Whether you’re heading out on a camping trip or you’re taking the boat out fishing, practicing safe towing habits is imperative not only to your safety, but the safety of other people on the road. And good safety habits begin with a solid knowledge of controlling trailer sway and towing protocols.
If you’re ready to learn about towing safety and how to select a proper vehicle and equipment for your next towing outing, keep reading.
Choose the Right Vehicle
The vehicle you’re towing with has a huge impact on the safety of your towing method. You wouldn’t tow an RV with a mini-coup, would you? No. In order to make sure you have the right towing vehicle for your trailer, it’s important to have a few pieces of information:
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: This figure (GVWR) refers to your tow vehicle. It details the maximum amount of weight your vehicle is capable of carrying. It also includes the weight of passengers, cargo, fuel, and the actual vehicle.
- Gross Trailer Weight: If you already have a trailer, you’ll be able to find this number (GTW). If you’re looking into buying a trailer, make sure you find out what this number is before you buy! It encompasses the same weight information as GVWR.
Once you have those two numbers, compare them in order to have optimal sway control and to determine what kind of trailer sway control equipment you’ll need. If the GTW exceeds the GVWR by 50% or more, it’s recommended to invest in weight distribution. Without the proper precautions, you could be risking serious trailer sway and even accidents.
Determine How You’ll Be Controlling Trailer Sway
Unfortunately, factors like wind, towing speed, and poor trailer design can all contribute to trailer sway. In order to combat these common issues, you’ll need to choose the right equipment for the job. For instance, the right weight distribution system or trailer sway control hitch can make all the difference in the world. A few key pieces of equipment to look into include:
- Trailer sway control hitch
- Electric trailer brake controller
- Weight distribution system
It may seem tedious, but understanding how to keep yourself and others safe while you’re towing a trailer means having both the proper knowledge and the proper equipment.
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