1. First things first
When towing a trailer, make sure you're comfortable with the vehicle you'll be driving. There are so many safety factors in play when it comes to pulling a trailer, you don't want unfamiliarity behind the wheel to be one of them.
Here are some helpful tips for safely pulling a tow, but please be sure to consult your state's safety and towing laws, as well as the users manual of your trailer and vehicle for more information.
2. Check your hitch
The hitch ball should be the same size as the trailer coupler and should meet or exceed the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the trailer. If you tow often, check your hitch ball for any signs of deterioration and periodically lubricate it.
3. What's the pressure like?
Check the pressure on your vehicle's tires. If they're not inflated properly, the weight of the hitch will accelerate tread wear.
The same goes for your trailer. Those smaller tires mean they spin faster, and a properly inflated tire will run cooler. Avoid overheated tires or wheel bearings by inflating them to your trailer manufacturer's maximum recommended cold pressure.
4. Cross your chains
Hopefully, you'll never have to rely on your chains. They're a last resort to keep the trailer attached to your vehicle in case the tongue ever loses its grip on the hitch ball. Crossing the chains under the tongue means the trailer will land on top of the crossed chains, rather than hitting the pavement.
5. Size up your mirrors & lights
Can you see the back corner of the trailer in your side mirror? Most trucks will have large enough mirrors, but if you're towing with a car you might need add-on extended mirrors. They can be purchased at an auto parts store.
Make sure all lights and turns signals are working properly on both your vehicle and trailer before you hit the road.
6. Use common sense
Hopefully this goes without saying, but remember you're towing a lot of weight! Check your trailer's brakes before each trip and make sure they're properly adjusted for the load you're carrying. It takes more time and more room to stop a heavily loaded trailer.
Watch your speed, make sure you turn wider to accommodate the trailer and give the car in front of you plenty of room.
For nearly 25 years Burt Brothers Tire and Service has provided the most reliable tires and auto repair throughout Utah. We only employ highly qualified mechanics, and our technicians are ASE-certified. For more information visit http://burtbrothers.com or visit one of our eight Salt Lake area locations.