Operating Your Airstream
Hitching up your trailer is something that will become almost second nature with practice. Proper training on connecting your trailer to a tow vehicle is essential for safety. Please see your dealer or other qualified personnel for instruction on the proper hitching of your trailer. Safety chain use on the hitch are required in all states.
When you tow a trailer, you are subject to new and different challenges on the highway than you may have previously encountered. Towing a trailer is no small responsibility and should be undertaken with great care and an eye toward safety first. An accident with a tow vehicle and trailer can have much greater consequences than carelessness with a small car. Like an airline pilot who is responsible for expensive equipment and many lives, you should take your responsibilities as a tow vehicle driver very seriously and learn all you can about doing the job safely and well. Balancing the load and preparing the trailer and tow vehicle are critical to safe handling.
We want every owner to be a safe and courteous driver. A few hours of towing practice in a large empty supermarket lot will make pulling your trailer over the road much easier. Line out two corners for left and right turns. You may also use these corners to practice backing and parking. Remember that the trailer wheels will not follow the path of the tow vehicle wheels; therefore, wider turns are necessary when turning to the left or to the right.
On freeways or expressways, try to pick the lane you want and stay in it. Always maintain plenty of space between you and the car ahead, at least the length of the tow vehicle plus trailer for every ten miles per hour. Remember that in order to pass another vehicle you will need longer to accelerate. You must also allow for the length of the trailer when returning to the right hand lane.
When backing up, the important thing to remember is to do everything slowly and to correct immediately if you see the trailer turning the wrong way. Concentrate on the rear of the trailer. With your tow vehicle and trailer in a straight line, back up slowly and turn the bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go. Watch out the window or in the mirror until the rear of the trailer is pointing in the desired direction. Your tow vehicle will be following the trailer in an arc. Straighten the tow vehicle and trailer by turning the steering wheel more sharply, and then when they are in line, straighten the steering wheel.
Always try to back to your left, because the visibility is much better. When you don’t make it on the first try, it is usually much easier to pull forward to your original position and start over or at least pull forward until the rig is straight and then start backing.