Whether you’re an experienced camper or looking into camper trailers for sale, there are many factors to consider to have the safest trip when towing your trailer. Looking into your tires and brakes are two crucial aspects that we will cover in detail as you read on, but please know that there are other things you should have on your safety checklist before taking any trips, so keep yourself informed.
Taking care of your tires
You can never check your tires too frequently. A flat tire on your trailer can go easily unnoticed, especially in tandem wheels or multiple axle trailers, which can result in your wheel catching fire. While you’re on the road, it’s recommended that each time you stop at a gas station you walk around your trailer hitting your tires lightly with a tire iron, making sure they all sound the same. Also, try to spot any tire with higher temperature than the rest, feeling each one with your hand. This is a sign of a tire getting low. Finally, before any trip you should measure the pressure on every tire, making sure that they are within a safe range.
Wheel lug nuts in good condition are crucial for a safe trip. It’s important to check them constantly because they will loosen over time, especially on a new trailer or a wheel that has been recently replaced. In these cases, you should check the torque on all wheels after driving from 25 to 50 miles. Acquiring a torque wrench will allow you to do this much faster and better. Make sure you always have all lug nuts on your tires, never drive a loaded trailer with a damaged or missing lug nut.
Tow Vehicle and Trailer Brakes
First of all it’s important to note that the more break you have the better off you’ll be. This sounds very basic, but what it means is that having good, effective breaks on your towing vehicle and more breaks on your trailer will ensure a safer drive. Also, having disk brakes instead of drum brakes will be better, as they are more effective.
If you’re starting out driving with a trailer you should be prepared for breaking emergencies. Practicing for this is as simple as finding a road with no traffic, getting up to good speed, and breaking suddenly. The objective of this is to get a good feel of how much pressure to apply on the breaks and the distance it takes to slow down. Be careful not to overdo it and lose control, just get to know your vehicle, so when an unforeseen event happens you feel more confident and calm.
Reduce the wear on your breaks, aid them by using your engine and lowering the gears, especially as you drive at greater speeds and going downhill. It’s equally important to avoid riding your breaks (having your right foot on the accelerator and left on the break). This will overheat your break and they will lose their effectiveness much faster.
Having electric brakes on your trailer is a great asset, but you should be careful when working with them. Learn as much as possible about how electric breaks work and how to adjust the controllers that trigger them. You should know that after setting this controller, the brake applied to your trailer tires will not depend on how hard you press the pedal, but on how you adjusted it. For example, if you turn it all the way up, the slightest pressure you apply can result in locking your trailer breaks.
If you are on a rush to leave it’s easy to forget what to check on your trailer, so having a checklist you can quickly go over is highly recommended. After consulting with a San Diego towing company, they pointed out that keeping an eye on your tires and breaks constantly dramatically increases chances of having a smooth ride, so don’t take this lightly and add these two important items to your checklist.