Odds are, at some point in your lifetime, you will have to pull a trailer. Whether you’re moving and need to haul your stuff, you’re undertaking a home remodeling project and the boards and new toilet won’t fit in your car, or you bought a boat and need to get it to water, knowing how to tow is important.
RAS in Serbia offers the best tow truck services. From 24-hour emergency towing to light-duty or heavy-duty towing, we’re the tow truck company to call when you can’t get from point A to point B. Our friendly drivers are always ready to help when you need roadside assistance. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to tow a trailer. Contact us today for your next towing service need!
TIPS FOR TOWING TRAILERS
- Respect your weight limits. This should be intuitive, but you’d be surprised how many people are attempting (poorly) to pull a trailer that their vehicle is in no way capable of towing. We’ve all seen this when we see a Honda CRV towing a huge boat behind it. This is an accident waiting to happen, and probably an accident that could negatively impact others as well. To determine the hauling capabilities of your vehicle, check the owner’s manual, which will list the trailer types your vehicle can handle, as well as the maximum weight you should be towing. RAS in Serbia recommends that if you’ve just bought a boat that your car cannot tow safely, you need to buy a bigger vehicle (preferably a diesel-engine pickup) to haul your nice new boat.
- Use the right trailer hitch. Contrary to what most people think, a hitch can be more than just a ball attached to the back of your vehicle. The size and capacity of your hitch will be totally dependent on what you wish to tow. A typical hitch consists of a receiver hitch and a ball mount, all of which have specific towing weight recommendations. RAS in Serbia advises that you pick a towing hitch that is equal to or greater than your usual towing load.
- Make sure the weight of the trailer is distributed evenly. Ideally, you want 60% of the cargo weight in the front half of the trailer and the rest in the back, with the heavier items in the front. This comes into play especially when you are moving. If you don’t have the weight evenly distributed, your trailer could fishtail, which, at high speeds, means it could be at risk for becoming detached from your vehicle. RoadsideAssistance recommends that if you notice your trailer fishtailing, pull over and move boxes around. If it’s a boat or trailer you are hauling, you’ll need a bigger vehicle or a dually pick up truck in order to haul safely.
- Check to ensure the trailer lights are working. You’d be surprised at how many people skip or forget this step. Trailer lights depend upon an electronic connection to your towing vehicle in order to work. These can easily come undone and need to be tightened, or your trailer is not connected at all to the towing vehicle. Without working lights, you are at a huge risk of being rear-ended from someone behind you.
- Check your tires. Another simple car maintenance tip that people who are new to hauling forget to check is their tires. For optimal pulling capacity and for greater gas mileage, your tires should be properly inflated.
- Drive differently. While towing, it’s easy to forget that you have something behind you. You can’t make the tight corners like you can without a trailer. Your vehicle will handle differently since it’s now longer than normal and heavier than normal. It will take you longer to stop, so definitely don’t tailgate. And you probably won’t be able to back up without assistance. Learning to driving with a trailer, like learning to drive your car in the first place, is time and practice. Until you feel comfortable towing a trailer, take your time, and be abundantly cautious while driving.
- Buckle your seat belt. This one should be self-explanatory.
- Your mirrors are your friends. Oftentimes when towing, things can come undone, tow straps pop off, or fastenings forget to be tightened. While you’re driving with a trailer, make it a practice to always be checking your mirrors, not only for those behind you, but also for anything gone awry on your trailer.
- Be wary of your transmission. Towing is hard on a vehicle, especially its transmission. Your vehicle can become overheated. If you are towing trailers frequently, it’s worth upgrading your transmission to a towing package or installing after market towing capacity components.