General Tips for Towing Trailer Units
by Al Page (NH)
Some general items for towing trailers:
Responsibility of the tow driver
(Note any damage or deficiencies in the trailer notebook, inform DR Coordinator)
Interior properly stowed
Equipment properly tied down with straps/bungees
Heaviest load must be forward of the axles. Distribution should be at least 60/40% with the greater weight forward and on the towing vehicle.
(Improper weight distribution will cause excess sway and could cause a serious accident)
No flammables stowed in the trailer. (Propane/gasoline)
Check for leakage on gas powered equipment
Confirm that the state registration is current
Check tire pressure (including spare), inspect tire tread for excess or irregular wear
Check running/turn and brake lights
Check brake system
Check condition of safety chains. Chains must not drag on the ground.
Hook up brake-away cable, Check for fraying.
Assure that hitch is the proper size and locked
Crank Trailer jack to the fully raised position.
Raise rear jack stands or remove if so equipped
Exterior doors dogged and locked
Remove wheel chocks
Check braking at start
Carefully check for sway once on the road
Allow extra stopping room when possible
Know what is behind the trailer:
Get out and check behind the unit
When possible, have someone guide
Designate only one person to direct
Use 4-way flashers
Watch the angle of the trailer to tow vehicle
Fast change leads to jack-knife
Control the angle so that it changes slowly or remains constant.
When parked, place wheel chocks between the wheels on both sides.
If unhooking, lower jack-stand in front and place rear jacks (if so equipped)