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How To Drive Safely with a Trailer: 10 Practical Tips

Posted by Steve Houle on

How To Drive Safely with a Trailer: 10 Practical Tips

For first-timers, hauling a trailer can be overwhelming... but if you put time and effort in to learning how, it can be a very valuable skill.

Driving with a trailer is much cheaper than hiring a van, and it means you can move furniture or heavy equipment easily. Take a look at our tailor-towing tips before you plan your next journey!

  1. Check your Vehicle's Weight Capacity.
    See your owner’s manual for information about how much weight your vehicle can tow. Large trucks can tow considerably more weight, but make sure you don’t overload your vehicle. This can make it difficult to maneuver, which can result in a crash. 

  2. Check your Hitch Connection.
    Make sure that the trailer is properly attached to your vehicle before hitting the road!

  3. Be Mindful of your Cargo.
    The bigger the trailer, the more adjustments you’ll need to make as a driver. A small utility trailer might be hardly noticeable, but hauling a boat or large RV will require some of your attention and driving skills.

  4. Use a Route Planner.
    Apps such as Route4Me help you plan routes that are RV and trailer friendly.

  5. Take it Slow.
    Speeding up your vehicle will take much longer when you’re towing a trailer. Remember to keep below the speed limit to ensure you don’t end up crashing.

  6. Keep your Distance.
    Allow ample space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you when driving a trailer. The extra weight will make it more difficult to slow down or stop.

  7. Remember to take wider turns.
    With a trailer, your vehicle may be close to double its regular length, so you will have to take turns significantly wider to avoid hitting other cars, curbs, or driving off of the road.

  8. Avoid steering too tightly.
    Reversing while pulling a trailer is a skill that takes a fair bit of practice to hone - if you turn too sharp the trailer will jackknife, or turn sharply in one direction.

  9. Park far away from buildings and other vehicles.
    Parking may be difficult to begin with. Small parking lots may be almost impossible to use when hauling a trailer. If you do manage to maneuver your trailer into a parking space - or across several parking spaces - make sure that you have plenty of room to exit the lot. It is often advisable to park in a remote part of a parking lot where there are fewer surrounding vehicles.

  10. Never underestimate the difficulty of pulling a trailer.
    You should practice driving your trailer in and out of your driveway and navigating quiet back roads before trying to haul a trailer in heavy traffic

Whether you have a lot of experience hauling large vehicles or if you’re planning your first family trip with a travel trailer, towing safely is something to take very seriously. However, by following these 10 pieces of advice, your first trailer trip is bound to go smoothly.

Liked this article? Read more on our Blog: The Park: Camping Tips and Product News

Parking your trailer in a tight spot? Move up to 15,000 lbs with a Parkit360 Electric Trailer Dolly. Get simple, precise parking for boats, RV's and more!

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