Towing a trailer is easily one of the scariest driving maneuvers. After all, you’re pulling so much more weight, need to execute wider turns, and remember a whole host of other things in order to haul a trailer safely.
In this post, we’ll put your mind at ease by listing for you the five most crucial things to keep in mind when you’re towing a trailer.
1. Know Your Loads
The most important thing to consider is the weight of the trailer you will be pulling. It’s crucial that you know the loads that you pull, or you can inflict significant damage on the vehicle that you are using to pull the trailer.
Most vehicles come with a GVWR, which is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the total mass that the vehicle can pull, including not only the trailer but also the payload of the vehicle. This includes any weight that you have in the trunk or cab of the vehicle (such as passengers).
2. Safety is the Priority
As with any driving, safety is the ultimate priority. Make no mistake about it: towing a trailer is certainly more dangerous than standard driving, due to the significant addition of weight.
Make sure that you keep your total towed weight under the GVWR to avoid damage to the vehicle as it drives, which could result in an accident. In addition, safety could be compromised if your vehicle isn’t operating optimally. If you don’t want to use a service like Enclosed Trailers | Delivery or Factory Pickup in Elkhart, In, be sure to check your brakes, tires, and all other wearable parts of your car. Replace them if necessary before you begin towing.
3. Execute Wide Turns
Part of learning how to tow a trailer is learning how to execute wide turns. Depending on the length of the trailer, it may no longer possible for you to take immediate right turns into a one-lane road without turning in from the second lane over.
When hauling a trailer you will have to learn the intricacies of law while executing wide turns, and will also need to signal that you are executing a wide turn before doing so. This will prepare traffic around you for your maneuver.
4. More Weight = More Stopping Distance
We all know that more weight means that your vehicle will accelerate slower, so naturally, when you pull a trailer you will accelerate much slower than normal. However, what people often forget is that the converse is also true: because the trailer has more weight, your brakes are now less powerful for the whole payload. Thus, you should brake as early as possible when coming to a stop.
Your stopping distance will increase significantly, and if you don’t keep that in mind you could easily end up rear-ending someone.
5. Your Mileage Will Drop
Last but not least, remember that your mileage will drop as a result of driving a trailer. It will take more fuel to propel your vehicle the same distance. Keep this in mind if you’ll be going on a long trip with your towed trailer. You’ll have to stop for gas much more often.
Towing a Trailer Made Easy
If you keep these five tips in mind, towing a trailer will come naturally to you! As with all things, practice makes perfect so the only way to get better at it is to get out on the road and start doing it!
For more automotive-related advice, be sure to check out the rest of the blog!