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3 Tips To Keep In Mind If You're New To Operating A Trailer

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If you are pulling a trailer with your vehicle for the first time, here are three tips that you need to keep in mind.

#1 Always Know Your Weight Limits

One of the most important things that you need to know is your weight limit. To start with, you need to know the towing weight limit of the vehicle that you are driving. For example, your small compact car may have a lower towing weight limit than a full size truck. You need to know exactly how much your vehicle is able to pull; exceeding this amount could seriously damage your vehicle.

Second, you need to know the towing limit of your trailer. Your trailer is going to have a separate weight limit from your vehicle. This is the amount of weight that you add to your trailer and still safely use your trailer.

It is important to note that these numbers may not line up. If your vehicle's towing limit is below your trailer's weight limit, you need to keep the load on your trailer light. If your vehicle's towing limit is above your trailer's weight limit, that means you can max out your trailer's weight limit without damaging your vehicle. Just be sure that you don't exceed the weight limit of your trailer; just cause your vehicle can handle more weight doesn't mean your trailer can.

Maintaining the right weight for your vehicle and your trailer is a balancing act. If you are not sure how heavy your trailer is when loaded up, run it through a truck scale to figure out how heavy your trailer is and then make any necessary adjustments from there.

#2 Make Sure Your Hitch Size Is Correct

Second, you need to make sure your hitch size is correct. The hitch on your vehicle needs to match up with the hitch on your trailer. If the hitch on your vehicle is too large or too small, your trailer will not correctly and will not be set up as safe as it could be.

#3 Always Check The Brake Lights & Set-Up

Finally, you always need to check the brake lights and tail light set-up. Always check the connections before you get onto the road to ensure that your brakes and tail lights work properly. This will help ensure that other drivers on the road respond to the actions you take properly. Checking this is also important because you need your brakes to function properly between your trailer and your vehicle in order to get your load to the destination safely.

If you are pulling a trailer for the first time, you are going to want to make sure that you know what your weight limit is, that your hitch is the right size for your trailer and that your brake lights and controllers and all set-up and working properly before you set off on a trip.