Time to tow safely
The summer brings with it a new set of rules for having fun. We see many people traveling for their fun, and often with something in tow. Whether you are towing a boat, camper, motorcycle or cargo trailer you’ll have to change your normal driving habits to adjust to the trailer. Most experienced trailer drivers can fully understand these tips, but for the rookie trailer driver, these will help for sure. The best tool of course is having the proper vehicle to tow your trailer.
The tow vehicle should have a strong enough engine to climb mountain grades without excessive loss of speed and strong enough to merge safely onto the freeway. Remembering this added weight means you need to think more responsibly as a driver.
The extra weight on the vehicle means you need extra time to stop as well. Ensure that the vehicle you’re driving has had proper brake maintenance and that the vehicle is suited for towing the trailer you have. Slowing down earlier than you would normally is a good idea to control your vehicle when approaching stopped traffic, especially on wet roads.
Another problem when towing a trailer is the length of the vehicle and trailer combined. To compensate for longer wheel bases you’ll need to change your turning patterns. You must turn wider at intersections or the rear wheel may roll over the curb. Go further into the intersection before starting the turn and adjust your lane position to increase the turning radius by being further to the side of your lane.
Recreational vehicles and some trailers have a high center of gravity, so turning corners and taking curves must be done at slower speeds to prevent swaying. If you have a high load on your trailer, ensure you know the total height of the trailer so you’ll know if you can make it under an underpass. To compensate for the wider trailer, it’s a good idea to keep in the centre of your lane. This helps to keep the trailer away from the shoulder or from oncoming drivers.
Enjoy the experience of towing a trailer, but keep safety your number one priority.