Find out how to Hook Up a Journey Trailer


Towing a journey trailer takes a bit of getting used to if you’re new to it. All of it begins with studying learn how to hitch up a journey trailer accurately so that you assure a safe connection between your towable camper and your tow automobile.

Let’s cowl the whole lot you might want to know to hitch up your trailer correctly.

Journey Trailer Hitch Components Defined

Trailer Hitch Parts Graphic

Security Disclaimer: The opening within the hitch latch is the place your security pin must be put in. Solely tow with a security pin in place.

To grasp the components of a trailer hitch, it helps to know the components in your trailer’s tongue versus these in your tow automobile. So we’ve separated the components above that can assist you establish how this connection comes collectively.

Right here’s a quick synopsis of the hitch components on a journey trailer:

Tongue Jack: Offers a leg for the trailer’s tongue weight to relaxation on when disconnected and features to lift or decrease the tongue as wanted for hitching up or leveling your trailer. 

Trailer Coupler: The entrance part in your trailer’s tongue that attaches to the trailer ball and pivots for easy towing.

Hitch Latch: Holds the trailer coupler on the ball as soon as coupled.

Trailer Wiring Harness: Sometimes built-in into your tow automobile’s wiring, this harness connects to the trailer to furnish energy to lights, electrical brakes, and auxiliary energy. The connection is normally a 7-pin spherical connector or 4-way flat plug.

Breakaway Cable: A security cable that connects your trailer’s braking system to a tough level in your tow automobile. If this connection is damaged, the electrical brakes in your trailer will activate. 

Security Chains: Two heavy-duty chains that hook up with your tow automobile’s hitch receiver to forestall the trailer from utterly disconnecting if the coupler one way or the other disconnects from the ball.

Security Pin: The protection pin holds the hitch latch in place and stays with the trailer, whether or not related or disconnected from a tow automobile.

And listed here are the components in your tow automobile:

Trailer Hitch: Bolts onto your tow automobile to create a coupling level on your trailer.

Receiver Tube: An built-in part of the bolted trailer hitch that gives the connection level for the ball mount.

Ball Mount: A two-part accent comprising a shank and a trailer ball platform. The shank inserts into the receiver tube, and the platform supplies a mounting location for the trailer ball.

Hitch Pin: Inserts by means of the receiver tube to carry the shank in place. 

Trailer Ball: The hitch ball is the connection level for the trailer coupler to connect to the hitch in your tow automobile. They arrive in a number of customary sizes, so that you’ll want the fitting dimension to match your trailer’s coupler.

The graphic above outlines the assorted components of a journey trailer hitch. This picture does NOT embody a weight distribution hitch, which is a crucial accent for safer, extra environment friendly towing.

Be taught why you want a weight distribution hitch when you study the fundamentals of hitching up a journey trailer.

Find out how to Hitch Up a Journey Trailer

Earlier than we cowl the steps to hitch up a journey trailer, it’s essential that you just load your trailer correctly. Improper load distribution is a number one reason behind trailer sway and bounce. These signs create a way more harmful towing expertise.

So if you happen to’re not acquainted, try our video on learn how to safely load your journey trailer.

Now that your trailer is loaded correctly, listed here are your steps to hitch up a journey trailer:

Discover a companion to information you and line your tow automobile’s hitch ball up with the trailer’s coupler.

Ensure that wheel chocks are in place and lift stabilizing jacks if prolonged. Retract RV steps and slide-outs.

Take away the coupler pin and lock (if relevant) and open the latch.

Technician Tip: At this level, you should use your tongue jack to raise the unit again as much as verify that the coupler is accurately latched. This may also help when connecting weight distribution bars.

Elevate the trailer coupler till it’s larger than the trailer ball in your tow automobile.

Again up the tow automobile till it’s beneath the trailer coupler. Talk successfully along with your spotter, particularly in case your tow automobile lacks a backup digital camera.

Place the tow automobile in Park and set the Emergency brake. 

Decrease the trailer coupler onto the trailer ball and shut the latch. If the latch doesn’t shut simply, you could must barely push the trailer and tow automobile aside to seat the ball accurately. 

Safe the hitch pin, lock the latch, and clip the security chains to the receiver. Chains ought to kind an X from their mounting places on the trailer’s tongue to their clipped places in your automobile’s hitch receiver.

Connect the breakaway cable independently to a everlasting a part of the tow automobile that’s robust sufficient to face up to the vitality of the cable being pulled (i.e., The chain anchor loops in your truck’s hitch receiver). The connection have to be achieved with a robust locking machine like a fast hyperlink or a locking carabiner. 

Plug within the trailer wiring and lift the tongue jack to its most peak.

Security observe: The breakaway cable ought to by no means be woven by means of the security chain’s hyperlinks, or it should snap and never shut the swap.

And that’s it! However earlier than towing, you must:

Examine the trailer’s operating lights, brake lights, and switch alerts. 

Examine the settings in your tow automobile’s brake management to confirm the connection to the RV and that the settings are appropriate. Know and comply with the producer’s suggestions on your particular brake management. 

Shut propane containers and shut off all home equipment that run on propane when not related to an influence pedestal (i.e. fridge, furnace, water heater, range, and oven).

hitch-up-how-to-hitch-up-a-travel-trailer-06-2023 Photograph by Tenting World

Moreover, we extremely suggest putting in a weight distribution hitch and adjusting it correctly for safer trailer towing.

These further movies will allow you to with these further steps for secure trailer towing:

Together with your journey trailer hitched up safely, you’re prepared for the open highway. Listed here are a number of assets that can assist you discover lovely locations on your subsequent RV highway journey:

Do you will have any questions on hitching up a journey trailer? Tell us within the feedback beneath.


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