Since towing is our business, our technicians will frequently be asked for tips on how to tow a trailer with their vehicles. Towing a trailer can be scary if you have never done it before! Citywide Towing Service wants you to feel confident if you are towing a trailer so we have put together some basic tips on how to tow a trailer safely.
Check for a Tow Hitch or Package
The first thing that you will need to do is check your vehicle to see if it has a towing hitch on it. If you do not have a towing hitch you will want to check and make sure that your vehicle is capable of towing. If it is you can have a tow hitch installed. There are different size balls on tow hitches so you will want to make sure that the ball you have on your vehicle is the correct one for the trailer you will be pulling. If you have a fifth wheel or a horse trailer you may need a fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch.
Calculate GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating)
Once you have your towing hitch figured out you will want to make sure that you know how much weight your vehicle can tow. You will need to know your vehicle’s GCWR or gross combination weight rating. This will tell you how much your trailer plus the cargo in it can weigh so that your vehicle can safely tow it. All of this information can be found in your vehicle’s manual.
How to Connect a Trailer to a Car
Next you will want to hook your trailer up to your vehicle. You will elevate the trailer with the tongue jack on the trailer until it is just higher than your tow hitch. Then carefully have someone direct you as you reverse your vehicle to match up with the trailer. Then carefully lower the trailer onto the ball. You will want to use a lock or a coupler safety pin to help the trailer stay securely hitched. After you are hitched up you will want to attach your chains. The chains help your vehicle and your trailer stay together in case the hitch gets separated for any reason. Make sure you leave some slack in the chains so that you can safely turn around the corners as you drive. For your safety you will want to make sure that you hook up your vehicle’s turn signals and brake lights up to the trailer. You will want people traveling with you on the road to know if you are slowing down or turning so that you can stay safe on the road. With most new vehicles, connecting your wiring is extremely simple!
How to Drive While Towing a Trailer
Once you have your trailer securely hooked up to your vehicle you are ready to start on your journey. Driving with a trailer can be a little nerve wracking. You will want to use your side mirrors more than normal so that you can check on your trailer throughout your trip. Starting and stopping takes more time with the extra weight of the trailer so you will want to account for that as you are driving. You will also want to make sure that you watch your gas gauge. Your vehicle will go through more gas while hauling a trailer.
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Citywide Towing Service hope that these tips keep you and your family safe as you tow a trailer to your destination. We hope you have an amazing trip! If you end up having problems and are in need of a tow give Citywide Towing Service a call.