Off on a Road Trip? Learn How to Tow Your Trailer Safely
A trailer makes a great addition to a family holiday or road trip. It’s great fun to set off on a long journey when you know that you have all your favorite possessions with you, but it’s also important to make sure that you’re driving safely. Trailers can easily cause accidents, particularly when drivers don’t take sensible precautions. Make sure your car and trailer gets to the destination in one piece with these safety tips.
Make sure your car is fit to tow
towing a trailer. Old, poorly maintained autos do not make good towing vehicles, but you can’t assume that a brand-new car is powerful enough either. Check the car’s towing capability in the owner’s manual, and make sure that the vehicle can cope with the weight of your trailer. Make sure the vehicle is in good working order too. Too much strain could cause mechanical problems, which could easily lead to an accident.It’s important that your car is up to the job of
Check the law
Many states have different laws about the maximum weight rating for your tow vehicle and trailer. If you exceed the limit, you could find yourself in trouble with the police, and it’s also a likely sign that you are driving unsafely. Check the law before your travel, and remember to check each state separately, if you are driving long distances.
Prepare your trailer
It’s not just the car that you need to prepare for the journey. You also need to make certain that the trailer is up to the job. Check braking, suspension and electrical systems, and make sure that all the lights are working. Don’t forget to check the tire pressure too, as this can seriously affect stability and fuel efficiency. Check all the items inside the trailer. Lock and latch all doors, close any windows and make sure that you store everything securely.
Make sure you are safely hitched
You need to make sure that you are completely confident in the strength and security of the mechanism that you use to hitch up to your trailer. Make sure you completely understand the connection process, closely following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Conduct all the safety checks necessary, and always drive a very short distance at first, just to make sure that the connection is secure.
Get some practice
It’s important to remember that driving with a trailer isn’t as easy as you might think, and you need to practice before you set off on a long journey. Go for several test runs with an experienced driver, choosing a variety of driving conditions to build up your confidence. Focus on the different driving techniques you need to navigate the road, considering the effect that a trailer has on stability, visibility and handling. Most importantly, if you aren’t comfortable driving with a trailer, don’t set off on a long journey.
Lots of drivers enjoy the freedom they get from driving with a trailer, but it’s important to protect your passengers and other road users. Make sure that you always tow a trailer safely, and take the right precautions.