A travel trailer is an excellent way to travel the world without needing to pay for expensive hotels along the way. However, travel trailers do require maintenance. So, let’s talk about how to check the alignment.
Travel trailer wheel alignment can be checked by inspecting the tires for equal wear and tear on the treads. Another way to check the alignment is to measure it from wheel to wheel. Make sure you measure your tire alignment when the tires are full of air to get the most accurate reading.
Let’s get into more detail about checking the tire alignment on your travel trailer.
1. Check the Tires
One of the fastest ways to get a good idea of your travel trailer’s alignment is to check the tires. If you notice uneven wear and tear on your trailer tires, they may be out of alignment. Not having your trailer properly aligned can make tires look really worn on one side and not on the other.
If you notice that your tires are very worn on one side but not the other, that is a good sign they are out of alignment, and you need to adjust them. The only problem is that other issues can also cause disparate wear on your tires. So, it can be difficult to determine what really caused the issue.
Your tires can wear out unevenly if you often carry loads in your trailer and don’t distribute the weight equally across both sides. This is what makes weight distribution when loading a travel trailer so vital in the longevity of your trailer tires.
Tires can also wear out at different rates if you do not keep them properly filled with air when you fill the trailer. Trailer tires have an air pressure requirement for certain weights. So, make sure you fill your trailer tires before considering the alignment. If your tires are constantly losing air, it may be time to replace them.
To learn more about buying tires for your travel trailer, check out my article on the subject here.
2. Measuring the Alignment
You can measure the alignment yourself if you have the right tools. The easiest way to do this is to find a two-by-four that is about the same length as the trailer. For this measurement to be accurate, you need to ensure the lumber you use is completely straight. You can measure this with a level or eyeball it, depending on your experience level.
Once you know for sure that the wood is level, make sure you fill your tires to the recommended PSI. This is important because having different tire pressure levels can make them sit unevenly and create an invalid reading. This can cause your trailer to be out of alignment if your tire PSI is uneven.
Now that your wood is even and your tires are at the same PSI level, you can start measuring. Hold the wood against both tires on one side of the trailer. You may need another person to help you with this.
If your trailer alignment is correct, you should be able to place the wood against the tires and have it fully contact both of them. If the piece of wood is straight and unable to sit flat against both tires, then you have an alignment problem.
To get an accurate reading, make sure your trailer is on a flat surface. The best place to do this is a garage, as you are more likely to have a level surface there than on a road or driveway. If you are struggling to fit your trailer into your garage, consider removing the door to give you more room.
3. Buy an Alignment Reader
If you want to avoid worrying about the alignment of your travel trailer, you may want to invest in an alignment reader. This can help you measure your own alignment anytime you feel like anything is off with your trailer.
The Tenhulzen Automotive Wheel Alignment Tool, available on Amazon.com, is a little expensive, but it can help give you an alignment reading whenever you need it. This can save you money over time as you no longer have to take your trailer to a mechanic for alignments.
While this tool is helpful and convenient, it takes a lot of patience and accuracy to get it right. So, you may want to measure the alignment a couple of times to ensure you get an accurate reading before you start worrying. Also, be sure to take your time and read the directions carefully when checking your alignment.
4. Take It to a Mechanic
If the above methods did not work for you, you may want to visit a mechanic to check the alignment. With these DIY methods, hopefully, you won’t need to involve a mechanic. However, you may want to consult with one if you are unable to get an accurate reading using any of these methods.
Having a travel trailer out of alignment can be concerning, especially if you often carry heavy loads on the road with you. So, you should use these methods regularly to ensure that your trailer is properly in alignment. Mechanics recommend you check your alignment around every 10,000 miles (16093.44 km) or if concerns arise.
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