Are you planning on taking your car on a long trip by way of a tow? If so, a good idea is a tuneup on a car to ensure that it is in proper working order before loading it onto any type of tow. If you are unsure of what a tow is, you can head on down to your local auto parts store to discuss the different towing methods. However, there are three essential methods for those looking to take an extra vehicle with them on a road trip, or just looking to transport a car to another location: (1) a tow dolly, (2) a tow bar and (3) a trailer. This article will discuss towing by a trailer and how to do so safely.
Know Your Rating and Ball Size
Not every vehicle is capable of towing the weight of another car. However, even those that are able cannot always handle the weight of the other vehicle and trailer combination. Therefore, it is necessary to check the owner’s manual of your car before hooking up any tow to ensure that the tow rating is sufficient enough for your needs. Also, trailer ball sizes vary, so it is crucial that you know the size so that you can purchase a trailer with an appropriate attachment and avoid any unnecessary accidents.
Attaching the Trailer
There are at least four steps that you need to take to attach a trailer securely to a towing vehicle. First, the trailer coupler needs to be connected to the hitch. To test this connection, drive forward in the towing vehicle. You do not have to pull forward too far, just enough to ensure the trailer is secure. Second, you will need to attach the safety chains, which help to keep the trailer attached to the tow vehicle. Third, connect the wiring harness, and fourth, check the charge on any brake battery that might have come with the trailer.
Loading the Vehicle
The last step might be the easiest, but it is also the most important. For towing trailers, getting the vehicle on the bed of the tow is as simple as driving onto the platform. However, once the car is on the platform, it is critical to tie it down securely. To ensure that the vehicle is secure on the bed of the trailer, you should use ratcheting nylon straps or even wheel nets. Whichever option you choose, the nets or straps must prevent too much movement in the wheels. If using nylon straps, then place the strap over the center of the front tire and ratchet the strap tight to the trailer bed. Next, you’ll want to attach the security chains to the frame of the vehicle. However, be careful to avoid any fuel or brake lines.
If you are planning a road trip and need to tow an additional vehicle, or need to move a car from one location to another, make sure you understand how to secure the towed car to the lead vehicle. If you have any questions about towing or attachment methods, then contact a representative from a local auto parts store for assistance.