Are you planning on towing a vehicle? If so, you need to know the important factors that could affect its safety. Towing a car is not like towing a boat or trailer; it requires extra precautions that don’t apply when pulling another vehicle behind your own. Before attempting any type of towing for yourself, read through this list of things you must know before getting started:
Weight of Trailer
When you’re towing a trailer, there are several things to consider. First, how much weight can your tow vehicle handle? Then, how much weight can the trailer handle? Next and most importantly: how much of that total weight will be on the hitch itself (i.e., your vehicle’s rear axle) versus inside the trailer?
The truth is that both parts of this equation are important. If you exceed the recommended capacity for either one—either by adding too heavy a load or by exceeding the maximum tongue weight—you risk damaging both vehicles in addition to possibly injuring yourself and others on board. The best way to know what is safe is by consulting a tow guide. Also, experts like Camping world will give you more insight into this.
Safety chains are a must when towing. They should be attached to the trailer hitch and always in good condition. They should also be attached to the front of your vehicle. If you don’t have safety chains, make sure you learn how to use them before attempting any long trips with your trailer.
A tow guide is an additional device used for keeping your tow vehicle centered under its load when driving down steep hills or rough terrain.
A brake controller is a device that connects to your vehicle’s braking system and regulates the amount of pressure that is applied to the trailer’s brakes. It is required if you are towing a trailer.
Tires and Wheels
- Tires: Make sure they’re inflated to the recommended pressure. If you have a manual tire inflator, check the pressure every time you fill it up with gasoline.
- Wheels: Wheels should be secure and in good condition, with a tread depth of at least 3/32 of an inch (2.4 mm) for all four wheels.
You must connect the trailer’s electrical connector to your tow vehicle before pulling out onto the road. This is usually a three- or four-pin connector, which you can find on either side of your vehicle’s tail light housing. The key here is ensuring that you’re connecting it correctly! If it doesn’t fit right away, don’t force it—it may be upside down, and you’ll need to flip it around before trying again.
Once connected, follow other instructions given with your trailer or read in its owner’s manual how to turn on any lights or brakes.
It is important to make sure your vehicle is properly prepared for towing. Doing so can save you from many headaches, and it will also help keep your family and friends safe as well. Remember these tips when preparing for a trip with your new trailer!