10 Tips to Tow Like a Pro

You’ve got your bags packed. Coolers filled to the brim. You’ve made sure the kids have used the bathroom one last time before you head out on another RV adventure. You’re a weekend warrior. An explorer who can’t get enough of the crisp, fresh air and long hikes and bike rides.

Towing a trailer takes a serious amount of attention to detail. Sure, all of these new trucks come with endless bells and whistles, and they’re really comfortable, but their true talent is their ability to haul tons of weight behind them. There is a proper way to do so, and learning the correct way to tow is often an afterthought. Below is a list of our own tips to tow like a pro.

 

Check your tire pressure before you head out.

Having a low tire or two can cause quite a few problems. In general, if all tires are under the proper amount of pressure, you won’t have to worry about constantly fighting the steering wheel to keep towing straight. In other words, your truck won’t pull to the left or right. Having a low tire can also cause a blowout and an unexpected trip to the shop. Be sure to check this step off the list. Otherwise you’ll be saying, “If only I had checked my tire pressure…” Most tires have the correct PSI engraved on them. If not, check with your local dealer or maintenance shop.

Ensure proper tongue weight.

This weight is measured where the tongue and hitch connect. To maintain the right amount of stability, tongue weight should be kept between 10-15% of the trailer’s total weight.

Check the brakes before you pull out.

It may seem tedious, but brakes wear and rot easily, especially if you’ve kept your trailer stationary all season long. Make sure each brake still has enough pad left for you to reach your destination. It also might do you well to take a short test drive and make sure your trailer or truck doesn’t shake. You could need new rotors, too.

Check all batteries and lights.

If you are hauling your trailer, this is a really important step to ensuring a successful trip. It’s crucial to confirm your brake lights work on your trailer. If they don’t, someone who is following you won’t know when to brake and could cause an accident. Making sure all batteries and lights are functioning is a step you can take weeks before your trip, so it’s one less thing you’ll need to do while you’re worried about packing, food lists, etc. Batteries are also important to check, especially if your destination has no hookups.

Maintain your bearings.

It’s best to pack them with the best synthetic wheel-bearing grease you can find and do it at least once a year. This is something that probably slips your mind because you’re worried about the oil level, tire pressure, and brakes. But, forgetting to grease these can make your trip crumble to pieces in no time. This is also something you can mark off the to-do list weeks in advance.

Safety chains.

Crossing the safety chains side-to-side in an X pattern will help make the trailer more securely attached to the hitch. These are sort of a safety net in case your trailer comes loose from the truck. It’s unlikely to happen, but it’s a simple step you can take to be safer. They’re only meant to hold everything together long enough for you to stop, so keep a close eye on your trailer as you drive. When attaching, be sure you allow enough slack for turning.

Practice driving your trailer before a long trip.

Learning how to drive with a trailer attached behind you comes with practice and time, but it’s similar to learning the rules of a stick shift: you’re unlikely to forget how once you learn. Practice using the correct angles to turn and work on driving in and out of gas stations, because these are usually tight places.

Combat trailer sway.

This ties into checking your tire pressure in that you can help eliminate trailer sway by making sure all tires are at the same PSI. Distribute the weight, don’t drive too fast or if the wind is too high, purchase a quality sway controller, and using the manual trailer brake controller are all effective ways in reducing trailer sway. If your trailer does start to get a bit crazy, remember to not counter-steer, as this will cause you to lose control. Slow down or step on the gas for a short second and let the trailer work itself out. Don’t fight it!

Turning your trailer.

One of the most important things to consider when turning a trailer is the trailer sway you’ll almost inevitably face. Go into your turn more than you would in a car. Hopefully, you’ve tightened your hitch enough to where you won’t get much sway, and if it’s too tight, you won’t be able to turn smoothly. It’s something you’ll have to get out there and do before you fully understand it.

Backing up the trailer.

Backing up your trailer won’t be as easy as learning how to turn with it, but it’s like learning how to ride a bike. Learning how to back up a trailer will take practice, but will pay off, and you won’t forget how it’s done. A great trick – put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. Whichever way your hand goes is the way the butt of the trailer will go. Having someone help you back up is another great tip, but just make sure you’re able to see them at ALL times. Now, get out there in an open field, put up some cones and practice!

 

Follow this guide, and you’ll be towing like a pro in no time.

Must Have Features for Travel Trailers & Fifth Wheels

If you are looking into buying a travel trailer or a fifth wheel trailer you are probably starting to do your homework. There are so many options when buying an RV, it is important to figure out exactly what you want. From the floor plans to the tires, you will want to know exactly what you are buying.

When it comes to looking for specific features, some are important for safety and storage, while others may be aesthetically pleasing. Some of you may have very specific requirements for the type of axles you want, while others just want to make sure they can lounge next to their plasma TV. Here are some amazing features for you to look for in your next travel trailer and fifth wheel.

Travel Trailers

One feature that you will be extremely grateful for later, is a quiet and reliable generator. They are designed for different types of trailers and different types of fuel. First figure out if you plan to go with a gasoline or propane generator. What are you going to need to power up in your RV? Do you have several appliances, is your air conditioner on 24/7? The more power you need, will also go into what generator you purchase. Research the pros and cons to the hundreds of options out there to determine what will be the quietest and best fit for you.

Some features are necessary, and some are just great to have! Have you noticed that the drinking water at most the camp sites is not filtered? Did you know that there are some pretty awesome gadgets you can add to your RV? There are several different RV Water Filters that are recommended. Check out  some highly reviewed and recommended water filters, perfect for your next camping trip in your RV.

Fifth Wheel Trailers

As trends come and go, one popular feature in a lot of fifth wheels right now is solar power. Having solar power for your RV is inexpensive to have and is well worth the installation costs. It allows you to stop where you want, avoid finding specific campgrounds, and gives you the opportunity to live totally unplugged from the world. Solar power does not require any additional energy, you don’t have to worry about chords or batteries, and it gives you a sense of total freedom. Going solar may be the perfect option for you! To learn more about why you should go with solar power and how it can benefit your trips, check out more information here.

There are constantly new things being built into RV’s to make them more technologically savvy.  One of the newer and more convenient features is a one control system.  This is an app on your phone that can control a lot of the different aspect of your RV. This can control your lights, awnings, fuel, automatic leveling systems, water tanks etc… . This is such an easy way to keep track of different parts of your RV and have total control of what is going on while you are in or outside of it.

There are hundreds of different features to choose from when looking to purchase your RV. Some can really help with the convenience of the trip, while others just make the livability a bit more peaceful and easier.  Regardless of what you want to have for your next trip, we can help you find it in your travel trailer or fifth wheel.

Must Have Features for Travel Trailers & Fifth Wheels

5 Must See RV Bunkhouse Floor-Plans

There is nothing more family friendly than an RV with bunk beds. An Rv bunkhouse offers extra space to sleep kids and adults alike. Bunkhouse RV models are perfect for family friendly camping, full time RV living, and everything in between. So if you are looking for an RV bunkhouse for sale in New Jersey, you need to check out these beautiful and cost effective floor-plans that we have available here at Crossroads Trailer Sales.

2018 Forest River Sunseeker

5 Must See RV Bunkhouse Floorplans

This stunning Class C motorhome features a stunning floor-plan that makes family friendly camping a breeze. This unit offers what they call a private children’s area fully equipped  with a sleeper sofa and bunk above. Featuring tons of storage as well, kids and parents alike will fall in love with this Forest River camper.

2019 Crossroads Zinger Lite

2019 CrossRoads Zinger Lite

 

The Crossroads Zinger Lite is a lightweight travel trailer perfect for the family on the go. With an outside kitchen, and bunk beds perfect for all the kids, this little camper is ideal for a growing family who loves the great outdoors. It has plenty of high end features for parents, and space for the kids to enjoy!

2019 Dutchmen Aspen Trail

2019 Dutchmen Aspen Trail

Not only does this stunning Dutchmen Aspen travel trailer feature quad bunks, a patio door and all of the high-end features you would want… You also get free camping in New Jersey for a year when you purchase it! Imagine, taking out the kids in your brand new camper… Enjoying the great outdoors and camping for free for a while year! This trailer comfortably sleeps 10 people, so you can easily fit the whole family in here with no problems.

2019 Forest River Salem Hemisphere

2019 Forest River Salem Hemisphere Lite

With a double bunk house, the Forest River Salem Hemisphere Lite is the perfect Fifth Wheel for the whole family. The two bunks make it perfect for the kids, their friends, nieces and nephews…. Take the whole family along on a camping trip in style and comfort. There is so much luxury here that you won’t even know you are camping in this beauty.

2019 Forest River Salem Villa Estate 

2019 Forest River Salem Villa Estate

If you need a family friendly destination trailer, the Forest River Salem Villa Estate is for you. This trailer features a unique double loft floor-plan, so you can bring the kids and some friends and multiply the fun!

These five RV bunkhouse models are perfect for families who love to camp. So if you are a camping loving family in the New Jersey area, come on in to Crossroads Trailer Sales and check out these and all of the other stunning bunkhouse RVs that we have to offer!

5 Must See RV Bunkhouse Floor-Plans

Tips On Keeping Your Trailer In Pristine Condition In The Winter

Just because there is snow on the ground doesn’t mean it is time to put that your trailer needs to suffer. No matter if you need your trailer for work or play, enclosed, flat bed, or other, Crossroads Trailers has the tips to help you keep your trailer in pristine condition even during the sold and wet winter months.

Keep It Clean

During the winter months, it is very easy to let your trailer get a little extra messy. No one really wants to be outside washing anything in the snow, but if you want to properly maintain and protect your trailer then this is a must.The biggest issue that many trailer owners face in the winter months is the presence of salt on the roads. While salt is amazing for helping with traction and the like, it can do some serious damage to any vehicle or towable. Your best bet is to make sure you wash as often as you can to keep the salt from damaging your trailer. Even if all you do is pray your trailer down with a hose after every trip, this will go a long way in keeping your trailer clean and protected

Store It Properly

Not using your trailer? Then put it in storage for a bit! You want to make sure your trailer is stored in a cool and dark garage. For longer periods of storage, make sure the tires of your trailer are fully inflated. Sometimes you may not be able to keep your trailer inside, and that is okay! If you are storing it outdoors, surfaces like asphalt are recommended to keep your tires in optimum condition, but if grass is the only choice, try parking on pavers.

Maintain Your Tires

Something that many may not think of, is the damage that can be done to trailer tires if put into storage for an extended period of time. If not properly maintained, the tires can degrade and cause a headache for the owner the next time he or she goes to use the trailer. So if you plan on storing your trailer during the winter months, you will want to ensure that your valve stems are in good working condition, meaning they are capped and free of dirt so you won’t have leaking tires.

Keeping your trailer in beautiful winter condition doesn’t have to be too difficult. All it takes is a little time, effort, and some preparation!

If you need help with your Trailer Maintenance this winter, the service experts here at Crossroads would love to help! Everything from maintenance to repairs and even specialized maintenance can be conveniently handled at out service department!

 

What Exactly Is A Destination Trailer?

With such a wide variety of trailers and RVs available on the market today, it can be hard to keep them all separate and know which one is perfect for you. We want to help you make the most informed decision possible when it comes to purchasing your next RV. Our featured RV here, the Destination Trailer. The Destination Trailer is probably one of the least spoken about, but one of the most luxurious on the market today!

So What Is A Destination Trailer?

Destination Trailers are the original tiny home. With the current cultural explosion that is the tiny home movement, the Destination Trailer can proudly say that they did it first. Destinations tend to have some of the highest quality amenities of any type of RV, including full sized washers/dryers, residential refrigerators, and a plethora of other options that are more typical of a home than a travel trailer.

The Destination Trailer has been known by many names, including park model, cabin, villa, residential trailer, resort trailer and more… ( note, park models are technically different than destination trailers but the two are commonly interchanged sometimes incorrectly) … But no matter what you call it, the destination trailer is a true home away from home.

While most travel trailers are meant for life on the go, the destination trailer is meant to be stationary for months at a time. The destination trailer is a perfect option for long term campers. Those who want to find a spot, and settle down for a while before hitting the road again for a new season.

Something that sets the destination trailer apart from its true park model counterpart, is the fact that the destination is self contained. Meaning that they have holding tanks, grey water, and black water tanks and can be hooked to campground hookups if needed. Whereas the traditional park model does not contain these aspects and must be hooked to a residential sewer system.

Destination Trailer Interior

The destination trailer interior is a beautiful sight. Since these trailers tend to be larger and are meant to be stationary for longer periods of time, the interior tends to be more like that of a traditional home.

One of the most notable features of the destination trailer interiors is the kitchen. Most destination trailers have stunning kitchens reminiscent of what you would find in your block home. Equipped with kitchen islands, full sized stoves, residential refrigerators and more these kitchens are meant to be used!

Not only do destination trailers have beautiful kitchens, they tend to have residential style bathrooms as well. Full sized showers, residential toilets and large bathtubs perfect for all your pampering needs even when far away from home. You can see a great example of a stunning trailer bathroom here.

Who Needs A Destination Trailer?

Now that you know what a destination trailer is, you might now be asking who would need one? Well, there are a lot of people that would greatly benefit from the features and amenities that a destination trailer offers.

A perfect example is the snow bird. Someone who has property down south and plans to spend half of the year there while living the other half somewhere else. The destination trailer is a great option for these type of RVers since they are able to leave the trailer in place year round, but don’t have the hassle of a truly permanent residence.

Shop for all types and sizes of RVs at Crossroads Trailer Sales, the #1 Selling 5th Wheel Dealer in NJ, 9 Years in a Row! If you have any questions about Destination Trailers, Fifth Wheels, Travel Trailers, or any of our other units, give us a call at (856) 697-4497 or send us a message on our Contact Page.

Top 4 RV Camping Destinations In New Jersey

The state of New Jersey has more than its share of great RV Resorts to choose from so we’ve chosen the top four top-rated RV parks in the area to get your adventures started. We’re sure one of these great resorts will have what you and your family are looking for on your next camping adventure.

Echo Farms Campground – Ocean View, New Jersey

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Winter Driving Safety Tips For RV Or Trailer

While winter RV vacations can be a peaceful, uncrowded time to experience the beauty of the country with its wintery white blanket, towing a trailer or maneuvering a motor home safely through unpredictable weather requires some preparation and patience to avoid turning a pleasure trip into a white-knuckle adventure.

Before You Go

Safety for a winter trip begins at home. Make sure you and your RV are prepared for winter travel – which means expecting the unexpected.

Winter road safety is not a splurge; before heading out on a journey where winter might mean snow and ice on the roads, make sure your RV is up to the rigors of winter travel. While there’s much you can do yourself, a certified service technician can make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition. Let the winter experts at Crossroads Trailer Sales in Newfield, N.J. prepare your trailer or RV for safe winter travels.

If you’re headed for snow and ice, consider swapping out your tires for snow tires with greater grip.  If you’re not investing in tires, inquire about the right snow chains for your vehicle.

Check battery, fluids, seals, and wipers. Have brakes and lights serviced. Make sure your emergency kit is up to date and all components are in useable, working order.

Planning and awareness are keys to a safe winter driving. Be prepared to make a quick exit and a safe stop if the weather turns treacherous. Research the number and location of service stations, grocery stories, campgrounds, and RV Parks that are open year-around along your planned route.

On the Road

Take some driving advice from truck drivers, road warriors who keep moving no matter the conditions. The folks who teach truckers how to drive, Roadmaster’s Driving School, start and finish their advice with the most basic of instruction: slow down. Bad things happen faster when weather conditions are poor.  Your best defense is slowing down. Driving slower gives you more time to react and reduces the chance of hydroplaning.

Don’t be bullied or influenced by smaller vehicles, or those not towing, who are frustrated by your slow speed; stay steady and take advantage of passing areas by moving to the right to allow other vehicles to pass when the opportunity is available.

Allow additional space between your RV and the vehicle in front of you to allow more reaction time in hazardous conditions. Even if the road doesn’t seem slick, plan for extra stopping time.  Avoid last minute decisions to turn or change lanes and use your turn indicators early to give the driver behind you plenty of time to react.

Do not use cruise control when conditions deteriorate.  Stay in complete control.  Keep a relaxed but firm, two-handed grip on the steering wheel.

Go light on the brakes; if you start to slide, or there’s a hazard ahead, break gently and steadily to keep your RV in control or prevent a jack-knifed trailer. Retain contact with the road on accelerations by increasing your speed slowly and steadily. If you need to stop suddenly, focus on a safe escape route and avoid jerking at the steering wheel.

When you’re driving in the mountains, be aware winter can bring swirling winds and gusts that will make towing a trailer or driving a lumbering RV even more dangerous. Avoid proximity to other vehicles when possible and drive slow and steady.

Be seen by other vehicles.  Keep your lights on low while on the road.

Always have a Plan B.  Twenty miles in treacherous weather may be too much; be flexible and willing to get off the road. The cost for an unplanned hotel stay pales in comparison to the cost and trauma of having your RV pulled out of a ditch or the expense and danger of a jack-knifed trailer.

Before tacking any winter trip in your RV or trailer, let the service experts at Crossroads Trailer Sales in Newfield, NJ, winterize your RV.

Winterizing Your RV Or Trailer

Whether you’re preparing your RV for a long winter’s rest or getting ready to take advantage of smaller crowds, lower prices, and unspoiled wintery beauty with an RV trip, be sure your RV is ready to brave a wintery blast.

Winterize your RV for safe storage or safe travels. Winterizing done right means protecting the electrical, water, and living systems from freezing cold. Failure to properly winterize an RV can lead to costly problems in the spring when it’s time to awaken your RV from its hibernation – or a catastrophe on the road during a cold-weather adventure.

A starting point for winterizing your RV is deciding what you can do yourself, and what should be left to trained professionals. While skilled owners can do much winterizing work themselves, the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association/Recreational Vehicle Industry Association recommends a RVDA/RVIA certified service technician to avoid damage to complex systems.

When it’s time to winterize, let Crossroads Trailers in Newfield, N.J., handle it for you. With over 20 years’ experience in RV service, Crossroads’ technicians are experienced to meet and exceed your winter preparation needs.

Ready for Storage

While there’s lots of advice on do-it-yourself winterizing, for many owners, winter is the cue to take the RV in for a deep service and thorough check. Even with leaving the heavy lifting to a certified technician, there’s much work an owner should do before tucking an RV away for the cold months.

First, decide what you should leave to the pros. The RVDA suggests choosing a professional saves money down the road in several instances.

Leak Detection and Repair

Even the most experienced owner may miss a small leak, that could turn into a big problem during winter storage. By pressurizing the water system, a technician will be able to detect the sneakiest of leaks and repair it promptly.

Water Removal

Luxury RVs have complicated water systems. A certified brand-specific technician will have deep understanding of water systems and won’t overlook any part of the distribution, manifold, and lines snaking through your unit. Technicians will also be able to distribute anti-freeze through the cold-water lines without filling the tank.

Empty Tanks

A little water – or waste – can turn into a big problem during winter storage. Let technicians empty the holding tanks and check macerator pumps and transmission lines.

Do It Yourself

Even with the help of a trained technician, there are many tasks a smart owner should take before storing an RV. Don’t let moisture build up inside; check the seals of your doors and windows, and reseal yourself — or put it on the list for your certified technician.

Clean out food storage areas and wipe out crumbs and any residue. Clean out the refrigerator and wipe dry. Leave the refrigerator door slightly ajar. Leave cabinet doors and drawers open. Remove batteries from remote controls, clocks and small appliances, and turn off antennas and boosters. Close the window blinds and shades to protect your interior from sun damage.

Batteries

Consider your plans for storage when it comes to batteries. If you plan to start the RV periodically during storage, plugging it in to power, leave the batteries with the unit.  If the unit will be tucked away for the long haul, consult your service professional to make sure the batteries are fully charged and stored.

Heading Out

Winter is an ideal time to take a snow-mobile loaded toy hauler out for a weekend, or visit some of America’s snow draped parks in the RV.  Visit a certified technician to make sure your RV is cold-weather ready, pack carefully, and be prepared for tons of frosty fun.

Windows and Doors

Keep the toasty warm in and icy leaks out by checking the seals on doors and windows.  Re-caulk before heading out or have the unit resealed by the service center. Consider beefing up your window treatments with panels of foil-backed insulation hook-and-loop fastened to window frames. What the temporary window covers lack in curb appeal, they will make up for with insulating properties. If the unit isn’t already equipped with insulating blinds or curtains, swap the existing coverings out with weather-wise thermal treatments. As a bonus, insulated window coverings will help keep your unit cool when summer returns.

RV Skirt

Before leaving home, consider assembling a cold weather skirt cut from insulating foam boards. Build the barrier from the bottom of your unit to the ground to shield tanks, water lines, and the floor. A purpose-built RV skirt will help, but won’t keep the underside of your unit as warm as the insulating material.

Be Prepared

Check the forecast before you head out. Have materials at hand to protect your water pipes and systems from extremes and pack a blow dryer for quick thaws. Bring along a safety compliant space heater for when temperatures bottom out. A fast-moving, violent storm means you may be snowed in for the long haul or face power outages.  Don’t leave home for a winter’s journey without cold weather staples, including extra warm clothing, a weather radio, extra blankets, full propane tanks, extra food and cash, and plenty of batteries.