With many pickup trucks and SUVs advertising towing capacity, owners of these vehicles probably want to get the most out of it. Buying a travel trailer can be a great investment for those who like to go on vacation, but those who own these vehicles will have to be sure they know how to hook it up to a trailer hitch.
To start, ensure that the trailer and truck are on a flat, level surface. For safety's sake, be sure to block off the wheels to the trailer so it doesn't roll. Many drivers do not take this step, but it could result in serious damage to both vehicles or even injury.
Be sure that the hitch and the kingpin on the travel trailer are at the correct height. You should be able to easily visualize the travel trailer fitting over the top of the round ball on top of the hitch. If the height is off, both the travel trailer and the hitch on your truck are adjustable, so be sure you get things to the right height, making sure to keep both vehicles level while you do so.
It's useful to have a second person assisting you with hooking up a travel trailer, as someone will have to be backing up the truck or SUV and won't be able to see exactly where the hitch is. Once you have the height figured out, slowly back the vehicle up to the trailer until the hitch fits easily underneath. Then lower the trailer's weight down on top of the hitch and lock it into place.
If you have some type of weight distribution system, such as tow bars, now would be the time to install them. These can vary depending on their style and the trailer in question, so it's best to follow the instructions that came with the product.
Next, attach the safety chains and the electric cable. The safety chains are built to breakaway in case of an emergency, ensuring that the trailer will dislodge from your vehicle before it ends up in your pickup bed or trunk. The electrical wiring is to ensure that the brake lights on the trailer activate when the brakes are pressed on the pickup. Use your second person to check the brake lights as you test this out.
Finally, be sure to raise the landing gear and take the wheel blocks off before you hit the road.