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Get Ready To Tow

It is finally summer, and the rain seems to have abated, which means it is time to hitch up the trailer, or maybe the ATV, and hit the open road and reconnect with nature -- with some of the conveniences of home of course.

But towing shouldn't be taken lightly and requires a driver to develop a whole new set of skills. Even the process of hitching and unhitching a trailer from a tow vehicle requires a bit of know-how.

Towing Capacity

It's important not to max out your vehicle's towing capacity.

Your vehicle will have a maximum towing capacity, the most weight it can town behind it. This will be listed in the owner's manual. This will help you decide if that new trailer is just too big.

Leave some wiggle room. If you plan to head into the mountains, towing in extreme inclines or declines can add extra stress on your engine. Also, you may find you pack more things for longer trips and consequently more weight, so keeping your trailer under your max tow capacity leaves room for the extra cargo. 

Your vehicle's max towing capacity includes passenger weight, added accessories, any liquids in the tank and any cargo (bikes, clothing, kitchenware, games, etc). For example, if you have an RV over 8000lbs you would allow for an additional 1,000lbs in cargo/liquids.

The Right Gear

Do you have the hitch for your load? What about safety chains? A lighting harness and mirrors that allow you to see around the trailer? These are just a few things you need before you hit the road with a trailer or other towed load.

For instance, safety chains help if the hitch should fail for any reason. If the hitch fails, the tongue of the trailer will drop into the cradle instead of right down onto the ground. The chain should be crossed underneath the hitch to form a sort of cradle.

If your trailer is wider than your tow vehicle, tow mirrors will help you see the trailer's blind spots while driving and to aid rear visibility when backing up.

Match the Hitch Ball to the Trailer

Make sure the ball on your tow hitch is the same size as the coupler on your trailer. Incorrectly sized hitch balls are the No. 1 cause of trailer accidents. Typically, hitch balls come in three sizes: 1 7/8 inches, 2 inches, and 2 5⁄16 inches.

Check trailer lights

Before hitting the road, double check to make sure the trailer's electrical wiring system is properly connected to the tow vehicle. With a partner, visually confirm the trailer's running lights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights are all working in correlation with the tow vehicle.

Here at LAND Auto Center we have everything you need to get out into the great outdoors this summer.  From LED headlights to hitches to tow mirrors, LAND Auto can get you set up to hit the road safely, and in style.

Whether you are towing recreational vehicles, bikes, or work equipment, our team will work with you to find the right accessories for your vehicle.


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