If you own a truck or big SUV, you have towing power. That be intimidating for a first timer. But it doesn’t have to be. You can pull your trailer, boat, or camper van. That means weekends on the water and fun cross-country trips with the family. Just follow these tips for a safe and fun journey.
1. Stay within your hauling limits.
Exceeding the limit leads to poor handling and insufficient braking performance. Also damage to your suspension, engine, and drivetrain. Make sure your trailer hitch can handle your trailer’s weight. And don’t assume all versions of a car model have the same tow rating. It usually differs by engine, body style, and other equipment.
2. Pack your trailer properly.
Around 60% of your load should be in the front half of the trailer. Then you’ll have proper tongue weight – the amount of weight on the trailer hitch. It should be 10%-15% of the total loaded trailer weight. For example, if your trailer is 2,000 pounds with 1,000 pounds of cargo, the proper tongue weight is between 300 and 450 pounds. Make sure everything is evenly distributed on the left and right sides and properly secured.
3. Check your tires.
The ones on your tow vehicle and your trailer. They have to be properly inflated, otherwise you’ll have poor handling. If they’re underinflated, you’ll have more rolling resistance. The engine has to work harder and it consumes more fuel. Your tire temperature is also affected, and you could have a blow-out. Refer to the tire pressure label in your driver’s door jamb. Also follow the speed rating on your tires.
4. Check your lights.
Larger trailers or loads can obscure the tail lights on your vehicle. So you need to have tail lights and marker lamps on your trailer. If they don’t work, other drivers might not see you. Especially at night. This can cause an accident. Have someone stand behind your vehicle while it’s in park to check your turn signals, tail lights, and brake lights.
5. Use a trailer breakaway cable.
It attaches the brake system on your trailer to the back of your tow vehicle. If your trailer disconnects, the brakes are activated, and they’ll bring it to a stop. Pull over in a safe area and reattach it. The cable is a strong suggestion, and even required by law in some states. It’s great protection for you and other drivers.
6. Always be prepared.
Keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times. Watch out for other vehicles and be ready for any sudden braking. When you slow down, your vehicle and trailer will push you forward more than if you’re driving without a trailer. Always accelerate slowly and slow down gradually.
Tow-Ready Vehicles in Forest Lake, MN
We have tons of vehicles with incredible hauling power. The Chevy Equinox, Traverse, Silverado 1500, and more. Test drive them all today. If you don’t know which model’s right for you, we’re here to help. You’ll love our prices and specials. Plus, almost every purchase or lease comes with a free Lifetime Powertrain Warranty. That covers your engine, transmission, and more. Our dealer is in Forest Lake, MN, near Stacy and White Bear Lake. Visit us today!
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*Lifetime Powertrain Warranty available on most pre-owned vehicles and most new Chevrolet vehicles. Not available on new Cadillac vehicles.