The keys to having a successful towing trip are through proper trailer setup and maintenance. Before you set off on the road, ensure that your truck and trailer are in good condition. You should not confuse driving a car or truck to tow a trailer. It is entirely a different experience. Towing requires a different skill set that overlaps driving skills. When you are towing, every takes longer, be it speeding up, cornering or slowing down.
Aside from just driving the truck and the trailer, there are a couple of other things you need to observe, to have a smooth towing experience.
- Set Tongue Weight Properly
Set tongue weight to about 10 to 15 percent of the total weight of the trailer to achieve an excellent stability. If the towing vehicle does not have enough rear suspension spring, ensure that you get an equalizing hitch. The work of the equalizing hitch transfers some of the tongue weight forward to the front axle. At all times, observe the towing capacity and speed limits to have a smooth ride.
- Tire Pressure
Tires that are not well inflated could cause a lot of problems with your truck. Check tires and run them at the required maximum and recommended pressure. Tires that are well pressured run cooler and consume less fuel. You will find the optimum tire pressure that your manufacturer recommends for your vehicle on a sticker in the owner’s manual or door jam.
- Proper Inspection
Before you start the towing process ensure that you perform POWER check, which vehicle pressure, oil, wheels, engine and rubber. Do a walk-around inspection of the hitch, tires and wiring. Ensure that the trailer harness connector and the breakaway cable are well connected. A good check of tires before commencing your towing process is recommended. Check the temperature of tires and brake drum.
Before you start your trip, ensure that electric brakes function well. Else, the brake pads of your vehicle are fitted to the brake caliper, and it is the part of the vehicle that applies and releases brake pads from the disc rotor. The brake system of your vehicle is the most important part of your safety system. Having the control and ability to slow down or stop at any moment will help you in situations that could lead to an accident. Improper working brakes will not do the job when faced with an emergency and challenging situation.
- Driving a Trailer
Before you set off on the road, ensure that your trailer is safely connected to the hitch. The brake lights and signs should be properly working. Ensure that you are comfortable with driving your vehicle-trailer combination. Proper pulling of a trailer, be it small or large requires regular review of equipment in use, which included the hitch and signals. Many states require drivers to drive in the slower right hand lanes. They are also required to excessive caution and forethought while changing lanes, when backing up and while making making turns.