Some people dream about owning a camper and taking it on vacations with them whenever their heart desires an adventure. However, towing a camper with a vehicle that isn't properly maintained can easily result on a breakdown or—worse—the complete loss of control of both the vehicle and the camper the vehicle is towing. Here's what you need to know before hitting the roadways with your camper.
Losing control of the vehicle and the camper can easily cause an accident, which can lead to injuries or the loss of life. Because of this, it's important to know what types of system failures can cause you to lose control while on the road along with a few accident prevention tips so you can, hopefully, avoid losing complete control.
Bad Tires or Brakes Can Cause You to Lose Control
Of course, you already know the importance of keeping your tires properly inflated and making sure they are in good condition. But having a tire blow out will not cause you to lose complete control of your towing vehicle and trailer. You should still be able to apply the brakes and steer, at least somewhat.
You also already know about the importance of having good brakes, but even if the brakes go out entirely, you would likely still be able to steer the vehicle, although you would need to do so carefully. But already knowing these types of things doesn't always mean that they are acted upon. Make it a point to always check your tires and inspect your brakes before and during your excursions.
Accident prevention: If you start to feel a wobble or a sway while driving, pull over as soon as possible to check the air pressure in each tire. If you start noticing that it's more difficult to brake, it's safer to call a towing service to have the brakes inspected in a shop.
Drive Train Failures Can Result In Loss of Control
If components of your drive train fail while you are driving, you will more than likely be completely unable to control your vehicle and camper, particularly if your transfer case or differential blows out. The transfer case is what transfers power from the transmission to the differentials.
The differentials are located on both axles (one in the rear and another in the front) and are what tells the wheels to spin. This system also acts as a gear reducer, which helps your vehicle slow down and, therefore, save your brakes. If either of these components blow out, you will need to very firmly apply your brakes, almost to the point of actually standing up on your brake pedal.
There is fluid inside the differentials and the transfer case. Too many people don't realize that these fluids need to be changed and, sometimes, fluid needs to be added if there is a leak. If there isn't enough fluid in these crucial components or the fluid doesn't offer the necessary lubrication for the many gears and parts inside them, it can cause a blow out, literally. A blow out is when the small parts inside these components actually blows out of the casing.
Accident prevention: Ask your mechanic to check and change the fluids of your transfer case and differentials based on the information in your vehicle's owner's manual. If you start hearing a loud screech coming from underneath your vehicle, pull over as safely and as quickly as possible because that is a warning sign of a transfer case or a differential that's about to blow out. Do not attempt to drive the vehicle any further. Call a towing service.