Checklist – Road Test – Towables

Table of Contents

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This checklist assumes that the RV Inspection Checklist has been completed.

A road test can be performed by individuals who feel comfortable driving the vehicle combination being tested, and have a good sense of how a well-functioning tow vehicle and trailer combination feels and sounds. Those individuals not comfortable assessing some of the items on this checklist should take along a qualified technician.

Preparation Steps

  1. Confirm that trailer weights are within tow vehicle ratings
  2. Before connecting umbilical cord to tow vehicle, confirm that trailer batteries have a full charge (required for brakes in case trailer separates from tow vehicle)
  3. Trailer has been prepared for departure and hitched to tow vehicle.
  4. Tow vehicle suspension does not appear overloaded
  5. Trailer running lights
  6. Trailer signal lights
  7. Trailer brake lights
  8. Trailer emergency flashers
  9. Driver seat adjusted
  10. Tow vehicle mirrors adjusted
  11. Both sides of trailer are visible in tow vehicle mirrors
  12. Parking brake released
  13. Manually engage trailer brakes (via brake controller in tow vehicle) and attempt to drive forward
  14. Drive forward slowly and manually engage trailer brakes (via brake controller in tow vehicle)
  15. Drive forward slowly and depress tow vehicle brake pedal
  16. Pull breakaway switch cable on trailer and attempt to drive forward
  17. Re-insert breakaway switch cable
  18. Post a spotter behind the trailer
  19. Slowly drive in reverse while steering sharply in one direction, keeping a close eye on the trailer’s front corners approaching the tow vehicle. Confirm that a 70° turn does not cause trailer to contact any part of tow vehicle.
  20. Drive forward to straighten trailer, then repeat above step in other direction.
  21. Post top clearance in driver’s view, in feet and inches.
  22. During road test, observe bridge and other structure clearances to ensure that trailer will fit.

Road Test Observations

  • Tow vehicle stability:
  • Acceleration:
  • Braking:
  • Steering:
  • Cornering:
  • Cruising:
  • Sway:
  • Tracking:
  • Effects of large trucks passing:
  • Effects of wind gusts:
  • Tow vehicle temperature gauges:
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Andy Herrick is a blogging nerd, #8 Enneagram, wannabe bread baker, INTJ, RV industry professional, and small business entrepreneur. He can be found hanging out with his lovely wife and family, skiing, cycling, climbing, hiking, and convincing anyone who will listen why dogs aren’t really that great of pets. Also, he runs this website.

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