You finally got that perfect trailer you've been dreaming of. Congratulations! Now its time to hitch up your trailer and head out on your next adventure. If you have not purchased a trailer hitch be sure to check out our video on Trailer Hitches before you do so. Stick around and I'll show you how to hook up your trailer to your vehicle.
Before we proceed on hitching a trailer, safety first! There are a few key items to keep in mind when towing a trailer. Whether you are taking your boat out to the lake or loading up your horses for a trail ride it is imperative to take all safety precautions.
First and foremost, make sure you have the proper equipment. If it's your first time taking out your trailer, practice the night before on hooking up your trailer to avoid delay. You want to make certain that your trailer hitch and trailer are compatible. The hitch ball should be the same size or smaller than the coupler in order for the coupler to lock. For example if your hitch ball is 2” then the coupler should be at least 2”.
Next item on hand is taking your vehicle into consideration. Without a well functioning vehicle it is impossible to safely tow any sort of trailer. Start out by checking that all the tires have the proper PSI. PSI stands for pounds per square inch. The PSI is the maximum inflation for your tires. Correct any inflation issues before towing if it is required. We recommend investing in a spare wheel and tire for emergencies. Don't forget to check out our online catalog for factory original steel rims.
If you have not already done so, check your Owners Manual for Max Towing Capacity. For example a Dodge Durango can tow approximately 6000 lbs, while a Jeep Patriot can only tow approximately 2000 lbs.
If your vehicle is stock there is a chance you will have to upgrade to a towing package which includes a towing break controller. The break controller will assist in ensuring safe stops. Keep in mind once you hook up your trailer to your vehicle you will need a greater distance between you and other vehicles, since you are hauling more weight.
By far one of the most important elements in towing are working lights. When you add a trailer to your vehicle your visibility decreases. With less visibility you increase your chances of getting into an accident. It is important for your lights to work so you alert other drivers of any changes in your driving. Visually inspect all of your lights and check for blown out light bulbs.
Step 1: Back up vehicle to trailer until the coupler is directly above and lined up with the hitch ball. One of the things to make the process simpler is to have a friend direct you while you back up into the trailer. If you do not have assistance you can add a marker to the middle of your tailgate for guidance.
Step 2: If coupler is not higher than the hitch ball, simply elevate the trailer.
Step 3: Lower the trailer onto the hitch ball until the coupler is sitting on the hitch ball properly and locked into position.
Step 4: Cross the safety chains under the tongue of the trailer and hook them up to your truck. It is important that the safety chains are crossed underneath the tongue of the hitch incase the ball comes loose from the coupler, the chains will not only retain the weight of the trailer it will prevent from the tongue of the trailer to hit the floor if the coupler and ball disengage in an accident.
(Tip: Ensure that the chains are the proper length. Chains that are too long will hit the floor, if the chains are too short they will not allow the trailer to make tight turns)
Step 5: Connect your electrical cord to your electrical outlet. Not all electrical outlets are compatible with your trailer. If the cord is not a match you can buy an adapter to connect the cord to your vehicle.
Step 6: Check your emergency lights, signal lights, and brake lights before taking off. For this step you want to have a friend assist you. As you brake and signal they can visually inspect the lights for any blown out lightbulbs.
That's it! Now, you are set to go! Just double check all the steps to ensure you have a safe drive.
Silvia – OriginalWheel.com