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A Beginner’s Guide to Driving with a Trailer

Whether you are about to embark on your first cross-country road trip or looking to move heavy furniture to your new apartment, attaching a trailer to your vehicle can give you more options. However, driving with a trailer demands extra caution because tasks like acceleration, braking, and parking require a unique skill set. If towing seems intimidating at first, the right equipment and consistent practice can help you.

Here are eight tips for beginners to drive safely with a trailer.

Consult your Owner’s Manual 

The manual has information about how much weight your vehicle can safely haul. Some regular-sized sedans can move up to two thousand pounds, while large trucks and SUVs can tow considerably heavier weight. However, do not overload the vehicle as it can make the car difficult to handle, and therefore, prone to accidents. 

Leave Extra Space

Give yourself more driving room than usual, and create an adequate buffer between you and other objects in your vicinity. Maintain multiple car lengths of distance in front of and behind you for stopping and changing lanes. It makes sure that you are not overwhelmed by the velocity change that results from the trailer’s weight.

Because of the longer length, you will have to make more sweeping turns than usual. Also, be careful not to clip other vehicles on the curb. Instead, turn into outer lanes and don’t swing the car at too sharp an angle, or the trailer will jackknife. If you stop for gas, pull through to the furthest pump, so your trailer doesn’t block other vehicles.

Check Trailer Tires 

Don’t forget to check the trailer tire pressure, mainly if you haven’t used it for months. Your vehicle’s tires require higher pressure for towing. As tires age over time, the treads can get flattened, which can lead to accidents. 

Maintain the Tow Vehicle

Towing a heavy trailer puts additional stress on your car. Therefore, bring the tow vehicle for regular maintenance before embarking on your trip. Check for oil and filter conditions, brake pads, engine coolant, and the transmission fluid.

Check Trailer Lights 

Make sure that your trailer’s electrical wiring system connects to the tow vehicle.  Ensure that the trailer’s running lights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights work in sync with the tow vehicle.

Use Trailer Safety Chains 

Use a trailer that has safety chains to hook up the hitch. In an accident, the crossed safety chains form a cradle, preventing the trailer from collapsing and digging into the pavement. 

Get a Larger Fuel Tank 

Towing consumes more fuel than usual. Gas stations may not be available in remote areas, so invest in a larger fuel tank to cover you in the case of an emergency.

Use Wheel Chocks 

When unhooking the trailer from the towing vehicle, place wheel chocks in front of and behind the trailer’s tires. It will make sure that the trailer doesn’t roll away when released from the tow vehicle.

About Silver Moon Trailer

We have trailers for all kinds of businesses, budgets, and cargo requirements. And if you don’t find one that meets your needs, we can construct a custom trailer to match your demands. You can call us at 870.330.9133 or email us at silvermoontrailers@gmail.com to know more.