Three Tips For Safely Towing Your Utility Trailer

Buying a new or used utility trailer can help you with a seemingly endless list of projects around the home or cottage. Everything from carrying home new appliances and renovation supplies to transporting equipment to the cottage can be made significantly easier with a utility trailer. Towing a trailer behind your vehicle can take a period of adjustment before you feel completely comfortable with the activity. When you buy the trailer, the salesperson can often provide you with some basic knowledge about how to tow the trailer safely. Here are three specific things that you should keep in mind as you drive.  

Check Your Trailer Tires Every Time You Stop

Trailer tires are smaller than the tires of your vehicle, which means that they turn faster and can thus get hotter. As such, it's a good practice to develop a habit of checking the tires on your utility trailer whenever you stop your vehicle. A visual check is valuable, as it can indicate whether something looks wrong, but a more meticulous approach is to check the tire pressure with a pressure gauge. Buy this simple device and keep it in your glove compartment for whenever you're towing your new trailer. Confirm that the pressure of each of the four tires meets the manufacturer's recommendation and visit a nearby gas station to add more air if needed.

Give Yourself Greater Following Distance

Towing a utility trailer -- especially when it's full -- adds a significant amount of weight to your traveling weight. As such, it's important to know that you won't be able to stop as quickly as you're used to in your vehicle. This means that it's important to leave a greater amount of space between you and the vehicle you're following. Three seconds is the guideline for vehicles, so aim to have a following distance greater than this interval to ensure that you can safely reduce your speed when the other motorist hits the brakes.

Back Up With A Helper

It will take you a little time to get used to backing up the utility trailer, but you can improve your skill with the help of a family member or friend standing behind you and offering instructions. When you're a beginner, it's difficult to be able to accurately position the trailer, but having someone else providing verbal cues means that there's one less thing for you to think about. It's best to back up with your window rolled down so you can communicate easily with your helper.