Safely Towing Your Trailer

We hear all the time from first time owners that this is the most stressful aspect they are faced with. You want to be safe, in control, and legal, and you want to make good time to each destination! We’ll share a few things we’ve found to make pulling a trailer less stressful here. Hopefully, your mind will be put to ease, and you’ll enjoy the ride.

Defensive Driving Wins the Day! The basic tenets of Defensive Driving all apply when towing. Maybe even more so. Driving defensively includes:

General Principles:

  • Control your speed. Getting to your destination safely beats arriving with avoidable damage or not arriving at all. Don’t exceed the recommended speeds of the tire or trailer manufacturers and allow others to pass where it’s legal and safe. They aren’t going to have as much fun as you because they aren’t going camping… so you can let them think they’re winning something.
  • Keep your attention as far ahead as you can and allow for slightly more stopping distance. A general rule for non-towing situations is to maintain a 2-second gap between you and the vehicles in front of you. When towing, give it a little bit more space.
  • Stay alert and know where your safest “outs” are if you must avoid contact with other vehicles or hazards.
  • Don’t count on others being as aware of the road and conditions you are. You may have a large and visible setup, but they may be lost in thought or conversation. Just be aware of them.
  • Modify your driving speed and following distances when weather and road conditions change.
  • Slow down for corners and turns before you enter the turn. Slowing down mid-turn can cause bad driving dynamics for your tow vehicle and trailer. 
  • Turn a little “wide” to allow more space for your trailer’s tires. Trailers take a “shorter” path around corners than tow vehicles do. (This is why your tow vehicle easily makes it around a corner and the trailer “mysteriously” jumps the curb and takes out some bushes.)
Share Button