Car trailers are useful for towing loads of many different sizes. They have been used for years to make long distance moving easier and to conveniently transport heavy loads to their required destination. To ensure that your towing trip is smooth and successful, you need to start off with proper planning.
Towing a car trailer is far different from simply driving a car or a truck. You're essentially managing two different loads, each with its own centre of mass. Therefore, everything from slowing down to speeding up and turning corners becomes more complicated. To ensure maximum safety while on the road, follow these tips.
Calculate the weight capacity accurately
Each vehicle has a prescribed weight of how much it can tow. Remember that the load you're towing, the weight of your vehicle, and the number of passengers all come into play when determining load capacity. You should carefully consider each of these factors when calculating the final weight.
Another factor regarding weight is what is commonly referred to as the tongue weight. This is how much of the trailer weight is resting on the hitch of the towing vehicle. The tongue weight should lie at about 10-15% of the entire weight of the car trailer.
Ensure the hitch is tough and level
Another important element of the towing setup is the hitch itself. The hitch should be at the right level when compared with the car trailer. This will prevent unnecessary swaying and instability while on the road.
The hitch should also hook firmly to the connecting chain to minimise the risk of the trailer becoming unhooked while driving.
Fasten the safety chains correctly
If using safety chains to attach a load to the towing vehicle, make sure the chains are connected in a crossing pattern. This prevents risk of the chain dragging across the ground if it happens to become loose while driving.
Another reason for this pattern is that if the tongue of the car trailer becomes loose, it will rest on the crossing chains as opposed to falling on the road.
Maintain proper tyre pressure
While towing a load, your tyre pressure will play an important role in your control of the vehicle. Underinflated tyres can make the vehicle harder to manoeuvre. It can also result in higher fuel consumption and cause the tyres to run hot. Make sure all tyres are inflated to the manufacturer recommended pressure.
For more information on car trailers, contact companies such as The Galvanised Trailer Company.