Safety tips for towing a trailer or caravan

Renting (or owning) a trailer for your holiday travel can help you save money and hassle en route to your destination. Not only does renting a trailer allow you to save funds that would otherwise be spent on hotel stays or flights, but it also provides a comfortable way for you to travel with a group of passengers.

If you’ve decided that you’d like to take advantage of a trailer for your holiday travel needs, it is important to educate yourself on proper safety practices prior to embarking on your trip. These are a fewways to ensure you keep your family and friends safe while towing a trailer or caravan:

Make sure you have the right gear

Before loading up your luggage, you’ll want to be sure your vehicle is equipped to handle the trailer. You’ll need to double check the weight of your own vehicle and compare it to the weight of the trailer. The weight that your vehicle can tow can be found in the owner’s manual. You’ll want to look for the GTW, or the gross trailer weight, and the maximum tongue weight. Keeping those two numbers in mind you can then select the right hitch to meet your needs.

 Don’t neglect your tyres

Before hitting the road, you’ll want to ensure the trailer’s tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure level. Cold pressure is recommended, as it will allow the trailer to be towed smoothly at a high speed for hours at a time.

Double check that everything is in working order

Before even hooking up the trailer, check to ensure all of its essential features are working properly. This includes testing all the turn signals and brake lights multiple times, as well as parking lamps and hazards. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you are away from home only to realise that your lights aren’t functioning as necessary.

Be cautious when on the road

Even after you’ve checked that your vehicle and trailer are both in proper working order and the trailer is properly hitched, continue to be cautious while on the road. Stopabout 20 minutes after beginning your travels to inspect the trailer and make sure it’s still secure. After your first check, continue to take breaks every couple of hours to make sure the tyres are properly inflated. It is also a good idea to go around to each tyre and check the temperature. If one tyre feels hotter than the others, it is a good sign that is lacking air or has a leak. This can be done either with am infrared thermometer or simply through touch. Taking these extra precautions will ensure that you’ll be traveling safely to your holiday destination.

It takes practice to tow a trailer safely. Take care when driving, especially over taking other vehicles. Remember to factor in the extra length and consider the speed your travelling in, which will be slower than when you’re not pulling a trailer. When turning, remember to take a wider turn.

Make sure you and your family are safe on the roads, especially if you’re pulling a trailer. Driving when towing a trailer requires additional skills and safety precautions. Stay safe!

Read more:

The essential road trip car safety checklist

Safety items you should always have in your car

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