If this is your first time towing a trailer, you may not know how best to do it or what mistakes to avoid—but fortunately, with some patience and a bit of practice, you should be comfortable towing your trailer in no time.
In today’s blog, we will be looking at five common towing mistakes and how to avoid them on your next trip.
Towing too much weight
When you purchased your trailer, you may not have paid too much attention to the weight capacity—that is, the greatest amount of weight your trailer can safely hold. However, this is actually one of the most important parts of towing safety! Never exceed the limit of what your trailer can carry so that you can avoid brake problems and other safety hazards while out on the road.
While we’re discussing weight, it’s also worth mentioning your vehicle’s towing capacity. This is the greatest weight that your car or truck can tow, so it’s another number you have to keep in mind when deciding how much to bring along with you on work calls or family trips. You can typically find this number in the owner’s manual that came with your vehicle.
If your needs have changed and you need to upgrade to a stronger trailer with a greater capacity, we can help you pick out the one that’s best for you and your needs. Make the upgrade so you can avoid risking your trailer (and your cargo) whenever you hit the roads.
Not checking tire pressure
No one wants a blown-out tire, especially when you’re towing heavy, often expensive items for work or recreation! To avoid this mishap surprising you while on the road, always be sure to check your trailer’s tire pressure before heading out. Tires are affected differently by frequent use than they are by long periods of disuse, so don’t assume that your trailer’s tires are always good to go without at least a quick pressure check. Don’t leave it to chance!
Ignoring brake issues
Brake issues, as you probably already know, are a big part of towing safety. Not only do your brakes protect your vehicle and your gear—they effectively protect you, your loved ones and other motorists on the road as well. If you ever notice problems with the brakes on your trailer, or if you’re concerned about another seemingly small issue, it’s best to play it safe and bring it in so we can help you remedy the problem and get back on the road sooner.
Turning too sharply
Turning in a trailer is—as you may have guessed or experienced firsthand—a much different experience than turning in your car or even SUV. Because you’re towing so much behind you, the turning maneuver can feel awkward and unnatural at times. Don’t be discouraged by this! Simply take some time to learn about (and implement) better turning techniques. One of the best rules of thumb to keep in mind is to avoid making sharp turns when towing your trailer—when it comes to towing, in fact, wide and well-thought-out turns are typically the better option.
Not practicing beforehand
Truthfully, one of the biggest mistakes a landscaper/recreationalist/trailer owner can make is to go anywhere “big”—like a long road trip, for example, or a work project—without practicing and getting familiar with their trailer first. This is because you need a bit of practice before you completely master the art of navigating a vehicle that’s towing another vehicle. Go around the neighborhood and other quiet driving spaces to hone your skills in a safe environment! You’ll be comfortable with your turns and navigation before you know it.
We hope that these mistakes may help to shed a little light on what not to do with your new trailer—and give you a bit of confidence, too!