A number of different trailer tent parts are available and they are often important safety features that shouldn’t be looked over.
Trailer Tent Wheels
Trailer tents should have wheels at least 10 inches in diameter but some older models where only fitted with 8 inch wheels. Complicating this further, the tyre rating should be a minimum of four ply to be legally towed but in the past only two ply rating tyres where used. It is important that these two issues are addressed, especially in cases of prolonged road use, as they lower rating tyres are not designed for motorway or other high speed driving, but a limit of 40 mph. If you find yourself with either of these problems, you should change the tyres / wheels immediately. Try to make sure that you always carry a spare, either underneath the trailer tent or in the back of the car. Remember that trailer tent tyres are not generally compatible with your cars tyres and the vehicle rescue services will rarely carry such wheels.
Trailer Tent Brakes
The important consideration of whether your trailer tent has brakes largely depends on what type of car will be towing it. If you are driving a relatively small care then it is imperative that your trailer tent has its own brakes. From a legal point of view it is obligatory that it must have brakes fitted if its loaded weight is more than 750kgs or half the kerb weight of the car, whichever is lower. Generally, heavier models have them fitted as standard, increasing the price and they are nearly always an optional extra for smaller models but when offered a choice it is always wise to have a self braked trailer tent for added safety.
Trailer Tent Jockey Wheels and Corner Legs
Jockey wheels add mobility to your trailer tent that a prop cannot offer. Jockey wheels are not used when the unit is in transit, but only for positioning and support when manoeuvring into position at the campsite. Even so, the wheel and tyre should be in good condition to be used effectively.
Corner legs or steady’s are used when the trailer is in place and give it extra stability when people are inside. If purchasing second hand, make sure that the jockey wheel and corner legs are in good condition, free of rust and full of movement. They need to be able to lower and raise because if they cannot be raised they will cause a hazard when driving.