Many families across the country take advantage of the summer months to relocate – which is where safety tips for trailers become so vital. For some families, this will be the first time they’ve towed a trailer; for many, the ease of moving with a trailer is something they’ve experienced numerous times before. Regardless of which category you find yourself in, taking a moment to review some basic trailer safety tips can save you from a headache later down the road.
Loading The Trailer
Did you know there is a right and a wrong way to load the trailer? That’s right! When you start loading all your items it’s best to keep the 60/40 Rule in mind. This rule says that 60% of the weight should be loaded in the front of the trailer (the side closest to the tow vehicle), and the last 40% of the weight should be loaded in the back.
This rule uses physics to prevent the trailer from causing the vehicle to sway. If you skip this step, then driving with a trailer can become dangerous. Check out the video below that demonstrates why where you load the weight matters.
Another important step to keep in mind while loading the trailer is to secure everything. This looks different based on the type of trailer you’re using. Enclosed trailers have bars on the inside that can be used to secure each layer of boxes you load. The motorcycle trailer has d-hooks that can be used to secure your bike in place. We go into much more detail here.
Safety Tips For Backing Up with a Trailer
Driving forward can be easy since the trailer follows belong the tow vehicle but backing up is another story. When you find yourself needing to back, it’s important to take a deep breath and take your time with it. Due to your now longer length, backing up and pulling forward a few times to get the trailer in the right spot may be something you’ll need to do.
There is an art to backing up a trailer. Having a buddy who can help direct when to stop or turn, can make a huge difference. Also, remembering which way to turn the wheel to get the trailer going in the right direction is the most important thing. Check out the video below to see which way you’ll need to turn the wheel.
Driving With a Trailer
After you’ve loaded and secured everything down, there are still more tips to keep you safe on the road.
Always follow the rules of the road. This includes following speed limits and never trying to turn around too quickly if you miss a turn. In fact, when towing a trailer, you’ll find that you need more space to stop due to all the added weight. You’ll also need more space to turn since you’ll be twice as long.
Remember that the driving conditions of the road may require you to slow down. Watch out for things like rain, fog, or even animals that may wander into the road. Getting enough sleep can help you to stay focused when driving with a trailer.
Safety Tips for Using a Trailer
Traveling with a trailer doesn’t have to be an inconvenience. The various types of enclosed trailers and open utility trailers can fit into anyone’s moving day requirements. All one needs to do, is install a trailer hitch on their vehicle and review the above safety tips to help make the task less daunting.