Trailer tent checklists
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When you first own a trailer tent or folding camper there seems to be a thousand things to do – though after a couple of trips most of it comes naturally.
In the meantime, however, here are some checklists to help you avoid missing out something vital.
Hitching up checklist
You can print out this checklist to use when you next venture out with your trailer tent or folding camper.
Here we list many of the things you’ll need to do when you head off with your unit. You might even consider laminating your checklist if there’s a chance of rain...
When you leave home the first couple of points may already be covered, but you’ll need to remember them when you leave a campsite. We’ve included things you might need to do if you have a top-of-the-range folding camper, complete with washroom and kitchen. Simply ignore anything that doesn’t apply to your unit.
- Turn off the gas at the cylinder
- Empty the fresh- and waste-water containers and clean out any toilet cassette in an appropriate place
- Check the unit is folded down correctly, loads are safely secured and any external door is locked
- Check the trailer’s handbrake is on and chock the wheels if you are on a slope
- Lower the jockey wheel and lock in place
- Raise any corner steadies
- Check the trailer’s noseweight
- Adjust the hitch height so it goes above the car’s towball
- Remove the towball cover on the car’s towball
- Reverse your car to the trailer
- Secure the hitch on the towball
- Check the link by using the jockey wheel to raise the car by about an inch to make sure it is properly coupled
- Stow the jockey wheel
- Connect the electrical plug(s), making sure the cables will not drag or pull as the car turns
- Attach the breakaway cable or secondary coupling
- Release the trailer’s handbrake and remove any chocks
- Check the road lights and indicators are working
- Pull clear of the pitch and check the area for anything left behind
Uncoupling and setting up
Once you’ve reached your destination you’ll need to unhitch. Again, you can print this out to take with you on holiday.
- Position your trailer on the pitch, using a ramp under the wheel(s) on one side if it needs levelling. Many trailer tents have the hitch assembly at the rear of the unit, while folding campers tend to have it at the side. If the campsite manager is more used to caravans with their hitches at the front, he may try to pitch you the wrong way round, so be prepared to explain things. Remember also that your unit may be up to three times wider than the trailer – and significantly longer when pitched - so don’t put the trailer too close to the edge of the pitch
- Apply your trailer’s handbrake
- Chock the trailer’s wheels if you are on a slope
- Lower the jockey wheel and lock it in position
- Disconnect the electrical plug(s) and breakaway cable or secondary coupling from the car
- Pull up the hitch-head lever and use the jockey wheel to raise the trailer’s hitch from the towball
- Drive your towcar away
- Replace the cover on your car’s towball
- Adjust the level of your trailer front and rear with the jockey wheel
- Lower any corner steadies
- Unfold your unit and peg out
You’re now ready to climb inside your unit, but there are some final preparations you may want to make before you can really relax. Depending on the complexity of your trailer tent or folding camper, they may include:
- Connecting the mains power cable to the trailer and on to the hook-up point, checking the residual current device (RCD) is working correctly
- Turning on the fridge
- Collecting fresh water
- Positioning the waste water collector
- Adding toilet fluids
- Turning on the gas
- Turning on the water heater when you’re sure it’s full of water