Towing an RV Travel Trailer Tip – Load Distribution

Once the weather starts getting nice, people all across North America hook up their travel trailers and head off on camping vacations. Sounds lovely. But one thing that most drivers don’t think about is how they load their trailer, which is hugely important.

Time and time again, RV camping trailers sway out of control, flip over and sometimes flip the vehicle being used to tow the trailer. These RV trailers can be massive. You are basically towing a small house behind you. All the ammenities of home being towed behind you to your campsite of choice.

Improperly loaded trailers can easily sway out of control

What drivers don’t realize is just how important load distribution is when it comes to towing any type of trailer safely. Most RV trailers have large holding tanks for holding fresh water, grey water and black water (human waste). When full, this could be hundreds of pounds already added to your trailer. Often some of these tanks are located behind the rear axles. This meains that when you load your trailer with cargo, you need to load most of it forward of the rear axles.

Ideally, your trailer should be loaded with 60% of the weight forward of the axles and 40% behind them. This will minimize the dreaded “Trailer Sway” and make it easier to recover from when it enevitably happens.

Trailer Sway occures when the trailer is hit by a gust of wind or when the driver does a quick lane change. Even hitting a dip in the roadway can start the oscilation. If the trailer is properly loaded, the the oscilation will usually recover on it’s own. If the driver hits the brakes, it will get worse though. If the trailer is weighted heavier behind the axles, the sway will often get worse and can result in a crash.

This is why your vehicle should also be equiped with a trailer brake controller within reach of the driver. When sway occurs, the driver can apply the brakes to ONLY the trailer, which acts like an anchor in the back, bringing the trailer under control. As a rule of thumb, if you’re towing a trailer over 2500pds, you should have a brake controller equiped in the tow vehicle.

Many drivers figure that if their vehicle can tow 5000pds (as an example), that they can safely tow a 5000pd trailer. But that is the maximum under ideal conditions and weight distribution must still be accounted for. Installing a brake controller for the trailer is still recommended. It is also very easy to overload your trailer without realizing it.

If you are new to towing a trailer of any kind, but especially a travel trailer, start off by getting some sound advice from people in the industry. Make sure your trailer doesn’t exceed the towing capacity of the tow vehicle. Ensure that the cargo is weighted more to the front of the axles than behind them. Install a brake controller and know how to use it.

Additional tips…Ensure your chains are crossed so that should the trailer break free from the hitch, the chains will craddle the tongue. Ensure your chains aren’t dragging on the ground. Make sure the ball hitch is the proper size for the receiver on the trailer. Don’t exceed the maximum toungue weight of the hitch. Ensure all your lights are functional prior to any trip. It’s a good idea to check them every time before you start any drive, even during a trip as the wires can be easily damaged by road debris.

Hopefully these tips help ensure that your trip doesn’t end in disaster. Happy trails and be safe.

New Hope for 5th Scale RC Racing in Ontario

After the Canadian RC Nationals of 2018, the 5th Scale community fell into a slump. The Canadian RC Nationals are held at Walton Raceway, which is first and foremost a MotoCross track and only used by the 5th Scale RC racers that one weekend a year. So it’s not a venue we can just go and race at or practice on whenever we want. The only track we could use was RCAcres…

11th Annual Lupus Grand Prix

Words of wisdom by driving coach/instructor Shaun de Jager Photo by Rob Beintema, Courtesy of The Brampton Guardian

This year started with a charity event raising money for Princess Margaret Hospital while going for a Guinness World Record and now I’m entered in the Lupus Grand Prix, a charity event for Sick Kids Hospital. See Press Release below…

For Immediate Release
Date: Thursday September 27, 2018
Toronto, Canada

Formula Kartways Sponsers Go-Karting Teams in Lupus Grand Prix for Sick Kids Toronto, Saturday October 20th, 2018

In an attempt to raise funds for the Lupus clinic at Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital, Formula Kartways of Brampton to date has entered 3 teams in the 11th Annual Lupus Grand Prix. The 90-minuteteam endurance race in outdoor go karting will take place on Saturday October 20th, 2018 at Goodwood Kartways 5200 2nd Concession, Stouffville, Ontario Canada L4A 7X4.

Drivers for Formula Kartways include Matt Hayley who broke the Guinness World Record earlier this year for most laps for indoor go karting in 24hrs (certification pending) & Shaun de Jager, Matt’s coach for the Guinness attempt, advanced instructor and former Pro racecar driver. Teams raise money through pledges to determine their starting position for the race and all of these funds go directly to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children Pediatric Lupus Clinic where 60-70 new cases of Lupus are diagnosed in children and teens each year.

Lupus is an auto-immune disease where the immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissues. It is a potentially fatal disease capable of damaging virtually any part of the body. In the most severe forms of this disease it can cause disfiguring rashes and scarring, miscarriages, kidney, heart and lung failure, strokes, seizures, and heart attacks. Sick Kids Lupus clinic commenced operation in 1986. Today Dr. Earl Silverman and his team treat 200+ patients every year including 50-60 new diagnoses annually. The average age of these patients is 12-13yrs. It is the largest pediatric SLE Clinic in the world, the first combined rheumatology/nephrology clinic for either pediatric or adult and they see more new untreated SLE patients than any other center in Canada including adult centers.

Over the past 10 years the Lupus Grand Prix has donated over $140,000 to the Clinic. The Hospital for Sick Children has recognized the contribution made by the Lupus Grand Prix with a plaque on their Donor Wall.

Organizer Bill Bryan founded Lupus GP in 2007 to raise funds for this relentless, indiscriminate disease when his mentor Pat was diagnosed with Lupus. Pat consistently perseveres through the pain and fatigue of her Lupus to volunteer her time to motorsports marshalling. The first Lupus Grand Prix was held in 2008and has been growing annually.

This will be the first year Formula Kartways will be sponsoring teams and inviting their customers to participate. Spectators are welcomed and encouraged. There will be raffles and donations will be accepted on site. It is free to attend. Anyone wanting to contribute to the success of Formula Kartways’ teams at the Lupus GP and support this worthy cause can make a donation on team captain Shaun de Jager’s page here.
https://www.sickkidsdonations.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=4289457&langPref=en-CA
Tax receipts will be issued.

-30-Media contact: Dulce Barbosa
M: 416 888 3550
E: dbpromochick@gmail.com