If you are planning a road trip that involves towing a trailer with your vehicle, it is wise to learn how to perform a correct pre-tow check and ensure your safety, as well as the safety of your cargo. Continue reading for some helpful tips.
The first part of towing safety is preparation, which is why learning how to perform a pre-tow check before a road trip is so valuable. Not only is it important to know what to check, it is important to complete the task before every road trip, regardless of distance.
To start, you want to ensure your hitch and trailer are safely connected to one another. For a standard ball hitch, be sure that the tongue of the trailer is correctly connected to your vehicle’s hitch, with the locking mechanism snapped and lock pin in place.
While inspecting your hitch and trailer tongue, also be sure that your trailer connection is setup right. Between the vehicle and the trailer, there should be two chains that are crossing over each other, forming an “X” figure.
Check the security of the hitch by pulling up on the trailer to pull the hitch off. It should not be able to come off. If it does, you need to reconnect it and make the proper adjustments. Check that the wheel or stand for the trailer is in the “up” position.
Next, inspect your trailer lights and the lights on your towing vehicle. Be sure that the brake lights and turn signals are working properly and in sync. If something is off, check the electrical wires for looseness or defects. If you cannot get the brake lights to work, it is VITAL that you do not take it on the road.