There are many different RV hitch add-ons that you can outfit your hitch with to make towing your RV easier and safer. These add-ons can eliminate braking problems, weight distribution issues, and dangerous swaying. Here is a guide to RV hitch add ons and their uses!
Brake controllers are meant to help slow the trailer at the same speed as the tow vehicle. If they do not slow at the same speed, the pressure from the trailer on the tow vehicle can make braking hard and even cause some serious control issues when trying to keep it straight. The brake controller helps to coordinate with the trailer brakes to ensure a smooth stop. There are two different kinds you can get.
Proportional Brake Controllers
This one actually uses a motion sensor to determine how much force is needed to stop. It then relays this to the trailer and applies the amount of force needed to the trailer for the same stopping distance.
Time-Delayed Brake Controllers
This system is set in place before hitting the road. This works by calibrating the stopping power of the vehicle with the trailer so the braking systems can work side by side. There is a delay between when the brakes are applied in the tow vehicle and when the brakes in the trailer activate and the driver can adjust this.
The brakes on your trailer need to be adjusted to ensure you are getting the proper amount of pressure as they wear. If they are not adjusted, they will not work properly and you could end up with a dangerous situation. To save yourself the headache of having to remember to get them adjusted, you can have a self-adjusting brake system added to your trailer. These will automatically adjust your brakes so they are performing at their best at all times.
Have you ever seen a vehicle pulling a trailer and it's sagging right at the hitch? This is because the weight isn’t distributed properly between the hitch, trailer, and tow vehicle. Too much weight is being put on the rear axle of the tow vehicle and this is causing it to sag. This can put a lot of strain on the vehicle and negatively affect towing and steering control. You can get a weight distribution system that will help evenly distribute that weight to the front axles of the tow vehicle, as well as the axles of the trailer. This spring loaded system will even everything out and help reduce sway. If your trailer weight is more than half of your tow vehicle’s weight, you’ll know beforehand that you want to get a weight distribution system. Other ways to test it visually once it’s hooked up are to look for sagging at the rear of the tow vehicle or headlights that are pointing up. If you experience sway or have a hard time stopping or steering when towing, weight distribution may be the cause.
Even a proportionally distributed trailer weight can experience sway. This can be caused by winds, road conditions, or uneven weight inside the trailer. To remedy this, you will want to get sway control. There are two different types of systems you will want to evaluate, and it will depend greatly on the hitch you have and if you have a weight distribution system already in place.
Reduce the sway once it starts with one of these friction-based systems. When friction starts, these provide tension and help limit the amount of sway you will experience. There is an independent friction system and a dependent 2-point control system. Check in the owner’s manual of your hitch and trailer to determine which of these are the best to choose.
These bars that run down the side of the hitch will help keep the sway from even happening by applying friction or tension to both the tow vehicle and the trailer to keep them in line. You can get a dual-cam or a 4-point sway control system. Which one you need will depend on the hitch you have as well as any weight distribution system that is already in place. Many weight distribution systems come with these already installed so you won’t need to add one.
Check out these RV hitch add-ons to help keep you and your family safe when out on the open road. Have them installed by a professional so they're in good working order and will do what they're designed to do.