If your summer plans include taking your boat to the lake, or hauling your camper for a family road trip, make sure you’re towing safely. Start with a little maintenance – not only on your vehicle but your trailer wires or trailer may need some maintenance too. Don’t wait until the car, kids and the coolers are loaded to find out something isn’t going to work! Start with…
Cleaning the Connections
As you clean your vehicle and hitch, make sure to clean all connections, check that all lights are working, and everything hooks tightly. If you have corrosion build up on the connector you can use Coca Cola to clean your connections… Just pour a little bit of coke onto any rusted or dirty buildup places and scrub away. If that doesn’t fix your connection problem you can give us call. Also make sure you have had your brakes checked before you hit the road.
Gas Up Before Connecting
It’s much easier to fuel up your towing vehicle before attaching your trailer. Make sure you fill up your tank, and while you’re fueling, also double-check that your tires are filled and that you have plenty of transmission fluid. Towing a boat or trailer can put strain on your transmission, so make sure you’ve done everything you can to keep it cooled off and running well. Keep an eye on the temperature gauges when you are towing long distances.Tips for Towing BoatsIt’s especially important to take caution when towing boats. If you’re backing your boat, jet skis or wave runners into the water, first unplug all electrical to trailer connections. This will reduce corrosion (unless you have electrical brakes on the trailer.) Make sure that your boat is firmly secured, and that the weight is balanced properly.
Do your Homework
Read your owner’s manual to see what your vehicle’s towing capacity is. Don’t assume your truck or SUV has a large towing capacity. It is important to stay within the recommendations ~ you could be a huge, on the road, safety hazard if you don’t. If your vehicle is rated at 6000 pounds then your VEHICLE License plate has to be rated at that towing capacity. If you don’t have the right license plate then you very well may get pulled over by a State Trooper and receive a ticket for towing beyond your vehicle’s towing capacity and/or license plate tow limit.
And Last…Take it Easy
When you hit the road try and allow extra time so you do not feel rushed. Always drive a little slower when towing. If this is your first time towing with this vehicle or boat you may want to do a little practice run! This is always a good idea before you travel several hours out of town. Hook it up and practice backing up in an empty parking lot. Use the empty parking spots as your guides and this will give you practice in using your
mirrors to backup so when it comes time to back down the ramp ~ you are not all over the place!!!
If you ever have questions about towing or capacity issues please feel free to give us a shoot! We will be glad to get your questions answered!
Thanks so much ~ and happy boating and camping!!