The Annapolis Hitch Depot
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Towing Tips

NO PASSENGERS IN TRAILERS!

Never allow people in trailers while towing, under any circumstances.

TRAILER LOADING

Proper loading helps prevent sway. Place heavy objects on the floor ahead of the axle. Balance the load side-to-side. Secure it to prevent shifting. Tongue weight should be 10-15 percent of gross weight for most trailers. Too low a percentage of tongue weight can cause sway. NEVER load the trailer rear-heavy. LOAD THE TRAILER HEAVIER IN FRONT.

DRIVING

The additional weight of a trailer affects acceleration, braking and handling. Allow extra time for passing, stopping and changing lanes. Severe bumps can damage your towing vehicle, hitch and trailer. Drive slowly on rough roads. STOP AND MAKE A THOROUGH INSPECTION IF ANY PART OF YOUR TOWING SYSTEM STRIKES THE ROAD. CORRECT ANY PROBLEMS BEFORE RESUMING TRAVEL

CHECK FOR EXCESSIVE SWAY AND ELIMINATE IT

Excessive sway can lead to loss of control. Sway motion should settle out quickly. Sway tends to increase on a downgrade. Starting slowly, increase speed in gradual steps. If sway occurs, adjust your trailer load and equipment. Repeat until the trailer is stable at highway speed. Do this whenever your trailer loading changes.

IF YOUR TRAILER SUDDENLY STARTS TO SWAY

Turbulence from another vehicle, a wind gust, or a downgrade can cause sudden sway. So can a shift of the trailers load or a trailer tire blowout. IF THE TRAILER SWAYS, IT IS THE DRIVER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ASSESS THE SITUATION AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION.
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