For me, RVing is one of life’s simple pleasures, but it did require me to learn new skills along the way that were a bit tricky and required education and practice. Some of these practices, like towing a travel trailer, can also be made much easier with aftermarket upgrade accessories. For instance, finding the right weight distribution hitch system is key to controlling your rig on the road and dealing with travel trailer sway.Unfortunately, standard weight distribution systems require raising the tow vehicle with a tongue jack over and over again to get the right tension. This can be frustrating and scary. Luckily, there's Straptek®, which simplifies this system by replacing the chains with a ratchet winch and strap.
My colleague and I tested Straptek with his 2013 Kodiak 300BHSL on two trips – one west through Colorado and another from Centennial,
Colorado, to Wyoming. When I initially took Straptek out of the box, I felt like a fish out of water. I’m so used to
adjusting my standard weight distribution hitch system, that this accessory to help me do it seemed out of place. However, it’s clear Straptek can make an experienced RVer's life easier and, even more so, help a new RVer learn the ropes
of adjusting a hitch.
Straptek was easy to set up from the get go, not just because the package included detailed instructions, but Lippert Components® also provides video guides online. The bracket system is nice because it fits snugly, allowing you to quickly adjust its placement if needed. I was amazed at how easy it was to get the straps in place and then tighten them to get my spring bars where I wanted them.
In the beginning, the Straptek straps were a bit stiff, but this seems to have been because it was straight out of the box and hadn’t been
used yet. As I adjusted before my return trip, it was much easier to set the right tension. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quick I could adjust my spring bars with Straptek as opposed to tightening chains by jacking the
trailer up and down.
If you need to adjust your system on the road and pull over, using Straptek is much safer than a chain system. For new RVers, pulling over to adjust a hitch on a busy road can be daunting. Straptek can help alleviate some of that frustration and anxiety in those cases. On my initial trip, I couldn’t tell if Straptek prevented any sway. However, my colleague said he could tell a difference when using
Straptek during his trip up to Wyoming. He noted that his trailer seemed to feel smoother on the road with Straptek, and he is looking forward to testing that theory on stretches this summer into Kansas and further east.
One of the best perks of Straptek that I wasn’t expecting is how quiet it is. Chains are loud, especially on windy roads, and Straptek is super quiet because it uses straps instead of chains. You may not think this is a big deal, but if you’ve ever towed in bad conditions, you know that your chains can sound like your entire trailer is coming apart.