Thanksgiving is a day to remember only the things that are important in life: family, friends and good food. Excess can seem like it’s the theme of the day, but it doesn’t have to be (except for when it comes to that extra slice of pumpkin pie). Use these cheap Thanksgiving dinner ideas and give thanks for full bellies and a full wallet throughout the holiday season.
Plan your Thanksgiving menu early
Serious shoppers begin thinking about Thanksgiving dinner as soon as the Halloween costumes are put away. Creating a list that far in advance will help in two ways: it gives you time to find great recipes for simple dishes with minimal ingredients, and it allows you to look around for the best prices on anything that can be stored.
If you’ve been shopping with a grocery membership card, consider downloading their app. The stores often provide extra incentives to app users, and you can get customized coupons. Also, pay attention to circulars and coupons on groceries—there are plenty of deals during the weeks leading up to the holiday. You may even be able to score a free turkey if you spend a certain amount at your grocery store between now and mid-November.
Choose generic brands
With some dishes, there are no substitutes for the best ingredients. But there are instances when generic will serve you just as well as gourmet. Don’t worry about going with the least expensive canned items like pumpkin, olives, peas and water chestnuts. Canned chicken broth is relatively inexpensive.
DIY the basics
If you plan to make a chicken dinner in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, you can use the bones to create homemade stock for just pennies (the cost of an onion, a carrot, a stalk of celery and some seasonings). It often tastes better than store bought broth. If you have the skills, you can also find savings by making your own dinner rolls and pie crusts.
Go to the local farmers’ market
Building a menu around seasonal produce will not only save you money on your Thanksgiving meal, it will result in more flavorful and colorful food. If you’re in an area that’s still warm enough for harvesting produce, your local farmer’s market is likely to have great deals on fresh seasonal vegetables like green beans, yams and Brussels sprouts. It’s also a great place to stock up on inexpensive staples like white potatoes, onions and fresh herbs.
You can also use ingredients from your garden, if you have them. Canning is a good way to store summer surplus, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to use what you’ve saved.
Brine the turkey
Your turkey is likely to be the costliest item on your menu, but how much you pay for the bird will vary greatly. You don’t have to choose an organic, free-range turkey to get the best flavor. In fact, how the bird is processed is just as important—if not more—than how it is raised. All you need is a good brine.
There are countless brine recipes to choose from online, but they all center around a simple ratio of one cup of kosher salt per gallon of water, using enough water to submerge the turkey. To make storage easier: seal the bird, salt and water in an extra-large locking plastic bag and set it in a covered pan in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Have a Thanksgiving potluck
If you are having guests, encourage them to contribute things like appetizers, desserts and wine. It will save you money and time, and it helps to make your visitors feel more involved. Ask them each to bring a dish with a story behind it or that is special to them. It will make for great dinner table conversation.
Get crafty with the decor
Thanksgiving is the kind of homespun holiday that allows for inexpensive decoration. Whether you make a casual centerpiece out of gourds from the farmers market or make festive turkey-shaped napkin holders out of construction paper, you can get away with a lot on a lean decorating budget.
Save more with Thanksgiving leftovers
Your Thanksgiving guests have gone home, doggie bags in hand. Yet you’re still looking at a mountain of leftovers, mostly made of turkey. Consider these 7 Thanksgiving leftover ideas:
Who doesn’t get a little edgy driving near a semi on the highway? More than 250,000 accidents between passenger cars and 18-wheelers happen each year – with auto drivers contributing to over 70% of the crashes.
Many of these collisions could be avoided – and fears reduced – if car drivers knew how to share the road with trucks safely.
Rules of the road
Driving near and passing an 18-wheeler is different than sharing the road with a standard-sized vehicle. Since the truck is bigger:
Passing a truck
When passing a truck, maintain a safe and steady speed, keeping the cab of the truck in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front of it. Pass on the left to maximize visibility and ensure there’s enough space between your car and the truck when you merge back over.
Getting passed by a Truck
If a truck attempts to pass you, reduce your speed slightly to make it easier for the truck to get around your vehicle.
When a truck is backing up
Never pass behind a truck preparing to back up or is backing up. Otherwise, you may enter a blind spot for you and the trucker.
When a truck is making a wide turn
When turning right, some trucks must first swing left to negotiate the turn. As a result, they can’t see cars directly behind or beside them, so cutting to the right of the turning truck can cause an accident.
When you’re driving near a truck
When driving near a truck, don’t use your bright headlights. The truck’s large side mirrors reflect brights into the driver’s eyes causing temporary blindness.
Top unsafe driving habits
The U.S. Department of Transportation ranked the most unsafe driving acts for car drivers to engage in when trucks are nearby:
With the recent increase of public exposure, there has been great confusion surrounding cannabidiol. The Patient’s Guide to CBD is an Americans for Safe Access resource aimed to provide education on a wide range of CBD-related topics. These topics include, but are not limited to:
When you’re buying a car, it’s important to do your research. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever thanks to online resources like car reviews and consumer forums.
However, all that information does little good if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Shopping for a car, whether it’s new or used, means digging a little bit deeper to make sure that you know as much as possible about the car to make an informed choice. Once you’ve found a car you’re interested in, follow this checklist of items to make sure you’re getting a safe vehicle.
1. Go beyond the standard test drive
A quick drive around the block won’t tell you everything you need to know about a car. Spend more time in a vehicle to see if it’s truly going to suit your daily driving needs. Things like a cupholder that’s hard to reach or a sun visor that doesn’t quite suit your sight line can irritate you over time or even keep you from driving comfortably, which may compromise your safety. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of a test drive.
2. Don’t let the vehicle history report fool you
Getting a vehicle history report should be a priority when you’re considering buying a used car. This document gives you the service history and other important facts about the car. But be aware that it may not tell the whole story. Often times, accidents or damage to a vehicle are not reported and therefore will likely not be disclosed.
For example, some unscrupulous sellers might resell flooded or damaged vehicles that they’ve failed to report, and if the work was done by the owner that won’t be included on the report. Look for things like stained carpet and debris in between the seats that could indicate flooding.
Another way to spot possible past damage, is to stand in front of the car and ensure the paint on the hood matches that on the sides. If it’s mismatched, it may mean the car has been in an accident.
Of course, you should always consider taking a used car to a reputable mechanic for an inspection to ensure there is no hidden or major damage.
3. Find out what IIHS and NHTA say about the car
Both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversee automobile safety in the country. Review reports from both organizations; they conduct different types of crash tests and use different criteria to rate vehicles. Then, look for a car that has the approval of both.
4. Let Edmunds and Kelley be your guides
Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds guides can provide you with a broad range of information, from reviews and safety ratings to the cars’ actual values. This can help you get the right car both in terms of safety and your budget.
5. Know what safety equipment is standard
Older cars don’t have the same safety equipment as newer ones. Research when certain features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, became standard. Certain safety features will not only protect you on the road, but they can also lower your car insurance costs.
6. Check for open recalls
Unfortunately, neither car dealers nor private sellers are legally required to tell you is a car is subject to recall. In this situation, it’s definitely “buyer beware,” and you should always check to see if the particular car you’re looking at has any open recalls. Use the NHTSA website to check.
7. Don’t forget the tires
Always check the tires before you buy; even though they should be in good enough condition to drive, that’s not always the case. In addition to looking for standard wear, look for tread wear on one edge of a tire, which can mean the wheels are out of alignment. If the tires have erratic tire wear, have the car’s shock absorbers or suspension checked.
8. Look closely at older and foreign cars
Because safety standards have changed over the years, look carefully at older cars and any vehicles built outside of North America. They may not meet certain EPA standards or may lack safety features that are currently required by law.
9. Consider how it fits your life
It’s easy to fall in love at first sight, but it’s also important to be realistic. Look at things like fuel consumption, required maintenance (which may be higher on an older car as parts start to wear out) and how you plan to drive it. A classic 1975 VW Beetle may be cool, but is it going to be reliable as a daily driver or on a road trip?
10. Trust your instincts
After you’ve reviewed everything else on this checklist, do a “gut check.” If you feel something isn’t right with the car, it’s okay to walk away.
Making safe decisions when you’re purchasing a car is an important way to ensure you get a vehicle that keeps you secure for years to come. Learn more about other essential safety features that your new car should have.
Painting your home can be inconvenient and time consuming, but it’s easier than it seems. It’s a good investment that extends the integrity and good looks of what, for most people, is their single greatest asset.
Paint is your house’s first defense against the elements and the first impression guests and potential buyers receive. Here are 8 signs it’s time to paint a house.
1. Flaking, bubbling or cracking paint
These signs often signal dry rot, wet rot or mold caused by failed weatherproofing. Strong sunlight, harsh winters, extreme humidity, storms, blowing sand and ocean breezes can contribute to the damage.
2. Hardened caulk
Most caulks are designed to expand and contract along with your house. As your home is exposed to more extreme weather cycles (think sunny days and freezing nights) caulking will lose its elasticity. If the beads are hard and resistant when you press down, it’s probably time to call an expert to re-caulk and check for damage.
3. Fading paint
Sun bleaching is common, and dark hues tend to fade faster than paler shades. Fading on shady sides of the house, however, indicates problems with the vapor barrier or with water intrusion. Look for seemingly mysterious stains dripping downward on the paint. If water-soluble materials designed for home interiors end up outside the house, it’s a sign of water leaks. If you can’t pinpoint the source, call an expert.
4. Patching stucco
To minimize costs without re-stuccoing the entire house, patch stucco cracks and repaint the whole house. Otherwise, homeowners will be left with streaks or a patchwork from paint that doesn’t quite match.
5. Because the paint color morphed
UV rays cause the paint to fade and, sometimes, transform to an undesired shade after painting. Beige can transform to pink in a matter of weeks. To prevent that, make sure the paint is an exterior grade that can withstand UV effects.
6. To boost curb appeal
If the house looks faded, the trim no longer stands out or there is nothing to make the house ‘pop’ against its surroundings, a fresh coat of paint usually will do the trick, making it look fresh and allowing the value of the home to increase.
7. If your house is new
Typically, contractors spray one coat of paint over pre-primed wood. That primer minimizes warpage at the lumber yard but generally is insufficient to prevent swelling or shrinkage. If possible, prime the wood before it is installed. Then plan on painting a new home within five years to ensure a good layer of protective paint, before much damage has occurred.
8. Before paint chips or peels
Don’t wait until paint chips are visible from the street to repaint. Painting your house early minimizes damage to the exterior of the home and also minimizes the need for preparatory work, like scraping flaking paint, caulking seals or replacing wood. Minimizing the need for prep work lowers painting costs.
Most homes need to be painted every 7 to 10 years, but the actual timeframe varies by material and region. For example, cement fiberboard siding needs repainting every 10 to 15 years, but more traditional cladding needs painting more often. In areas with intense sunlight, stucco, vinyl or aluminum siding should be painted about every five years. Wood siding may need to be painted every three to seven years. In regions where sunlight is less intense, paint should last four to 10 years on wood and 20 years on vinyl or aluminum siding.
If you’re interested in other home renovation projects, find out what you can do yourself and what you need a contractor for with this helpful guide.
When you’re looking for extra space in your home, garages are logical places to turn. Whether you need an extra room, a bit of rental income, or just want to spread out, chances are, with some modifications, your home has the space you need.
Before you convert your garage to livable space, you must attend to a few issues. Here are a few suggestions to help ensure converting a garage to a living space goes smoothly:
1. Meet building codes
“To get a building permit, you may need a plot plan, a floor plan of the house and an elevation plan showing setbacks,” says Andy Baker, residential land use attorney from Calabasas, Calif. Before finalizing those plans, he advises getting feedback from the city or county planning office to be sure they meet the current building codes. Then go back to your contractor or architect for the final versions you will submit for a building permit.
“If you can’t meet the requirements, you may apply for a variance,” Baker says. Applying for a variance is a better option than renovating without a building permit, where penalties can exceed $1,000 plus the cost of reconverting the space.
2. Comply with zoning ordinances
Converting a garage to a room means you lose parking space. In many jurisdictions, “zoning ordinances require covered, off-street parking.” Baker says. “If you take parking from the garage, you must provide it elsewhere.”
In dense subdivisions, that may be impossible, requiring you to rethink your garage conversion. If your goal is to gain rental income, check local zoning to find out if there are any related restrictions, such as those on the number of rental spaces allowed per lot. The objective is to avoid any changes that affect the neighborhood.
If the garage conversion changes the footprint of the residence, check the zoning laws to determine the mandated setbacks for the side, back and front yards.
3. Consult your CC&Rs
If you’re part of a homeowners’ association, your garage conversion project must also meet the requirements of its Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). While the details will vary among communities, homeowners who do not meet these requirements may find themselves in mediation or being sued by their association.
Some CC&Rs do not allow garage conversions, while others consult the board of directors for discussion. Other conversions, such as to the attic or basement, may gain easier approval because they don’t effect on-street parking. However, be aware of neighbors’ privacy concerns, as attic conversions may provide new views into their homes or yards.
4. Work with the right professionals
Even if you plan to do the work yourself , involve professionals who are active in the field. For example, practicing architects should know the current building codes. The building and safety division of your city or county’s public works department can help too.
If you hire a contractor, choose someone who routinely performs the type of work you want done. A handyman may have the necessary skills, but be unaware of recent building codes.
Depending on the conversion, you may also need to hire an engineer. This is more common for attic or basement conversions as they “need a structural engineer to determine whether they can support habitation,” Baker explains. This includes ensuring that attic structures can support the extra weight and that trusses can open properly, in addition to adding or modifying the windows.
5. Start and end construction on time
Converting a space may take three to six months, including the time required to gain the necessary permits. “Planning departments typically allow six months for renovations, but you may buy an extension,” Baker says. If you don’t start within the allotted time, you will need a new building permit. Projects that exceed the allotted time frame may incur fines.
These aspects of garage conversions are often overlooked. Attending to them initially makes your project proceed much more smoothly, rather than getting caught up in a legal predicament. Be sure to contact your Nationwide agent before work begins to ensure that you are protected during the remodeling and, afterward, to ensure that your insurance policy is updated to reflect the additional square footage of your new living space.
Before you put that recreational vehicle in gear, it’s best to prepare thoroughly.
That will ensure your next trip is a joy, not a drag. It also means looking beyond the basics, such as a full gas tank and stocked refrigerator. Before you start your next journey, you might assemble a to-do list. Here are the essential things you’ll want to double-check before you pull out of the driveway.
Certain things are optional for travel, but in today’s world there are a few things that you just don’t want to leave home without. They include:
The Simple Things
Even though space can be limited, here are a few everyday items you don’t want to leave home without:
Working from home is the next big thing. According to the State of the Remote Job Marketplace report, in 2018, nearly 4 million people, or 2.9% of the population, worked from home. That’s a 115% increase since 2005, and that number is projected to grow even faster in the coming decade. Upwork’s Future Workforce Report predicts that as many as 38% of full-time staffs will work from home by the end of the next decade, and nearly 60% of hiring managers are using remote and freelance workers — that’s 24% more than were using freelancers the year before.
As more employers and hiring managers recognize the benefits of remote workers, employees have more opportunities to find jobs and enjoy careers with a commute from the bedroom to the home office. Even better, these legitimate jobs may pay comparable wages to what in-office workers are earning.
Finding great opportunities
Certain fields lend themselves to remote jobs; knowing what types of businesses and industries are more likely to have work from home opportunities can help guide your search. According to FlexJobs, the top five fields for working from home are:
Of course, these aren’t the only industries that offer telecommuting jobs. Define what kind of work you’re interested in and have good skills in. Then, you can start looking for jobs that are a good fit. If you want to figure out how to work from home, start by looking at what’s available in the area where you live.
Identify work from home job scams
The Internet has made it fairly easy to find work from home jobs, but it has also made it easier for scammers to take advantage of people looking for those jobs. Because of that, you’ll want to choose your search options carefully.
Using search terms like “work from home” or “work at home jobs” is more likely to lead to scam sites. Instead, use keywords like “remote jobs,” “telecommuting jobs,” “home-based positions” and “virtual jobs.” When you find a company you’re interested in applying with, conduct a quick search for reviews of the company to see what experiences others have had with it.
According to the FlexJobs report, there are about 60 to 70 scam listings for every one legitimate work from home job opportunity. Always conduct your due diligence to make sure you’re working with a reputable company. Look for red flags, including:
If you’re working from home, your company may require you to have a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers part of your house as a home office. Contact Sterling Peaks Insurance to make sure your coverage meets your needs. This is particularly important if you have a significant amount of business property or conduct business in person with customers in your home.
 “The State of the Remote Job Marketplace,” FlexJobs
 “How to Find a Real Online Job (and Avoid the Scams!),” FlexJobs
 “Got Remote Workers? 8 Key Points to Include in Your Remote Work Policy,” Business Insider
What is motorcycle insurance?
Motorcycle insurance is an agreement between you and your insurance company that protects your bike, scooter, moped, ATV, or UTV, any damage you cause while riding, and other events. As with auto insurance, you’ll select and purchase “coverages,” which represent things your insurer agrees to pay for.
In a nutshell: It’s like paying a little now to avoid potentially paying a lot later.
How does motorcycle insurance work?
Whether you buy motorcycle insurance on your own, from an agent, or through a representative at a dealership, you’ll be asked some basic questions about you, your bike, and the coverages you’re looking for. These factors will affect your price for insurance. Then, if you damage your motorcycle or you hit someone/something else, you’ll file a “claim” with your insurer. If your claim is covered, they’ll pay for the losses or injuries up to your coverage limits.
Generally, more coverages means a higher price.
Do you need motorcycle insurance?
Yes. Motorcycle insurance is required in all states except New Hampshire (New Hampshire still requires financial responsibility if you cause an accident, so you’ll want to be properly insured). If you ride without insurance or lack the proper coverages, you could get a fine, have your license revoked, suffer a court-ordered financial judgement that you can’t afford, or even land in jail. No worries, though—Progressive and most other insurers won’t sell a policy that doesn’t meet your state’s requirements.
How to get motorcycle insurance
At Progressive, you can buy motorcycle insurance anytime and usually get coverage immediately. This is ideal for when you need insurance to ride your new bike home from the dealership. You can print proof of insurance or download it to your phone in most states. Here’s how you can purchase a motorcycle policy through Progressive. Prices can vary depending on how you buy.
Call a rep
You'll speak with a licensed representative who will guide you through everything.
Call or Text 970-314-9188
Through an agent
If you want local advice we'll connect you with Sterling Peaks Insurance, an independent agent near you.
Sterling Peaks Insuranace
Progressive is the #1 motorcycle insurer! Join Progressive today, and see why one out of every three bikes on the road is insured by us.
These are the coverages available in most states. Remember, insurance won’t cover maintenance or general wear and tear.
Damages/injuries you cause
Liability: Is the only required coverage in most states. While it’s true that motorcyclists usually bear the brunt of a collision, liability insurance is crucial if you’re in an accident and are responsible for someone else’s injuries or damages. Liability coverage pays for:
Damages to your motorcycle from events beyond your control
Comprehensive: This coverage protects your bike from:
Damages to your motorcycle from accidents
Collision: Covers any damage to your motorcycle if you collide with another vehicle or object, regardless of fault. You’re also covered if your bike is overturned.
Damages to your motorcycle from uninsured drivers/riders
Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage: It’s estimated that about 13% of drivers are uninsured countrywide, according to the Insurance Information Institute. If your motorcycle is damaged by a driver who isn’t carrying insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover the damage they’ve caused, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will kick in. This coverage will then repair or replace your bike up to your policy’s limits. Same goes for injuries you suffer at the hands of an uninsured or underinsured driver—we’ll cover your injuries up to the limits of your policy.
Medical payments: Pays for the medical bills for you and your passengers if you’re in an accident, regardless of fault.
Coverages we’ll automatically include on your motorcycle policy
Keep in mind, some of these coverages are exclusive to Progressive!
Accessories and custom parts/equipment: Most motorcycle owners are very invested in their bike, and have made numerous upgrades and customizations to their ride. That’s why we automatically include $3,000 in accessory coverage if you have comprehensive and collision insurance on your policy. If $3,000 isn't enough, you can purchase up to $30,000 in coverage.
Original equipment manufacturer parts: Progressive always repairs your bike with OEM parts if that’s what you had before. Or, if your parts were customized, we’ll use custom parts. Know that no matter what parts you have, we'll always replace them with the same parts or better, if available.
No rate increase for certain accidents
Accident forgiveness: We won’t increase your rate if you have a claim that costs less than $500. Plus, if you ride accident-free with us for four years, we won’t raise your rate for your first accident over $500.
Brand new motorcycle if you total yours
Total loss coverage: Available for newer bikes. If your bike is totaled in a covered accident, we’ll pay you the full manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a new motorcycle, minus your policy’s deductible.
For example, if you bought your bike for $20,000 a couple years ago, it may only be worth $15,000 after depreciation. Now figure the latest model of the bike costs $20,000—well that’s exactly what you’ll receive after your deductible.
Roadside assistance and trip interruption: If you’re within 100 feet of the road and your bike is disabled, we’ll tow it to the nearest repair facility for free. You can also add “trip interruption” coverage which pays for food, transportation, and hotel expenses up to $500 per incident. Roadside assistance must be purchased before you can add trip interruption coverage.
Belongings on your bike
Carried contents and personal belongings: Covers personal items that you carry on your motorcycle, like phones, laptops, apparel, camping, and hunting gear, if they’re damaged, stolen, or fall off your bike.
25% deductible drop
Disappearing deductibles: For every claim-free policy term, we’ll subtract 25% from your deductible amount. For instance, if you buy a Progressive motorcycle policy and your collision deductible is $1,000, we’ll lower it to $750 if you haven’t filed a claim by your first renewal. If you’re still claim-free at your next renewal, your deductible amount will drop another 25%. And so on, all the way down to $0.
Lost wages if you’re injured
Enhanced injury protection: If you’re unable to work because you’re injured in a covered accident, Progressive will pay you up to $250 per week for two straight years. If you’re in a fatal accident, we’ll pay $25,000 to your beneficiaries, so enhanced injury protection also functions similarly to life insurance.
Full value for replacement parts
If you’re in a covered accident, Progressive will restore your damaged bike to pre-accident condition or better. For example, your damaged five-year-old front tire with 10,000 miles may only have a depreciated value of $50, but a new one costs $150. With Progressive’s no depreciation policy, we’ll give you $150 for the brand new tire (similar model).
How is motorcycle insurance priced?
Insurers will consider a variety of factors, and pricing all comes down to risk: How likely are you to crash your bike and what will it cost to repair or replace? Here are a few of the main factors that will determine your price:
Driving history: If your motor vehicle and insurance reports are accident-free, your insurer will consider you less likely to have one in the future. Same goes for violations and speeding tickets.
Type of bike: Generally, the more powerful the motorcycle, the greater the risk. Bikes with big engines will likely cost more to insure.
Age: Experienced riders are usually less likely to have an accident, and your rate will typically decrease as you get older. Some insurers may increase rates for older drivers, starting around age 70.
There are few things more frightening while towing your recreational vehicle than trailer sway. A sudden gust, a passing semi-truck or a quick steering correction can start your trailer swaying or fishtailing. The loss of control can mean tipping your valuable recreational vehicle or causing a serious accident.
Even the most experienced drivers have lost control of their towed trailers with disastrous results. A brief encounter with sway on the highway can quickly put a damper on your vacation and make you think about putting the camper back in the garage or up for sale. These tips can help you understand what causes trailer sway, as well as help keep your RV upright.
What causes trailer sway?
Any trailer towed with a hitch set behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle can sway or fishtail while driving. The hitch acts as a pivot point in-between the centers of gravity of the two vehicles. Any trailer sway or side-to-side force will turn the vehicle and create an unexpected steering force.
If that sideways force is strong enough it can be more powerful than the road-tire friction for the drive wheels on the vehicle. This can cause the tipping over or separation of the trailer and maybe even the truck or car too.
Wind and drafts
Trailer sway can be a result of crosswinds, drafts from passing semi-trucks or descending hills using incorrect braking technique, according to Mark Polk in his RV Tech Tips series on RVTravel.com.
The front of trailers are aerodynamic to improve towing gas mileage, but the sides aren’t. A 35-mph crosswind could put as much as 3,440 pounds of force pushing on the side of a large trailer, according to a study on commercial vehicle towing accidents by Knott Laboratory in 2009.
Weight and balance problems
Loading too much gear on one side of your camper can also cause an unbalance, making them swing more dramatically once a sway starts, like a pendulum around its center of gravity. This can also make your RV more likely to suffer a blowout, or additional braking and steering problems.
Balancing weight to the forward and rear is also vital for controlled driving. Between 12-15% of the trailer’s weight should be resting on the tow vehicle’s hitch, according to Bill Estes, writing in Trailer Life Magazine. Any less weight forward may pull up on the tow vehicle’s rear wheels just when you need more traction and control. However, drivers have to be careful not to exceed the tow rating of the hitch or vehicle itself.
How to help keep trailer sway from happening
The best way to correct trailer sway is to avoid it in the first place. Follow these general tips when towing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
What products are available to reduce trailer sway?
Several hitch designs claim to reduce sway through friction control or weight distribution. Friction based hitches create a rigid connection, limiting sway but still allowing the trailer to turn. Weight distribution hitches use special parts to distribute the tongue weight of the trailer among all of the axles, both tow vehicle and trailer.
How to help stop trailer sway once it starts
If your trailer starts to sway on the road, the NHTSA recommends activating the manual brake control override by hand. Applying the tow vehicle brakes will generally make the sway worse. Lift your foot from the accelerator but don’t step on the brake pedal unless you’re in danger of hitting something, according to Estes.
Proper equipment, attention to weight balancing and keeping an eye on the weather and passing vehicles will help make sure the only sway you feel on your camping trip is that of the hammock at your campsite.
In the event sway does occur, it’s important that your RV is protected. Find out about Nationwide’s available RV insurance options today.
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Our blog is about educating our customers and the public about important insurance information that we feel is meaningful.