Going on a caravanning trip can be an excellent adventure but towing a trailer or caravan can be tougher than you think. Many trailer owners are not aware of the safety aspects while towing a caravan. Here are some safe towing tips for your next road trip.
Ensure Your Trailer is in Good Shape
You need to get your trailer inspected from a professional and get any necessary repairs and maintenance done. For example, make sure the bearings are greased properly, the lights are working fine and the tires are properly inflated. Make sure the trailer lights including brake lights, tail lights and reflectors are working properly.
Get to Know the Tow Rating of Your Vehicle
You need to get information about the towing capacity of your vehicle before hitting the road. Every car has a different towing capacity that depends on the axle ratio and engine size. You also need to get the combined weight of the trailer and the cargo inside of it. Before venturing on the road with a trailer behind, you need to ensure the vehicle is capable of towing the load.
Balance the Load Inside the Trailer
You need to ensure the load inside the trailer is well balanced. If you ignore this safety towing tip, there are more chances of your trailer to sway on which may lead to an accident or your trailer going off the road taking your car along with it. The right way of loading a trailer is ensuring the things inside the trailer do not move along the journey. You need to ensure the center of gravity is 10-20 cm ahead of the axle.
Using the Right Equipment and Accessories for Towing
The trailer coupler is an important element in safe towing of the trailer. You need to ensure the ball on the mount is the right size. Also, the coupler mechanism should have some securing device to prevent the coupler from detaching from the ball mount. You need to attach safety chains to the trailer hitch and trailer tongue. The safety chains should not be too tight as it will lead to problems while turning the vehicle and trailer.
Towing a trailer or RV needs special skills. If you have never towed a trailer before, you need to spend some time practicing driving the vehicle with a trailer attached. You can practice in open space or a large parking garage. You should never slam the brakes while towing a trailer. Also, you need to take wide turns to ensure the trailer does not go off the road. If you come across a tight turn, wait for some time until the road is clear, drive the vehicle backwards a bit and take a wide turn. When driving on inclines, flash hazard lights to alert other drivers on the road.
You need to spend some time pre-planning the road trip. You should inquire about any obstructions on the road like tunnels or bridges. This is important especially if the trailer is tall or you are towing a boat on the trailer. Also, check the weather conditions before leaving as it is not easy to tow a trailer in rough weather conditions.