The Hyndsight News

5 Tips for Safely Towing a Trailer

Jay Ross - Wednesday, June 06, 2018


 

Towing a trailer is a lot different than driving a car or truck. It requires a great deal of preparation and extreme caution once you’re on the road. Before you get started, check out these tips for a safe and successful trip.

 

Know the Maximum Weight Capacity

 

One of the first things you’ll want to do is to calculate your vehicle’s gross trailer weight, which is the total amount of weight you can carry. This includes not only the contents of your trailer, but your vehicle and its occupants. While you’re at it, calculate the trailer tongue weight: the percentage of the trailer’s weight that rests on the hitch. This figure should be 10 to 15% of the of the trailer’s weight for maximum stability.

 

Always Use Safety Chains

 

If your trailer ever becomes disconnected from your vehicle, safety chains serve as backup, keeping the trailer tongue connected to the vehicle while you maneuver to the side of the road. Cross the safety chains in an X pattern underneath the hitch and coupler, leaving enough slack so that you can still turn with ease.

 

Check Trailer Wiring

 

It’s important for people driving behind you to be able to tell if you’re slowing down or making a turn, so you should always check brake lights, tail lights and turn signals before you head out.

 

Drive Cautiously

 

Towing a trailer means taking extra precautions when you’re on the road. Since it will take you longer than normal to accelerate and stop, always leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Travel at a safe, moderate speed, and be mindful of potholes and bumps.

Visibility is also key when towing a trailer—especially when it comes to backing up. Consider using a camera and monitor system like Hyndsight Journey to provide greater visibility while maneuvering your vehicle.

 

Conduct Regular Inspections

 

If you’re towing a trailer a long distance, stop regularly to inspect your rig. Make sure everything is still connected securely, and check the tire pressure and wiring.

 

Once you get the hang of it, towing a trailer isn’t too difficult. If you’re cautious and well-prepared, chances are you’ll have a smooth trip and reach your destination without any major issues.