Whether you are embarking on your first trip with a trailer in tow or have experience hauling various trailers, trailer safety is not something you should ever take lightly.
It doesn’t matter whether you are towing a utility trailer to a job site or pulling one with a boat to your favorite fishing spot. A driver needs to master an entirely new set of skills to safely tow a trailer behind their vehicle on the open road.
Knowing the pre-towing process is vital. Ignoring any of the steps or best practices for trailer towing could compromise safety. The additional weight, the added length of the trailer, and limited maneuverability can make things tricky if you are not ready for it.
Today’s post will discuss several tips for safe trailer towing you should know before you even consider getting a rental trailer. These trailer safety tips can help learn how to use a rental trailer without compromising anyone’s safety on the road.
Rental Trailer Towing Preparation
1. Understand Your Towing Capacity
The first and most important tip for safely towing a trailer behind your vehicle is to understand your vehicle’s towing capacity. You cannot expect to haul a massive trailer behind a vehicle that can barely support your weight. Your vehicle has to be capable of towing and hauling a trailer. You can easily find this information in your pickup’s manual or the manufacturer’s website.
If your trailer’s weight is more than the vehicle’s hauling capacity, you should not even consider hitching it to your truck. It is always better to look for rental trailers designed to meet your truck’s rating.
2. Hitching Your Trailer Correctly
Now that you know how much your vehicle can haul, you need to learn how to securely hitch a trailer to its back. Each trailer model comes with a hitch and ball with a towing frame designed for it. You should never try to swap it out for another model as it could result in an unsecured connection and compromise safety.
Back the vehicle up so it is close enough to your trailer, ensuring the trailer directly faces the hitch. Once the rental trailer is close enough, secure the ball under the coupler. Failing to safely secure the trailer to the hitch could risk the trailer detaching at any point while driving.
3. Mandatory Tire Check
You simply cannot drive the trailer or the vehicle without thoroughly checking all the tires on the vehicle and trailer. Your vehicle’s tires need to be in excellent condition because a blowout could lead to disaster when towing a trailer. Examine the tires closely when shopping for trailer rentals to see if the pressure is alright.
Suppose you see any signs of wear and tear in your vehicle or trailer’s tires. In that case, you should get replacement tires before you hitch the trailer and hit the road.
4. Check Trailer Lights
Trailers are not used as vehicles too often, and many of them tend to have burnt-out signals and lights. Check the lights and signals on the rental trailer to ensure they are in proper working condition. Letting drivers around you on the road know what your intentions are is necessary to avoid any accidents.
5. Proper Weight Distribution
Many people make the mistake of not thinking about weight distribution when hauling trailers. The rule of thumb when loading trailers is to go for a 60/40 distribution.
Ideally, you should load the heaviest material closer to the front axle of the trailer, getting 60% of the weight closer to your vehicle. The remaining 40% can go towards the rear axle or end of the trailer. Make sure that the weight distribution is even from side to side.
Evenly distributing the weight from the front to back or making the back heavier than the front can cause a lot of trailer sway. A trailer that sways too much is almost impossible to control, especially on the open road.
Tips For Driving With A Rental Trailer In Tow
Once you securely attach your trailer to the vehicle after all the preparations above, you should start practicing. Here are a few recommendations that can help you get started.
1. There Is No Need To Rush
Remember that driving a vehicle with a trailer in tow is not the same as driving without one. The overall transport is longer and heavier. Adjust your driving style to the new situation. There is no shame in driving slower because it gives you much better control. It also gives you more time to make decisions based on the traffic ahead.
2. Maintain a Reasonable Following Distance
The additional weight you are carrying can significantly increase the stopping distance of your vehicle. You need to be more attentive while driving to make sure you are not driving too close to the vehicles in front. Keep a longer following distance and start braking sooner than you normally would.
3. Take Wider Turns
Your vehicle is longer, and the wheels of your trailer will appear to be closer to the inside of a turn than the towing vehicle. Take wider turns when hauling a trailer behind your vehicle to make sure the rental trailer’s tires do not hit the curb.
4. Consider the Additional Fuel Consumption
It should go without saying, but your vehicle will be much heavier with a trailer in tow, meaning it will consume more fuel. Make sure you remember to plan more fuel stops on the route than you would without a trailer in tow. Nobody wants to run out of gas in the middle of the road, especially not with a trailer in tow.
5. Never Reverse Without a Spotter
If you can help it, you should always ask someone to spot you when you reverse your trailer. Depending on the size of the trailer, the blind spots can be quite tricky. Unless you are very experienced or it is unavoidable, you should never reverse without a spotter.
Now you are Ready to Get your Rental Trailer at Neighbors Trailer
Keeping all the tips for safe trailer towing in mind can help you make the most of your experience. Of course, following all these tips would not make much of a difference if you are not hauling a well-maintained trailer behind your vehicle. It is always a good idea to go to a trusted source to find rental trailers in peak condition to ensure safety for everyone on the road.
If you are searching for the right rental trailer, Neighbors Trailer’s P2P online marketplace is the perfect platform to find the best fit to meet your needs.
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