Driving with a trailer is a skill that can take time to master. Here are a few things you can do to make your trailer safer when traveling.
Invest in a Good Weight Distribution System
If your trailer weight is more than 50% of your vehicle’s weight, then a weight distribution system is recommended for safe towing. A weight distribution system is designed to create a level, stable ride when you’re towing a trailer. Essentially, the system helps to keep the towing setup level and prevent the trailer from placing undue stress on your vehicle.
Adjust Brakes According to Load
Electric brakes will not work without a trailer brake controller, so if your trailer is equipped with electric brakes, this is one piece of equipment that is absolutely essential to safe driving. A trailer brake controller can also be set according to the load you’re towing. If your trailer has hydraulic brakes instead, it may be using a system that uses the trailer’s own weight and momentum to activate the braking system.
Allow For Longer Stopping Distances
Driving with a trailer means you’re pulling more weight than just your own vehicle. This also means you’ll have to take longer to stop since you’re having to overcome more momentum. Even if your trailer brake controller is working perfectly, it will still take longer to stop than if it were just your vehicle without the trailer. Brake early.
Make Wider Turns
Curves and corners can be the bane of an inexperienced driver’s existence when it comes to driving with a trailer. Remember to allow for the trailer when cornering and navigating around curves.
Don’t Ride The Brakes During Long Downhill Stretches
Riding the brakes is a good way to burn them out. Instead, use the brakes to slow down, then allow the vehicle to pick up speed before you touch the brakes to bring the speed down again. This ‘start and stop’ kind of driving isn’t advised on flat roads, but ignoring this advice on a hard downgrade means you’ll be putting a lot of stress on your brakes, and may potentially burn them out and cause them to fail completely.
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