Its inevitable at one point or another you will be in a situation where something needs to be towed. Whether its taking the RV to the new campground, bringing your boat to the lake or taking your ATV to a new trail, getting to your destination safely is a top priority. Since towing is the easiest and most effective way to transfer your big toys you need to make sure that you are doing it the right way to ensure the safety of your equipment, vehicle and passengers. To help make things a little bit easier we have complied a list of 7 tips that will help you safely tow everything your hauling.
Know Towing Capacity
Before you head out on the road you should get to know your vehicle's towing capacity and make sure that the load that your towing, doesn't exceed it. The hitch that your using will also make a difference. Be sure to check out the different types of hitches to know which will be the best for the load your towing.
Use Safety Chains
Safety chains provide a level of insurance and peace of mind for you and other drivers on the road. If by chance your trailer was to become disconnected from your vehicle, the load you are towing would fall onto the chains rather than to the ground. A side tip would be to criss cross your chains instead of connecting them straight across, this will allow you to make tighter turns without chains binding.
Verify All Lights Work
This is very crucial because not only is it the law, but it will help prevent accidents. Make sure all lights work to ensure other drivers are aware when you are slowing down or making a wide turn to avoid collisions. A good habit to get in is to check the lights anytime when you make stops along the way to your de
Check Brake Functionality
Larger trailers, such as a horse trailer or a big boat are typically equipped with a braking system that will help your vehicle slow down when hauling a large or heavy load. Checking the braking system before leaving helps ensure safe travels.
Understand Tongue Weight
Some of you might be thinking what is tongue weight? Well tongue weight is the force that the tongue of the trailer applies to the hitch while towing. A good target for tongue weight is between 10 and 15 percent of the trailer's total weight. Why is this important? Because if its too light there won't be enough downward force and the hitch, which can cause the trailer to sway. Too heavy and your vehicles steering could be compromised, or even worse, your load could pull your hitch right off.
Check Tire Pressure
When towing you should make sure you check the tire pressure on the toy your towing along with the vehicle your doing the towing with. When checking your tire pressure you should refer to the manufacturer's recommendations for guidance. A healthy tire pressure can not be understated when towing, not only does it provide a high level of safety but it also increases fuel efficiency.
Please allow extra time when accelerating and decreasing speed, you must learn to have patience when towing. With visibility possibly hindered when towing, be sure to be aware of the surrounding environment along with other drivers. If you be sure to drive safe you will get to your location safe as well.
We hope these were some helpful tips for you when you think about towing your toys. Please remember to take the time to fully check over your vehicle along with the item you are towing before heading out on the road to your destination so you get there safe and sound!
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