When you are moving or even going camping, you might decide to tow a trailer or a camper behind your truck or SUV. Towing can be easy when you pay attention to some safety precautions and check on a few details. We have come up with some tips and tricks you need to know when towing behind your vehicle.
- Know your weights. Each hitch and each vehicle is designed to tow a certain weight limit. So you also need to know the weight of your trailer and the tongue weight, which is the pressured weight resting on the hitch. The trailer has to be load balanced correctly. Popular Mechanics advises that you want to have about 10% of the trailers weight resting on the hitch. If too much weight is on the hitch, it will be harder to steer. If too little weight is on the hitch, the trailer may sway back and forth. The amount of passengers and other cargo in your vehicle will also affect the amount of weight you can tow in a trailer.
- Get the brakes checked. Before you plan on towing a trailer or camper, be sure to get your brakes checked and ensure they are in top condition. If you hire a rental with Budget, we always perform an inspection prior to your pick up date and keep up with regular maintenance on all of our trucks and vehicles.
- Take a test run. Before you actually get on the road, take a test drive to familiarise yourself with the new vehicle and how it feels to tow a trailer. Practice makes perfect! Make adjustments as necessary. Get comfortable and get the side and rear-view mirrors in the right place. Setting your side view-mirrors out wider is something that should be done to help you see around the trailer. Make sure that all of your lights are working properly before it gets dark. The brake lights and turn signal lights should be hooked up through to your trailer in addition to working properly on your vehicle.
- Don’t rush. When you are moving, chances are you might be rushed or feel hurried. We can’t stress how important it is to take your time. It should go without saying, but don’t speed, arrive alive!
- Keep a safe distance. Since you will have extra weight with you, be sure to keep extra space between you and the car in front of you. You will need extra time to break with the extra weight.
- Avoid reversing and U-turns. Even if it seems easy, it is trickier than you think. Try to avoid reversing while towing a trailer or camper. Don’t try to U-turn; instead take the time to do an “around the block” turn if you need to turn around.
- Bring spare tyres. Most vehicles and all of our rentals have a spare tyre. Make sure that you also have a spare for your trailer.
- No DIY. If anything goes wrong along your journey, contact our office or the road side assistance. Do not try to fix anything yourself with equipment that you are not familiar with. Not to mention that pulling off to the side of the road to work on a vehicle is not the safest idea.
- Transmission Cooler. This is especially helpful in Australia’s tropical hot weather or desert locations where the temperatures can reach sweltering levels. Adding a transmission cooler will help keep the oil temperature down. This especially helps if the vehicle is an automatic.
- Make frequent stops. When making long trips, it is always a great idea to make frequent stops to stretch your legs and stay refreshed. When towing a trailer, it is even more important to make frequent stops to make the necessary adjustments and run checks on all of the settings.
We hope these towing tips help to keep you safe and feeling reassured on your next trip. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local Budget Trucks office. Our friendly truck experts are standing by to help you and answer your questions.
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