RV season is here. With the warm weather approaching, campers want to get their trailers out to the lake but increased trailer traffic also means more potential road hazards.
We want to make sure that everyone gets to their summer destinations safely so we’ve compiled some tips on towing your trailer:
- Know the amount of weight that you’re towing – You must ensure that your vehicle and its tires can handle the amount of weight that you’re towing. Check your owner’s manual to find out what weight of a load that your vehicle can tow and check the load capacity on your vehicle’s tires. Your load capacity is the last number on the side of your tire, indicated as your tire size.
- Use the right hitch – Make sure that you are using the correct hitch for your trailer and vehicle and double up on the safety chains to ensure it is properly secured. Also check your weight distribution to make sure that your vehicle and the trailer are level with one another; an imbalanced trailer could cause it to sway.
- Improve your visibility – Have a backup camera installed on your trailer and use side mirror extensions to decrease your blind spots.
- Understand your height – Ensure that you know your trailer height in case you need to go through any tunnels, underpasses or covered bridges.
- Know your brakes – Ensure you know how to use your trailer brake controller, that your trailer brake lights are working and that all the lights are synced to your towing vehicle. You should test your trailer brake controller to determine if it is set correctly. You should feel the trailer tug slightly when you come to a complete stop but it should never feel it tug strongly or feel it push towards you.
- Check your tires – Check your tire pressure on both your trailer’s tires and vehicle’s tires to ensure that they are set to the correct PSI.
- Give yourself extra room – Make sure to give yourself extra room when making a right turn. You will need to can take the turn wide to prevent yourself from jackknifing the trailer. Make sure to give yourself additional stopping time when approaching a light or stop sign. In addition, give yourself extra room in between you and the vehicle in front of you in case you need to stop suddenly.
- Use a spotter – Backing up can be very tricky with a trailer so use a spotter and back up very slowly.
If you follow these tips and practice with your trailer before you leave, you should be sure to have a safe trip. Remember that you can visit select Integra Tire locations to have your trailer inspected before you leave for the summer. All of our Integra locations can help keep your vehicle safe on the road so bring it in any time you need something checked.