Trainable recreational vehicles are good for RV resorts, developed camping sites and paved roads. But if you want to explore some more remote areas with a tow RV, you may need to consider a retrofit or two. With so much out there to explore, you want to make sure your RV is up to the challenge. Whether you have a pop-up camper, travel trailer, toy holder or five-wheeled travel cart, so here's what you need to know before you end up on the road.
Add shock absorbers and equalizers
If you routinely use unpaved roads (ranging from smooth dirt or dirt roads to rocky, paved rings that feel more like off-roading) to access your favorite campsites, ModMyRV suggests .com to add shock absorbers. Trailer Life Magazine says shock absorbers can help keep the trailer more stable because they dampen some of the up and down movements that occur while crossing an uneven surface, but they are not the factory included on many trailers or five wheels.
ModMyRV .com also says that it may be advisable to add or update leaf spring equalizers, which is a suspension area that may be subject to both wear and tear. These equalizers are designed to spread the weight of the load between the shoulders, says Trailer Life Magazine, which can help curb the ride over rough terrain. You can find tips to make these changes on your own from DIY sites like ModMyRV.com, or contact your local mechanic or service provider to discuss your options.
Select suitable tires
You want to choose tires for your travel trailer that can handle the terrain you are navigating. Mud and terrain tires are two alternatives, according to Pep Boys, which adds that clay tires typically have larger treads with deeper gaps to grip uneven terrain. Terrain tires usually have closer treads, as they are designed to provide better traction on paved roads. With off-road tires, look for those with winter tire traction (the "snowflake-on-mountain" symbol) on the sidewall of the tire and ensure that the tire structure is durable enough to withstand tearing, cutting and puncturing, according to location.
It is also important to ensure that your tires are inflated properly, according to the Recreational Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation. Check the tire pressure on your RV before turning on the road, as you are sure the tires are inflated to the right level to help tire performance, vehicle handling and maximum tire life.
Add a generator
Going off the beaten path can also mean you are away from some of life's usual amenities, including electrical connections for your RV. You might want to add a generator if you need to charge your RV's battery bank batteries, or to use a power source to reheat leftovers in the microwave or run your coffee maker. From diesel to propane, generators come in different types and sizes ̵
If you travel regularly, you get away from power sources, which you would find at an established campsite, you might want to consider adding a solar energy system to charge your power without a generator, says Camping World. Solar energy is quiet, easy to use and you can be more willing to travel more places if you are not dependent on a traditional power source, says Camping World. However, it can be expensive to start initially, so you want to consider how often you really need solar power before making this modification.
There is a lot to be ignored from the beaten path.
Originally published on August 7, 2014.