Make sure your tires are fully ventilated in your tow vehicle and trailer
Trailers are a great help, whether they’re for work to get out of town and enjoy the outdoors.
It is no longer necessary to have a pickup truck to tow unless it is very heavy, but an SUV or crossover can easily pull a light trailer. Also with the changes to these types of cars, a lot of suitable lightweight trailers are emerging.
But not everything depends on the vehicle or the trailer, there are also things and maneuvers that you should know before you want to connect and tow yourself. Maybe you have already driven with a trailer, but you have never connected or hitched the trailer or vice versa.
Either way, there are things you should know before trying. Towing is a very broad topic with many permutations, but for now we are focusing on the lighter end of the spectrum where compact and midsize SUVs reside.
Here are some towing tips that we are sure will be very helpful.
Know your towing capacity. We must first know if the vehicle is qualified to tow and if so, what is its maximum towing capacity.
Your practical towing limit is lower than your towing rating. You should think about the load you carry inside the vehicle and trailer. The towing capacity must include the weight of the passengers and luggage.
Hitch Considerations. Suitable trailer hitches may or may not be standard on vehicles that are rated to tow a load. Often times the car offers the ability to tow but does not have the hitch. If you don’t want to purchase the one that the manufacturer sells separately, be sure to buy one that fits the vehicle precisely and that includes a trailer wiring adapter which is easy to install.
Hitch Components and Their Ratings. The hooks are made up of three parts. The receiver is a frame with a square receptacle that is always attached to the vehicle. A ball mount is designed to plug it in and securely hold it to the receiver when it’s time to tow and remove it and set it aside when it’s not. The trailer ball will remain permanently bolted to the ball mount after being selected to meet specific trailer requirements (three diameters are available).
Make connections. Make sure that all trailer lights work, that the ball is properly hooked and with the safety lock on, the chains are crossed correctly and check that the cables and chains do not drag. Remember to insert a specially made pin, bolt, or lock to prevent the latch from opening while driving.
Electric brakes. If the trailer has electric brakes with a separate switch, be sure to connect them.
Weight and load of your trailer. The proper load arrangement is to have 60% of the mass of your load ahead of the trailer axle and 40% behind. This helps ensure that the trailer is dragged in a straight line and is stable.
How to drive when towing. Driving slower than normal is recommended as towing Your direction will react slower and braking distances will be much longer. You will be less able to respond quickly to unexpected situations, so the only way to get additional response time is to proceed at a slower pace. Avoid sudden braking and accelerating, let’s not forget that towing greatly reduces fuel economy and range
Laps. on tight turns or turning on streets you must take into account the distance of the trailer and try not to make them so close to other cars or sidewalks.
Check your vehicle carefully. Make sure your tires are fully ventilated in your tow vehicle and trailer. Also check the pressure of the trailer spare tire, which is often neglected. Watch out for fluid refills and fill your tank just before you make the initial trailer connection at the start of your trip.
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