Towing Tips

General Handeling

  • Trailer must be hooked correctly and properly – check exactly how to hook and unhook before you leave the trailer premises, especially when it has got a release pin on the coupler. Make sure that you know the tyre pressure needed when you are loaded and when you drive without a load. On long distances, you may release the tyre pressure to a lower pressure so that the trailer will be more smooth on the road when it is empty. See that there is a spare tyre. Make sure that you have the correct size wheel spanner to fit the trailers wheel nuts

  • Drive at moderate speeds. This will place less strain on your tow vehicle and trailer. Trailer instability (sway) is more likely to occur as speed increases.

  • Avoid sudden steering maneuvers that might create sway or undue side force on the trailer.

  • Avoid sudden steering maneuvers that might create sway or undue side force on the trailer.

  • Make wider turns at curves and corners. Because your trailer’s wheels are closer to the inside of a turn than the wheels of your tow vehicle, they are more likely to hit or ride up over curbs.

  • To control swaying caused by air pressure changes and wind buffeting when larger vehicles pass from either direction, release the accelerator pedal to slow down and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.

Braking

  • Allow considerably more distance for stopping.

  • If you have an electric trailer brake controller and excessive sway occurs, activate the trailer brake controller by hand. Do not attempt to control trailer sway by applying the tow vehicle brakes; this will generally make the sway worse.

  • Always anticipate the need to slow down. To reduce speed, shift to a lower gear and press the brakes lightly.

Acceleration and Passing

  • When passing a slower vehicle or changing lanes, signal well in advance and make sure you allow extra distance to clear the vehicle before you pull back into the lane.

  • Pass on level terrain with plenty of clearance. Avoid passing on steep upgrades or downgrades.

  • If necessary, downshift for improved acceleration or speed maintenance.

  • When passing on narrow roads, be careful not to go onto a soft shoulder. This could cause your trailer to jackknife or go out of control.

Parking

  • Try to avoid parking on grades. If possible, have someone outside to guide you as you park. Once stopped, but before shifting into Park, have someone place blocks on the downhill side of the trailer wheels. Apply the parking brake, shift into Park, and then remove your foot from the brake pedal. Following this parking sequence is important to make sure your vehicle does not become locked in Park because of extra load on the transmission. For manual transmissions, apply the parking brake and then turn the vehicle off in either first or reverse gear.

  • When uncoupling a trailer, place blocks at the front and rear of the trailer tires to ensure that the trailer does not roll away when the coupling is released.

  • An unbalanced load may cause the tongue to suddenly rotate upward; therefore, before un-coupling, place jack stands under the rear of the trailer to prevent injury.