When planning your next road trip, hitching your trailer packed with everything you need for your outdoor adventure is an important safety step. Even the most spontaneous adventure requires a little bit of planning, and you must plan around your trailer. Here are some tips that are easy to follow to ensure you are safe while traveling with your trailer:
Tip 1: Correct Loading
Controlling a vehicle with a loaded trailer hitched to it can be quite a daunting task. If you lose control, you risk causing an accident or damage to your vehicle and trailer. For the best trailer sway control, you need to load your trailer properly.
You should consider side-to-side and front-to-back weight distribution so your trailer isn’t heavier on one side than the other. Between 12% and 15% of the trailer’s weight should be resting on the tow vehicle’s hitch. If you’re not sure how to properly load your trailer, check out its owner’s manual for instructions.
Tip 2: Do Regular Reviews
An important aspect of safe towing is regularly reviewing your equipment, including your vehicle and trailer’s signals, and the hitch. There are some other elements you need to review often as well. They include:
- Tire pressure
- Signs of damage or wear on tires
- Webbing straps conditions
- Tie-down points
- Reflectors’ conditions
Tip 3: Know Your Trailer and Vehicle
It’s important that you know the vehicle and the trailer you have so you can make good decisions while you drive. If you have to drive someone else’s vehicle or trailer, try to take it for a test ride before loading the trailer and hitting the road.
You should know the size of the trailer as well as the height and weight of the load in it to have proper trailer sway control. If you don’t know all these things, you may make mistakes when driving and parking.
Driving with a trailer doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking. Factors such as trailer sway control need to be kept in mind at all times. Just know your vehicle and trailer, load it properly, and always keep an eye on the condition of the two.
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