RV with trailer

How Can I Safely Tow My Trailer?

The use of a trailer can be beneficial in numerous different situations. Whether you are on holiday with the family and want to bring along your bikes, or if you have a considerable amount of large objects that need to be moved from one location to another, using a trailer is always handy. If it is your first time using a trailer, then, of course, you do not run into any issues, so a crucial question we all ask is “how can I safely tow my trailer?”

What Do I Need To Remember To Ensure I Tow My Trailer Safely?

There are several different aspects to remember to make sure that you prepare yourself before you set off for your journey, as well as during the trip. From the very start when fitting your trailer to when you reach your destination, you and your passengers need to be safe. Here we have devised some useful points to remember when trailer towing.

trailer

Research First

Before you can start purchasing or attempting to fit your trailer, it is essential to read your vehicle manual. You need to know the exact weight that your vehicle is capable of holding as every car is different. The maximum weight you can tow is based on the maximum gross vehicle weight, but all of this will be explained in more detail specific to your vehicle in your manual. The number of passengers you plan to take with you on your journey will affect your maximum weight, so a load of your passengers needs to be taken into consideration. Towing the right weight is vital for stability, but also if you tow more than you are meant to it can damage your vehicle and be unsafe.

Hitch Up

Your vehicle is secured to the trailer with a hitch, so to gain maximum security you need to ensure the hitch ball is the exact right size. If the hitch ball is too small, you run the risk of your trailer coming off mid-journey. This is particularly dangerous if you are driving on a motorway at high speed. All hitches will come with detailed instructions, so it is recommended to get to know all of the parts before application. If you are unsure, there are always several different step-by-step instructions online.

trailer hitch

Practice

It is never a good idea to get on the road straight away without any trailer towing practice. Driving just a car is very different to driving a vehicle with a trailer at the back, so you need to make sure you know exactly how to deal with each driving situation before setting off. You can take Trailer Training Courses to develop your skills and safety. One of the hardest parts of trailer towing is turning tight corners and dealing with roundabouts, so try going to a quiet area and getting in as much practice as possible. It is also recommended to get used to parking and manoeuvres, just in case you have to do manoeuvres such as reverse into a parking space in a busy car park. Getting into good practice will make you overall more aware of the clearance you will have and how you can alter your driving to make it safer.

Regular Check-Ups

If you are driving a long journey, you are always likely to make regular stops for a coffee and to stretch your legs. During your stop always take a couple of minutes just to have an overall checkup and have a full inspection of your vehicle. The main aspects we recommend to check are your hitch, wiring and tyres. Have a little look to see if your hitch ball is still secure to the hitch nut and all the pins are secure to the drawbar, if it seems a bit lose give it a tighten. Also, have a check whether your breakaway cable is nice and secure. Although you don’t need to check your tyre pressure at every stop, it’s good to check that they’re still feeling solid.

service station road sign

Leave Space

One of the most important things to remember when you are towing a trailer is that you need to leave a lot more space between you and the vehicle in front than you would usually leave. The heavier your vehicle, the longer the stopping distance will be. You need to brake slowly and in advance to stop the trailer from swaying side to side. If you are worried about braking distances, then you could always practice in advance and also test your emergency stop.

Give Yourself Extra Time

If you are worried about driving for the first time with a trailer, there is nothing wrong with leaving a little bit earlier than you planned to give yourself extra time. It means that you can drive slower and more comfortable because you will have more control over your vehicle. More importantly, taking things slowly will make your overall journey safer for you and your passengers. Things always seem to go wrong when you are in a rush!

busy motorway

Summary

At some point there may become a time where you will need to use a trailer, sometimes cars are just not big enough and cannot hold specific items. Whether you are new to trailer towing or you have towed a trailer in the past, your main aim is to get you, your passengers and your trailer to your final destination safely. You want to reduce the risk of any hazards and problems that may occur along the way, and the key to this is preparation. Preparation starts before you even set off on your journey and comes to an end when you have completed your trip. It will mean that your journey may take longer and you may have to make more stops, but it all worth it to have a smooth journey. We hope that our article has been helpful and solved any questions and worries you have in regards to trailer towing if it was feel free to share our article!

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