Many of the outdoor activities that people enjoy require access to a reliable towing vehicle. If you routinely take a camp trailer, ATV trailer, or boat trailer out on the open road, it's essential that you are taking the time to ensure you are towing these trailers safely. Here are three things that you need to verify before towing a trailer to ensure that you are able to safely move the trailer from one location to another:
1. The weight of the trailer.
Before you can determine if your vehicle is equipped to tow the trailer you want to transport, you need to know how much the trailer weighs. If you will be hauling a trailer that can be loaded with additional items (like ATVs or a boat), then you also need to factor the weight of the load into your final calculation.
Your trailer will probably have a sticker affixed to its surface near the tongue that indicates the weight of the trailer. Calculate the weight of your load and add it to the weight of the trailer to determine exactly how much weight your vehicle will be required to tow during transit.
2. Your vehicle's tow rating.
Another critical piece of information that must be used to determine if you can safely haul a trailer down the open road is the tow rating of your vehicle. The tow rating identifies how much weight your vehicle can tow without placing undue stress on its mechanical systems.
If you want to prevent your engine from blowing up or eliminate unnecessary stress from your vehicle's transmission, you need to know the tow rating before hooking up a trailer. Any trailers that weigh more than your vehicle's tow rating should not be transported.
3. The trailer's tongue weight.
The tongue weight refers to the amount of weight that will be placed on the hitch coupler once your trailer is connected to your tow vehicle and ready for hauling. The more weight that is placed on the tongue, the higher the risk of a towing-related accident.
You should always strive to keep your trailer's tongue weight between 10% and 15% of the total weight of the loaded trailer to ensure maximum safety while towing the trailer in the future.
Verifying some key pieces of information prior to towing will help you improve safety and eliminate towing-related mechanical problems as you enjoy your trailers in the future. Contact a company like River's Truck Center for more information and assistance.