White travel trailer parked near lake with mountains in background.
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Travel Trailer Backup Camera and Safety Products

My greatest fear when we hit the road full-time in our travel trailer was quite simply a concern of experiencing complete and utter destruction. Unreasonable? Yes, probably, but let me explain. I was a newbie to the RV lifestyle. In addition, I had never owned a truck before, towed recreational vehicle, or backed a trailer into a parking space. It makes more sense now, doesn’t it. Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to start researching (and testing, buying, and installing) travel trailer safety products.

Keystone passport travel trailer parked and set up at campsite.
Our Keystone Passport travel trailer

So you can imagine that the thought of backing my 30-foot travel trailer into unfamiliar and tight spaces around the continent caused me to break out in a cold sweat. Not to mention just maneuvering it through tight city streets and busy highways. But my fears and safety concerns didn’t stop there.

Let’s talk all about the benefits of a trailer backup camera and several other travel trailer safety products you may be considering at this point in your RVing journey.


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Top Travel Trailer Safety Products


Looking back on our months of travel around the continent, I don’t have many regrets. But I do recognize a few things that I would have done differently knowing what I know now. Some of those things relate more to our style and pace of travel as I cover in #1 of this advice post for new full-time RVers.

But when it comes to safety and peace of mind considerations, my first thought is about increased visibility.

Safety Product #1: Trailer Backup Camera

Now here was my situation with my travel trailer: We bought it brand new in 2017 so it came equipped with some great features that were important to us, including an enclosed underbelly, outdoor kitchen, outdoor speakers, etc.

And it even had a spot on the back of the travel trailer to install a backup camera. So it was wired for it, ready to go, and would have been pretty much a plug and play situation.

I had one feature included in my travels that kept me from making this purchase: two teenage boys.

At every point that I was required to back that trailer for any distance, they would each be stationed behind the trailer to watch their respective corner and ensure I steered clear of any and all hazards.

Even with my boys providing guidance when backing up the rig, I was often tempted to splurge sum on the Furrion backup camera for added protection. If my boys had not been there to guide me, I would have gladly dropped that money in a heartbeat for the safety and peace of mind.

Furrion Vision S Wireless RV Backup Camera System
$598.99

Includes 7-Inch Monitor, 1 Rear Sharkfin, Infrared Night Vision, Wide-Angle View, Hi-Res, Waterproof, Motion Detection, and Microphone.

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02/18/2024 08:21 am GMT

If your travel trailer did not come with a pre-installed location for a trailer backup camera, there are plenty of wireless backup camera options on the market as well that will give you the same level of safety. And overall, they are less expensive than the Furrion option that I had.

Take it from me and my many months of travel trailer road trip adventures. You will not regret this safety product purchase.


Safety Product #2: Quality Tires

I simply cannot provide an overview of travel trailer safety in any depth without discussing the importance of having high quality (well maintained) travel trailer tires.

I won’t try to cover all of the details in this post because I discussed it in great detail in this post about travel trailer tires.

Here’s the short version, however:

It is not some strange and tragic coincidence that such a large number of travel trailer and fifth wheel owners have experienced multiple and severe blowouts on their rigs. (If you don’t know for sure what I’m talking about, go search YouTube for “travel trailer tire blowout” and you’ll see.)

From my research, it seems that the vast majority of pull-behind RVs come equipped from the factory with tires that are incapable of supporting the full stated cargo capacity. And if you don’t pay attention to these numbers and make the required changes for your travels, you are in for a whole lot of nothing good.

After doing my homework, I spent several hundred dollars to replace the Trailer King tires with D-rated Goodyear Endurance tires on my brand new travel trailer before we hit the road.

The result? Tens of thousands of miles of exploration without a single tire incident. Ask me if I think it was worth it!

And while we are on the subject of tires…


Safety Product #3: Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

All of that research I mentioned above related to my travel trailer tires convinced me to spend money on one other tire-related product: a quality Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

TireMinder Tire Pressure Monitoring System
$553.90

Includes 10 transmitters

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02/18/2024 03:15 pm GMT

A TPMS will alarm when there are sudden or significant changes in tire pressure or temperature, the precursors to tire failure (such as a blowout).

We had very few problems with the TireMinder TPMS system that we purchased and I rank it right up there next to the Goodyear tires as one of the best investments I made in our travels. It helped to keep us traveling and not stuck along the side of the road!


Safety Product #4: Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control

Now you should know that this safety product applies only to travel trailers, just in case you are as green as I was coming into the RV world.

In my experience, a weight distribution hitch is an absolute no-brainer that has completely revolutionized the business of towing trailers. It has introduced a margin of safety and control into what used to be far a far too stressful situation.

Etrailer explains the purpose of installing a weight distribution hitch.

A weight distribution system helps to ensure a smooth, level ride and allows you to tow to the maximum capacity allowed by your hitch. It also helps to correct tow vehicle sag, improve steering and stopping, and – when used with sway control – correct trailer sway.

Etrailer

If you’re similar to me, you may have a hard time choking down a price tag like that. It is not a cheap safety product, especially if you choose to have it professionally installed as I did.

In an effort to save a little money, I purchased a lightly used Equal-i-zer Hitch from a private party. The price for the used hitch was about half the cost of retail. I used the money I saved to to have the hitch professionally installed.

Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch


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A Completely Different Towing Experience

The route that you choose to go is completely up to you, but I highly encourage you to do some research and consider purchasing a weight-distribution hitch (with sway control) for your travel trailer towing. The difference in the towing experience is astounding, I guarantee you that, especially if you are towing for long distances or in windy conditions.

One last word on the topic of weight distribution hitches: After watching the experiences of others and having multiple conversations with travel trailer owners, I strongly encourage you to stay away from hitches that utilize chains instead of bars.

The overall user experience and product satisfaction seems to be much lower with products that involve chains. I’ve also heard more than one story about those chains nearly caused serious injury during installation.

  • PRO TIP

Purchase a weight distribution hitch with bars rather than chains.

And for my dollar, you can’t do better than the Equal-i-zer. Safety first, my friends.

Hitch Bar and Spring Bar Storage Kits

One last thing: I can’t talk about my weight distribution hitch without also mentioning the great products I found to complement it:

  • HitchPort Hitch Bar and Spring Bar Storage Kits
  • I installed these on my travel trailer and was immediately grateful. This is a simple way to keep your hitch components off of the ground, protecting both the components and reducing the strain on your back!
  • HitchGrip Hitch Coupling Tool
  • Those weight distribution hitches are NOT light. Using this grip tool, along with the off-the-ground storage system above, is an ideal way to manage everything and keep yourself safe in the process.

Safety Product #5: Trailer Coupler Lock

Confession time: I took the cheap route when purchasing a coupler lock for our travel trailer.

Just to have something in place after purchasing the trailer, I purchased this adjustable coupler lock. It only cost about $10 at Home Depot. I admit I was feeling exceptionally cheap that day! But, in my defense, I had plans to replace the lock with something more substantial.

What I will tell you with absolute honesty is that during our next extended RV road trip, I will opt for the Master Lock coupler lock for added peace of mind.

Your home on wheels deserves the best protection!


Safety Product #6: Electronic Trailer Brake Controller

When I was shopping (for what seemed like an eternity) for a truck suitable for towing our new home on wheels, one feature that was “nearly” non-negotiable was a trailer brake controller. I knew that it was possible to add an aftermarket trailer brake control, but I just didn’t feel inclined to mess with it. I wanted it included as a factory component.

Since I eventually decided to look exclusively at 3/4 ton trucks to handle our 5,000 pound trailer, this was not a major issue. Trailer brake controllers are pretty standard equipment on trucks of that size that are often used for towing large loads.

But if I had settled for a truck that was not equipped with this component for some reason, you can bet I would have been on Amazon the next day to locate the best trailer brake controller for my money.

If you will be towing with a vehicle that is not equipped with this feature, I suggest that you look into aftermarket installation of a trailer brake control.

Electronic Brake Control
$177.53

Universal fit with LCD monitor to display the power output to the trailer while braking.

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02/18/2024 08:50 am GMT

And especially if you choose to tow without a weight distribution hitch, make this safety product a priority for your travels.

Because we were traveling so extensively, I chose what some might consider “overkill” by having the weight distribution hitch and trailer brake control. Honestly, there were only a handful of times that I felt the need to use that trailer brake control. But, I believe it was worth installing even for those few times.

Which RV Accessories are Most Important for Travel Trailer Safety?


Many of our readers write in to say they love to learn from the experience of others. If you have a moment, please share your comments and feedback below. Would you recommend a TPMS or hitch bar storage device? Do you think there are other items that should be added to this list?

We would be happy to update our post to help others make priority their number one factor as they prepare for upcoming road trips.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Trailer Backup Camera and Other RV Safety Items

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