Are you planning on towing a trailer, camper or boat with your vehicle?
Here are some practical, easy to follow tips for traveling safely and comfortably when towing.
<> Be sure your trailer hitch is rated to handle the weight of your camper or fully loaded trailer. (Hitches that bolt to your frame are the strongest, but even those vary in capacity.)
<> Before pulling out, make sure the hitch coupler is locked and that the trailer’s safety chains are secured to the towing vehicle. Also check your trailer’s lights, including brake lights and turn signals, to make sure they are working. You also need to make sure the tires are inflated to their proper weight.
<> Secure any load you’re carrying to prevent it from shifting once you are on the road.
<> Make sure your trailer’s load is balanced so that most of the weight is carried by the trailer’s wheels. If the rear of your towing vehicle sags, there is probably too much weight on the front of the trailer and too little weight on the front wheels of the vehicle, which can make handling difficult. If you can easily lift the tongue of the loaded trailer (the tongue is the part of the trailer that connects to the towing vehicle), the trailer may wander back and forth while traveling. If this is the case you may want to shift more weight to the front. If such ‘yawning’ should occur while driving, don’t slam on the brakes but come to a slow stop and adjust your load.
<> Once you’re on the road, keep a greater-than-normal distance between yourself and the vehicles ahead of you and give yourself more time to come to a complete stop.
<> When cornering, stay as far left as possible when turning right (and vise versa) as well as pulling further into the intersection before starting to turn.
<> When backing up, turn your wheels in the opposite direction that you want the trailer to turn.
<> Allow additional space between you and eh vehicles behind you when changing lanes.