It’s not enough to have a great truck and a great trailer. You have to understand how to use these properly.
It is to this end that we’ve consulted a few experts in the area to put together this: a crucial step guide to towing a trailer. Try this at home!
Know Your Own Towing Capacity
Like anything in life, it is important to understand your own limits. If you opt not to go with a professional towing company like Fidelity towing for your towing needs, then know before you connect a trailer to your truck you will have to understand your truck GCWR, or gross weight rating. This will say the maximum allowable combined mass of your truck, passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle, in addition to the bulk of the trailer and the freight from the trailer. Relax, it is a lot less math-y than it sounds. Simply consult your truck’s guide to the vital specifications.
Align Your Own Truck and Your Trailer
Try to center your truck with your trailer before backing up. This step is made significantly easier if your vehicle has a rear-vision camera built into the console. If not, using a spotter to assist is a wise idea.
Find the Correct Hitch
The good old ball hitch mounted to a drawbar or measure bumper is ideal for light to medium loads. Heavier trailer-ing will require a weight-distribution hitch, which will distribute some of the weight up front. Large travel trailers and horse trailers might require a fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch.
Unite Truck to Trailer
While using the ball hitch or weight-distribution hitch, you elevate the trailer with a tongue until it fits up to your truck’s hitch platform. Keeping your hitch unlocked, then you’ll then lower the trailer on the ball. Use a padlock or coupler safety pin to secure the tongue set up.
Chain It Up
Always attach safety chains to your vehicle and your trailer. Some sites on places like Jimdo show you’ll want to cross them below the tongue of the trailer as a precaution in the event that the hitch gets separated. Should this happen, you’ll have increased the odds that the trailer doesn’t drag. And that’s a fantastic thing. Oh, important tip: be sure that you leave enough slack in the chains so you can corner in your truck without impeding the motion of the trailer.
Your next move is to make sure that your trailer shows your truck’s turn signals and brake lights. Simple. Easy. Innovation is a great thing.
You’ll want to have an exact measure of how much weight is being exerted on your hitch. The weight should be about 10% of your trailer’s weight. An equalizer bar can help change the load between the truck’s front and back axles if you want to take some strain off the hitch (never a bad idea).
If you are going to be loading additional cargo into your truck bed, then you’re going to want to ensure everything is tied down and fastened under a tonneau cover. The GMC Sierra makes loading and unloading the mattress more efficient with its EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate, in addition to its freight box LED lighting system which makes inspecting gear in the dark potential.
Get to Know Your Own Trailer
You’ll want to make brief practice runs in certain sparsely inhabited places along with your trailer attached prior to taking it out into traffic. First, get to know the height and duration of your trailer using a tape measure, to be certain you are able to fit under and during significant passages. Practice with your side mirrors. Next, get used to accelerating and braking more slowly with the excess weight. If you’re towing with the Sierra, you may use the truck’s Integrated Trailer Brake Control, which allows you to sync the trailer up with the Sierra’s antilock brake system to help provide immediate and quantified brake force.
Make sure you check, then triple check your connection often when pulling over for gas or grab something to eat. And if you are in a Sierra, then you’ll be able to take advantage of capabilities like the Trailer Sway Control attribute (helps control excessive trailer movement by applying the automobile and/or trailer brakes), Hill Descent Control (permits for controlled descent when traveling downhill) and Hill Start Assist (provides additional time to change from brake to accelerator so as to stop rollback). A secure ride is a comfortable ride.
Keep an Eye On the Tank
You’re heavier now, so expect to use more gas along your journey than normal. Oh well, just think of it as an excuse to stretch your legs.