Summer is the time to hit the road and have some fun. If you just bought a trailer to haul your new off-road vehicles, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with some basic safety precautions before you use it for the first time. Here are four safety tips that will keep you, and the motorists around you, safe while you tow your new aluminum trailer.
If you've never driven a car with a trailer hookup, you should practice before you actually take to the highway with a full load. The best way to practice is to start in an empty parking lot. Drive around the perimeter of the parking lot, making smaller circles each time you go around. This will help you get the feel for the turns. Once you're comfortable in the parking lot, take to the streets near your home.
Know the Towing Capacity
Before you start using your new trailer, you need to know what the towing capacity is for your vehicle. Just because your car has a tow hitch doesn't mean it's equipped to tow all loads. Towing a load that's too heavy for your vehicle to handle could put you, your passengers, and the motorists around you at risk. If you're not sure what the towing capacity is for your vehicle, check the owner's manual for model specifications.
Check the Safety Lights
Once you hook your trailer up, you should check the brake lights before you hit the road. Make sure that the brake lights work on your car and on your trailer. It's also important that both sets work in unison, meaning that your vehicle brake lights and the trailer brake lights come on at the same time. This will ensure that the motorists in back of you know when you've applied the brakes. It's also important that you check the blinkers to make sure that they're working properly.
Plan Frequent Safety Checks
When it's time to hit the road, be sure to plan for frequent safety checks. It's a good idea to stop once every hour to make sure that your brake lights and turn signals are still working properly, and that your load is secure. Planning routine safety checks will help prevent mishaps along the way.
If this is your first trailer, be sure you follow the proper safety procedures. The tips provided here will help you stay safe on the road.
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