Towing is a great way to get a load of items from point A to point B. Whether you’re moving, going on vacation, or simply enjoying some time on the road, towing can make your trip easier! However, towing cross-country can be a daunting task for some, especially if you’ve never done it before. Thankfully, there are a few tips for towing cross-country that will help you prepare for an upcoming trip and having you towing like a master in no time!
Prepare Ahead Of Time
As with many things in life, preparation is the key to success when you’re planning to tow a heavy load. Making sure that you understand the towing process, and that you’re prepared for your trip is as crucial as your towing kit. Here are a few things to consider when preparing to tow.
Check The Weather
While towing cross-country is relatively safe, there are some factors that can greatly affect the risk factor. Weather is one of the biggest hazards a driver can face on the road, and heavy trailers can quickly get out of hand.
High winds, icy roads, and even rain can all cause a trailer to sway or get out of control if you aren’t prepared to deal with the elements. Before towing cross-country, look at the weather and anticipate any harsh weather conditions you may run into on the road. This will help you prepare and be ready for whatever you may encounter.
Know Your Route
As with any trip, you must map out your route ahead of time. This is especially important when towing a trailer because without preparation you may accidentally find yourself on steep mountain passes or tiny off-road trails. (This is especially true when camping)
Navigating tight passes can be extremely difficult, and without preparing for those roads, you may run into difficulties out on the road.
Adjust Your Mirrors
Before ever leaving your driveway, it’s crucial that you prepare by maximizing your visibility. Big trailers can limit the use of your rearview mirror, and even side mirrors. If you’re having trouble seeing, consider getting mirror extenders before your trip to help increase your visibility on the road. This will help make towing cross-country much easier.
Check Your Breaks
Good breaks are essential not only for keeping yourself safe but also for the other drivers around you. Make sure that your breaks are good and working well in order to help control your load when coming to a stop.
Driving Your Trailer
Once you’ve prepared for your trip, it’s important to understand what to expect when driving a trailer. In order to safely get from one point to another, here are a few things to remember.
How To Back Up A Trailer
Backing up is one of the most difficult parts of towing a trailer. Few drivers expect it to be difficult, and therefore many people fail to prepare ahead of time by practicing.
Generally, the bigger your trailer is, the more difficult backing up is. If you’ve never driven a trailer before, backing up may not come naturally to you. Here’s what you should remember when backing up.
When backing up a car, if you turn the wheel left, the back of your car will begin to move left. The opposite is true of a trailer. A trailer will move in the opposite direction of your wheel, creating a sort of zig-zag between your car and the trailer.
Take time to practice backing up in an open (and empty) parking lot. Once you get the hang of it, it will become easier to back up your trailer, but it’s best to practice in a low-risk environment if possible. Then, once you’ve practiced, you can begin towing cross-country!
How To Turn A Trailer
Turning a trailer is much easier than backing it up. However, there are still some points you need to remember. Essentially, the longer your trailer, the wide your turn needs to be. Make sure you give yourself plenty of space to turn, especially when you’re turning right. If you don’t give yourself enough space, you run the risk of hopping a curb and taking out a sign.
The most important tip for towing cross-country is to relax. Once you’ve prepared for your trip by practicing, getting a travelling hitch, and getting familiar with what it’s like to drive a trailer, don’t stress out. Nervous driving is one of the leading causes of accidents. Relax and enjoy your vacation by trusting in your preparation.
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