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6 Top Tips For Safe Trailer Towing - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

6 Top Tips For Safe Trailer Towing

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The weather outside may still be frightful, but it won’t be long before adventurous families head out to the lakes and campsites with boats and trailers in tow. Unfortunately, those failing to heed proper towing limits and procedures can cause undue wear and tear to their vehicles, and be a potential highway hazard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that, on average, at least one person a day dies in incidents involving passenger vehicles towing trailers.

Here are 6 expert tips for safer and smarter towing this year.

1. Check the towing capacity – and stick to it

To ensure safe passage, be sure to confirm your car or truck’s recommended towing capacity as stated in the owner’s manual and be sure to stay well within the stated limits.

Overloading a vehicle can accelerate wear and tear, and a too-heavy trailer can sway excessively behind the tow vehicle, causing control issues and encroaching on adjacent lanes of traffic.

2. Get your vehicle professionally inspected before a trip

Always have a tow vehicle checked out by a mechanic before hitting the road, especially fluid levels, brakes and tires; the latter may require additional air pressure for towing, especially when pulling heavy loads. It’s also a good idea to have the oil changed before embarking on a long trip.

Ensure that the vehicle’s trailer hitch is appropriate for the weight and type of load to be hauled. Once hitched and with the wiring harness connected, check that the trailer’s brakes, brake lights and turn signals are synchronized with the towing vehicle.

3. Ensure the load is properly distributed and secure

If you’re pulling a camper, make sure its internal load is evenly distributed for optimal stability. Try to place 60 percent of the cargo weight in the front half of the trailer, and distribute items evenly on both sides of the unit. Be sure to tie down everything securely.

4. Take the trailer for a test drive

NHTSA recommends that even experienced haulers should practice pulling a load around town or within a large empty parking lot to get a good feel for how the vehicle and what it will be towing behaves.

Be sure to rehearse accelerating, turning corners, stopping, backing up and parking. Also, those taking longer trips should consult other states’ towing laws to make sure the rig won’t be violating specific towing height, width and weight restrictions.

5. Drive with caution and stop for periodic checks

Once out on the road proceed at a moderate pace and leave ample distance for stopping. Driving too fast and having to make a sudden stop can cause the trailer to jackknife, skid out of control or flip over.

It’s prudent to pull over every 50 or 60 miles to ensure the trailer’s lights and brakes are working, the tires are at the proper inflation level and that the load within the trailer remains secure.

6. Choose a vehicle that can handle the haul

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new vehicle that’s best suited to tow that boat or trailer, be sure to check out the heavy haulers at Al Serra Chevrolet.

The full-size Chevy Tahoe and Suburban SUVs are rated to haul a maximum 8,600 pounds when properly equipped. Need more muscle? The full-size Silverado 1500 pickup truck can tow as much as 12,500 pounds, with the heavy duty Silverado line topping the charts at a maximum 20,000 pounds with a conventional hitch or up to 23,200 pounds with a fifth-wheel or gooseneck-type hitch.

To find a towing vehicle you can trust, come into Al Serra Chevrolet North or South or visit online at AlSerraColorado.com to view inventory, get a free estimated trade-in value for your vehicle and find out exactly how much you can save with Al Serra’s price on a new 2017 Chevy Silverado.

This article was produced for and sponsored by Al Serra Chevrolet North
and South and Al Serra Volkswagen, Colorado Springs. It is not a product of or affiliated with KOAA News 5.

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    From Our Sponsors The weather outside may still be frightful, but it won’t be long before adventurous families head out to the lakes and campsites with boats and trailers in tow. Unfortunately, those failing to heed proper towing limits and procedures can cause undue wear and tear to their vehicles, and be a potential highway hazard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that, on average, at least one person a day dies in incidents involving passenger ...

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