It started out like any other Sunday morning. But suddenly, in the blink of an eye, I was mercilessly introduced to pain like I had never known before. If you’re like me, then I understand how your lower back feels at the end of RV travel days. I wrote this article to help you out. The solution I found are simple hitch and spring bar storage kits.
Let me start with a brief history for what led to my search for these RV accessories.
About 12 years ago, I helped with the set up for children’s worship at the church we attended in Georgia. One of the props in the room was a relatively small aluminum boat that probably weighed 30 lbs max.
Searing Back Pain
As I bent over to grab one end of the boat to relocate it with someone lifting at the other end, a hot bolt of lightning shot down from my lower back to my feet.
I yelled out in shock and pain, still completely unaware of what had actually happened. It was several moments of panic and confusion as I struggled to comprehend this intense pain like nothing I had ever experienced.
Was I electrocuted by something? Did a prehistoric and incomprehensibly large insect enter the building and sting me right in the spine without my noticing? I DON’T KNOW. BUT MAKE IT STOP!
At that point, I was sure that all I really needed to do was lay down to get the pain to stop or at least diminish.
WRONGO. As soon as I laid down on the floor, the pain actually and inexplicably increased. How was that even possible??
REDISTRIBUTE THE WEIGHT
Desperate for any amount of relief, I struggled my way back to my feet and kept trying different things to make this pain dissipate. So I stumbled over to a counter top in the room and placed my hands on the counter, putting as much of my body weight on my hands as possible.
In that position, I got a few ounces of relief and could at least see straight for the moment as I continued to try and reason my way through this intensely painful moment.
Back Pain Is a Regular Part of My Life
Over the next several days, my situation did not improve. I laid flat on my back at home. Every attempt to sit upright caused me to turn ghost white and break out in a cold sweat. All I could do to move around the house was slowly lower myself to the ground and crawl.
It was simply horrific, not to mention terrifying for my wife and three children. The official diagnosis? Sciatica.
I wish I could say that I never experienced anything like it again. Unfortunately, that is not my story. In fact, I have lived through at least three more episodes of excruciating pain caused by sciatica.
RV ROAD TRIPS CAN INDUCE BACK PAIN
Imagine how that feels combined with the common lower back pain after a long road trip. It’s not pretty. Enter the search for RV accessories that can help reduce the strain and the pain.
Because an lifestyle can quite possibly bring about more back injury hazards than what you would experience on a daily basis in a standard home. I sincerely hope this article can help you reduce the risk of back injury and avoid experiencing the same pain.
Disclaimer: We received a promotional sample of the hitch and spring bar storage kits in order to test and provide an honest review of these products. This review is the honest opinion of the author after using and evaluating the products.
Recommended Travel Trailer Accessories to Reduce Back Pain
But here are my recommendations, based on personal experience, for the best kits to keep back injury and pain as far away from you as possible as you live the RV lifestyle.
HITCHPORT Hitch Bar and Spring Bar Storage Kits
I truly wish that I had known about these products when I first hit the road with my travel trailer. Now that I do know about them, you can bet that I will not operate without them.
These products are constructed with a simple and effective design. Each U-shaped bracket is laser-cut and made with high quality 304 stainless steel. It’s remarkable no one came up with it before. And now, HITCHPORT has a patent pending on these two products.
Installation is straightforward and easy. Attaching the bars to the tongue of your travel trailer takes about 10-15 minutes. Take a quick look at this video I put together about how to install the hitch bar and spring bar storage kits.
Note that I mounted the brackets on the bottom of the trailer tongue. Where you install your kit depends on the space you have at the front of your trailer. If you have the space, you could mount them on the top of the tongue, which would further reduce bending or stooping. It’s your choice. Do what will work best for your situation.
AT A REASONABLE COST, THE PRICE IS WORTH IT
With a combined cost of less than $50 and very little time required to install, this is really a no-brainer.
Until these products were introduced to me, both my weight distribution hitch and the spring bars were simply stored on the ground under my travel trailer. This required me to lift these heavy items from the ground with each move and place them back on the ground when we arrived at a new location.
I know, this is the worst possible situation from every perspective.
That process was not ideal for preventing back injury. It required me to bend and stoop at awkward angles and positions. It was also not effective for maintaining the hitch equipment in good condition. The hitch gear was regularly covered in sand and mud when it was time to hitch up.
It’s been messy, it’s been awkward, and ultimately it’s also been far more dangerous for my back than necessary. Thankfully, that’s all behind me now.
All of my weight distribution hitch components are now stored off the ground. The hitch and spring bar are safely and securely stowed on the tongue of my trailer where I can comfortably access them.
When I installed these kits, the cost was about $30 in total for the Hitch Bar Mount and the Spring Bar Mount. Each kit includes self-drilling screws for easy installation. Of course, prices change and may vary by retailer, so verify before purchase.
That is so cheap for the problem they solve and the pain they help to avoid.
Maintain Your RV Equipment and Your Back
The bottom line is that there is simply nothing not to love about these innovative products. They save your back, they save your equipment, and they are extremely simple and affordable.
At the HITCHPORT site, you can also purchase additional products that will help to prolong the life of your hitch equipment and ultimately save you money:
- Hitch Bar Cover
- Python Adjustable Hitch Lock
- Tethered Hitch Ball Cover
As great as these products are and have helped my back in so many ways, I do have another recommendation that makes RV life even easier. I would strongly recommend you look into the HitchGrip and see if it’s right for you.
HitchGrip Hitch Coupling Tool
The way I see it, the HITCHPORT storage products I mention above and this HitchGrip tool go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Truthfully, I knew about this fantastic HitchGrip tool before we hit the road as full-time RVers. Given my history with back pain, it should have been the very first travel trailer accessory I purchased.
Alas, I have no good answer for why that was not the case. Perhaps there was too much excitement about kicking off our first road trip. Whatever the reason, I waited far too long to purchase the HitchGrip. I do regret it.
HOW DOES THE HITCHGRIP HELP
The HitchGrip allows you to easily lift, move, and insert the hitch bar into the hitch receiver or into the HITCHPORT storage mount. And you can do it all with just one hand. You will no longer need to stoop over in awkward positions to carry the hitch bar.
It works for all 2 5/16″ hitch balls and it is far less expensive than many other travel trailer accessories that I did choose to buy. Hey, I never said I made complete sense all the time.
Simple to Install RV Accessories Reduced My Back Pain
Thankfully, I have not had a major incident with my back since that rough start out of Texas a few years ago.
It’s hard to describe how excited I am to use the HitchGrip and the HITCHPORT storage kits together. With this duo, I never have to lower my hitch to the ground, lay it on the ground, or lift it from the ground again. Thankfully, I will never carry it awkwardly in front of me with both hands again.
And all of this benefit at a cost that is less than taking the family out for lunch. That is some seriously exciting news for this back pain sufferer.
So whether you do have a back injury and back pain that you don’t want to aggravate, or you just want to do what you can to avoid it altogether, these are the travel trailer accessories you should not travel without.
Your back will thank you.
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HITCHPORT provided us with these two products at no cost in order to adequately review them. Rest assured that the opinions expressed in this post are 100% our own.
Todd loves a competitive game of table tennis, a breathtaking hike, and exploring new places. He lived and traveled in an RV with his family as they traveled throughout much of the US and parts of Canada. Todd has extensive knowledge about RV travel, safety, and accessories and has shared many of his stories here on TREKKN. When he’s not busy launching and building small businesses, you may find him staring at pictures of Glacier National Park (probably his favorite spot on earth).