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New to Towing - Safety Tips

Posted by euro towbars 18/11/2014 1 Comment(s)

Towing can be a safe and easy activity, but there are many safety factors you need to consider with regard to your Euro Tow bar before and during your trip. By simply observing a few safety rules and practices you can keep the likelihood of accidents to a minimum and take excellent control over your towing vehicle.


Check Your Tow Vehicle
• Examine your tires and make sure they're in good shape and properly inflated
• Check your lights, turning signals, and reverse lights
• Check all fluids such as oil and coolant
• Make sure your brakes are in good shape and working properly


Check Your Trailer
• Check your tires for proper inflation and good condition
• Test all lights and make sure they're fully connected
• If your trailer has brakes, make sure they're in good shape and working properly
• Load most of your cargo weight over the trailer's axle(s)
• Tie down any loose cargo
• Close and secure all doors and windows


Check Your Connections
• Make sure your ball mount is properly secured, and that your hitch ball is tightly bolted on
• Secure your socket or coupler over the ball and make sure it's providing a full range of motion
• Ensure safety chain is securely attached
• Double-check your trailer brake and trailer light wiring harnesses and make sure all electrical accessories are working correctly
• Check your connections and adjustments after 50-100 miles of towing


Driving Tips
Practicing safe driving habits is essential when towing. Hauling a trailer on your vechicle drastically alters the way your vehicle handles and adds considerable weight and length to your rig. By following these rules you can minimize the chance of mishaps and ensure a safer and more confident towing experience.
• Avoid sudden braking and jerky steering. Every little move you make with your vehicle affects your trailer in a big way. Sudden movements can cause your trailer to sway, skid, or jackknife.
• Maintain reasonable speeds. Towing a trailer requires staying at a consistent and moderate speed to maintain full control. Keeping your speed down prevents your trailer from swaying and improves your ability to react to changing road conditions.
• Learn how to keep sway under control. Sway can be caused by influences out of your control such as wind and air pressure changes. If your trailer starts swaying, let go of the accelerator and slow down. As your speed goes down the trailer should correct itself. Do not step on the brake pedal - braking will actually make the sway worse.
• Leave lots of space between yourself and other drivers. The extra weight of a trailer greatly lengthens your braking distance. Don't follow too closely behind the drivers in front of you and minimize the chance of rear-ending.
• Look ahead. Because it takes much longer to maneuver your towing vehicle, take a long view of the road ahead. Seeing upcoming traffic, changing road conditions, or construction gives you more time to make the speed lane changes you need.
• Be careful and observant when changing lanes. Adding a trailer can make your rig over twice as long as your un-hitched vehicle. Make sure you have a clear view of the lanes next to you - we recommend adding a set of Towing Mirrors to improve your visibility. You also need extra room to change lanes, as you can't brake or accelerate as quickly as other vehicles.
• Accommodate for faster and slower vehicles. You won't be able to keep up with the speed demons when you have a heavy trailer attached. Be courteous to faster traffic and allow other drivers to get past you efficiently. Also, if you need to pass a slower vehicle, allow much more distance to maneuver than you would in a normal car. Being moderate and courteous with faster and slower traffic makes driving safer and less frustrating for everyone on the road.

 

Backing Up
Backing up a vehicle with a trailer can be a tricky and intimidating task, but a few basic rules can help make it easier.
• Hold the steering wheel at the 6 o'clock position. The rear of the trailer will swing in the direction you move your hand.
• Make small steering adjustments. Your trailer greatly exaggerates the changes you make with the steering wheel, so make short and frequent wheel turns.
• If possible, have another person outside of the vehicle for guidance. A Backup Camera could also come in handy.
• Always walk a lap around your towing rig and make sure there aren't any obstacles behind you. Unless you have a backup camera installed on your trailer, you will have a severely limited rear view.

Hills and Declines
The extra weight attached via your Euro tow bar puts extra stress on your engine, transmission, and brakes. Taking your rig on upgrades and downgrades pushes your vehicle especially hard. Keep these tips in mind when hitting hills and mountains to extend the life of your towing vehicle.
• Downshift on downgrades. When you're coming down a hill, drop your vehicle into a lower gear and take it slow. Shifting into a lower gear helps slow down your vehicle without relying solely on your brakes.
• Upshift when climbing hills. Shifting into a higher gear helps add some extra power when facing an upgrade.
• Go easy on your brakes. Downshifting helps you slow down on declines, but if you need to apply the brakes, tap your brake pedal in firm, brief presses. Pause between taps to let your brake parts cool. Your heavy towing rig puts a huge demand on your brakes. If you plan ahead, downgrade, and use your brakes lightly, they'll perform better and last longer.
• Keep an eye on your temperature gauges. Pulling heavy trailers and climbing hills can push your engine and transmission to its limits. If you notice your trans or engine heating up, pull over for a bit and give them a break. If you tow frequently, consider adding a transmission cooler to your vehicle for better performance with less overheating.


Final Thoughts
Hauling heavy trailers and toys is a breeze when you're equipped with the right towing gear. We hope this Guide helps you know a little more about towing and lets you make a more informed decision when shopping for a tow bar  | trailer hitch and accessories. If you have any more questions or suggestions about the information in this guide please contact our experienced Customer Service Department at info(a)etowbars.com

1 Comment(s)

Chris:
29/03/2015, 05:42:35 PM
Reply

I note the comments "Downshift on downgrades ... then Upshift when climbing hills. " I would have thought one should Downshift on both downgrades and upgrades. Thanks

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