When knowing all there is to know about your trailer, it is important to have general hauling tips under your belt. Making sure you never exceed the weight capacity for the tow vehicle, the hitch, and the ball and safety chains, are key factors to know and take under consideration before hitting the road.
First let’s begin with trailer loading…
From beginning to end, it is important to take all the necessary steps to ensure a safe and successful trip. How your trailer is loaded can govern the success of that trip. To limit the swaying of your trailer, placing the heavier part of the load towards the front, ahead of the axle will help. As well as making sure you center your load on the trailer and use tie-downs when needed. When reducing the sway of your trailer, you lower your risk of losing control of your vehicle. To test the sway, load your trailer and gradually increase your speed to highway speed. If you notice that you are swaying, stop and re-adjust your load.
Now for tips on driving with your trailer.
Once you begin driving, it is important to remember to be constantly conscious of the extra weight added to your vehicle. There will always be needed additional time to speed up, and more importantly, slow down. Because of your additional length, you will also need to be aware of the space required to make a turn.
Along with these helpful hints, you should also travel at a lower speed on rough roads. This will ensure a safer and more productive ride. Shifting out of overdrive will also help while maintaining your gas consumption. If your trailer begins to sway when you encounter a gust of wind from a passing vehicle or severe weather, here are more helpful tips on maintaining control:
Slow down gradually
Keep your steering wheel steady
Try applying only the trailer breaks to help reduce the sway
If you slam on your breaks, you could cause your trailer and vehicle to jackknife
Don’t increase your speed or think you can steer out of a sway
If your trailer continues to sway evaluate what you should do to stop the sway before continuing
Finally, trailer components.
When owning a trailer, it is important to know the parts of your trailer and what they do.
Hitches are distinctive to each vehicle. When hauling your trailer make sure you check your owner’s manual to assure you don’t haul more than you can handle.
If you are going to haul more than 50 percent of your vehicle’s weight, take into consideration a Weight Distribution System.
It is very important to always make sure all light, electric brakes and breakaway switches are working on the trailer before you ever get on the road.
Clean and lightly greased couplers will make your life easier and make turning a breeze.
Always make sure safety chains are hooked and crossed under the coupler.