properly setup, the results could be disastrous. The RV could become disconnected from the pickup, causing a major road accident. Moreover, poor preparation of the rig could translate into poor vehicle handling, instability and fuel inefficiencies. 

For the best towing experience, it is best to consider using these simple tips to prepare you for your journey. 

Tips for Towing Your RV Using a Pick-Up Truck

Understand Your Weight Ratings

Pickup trucks are designed and manufactured to provide towing support to a limited amount of weight. In simple terms, the towing capability of your vehicle is not infinite, so there are load capacity ratings imposed by the manufacturer to ensure safety.

One of the important weight ratings is the towing capacity. This figure refers to the total amount of weight that you can tow using a Ford Raptor or alternatives, usually the RV plus its cargo. However, it is also important to consider the gross vehicle weight rating. 

The GVWR is the total acceptable mass of the entire rig, including the RV, the truck, passengers and all the cargo. When planning your trip, ensure that you have taken these two ratings into account before starting the loading process. Also, you should know the tongue weight of your rig. This can be defined as the RV weight resting on the truck’s hitch. Ideally, this should be about ten per cent of the total trailer weight. If the load is higher, the rear suspension will be overloaded, and the truck will tilt backwards. 

Consider Installing Trailer Brakes 

Trailer Brakes

If you have a relatively older RV, you should consider purchasing and installing dedicated brakes for the trailer. In general, this is an important asset for improving safety on the road when towing heavy loads. However, it is also useful for lighter loads in case of unexpected driving conditions.

The trailer brake will be connected to the pickup truck, so you can conveniently slow and stop the trailer. This safety feature will reduce the strain on your truck’s brakes. When shopping for this accessory, ensure that the brake controller will perform in sync with the main brakes. 

Load Your RV Properly

You must load your trailer properly to ensure stability and ideal handling of the vehicle. As mentioned before, the tongue weight of your rig should be about ten per cent of the total trailer weight. Therefore, you should place the heavier loads in your trailer forwards so that the weight is in front of the axle. This will prevent the trailer from shifting or swaying, because the load will improve the connection at the hitch. Also, distribute the rest of the items in the RV in a centered configuration and tie them down to prevent unusual shifting. 


Good Sam Club
How to Setup Your Pickup Truck for TowingFord Raptor

There are great pickup trucks such as the Ford Raptor (pictured above) which are ideal for towing RVs. With the right tow vehicle and good preparation practices, you will find that towing is not too difficult. 

About The Author

Eric White is part of the team at 51st State Autos, the UK’s largest importer of American Pickup Trucks in the UK. 


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