Towing A Large Trailer

IMG_0530When I first started towing our trailer, I was petrified. Here was our home and I am responsible for making sure it isn’t destroyed in transit. I also have to make sure that everyone in the family is safe while we travel across the country. I don’t regret getting a large trailer though, since we are living out of it. I have had the chance to park in a pull through, do a blind back up, backed up into a space only a foot larger than our trailer, taken it on a mountain path on the edge of a cliff, and of course had to navigate tons of road construction sites. There are somethings I learned along the way that I thought I should pass on to anyone else who wants to tow a travel trailer.

My best friend explained backing up to me and it makes the most sense. I have always been good at backing up and have done a good job with Sarah’s help backing up our home. My friend explained to me though that when you back up the trailer you drive from the other end of the trailer. The next time I was backing up it dawned on me that he hit the nail right on the head. When you start to back up with a trailer it is hard to figure out which way to turn the tow vehicle wheels to make the trailer do what you want. If you pay attention to the back end of the trailer though and act as though you are driving it, then it is easy to turn the wheels on the tow vehicle the right way.

We use walkie talkies to back up and it has made our lives easier. Sarah can stand out behind the trailer and give me verbal instructions on what needs to happen. I don’t have to watch her hand signals and can instead focus on watching the trailer and on the side she isn’t on. If you don’t have a pair of walkie talkies, then it would be worth the price to buy them as long as you have┬ásomeone to assist you.

The main thing about towing a large trailer is take it slow! You have to plan ahead and it takes three times longer to stop or turn. Sweeping wide is a definite must and looking ahead so that you don’t get stuck helps. I could go on and on about hitch weights, anti-sway devices, brake controllers, loading the trailer and more, but I don’t know if anyone wants the info. Comment below if you have questions and I will answer them to the best of my ability. Also if anyone wants to see a certain type of post or specific content, just let us know. This page is for us to share and if you let us know what you want we will try to provide.

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8 thoughts on “Towing A Large Trailer

  1. I’ve got a 2006 Infiniti QX56 which is almost mechanically identical to your Armada. Every trailer we like would put us near the limit on the tongue weight, gvwr, etc. What model trailer do you have?

    • We use the Anderson hitch because it only weighs 65lbs which keeps our tongue weight under spec. Our trailer is a Rockwood Ultralight 2905ws.

      • Specs I find online are 6970 lbs dry, 834 lbs hitch, 8400 lbs gross. It’s good to hear that you’re doing fine with this combo. Thanks for your reply.

        • Yeah and the Armada’s specs are 9300 lbs towing with 930 lbs. hitch weight. The Anderson Hitch weighs 65 lbs, so we are sitting at 899 lbs. I did install a suspension enhancement system made by Timbren and it definitely helped our tow experience.

  2. looked up Hagerman. very cool. fossil beds possibly a must see? bring me back one.
    No—just kidding. All is well here. So hot. We might go down to see Neal soon.

    • I wish we could, but collecting fossils is illegal. We took pictures and will share those though. There are fires all around us and the places we will be going soon, but I guess that is the entire west portion of the country!

    • We bought an Anderson anti-sway device because it was greaseless, not as noisy, and only weighed 65 lbs. It came with a ball that can be flipped to give 4″ height adjustment in each direction, so you can get your towable level with the vehicle. We also purchased an electronic brake controller and installed it, plus I recently bought and installed a Timbren suspension enhancement system and installed it. All of these things help and are a must with a trailer the size we have, but it is still a 30 foot box behind us that is 8 feet wide.

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