How To Safely Pull A Trailer
Pulling a trailer regardless of its type or size means that you need to handle a whole different thing. There will be a requirement for doing quick movements, starting your vehicle during a jack-rabbit situation, and making stops at the last minute.
You need to mind the trailer to keep the trouble from happening. In majority of cases, that kind of weight has the capability to push you where you need to go.
Since there are powerful pickup trucks of today, it is quite simple to have a truck that can match a trailer that weighs twice as much as the truck. You can learn more about trailers here.
Before Towing A Trailer
- You need to read the manual of the truck to determine what the maximum load limit is and to check if the manufacturer has indicated any special notes that can be associated with towing
- Find out the different types of hitches on a trailer to make sure the hitch you will use is appropriate for what you need to tow
- Link the trailer wiring to the truck and check all lights to make sure they are functioning well
- Put a coat of grease on the trailer ball before connecting it to the tongue of the trailer
- Make sure that the tongue of the trailer is locked or latched on the hitch ball without looseness or playing excessively
- The safety chains have to be linked to the trailer on to the tow vehicle
- The trailers that have electric brakes are equipped with a device that the brakes can be applied if the trailer gets unlinked from the vehicle
- Adjust the rearview mirrors outside so you will be able to see all sides of the tow vehicle
For Generally Handling The Trailer
- The driving gear that the manufacturer recommended for towing has to be used
- Keep the driving speed moderate to place less strain on the tow vehicle and trailer. As the speed increases the trailer can become unstable
- Avoid suddenly stopping or starting because it can cause accidents
- Do not maneuver that might lead to swaying or undue side force
- Slow down while traveling on bumpy roads, and other obstacles on the road
- Do wider turns when reaching curves and corners
- Control swaying by making changes in air pressure and wind buffeting when bigger vehicles come from both directions, let go of the accelerator pedal to go slowly and maintain your firm grip on the wheel
Balance The RV’s Weight Distribution
You need to load the RV trailer properly and at least 10% of the total weight of the loaded trailer has to be the tongue weight for travel trailers to avoid swaying.
A trailer that’s bene heavily loaded can just drag the tow vehicle back and forth across a lot of lanes of traffic and totally put you out of control.
So far, it is best to use the fifth wheel trailer for handling. There is a pivot that is pointing directly on the rear axle of the tow vehicle, but without sway and whipping.
Never forget to connect the safety chains to the trailer hitch or tow vehicle by making them cross underneath the coupler.
The length of the safety chains should be long enough so the vehicle can make tight turns. If it is longer than that, it may weaken any safety feature of the chains in case other connections fail
You also need to make sure that there is no wiggling in the chains and do not allow them to get dragged.
Inspect the inflation thread and the tires need to be filled according to the guidelines of the manufacturer. Tires that have excessive or too little air pressure can cause swaying. The sidewalls normally have to be filled with maximum air pressure.
Braking The Trailer
- You need a considerable amount of distance for stopping
- If you need an electric trailer brake controller and the trailer starts to sway excessively, the trailer brake controller needs to be activated by hand. Do not try to control the swaying by applying the brakes because it will only make it worse
- Always think that there is a need to slow down. To lower speed, shift to a lower gear and lightly step on the brakes
How To Park
- Avoid parking on grades or have someone to guide you who can step outside while you are parking. When you stopped already, but before you shift into parking, it is advisable to ask someone to put blocks on the trailer wheel’s downhill side. Step on the parking brake, shift the pedal to Park and then lift your foot from the brake pedal
- If you need to uncouple the trailer, place blocks at the front and back of the trailer tires to make sure the trailer will not move when the coupling has been released
- If the load is not balanced, it can cause the tongue to rotate upward and therefore, before uncoupling occurs, the jack stands have to be placed under the trailer rear to avoid injury
In general, pulling a trailer requires you to learn a new way of driving. You need to give way to the other guy, pull back, and give yourself enough time to move on the road.
A more laid-back and slower manner of driving, even at the avoidance of speed in freeways, will reduce stress. This will allow you to become more comfortable with towing an RV trailer.
These are the tips you need to know about pulling a trailer safely because accidents happen every day on the road and you need to avoid them.
It can take a lot of hard work and practice if you need to pull a trailer safely, but once you get the hang of it, traveling with a trailer is easy.
About the author:
Nancy McCoy is a contributing author for Wheelarea.com - a handy blog that is focused on sharing experiences, tips and tricks about automotive. You will find the best recommendations for accessories and parts, "how to" posts, answers to questions, and in-depth guides to everything you need to know about automotive in this blog.
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