Feature Highlight: Towing For Newbies
Towing anxiety can be the biggest concern to first-time travel trailer buyers. So if you feel that way, let’s get you up to speed why it’s different in a Bowlus.
First off, some towing information. Tow capacity refers to the amount of weight a vehicle can tow when pulling a trailer. Your tow vehicle owner’s manual will provide you with the amount of weight you can safely tow, or you will be able to determine your specifications by asking your dealer. You should also pay attention to the tongue weight. The tongue is a device that connects the trailer to the towing vehicle. You should never exceed your tow vehicle’s tongue weight; it will also be listed in the specs. For the Bowlus, you are looking for your tow vehicle to tow 4,000 lbs. and have a hitch weight of 300 lbs or more.
Traditionally hitching a travel trailer is challenging. Along with superb backing-up skills, you often need to break a sweat to get the hitch, weight equalization, and other equipment connected and secured. With a Bowlus, even a small adult (sub-five feet) can pull over the Bowlus and hitch it if they don’t feel like backing up. And because the Bowlus is properly weighted, the remaining cables are easy to hitch, with no superhuman strength required.
Once completing your circle check, you’re on your way to your next adventure. The Bowlus tracks easily behind your vehicle, and when entering or exiting for a fuel/power stop, you’ll never see sparks fly because of the clever 10-degree departure angle on the tail of the Bowlus. You’ll also have clear sightlines on both sides of your Bowlus using your regular side mirror, and if you’re driving an SUV, you’ll probably enjoy the clear view through the Bowlus door and out the tail eye windows. You also do not need to worry about parking since you only require two tandem spots. So there is no need to park in the Siberia of the lot for fear you’ll be blocked. Now you’ve arrived at your destination. You’ve often got the choice to “pull-through,” which means no backing up. So here’s the secret:
- Hold the steering wheel in the 6 o’clock position. This makes it much easier to visualize which way to steer your Bowlus. Moving your hand to the left will cause your Bowlus to go to the left, and moving your hand to the right will steer the Bowlus to the right. Want to back up straight, don’t move the steering wheel. A quick hint is to give yourself enough “room” to move back to feel free to pull forward 20 feet if you can.
- Use your side mirrors to keep track of your Bowlus’ movements. The Bowlus allows excellent visuals with your standard mirrors but also feel free to look over your shoulder to watch your Bowlus’ movement.
- Think of your tow vehicle pushing your Bowlus. Don’t think of them moving together as a complete unit. Instead, visualize the back end of your vehicle pushing the coupler (hitch connection) of the Bowlus much like you would if you were hand moving your Bowlus with the jockey wheel. If you want the Bowlus to turn right, you have to push the handles to the left and vice versa. A little practice in an open parking lot will make this all second nature.
Now you can unhitch if you want, set up the stabilizer jacks and any connections, and enjoy your destination!