Towing a large load with your vehicle, such as a travel trailer, fifth-wheel trailer or cargo trailer,
is a great way to carry additional items without making lots of trips. When towing, motorists must be careful to prevent accidents and remain safe on the roadways.
Before making your trip, here are the top 5 safety inspections you should conduct:
- Make sure that the pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is intact and in place.
- Look to see that the hitch coupler is secure.
- Check to make sure that the spring bar hinges are tight with the safety clips in place.
- Ensure safety chains are attached properly.
- Examine the electrical plug and make sure it is properly installed.
Additional considerations when towing a trailer with your vehicle include the following:
- Your vehicle must match the trailer properly.
- Do not allow passengers to ride in a trailer while towing.
- Weigh the trailer to ensure that the loads are distributed properly from the front to back and left to right – hitch weights for trailers should typically be at least 10 percent of the gross weight of the trailer to avoid complications.
If the weight and hitch adjustments are correct on your trailer, it should handle well. If you detect any swaying, stop and check to see if the load has shifted and if the trailer hitch is secure. Also, look for suspension problems and make sure that the tires are secured and inflated.