Whether you’re towing a caravan or a horse box you need to ensure that your trailer is correctly attached to your vehicle. All sorts of accidents and issues can occur if the trailer is not attached correctly. So, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to ensure your trailer is properly attached to the back of your vehicle.
Before you even take off it’s important to check that the trailer is attached to the car safely and that the brake lights are working correctly.
Check the hitch and ensure that the tongue is over the ball if it’s a ball hitch. Also ensure that the locking mechanism is stuck in place and locked with the pin. If this isn’t secure the trailer could become loose. Trailers should also have two chains, running across from one side to the other in an X-shape to keep the vehicle and trailer tied together in the worst case scenario.
Pull the trailer to check the connection and see if it comes off the hitch. If this happens then you will need to reattach it. In addition check the wheel or stand for the trailer is in the drive position.
Now, check the brake lights and signals are working and get a friend to help you see this is the case when you press the brakes. If there’s no one to help then check the brakes in front of a reflective surface. It’s very important that these work as otherwise no one can tell when you’re braking and this can cause problems.
Always be used to your trailer and car before you set off on a long journey. If it’s a new combo then do some practice maneuverers. This will help you get used to the car and help when you need to back up.
Remember that if you’re taking turns in a vehicle like this you will need to overshoot them quite often. Taking wide turns is essential as otherwise you may hit poles, street furniture or other obstacles. No matter what happens, always try to stay calm and take your time.
Remember that the larger the load the longer it will take to stop a horse trailer or a caravan. So, always test your stopping power before doing so. In addition, always ensure that your towing capacity is suited for the car’s engine and braking mechanism. Always be cautious.
If pulling a trailer then it’s a good idea to invest in insurance for a caravan or a horse trailer. Some car, equine or holiday insurance will inadvertently cover pulling a trailer – others won’t so check the small print.
Of course, prevention is better than cure and being able to avoid issues when pulling your trailer is the best form of insurance. The best way to avoid problems is to take your time, be careful when backing up and always checking before setting off that your hitch is set up correctly. Follow these tips and you will have no problems when driving your vehicle with trailer.