7 Trailer Towing Tips for Cross-Country Travel
Any time you’re traveling long-distance with your trailer you’ll want to do proper maintenance and setup. The last thing you want is to run into mechanical issues while on the road and have to delay your trip.
Driving a trailer long-distance is much different than simply driving your vehicle. It takes a much more advanced skill set. Remember, you have another large center of mass behind you that needs to be accounted for. However, you can make it much easier on yourself by implementing the tips below.
1. Check Your Brakes
Once you begin your tow trip you’ll want to check the function of your brakes. If you have a brake controller, then slide this over an inch or two and you should feel the trailer brakes start to work. You’ll also want to check that all the trailer brake shoes are functioning properly as well.
2. Use Safety Chains
A lot of people decide not to use safety chains. But, when you’re traveling over a long-distance it’s a good idea to use any safeguards at your disposal. You can cross the safety chains under your hitch from side to side. That way if the hitch does come lose, then it will drop onto the chains, instead of the ground.
If you’ve experienced troubles with your hitch in the past, then this is a must-have.
3. Check the Tire Pressure
It’s always recommended to have your tires at the maximum recommended tire pressure. This will not only keep you safer on the road but will help you have better gas mileage as well.
Check your tire pressure on a regular basis to make sure one of your tires isn’t leaking air. You’ll want to find out about any leaks as soon as they arise before it becomes a problem.
4. Do Consistent Walk-Around Inspections
Whenever you make a stop on your trip it’s smart to do a walk around inspection to check your tires, hitch, and any wiring. Make sure your hitch is fully connected, as well as the breakaway cable. Also, check tire pressure or just make sure there are visible changes in tire pressure. Finally, you’ll want to check the wheel-bearing temperatures to make sure that one isn’t hotter than the rest.
5. Tighten Down Your Load Regularly
The straps you’ve used to tie down your load can start to loosen over long distances. You’ll want to make sure these are tight as often as possible. You’d hate for your items to come loose when you’re on the road, which can create a dangerous situation for you and any cars behind you.
6. Grease Up Your Bearings
If it’s been a while since you’ve greased your bearings, then you may want to do it before a big trip. It’s a good practice to grease your bearings on a yearly basis. Even if you’ve just purchased a trailer you’ll want to double-check that the bearings are greased and ready for a long haul.
7. Make Sure Your Brake Batteries Are Charged
Some trailers have electric brakes and a battery breakaway switch that will illuminate if the hitch comes apart. You’ll want to make sure this battery is charged before your trip. Typically, there isn’t an indicator to alert you to the level of this battery, so it’s a good idea to charge it on a regular basis.
Doing all of the above might make your trip a little bit longer, but you’ll ensure that you, your loved one, and your trailer all make it to your destination safely. If you’re still picking out the perfect trailer, then reach out to our team today to find the perfect trailer for your needs.