RV skid rollers help prevent trailer drag on steep driveways

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By Jim Twamley
Sometimes RVing can be a drag, especially when you have a long trailer. RV skid rollers help prevent trailer drag when traversing steep driveways. When I purchased my second 5th wheel I struggled over whether or not to install skid rollers. I decided to drive around for a few months and see if I really needed them. It turns out I didn’t need them.

If you need them, you’ll find there are three skid wheel applications: frame mounted, hitch mounted and receiver hitch protectors.

What are skid rollers and what do they do?

Skid rollers or wheels are made using heavy duty metal casters. Paktron Industries (Note: website not secure) makes extra-heavy-duty casters with a urethane outer coating. The idea of a skid wheel is to prevent the RV from dragging when pulling into or out of a driveway with a steep incline. Instead of scraping the asphalt and ripping off your bumper, skid wheels take the impact and lift up the rear of the trailer, rolling it forward instead of dragging. I discovered that my 5th wheel would clear most steep inclines with about two inches to spare. Had I installed skid wheels (which extend about six inches below the bumper) I would have unnecessarily lifted my RV on many occasions when pulling over driveway inclines.

Here is an example of a frame-mounted skid wheel that has been bent. This skid wheel is mounted incorrectly because it is not welded directly under the frame. It is mounted to the side of the frame and crumpled under the pressure. If skid wheels are installed correctly they can be useful in preventing damage caused by dragging.

Skid rollers also work on the receiver hitch

Another type of skid wheel is mounted to the receiver hitch (another notorious low spot). These can be especially useful with travel trailers when tongue weight causes the hitch to “dive” when traversing a driveway with a steep incline.

One of the best ways to avoid damage to both the tow vehicle and the travel trailer is to avoid driveways with steep inclines altogether. If you must traverse a steep driveway, do it at an angle and go very slowly so as not to cause the RV to bounce down on the pavement.

MORE ON TRAILER TOWING:
Okay to let passengers ride in a moving travel trailer?
Use your cruise control or overdrive while towing?

##RVDT1491

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1 month ago

Alright, you tease us with a picture of a ball mounts with skid rollers attached but do not offer a source. And doing a search on the internet shows nothing but a link referring back to the picture here. Anyone know of a source for these?

Jeff Craig
1 month ago

Discovered our need for one of these the hard way – exiting a Waffle House parking lot in Jackson, MS. The entrance was a piece of cake, but the exit turned out to be akin to the cliff jump made by Butch and Sundance!

As we pulled out, we heard the overhang of our 35ft Class A Georgetown scraping along the pavement, as the entire back end of our rig lifted up. If we hadn’t been towing our Jeep, I don’t doubt that we could have gotten stuck. We broke the 7-pin plug mount, scraped the air hose for our BrakeMaster in half (so, there went our supplemental brakes….) and for the next three days on our way home to Seattle, I was mentally kicking myself.

After getting everything repaired, I installed a set of Ultra-Fab hitch mounted rollers. Since then, we haven’t been in a situation that we’d need them, but it’s a nice bit of protection that’s always there!

Andrea
1 month ago

Our dealer’s shop suggested what we have been calling skid wheels, when they saw how damaged the original metal skid “v”s on our 17; travel trailer were. We actually mangled one to the point of breaking.The major culprit is our driveway, which has a slope to the street, cross slope, and a gutter deeper that we noticed until we started backing the trailer into the driveway.The skid wheels have been a great addition. Even after raising the trailer another inch+, when we needed a new axle, the wheels still contact the concrete every time we park it.

Debbie
1 month ago

The frame mounted skid rollers sound like a good fix for our travel trailer as our driveway is steep. Right now we go in very slow, on an angle and use wood planks at the curb. Any downside to the skid rollers?