Trailer Towing Tips You Need to Know Before You Hit the Road

No matter how much experience you have, it is important to do a basic trailer towing review before you hit the road on any long or short distance trip. Whether you are traversing the country or just to the other side of town, safety is the most important element of towing a trailer.

Continue reading to learn some of the most important trailer towing tips you need to know, including a recommended pre-trip checklist, road safety, and jackknife prevention.

24 Hour Trailer Towing Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484
24 Hour Trailer Towing Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484

Top Considerations for Pulling a Trailer

Pulling a trailer is no simple feat. From safety and clearance precautions to regulation towing equipment like hitches and signals, towing laws, licensing, and more, there is much you need to know and stay on top of when it comes to trailer towing. Not only do towing vehicles require more stopping time when pulling a trailer, but they must also adhere to all local and state towing regulations and traffic laws.

For instance, some states require anyone towing a trailer to drive slower and remain in the right lane at all times, while other states have more specific or unique regulations for trailer towing. It is important to check with your county clerk’s office to ensure that you are in accordance with all local and state trailer towing guidelines.

It is important that you are properly equipped to safely to a trailer, which includes being properly licensed to tow, plus having all of your necessary safety chains, lights and signals, hitches, receivers, and all other towing components in order. It is important to check these components before leaving on every trip. This brings us to our recommended pre-trip checklist for trailer towing.

Pre-Trip Checklist

Before hitting the road with trailer in tow, check all of these components. First:

Hitch – if you have a standard ball hitch, your trailer tongue should be properly attached. According to manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure the locking mechanism is secured with the lock pin in proper position. Check that your hitch is secure by trying to pull it up. If you can pull it off, then it is not attached properly.

Trailer Connection Chains – check that the connection chains between your trailer in the towing vehicle are crisscrossed and in the right position, which would be directly in between the vehicle of trailer.

Brake Lights and Signals – Your next priority is to check that the trailer brake lights and turn signals are in sync with your towing vehicle. You will likely need a partner to help you with this step, but you can also use the reflection of another window or vehicle windshield.

Towing a Trailer on the Road

Once you do hit the road with your trailer in tow, there are still some more rules and considerations you need to keep in mind. It is strongly encouraged to drive directly to a large open area or a parking lot to practice your maneuvering skills. Practice backing up and parking, as well as stopping and turning. Allow yourself to get a better feel or reminder of just how big your caravan is. This little bit of practice can really help you be more confident on the road, which in turn can make you a safer driver.

Jackknifing prevention

One of the most common trailer towing errors is jackknifing, which usually results from backing up incorrectly. This can cause the trailer and towing vehicle to turn into an L or V shape, which can be damaging to both the hitch and the trailer. This is a very difficult position to get out of, which is what is important to learn how to avoid in the first place.

Practicing in an open area or parking lot, as mentioned before, can really help you get a better feel for your trailer and avoid jackknifing errors. To avoid jackknifing when towing a trailer, just take it slow and never let the trailer and towing vehicle get beyond an L or V shape.

Do you need professional towing assistance or have a roadside trailer emergency? Contact Zore’s Towing for economically-priced towing and recovery service in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve all of Central Indiana.

Related Posts:

Will Trailer Towing Damage My Car?
What Should I Do If My Trailer Starts To Sway?
Do I Need a Hitch Ball When I Buy a New Ball Mount?
Trailer Hitch Adapter Installation Tips

Towing Wrecker Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484
Towing Wrecker Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484

3 Steps to Choose the Right Ball Mount for Your Tow Hitch

When it comes to properly setting up your vehicle and trailer arrangement, one of the most vital elements to get absolutely right is your ball mount. Choosing the correct ball mount for your trailer hitch is important for guaranteeing a safe towing connection, as well as staying within state and local regulations for towing a trailer.

24 Hour Tow Truck and Roadside Assistance
24 Hour Towing and Roadside Assistance for Indiana 317-247-8484

Why is a Proper Ball Mount So Vital?

Ensuring that you match the correct ball mount to your trailer hitch is important for many reasons. Not only does it mean that you have a balanced and level connection between the trailer and your towing vehicle, but it also means that your towing weight rating is equal to or higher than the weight of the load in your trailer. These two factors provide a safe and efficient tow.

How to Measure Your Ball Mount

To check that your ball mount is the proper height for your trailer, and therefore a suitable match, all you need to do is follow this 3-Step Rule:

1. Calculate Trailer Hitch Height

Your first step is to find out what your trailer hitch’s height is so that you can match your ball mount perfectly. Do this by measuring from the top of the hitch receiver tube all the way down to the ground.

2. Calculate Coupler Height

Your next step is to calculate your coupler height. Begin by ensuring your trailer is perfectly level. Then, measure the distance from the bottom of the coupler to the ground.

3. Calculate the Difference

The third step requires you to calculate the difference between the first and second values. Subtract the trailer coupler height from the hitch receiver height to get your result. This new value is how much drop you need in your ball mount.

Here is an Example:
Receiver Height = 24 inches
Trailer Coupler Height = 18 inches
Math = (24 – 18 = 6)
Drop Amount = 6 inches

≫ Higher hitch height? A drop with your ball mount is necessary.
Higher coupler height? A raise with your ball mount is necessary.

Do you need towing service in Indianapolis, Indiana? Contact Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for 24 hour tow truck and roadside assistance services at competitive prices. We serve all of Central Indiana.

You Might Also Read:

3 Simple Steps to Using a Trailer Hitch Adapter
Do I Need a Hitch Ball When I Buy a New Ball Mount?
3 Factors to Consider When Buying a Trailer Hitch

Indianapolis Towing & Recovery 317-247-8484

Why You Can Never Ignore Vehicular Towing Capacity

Whether you are planning to hook up a camper to your truck, tow a personal watercraft to the lake, or dinghy tow another car across the state, the most important factor to review first is the tow capacity of the vehicle you plan on doing the towing. Continue below to learn more about car and truck towing capacities, including why they are so important and how to calculate yours.

Indiana Towing Services 317-247-8484
Indiana Towing Services 317-247-8484

The Basic Rules of Towing Capacity

Towing capacity is the weight limit your towing vehicle can pull. These capacities vary from vehicle to vehicle, depending on make, model, year, features, and more. Towing capacity is formulated by comprehending five principal components of a towing vehicle. These include the transmission, brakes, axles, motor, and edge. Additionally, incorporating the towing vehicle’s weight, trailer weight, cargo weight, and the total combined weight of its occupants will provide a general understanding of how much weight your towing vehicle will have to pull.

From there, you must then check with the vehicle’s owners’ manual to see how much weight your make and model vehicle can tow, and compare that with the total combined weight you need to tow. If the total combined weight exceeds the recommended towing capacity, you cannot safely tow with that vehicle. You must either reduce the weight of the cargo and vessel, or get a towing vehicle with a higher towing capacity.

The Purpose of a Tow Capacity Rating

There is a reason why towing capacity exists. There are several consequences to ignoring a vehicle’s towing limit. This includes safety hazards, mechanical damages, and more. The most dangerous, and common, consequence to exceeding a vehicle’s towing capacity is losing the ability to brake. You never want this to happen to you, especially when accompanied by other passengers or carrying flammable cargoes.

When the towing limit is met or exceeded, they can easily achieve regular speeds on the road, but when it comes time to stop, problems arise. The vehicle is basically too heavy to come to a stop at the regular amount of time you expect. It takes much longer, especially at higher speeds, to come to a complete stop. In some cases, the load is so heavy, the vehicle cannot stop at all, or in time, to avoid a dangerous or fatal collision.

In less extreme cases, surpassing the towing limit can prohibit a vehicle from driving uphill, even at the slightest incline. Since the load is too heavy, the vehicle already has trouble getting up to speed, so when it comes time to drive up an incline, it could simply give out or burn rubber right in its place. Not only does this bring the towing task to a fast halt, but it can also cause major damage to the towing vehicle and tires.

Do you need tow truck assistance or long-distance towing services in Indianapolis, Indiana? Contact Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 to request free estimates for Central Indiana towing and recovery!

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Indianapolis Towing & Recovery 317-247-8484

Safety Tips for Towing a Camper or RV This Fall

Prime camping season is approaching fast, which means avid travelers are planning road trips to through wine country, to the coast, and much more!  When long road trips are on the itinerary, it is common for the voyage to include some type of towing or hauling. Common things to tow on road trips are boats, campers, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and more. When this is in the plan, be sure to catch up on some safety tips for towing one of these commodities before starting your journey. Making sure everyone and everything on board is safe is the most important part of towing and RV or camper. 

Continue reading to learn the most common and basic tips for novice towers planning to hit the open road.

Emergency RV Towing and Roadside Assistance
Emergency RV Towing and Roadside Assistance in Indiana 317-247-8484

Vital Weight Capacity and Distribution Tips

Always be sure to consider the weight capacity of your vehicle, and the distribution of all items inside the haul. This is very important in order to prevent a multitude of accidents on the road, as well as, damage to the vehicles. Your camper or RV should have come with a manual or guide. In here, you can find the total weight of the vehicle you are planning to tow.  With this number in mind, compare it to the weight of the vehicle doing the towing. The heavier your vehicle is, the larger the load it can haul. If you have a lighter vehicle, it will only be able to tow light loads. 

On the same topic, not only does your load weight need to be an appropriate match to your vehicle’s towing capacity, it is important to evenly distribute the weight in both vehicles. Many people pack up their cars, trucks, or mini vans with luggage and supplies for their vacation, however, it is common and convenient to also pack up the camper or RV with supplies and other cargoes. This is perfectly safe and acceptable so long as the weight ratios remain similar. Packing too much in the camper or RV can outweigh the vehicle towing it, causing distress on the hitch and the vehicle doing the hauling. Be careful when considering how to pack for a trip while hauling an RV or camper.

Proper Towing Hitches

It is vital to be wise when buying a trailer hitch for the type of haul you’ll be performing. It should be able to hold the total trailer weight of the RV or camper. A stabilizer bar is another tool that can greatly reduce the chances of swaying and swerving on the road. It is highly recommended to use a stabilizer bar along with your tow hitch to ensure a safe and secure ride.

If you are unsure about which tow hitch to use, ask a professional for advice. They can give you accurate information about using proper tow hitches, for free.  Simply tell them what you are planning to haul, which vehicle is doing the hauling, and the weight of both. They can give you accurate information on which tow hitch to use.  You can call a professional towing company, or a retail company that specializes in tow hitches and related towing accessories.

Smartly Position Your Towing Vehicle

Once you have the right hitch, it is helpful to simply back the vehicle up to the front of the RV or camper. The towing ball should be set directly under the hitch. Then you can lower the hitch over the ball and complete all the necessary connections. For example, the RV or camper latch must be secure and connected properly, safety chains should be used to provide extra security, and brake systems should be tested and inspected before any departures.

Who to Trust for 24 Hour Roadside Assistance and Emergency Towing in Indiana

If your towing vehicle breaks down while hauling a camper or RV in Central Indiana, call Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for 24 hour roadside assistance and emergency towing. Our friendly staff is waiting by the phones, ready to help you get back on the road, safe and sound. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, so you can always count on us. Request a free estimate, today.

Indianapolis Towing & Recovery 317-247-8484

What a Driver Must Do to Tow another Car Safely

There are many reasons why you might have to tow another vehicle with your own vehicle. Whether taking a cross-country road trip with your RV and primary vehicle in tow, moving to another state for work, or helping a friend transport their broken-down vehicle to their auto repair shop, the most important factor is safety. There are certain protocols that you, as the driver of the vehicle towing the other vehicle, must take in order to protect both people and cargo on the road.

Continue reading to learn some vital driving safety tips for towing another vehicle with your own.

24 Hour Towing and Roadside Assistance
24 Hour Towing and Roadside Assistance 317-247-8484

Safety Tips for the Driver of the Towing Vehicle

✅ Use Extreme Caution

Always drive with superior care and caution. Never exceed 16 miles per hour on the road, and be sure to stay alert of all surroundings, both in front of you, beside you, and behind you. Driving too fast with another vehicle in tow can create too much inertia, or force, that can easily turn into uncontrollable momentum. As a result, your vehicle might have trouble coming to a stop on demand.

✅ Utilize the Clutch Properly

When pulling away for the first time with the other vehicle in tow behind you, it is vital that you operate your clutch properly. Being gentle with the clutch, pull out delicately, and at a very slow pace. If you are not using a vehicle with a manual clutch, just be sure to pull out slowly and carefully. If you pull out abruptly, you can snap the towrope or towing pole that connects your car to the towed one. As a result, the towed vehicle can whip forward and smash into the back of yours, or worse, come off on the road and smash into another person or vehicle.

✅ Be Slow and Gentle When Braking

Never slam on the brakes, or brake suddenly, when towing another vehicle with your own. This can cause the same type of problems with pulling out too fast, as mentioned above, but it can also cause massive damage to both vehicles. Give yourself several hundred feet to brake slowly, before coming to a stop, turning, or yielding. Apply the brakes gradually and gently to avoid sudden braking. Likewise, use your turn signals far ahead of time to warn drivers around you.

If the Driver is Sitting in the Car Being Towed…

In the case that you are utilizing a towing method that allows the driver to sit inside their own car while your car tows it, there are certain precautions they must take as well. They should remain fully alert, watching all braking and turn signaling. This allows them to actively steer and brake in coordination with the other vehicle, as needed. Also, they should keep constant tension in the towrope or towing pole to reduce jerking and similar abrupt movements.

Indianapolis Indiana Towing and Recovery Services You Can Trust

Call Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for 24 hour towing and recovery services, or roadside assistance in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana. Our friendly staff is waiting by the phones, ready to help you get back on the road, safe and sound. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, so you can always count on us. Request a free estimate, today.

Indianapolis Towing & Recovery 317-247-8484

What You Need to Know About Safe Boat Towing

Sadly, not all of us are privileged enough to live right on the water where we can conveniently dock our boats, jet skis, and canoes right outside our homes. For the inlander communities, it is necessary to hitch and haul our amphibious engine-powered toys across the state, and sometimes even the country!  For people who do this often, or travel seasonally, it is certain they probably have a pretty good idea on how to haul and tow boats. As for the rookies, learning can be quite overwhelming, and understandably so.

If you need to brush up on your boat towing safety, continue below for a brief review of what you need to know.

Indiana Boat Towing and Transportation Services
Indiana Boat Towing and Transportation Services 317-247-8484

Towing a boat with your car, truck, or trailer requires undivided attention and care to ensure driver and passenger safety, as well as, the protection for the vehicle, trailer, and load itself.   Once a person learns the ins and outs of boat towing, they are ready to take on the road, but before doing so, it is crucial to review the important basics of boat towing to ensure a safer hauling experience.

Turning

Driving in a straight line is not much of a challenge when hauling a boat on the road, however, when it comes time to make a turn, there are some strategies that help ensure extra care and caution.  When making a turn with a boat attached to your car or truck, understand that turns are going to need to be much wider to accommodate the load.  Remembering to make wider turns will help keep a driver safe on the road, and not a moving disaster for other drivers around them.  Cutting a turn too narrow can result in exterior damage to the load and the vehicle and possibly other cars on the road.  Narrow turns can cause the load to hit mailboxes, street signs, cars, curbs, and worse, pedestrians.  Also, the load will always turn narrower than the vehicle, so drivers need to give everything plenty of room when turning and always check the mirrors too.

Backing Up

Visibility is the first and most important component to backing up a vehicle with a boat attached, safely.  Using the mirrors is crucial, and if they are not big enough, larger mirrors can be purchased and installed for better visibility.  In a perfect world, it is better to just avoid having to back-up the vehicle and load altogether.  This is not always the case, so there are some more tips to backing up a towed boat safely.  The vehicle will weigh more, be longer in length, and have a pivot right in the middle.  These things all affect the way it is backed up.  Moving slowing, making small adjustments with the wheel, and constantly checking mirrors will help overcome this challenge.

Braking

When a boat is being towed, it adds more weight to the vehicle.  This added weight makes the vehicle take longer to brake and takes longer to completely stop.  It is important to give the vehicle plenty of stopping room when beginning to brake.  Paying attention to the other drivers and the road ahead can decrease chances of having to stop abruptly.  A slow steady force of the foot will ensure a smooth deceleration of the vehicle and its load.  Having a steady foot and an attentive mind will ensure a safe braking experience every time.  Practice never hurt either!

Jack-Knifing

Jack-knifing on the road is a huge inconvenience to other drivers on the road.  Jackknifing is when a vehicle and the load attached get out of sync and create a “U” or “V” shape.  We have seen semi-trucks do this while attempting a U-turn on a narrow street.  There are some key tips and reminders to help avoid this undesirable situation.  One way to do this is to double check the load that is attached, and be sure it does not sway at all when in tow.  The swaying load can get enough momentum and swing all the way to the front of the vehicle, creating a jackknifing accident.  Also, braking appropriately when approaching turns or bends in the road helps prevent jackknifing as well.

These are just some basic reminders to safe boat towing.  Reviewing these topics before taking on the road is a good idea.  Sometimes all we need are a few reminders to get our minds in focus before a big trip.  It is helpful to make a list of things to check before leaving, and to brush up on techniques and skills to better and safer towing.

Professional Boat Towing and Transportation Services in Indianapolis

Call Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for 24 hour boat towing services in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana. Our friendly staff is waiting by the phones, ready to help you get your boat to or from the water, safe and sound! We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, so you can always count on us. Request a free estimate, today.

Indianapolis Towing & Recovery 317-247-8484