What You Should Know About Towing
(PRUnderground) September 27th, 2021
Whether you have some experience with towing or none at all, towing involves planning, checking and re-checking, knowledge about your vehicle, and some practice. CarBuzz offers a few useful tips to make this process a little easier.
Preparing to Tow
Firstly, you need to be aware of what your vehicle can cope with – while there are many SUVs and trucks for towing, they all have varying capacities. It won’t help you to attempt hitching a mobile home to the back of your truck if it won’t be able to cope with that weight, so make sure you know what your vehicle is capable of.
Once you’ve established what you can tow, you can get the entire setup connected. It’s always advised to hook unloaded trailers. For most setups, using the hand crank on the trailer to raise the level of the hitch to line up with the back of your vehicle is the best place to start. Whether you have a Nissan Frontier or Ford F-250, make sure the tow hitch is suitable for what you want to haul. Next, chock the trailer’s wheels, line the vehicle up with the trailer (backup cameras are helpful, but an assistant is ideal to guide you), and then position the trailer hitch above the receiver. When it’s lined up, lower, secure, and lock the connection, looping the safety chains around the hitch. Crank the guiding wheel of the trailer up again, and secure it in place, too. Lastly, plug in all the electrical connections and ensure the systems are also fully operational – test brake lights, indicators, and regular running lights. Make sure your mirrors are adjusted appropriately.
Driving While Towing
Things will feel markedly different when you are hauling something behind you, especially so if the trailer is particularly heavy. Here are some important rules to keep in mind, whether your Nissan pickup truck is fully fitted with driver aids and safety features:
Know the law: familiarise yourself with local laws and regulations around towing in your state, as you may need to drive in a certain lane, or have certain equipment on board. You may even need a special permit.
Speed: Drive as slowly as possible and only as fast as necessary. Speeding with a trailer is a recipe for disaster, as you will not be able to stop, merge, overtake, and turn with the same efficiency. Slow all the way down, and leave ample space between your vehicle and others.
Planning: Especially when it comes to parking, think ahead and try to plan your route, as reversing with a trailer is a challenge in itself. If you need to park, rather find a through-road or double parking bay that you can simply move out of, instead of needing to back up.
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