Nobody really teaches you how to drive with a trailer attached to your car. Most drivers who hesitantly engage in towing for the first time have only experience driving an ordinary car. But then again, their usual car is precisely what they will be driving. There is no doubt though that there are some peculiarities to consider when you hook on a trailer, EV, or some other towed addition.
Indeed, to pull a trailer behind a vehicle, a driver needs to adapt to a whole new set of skills. However, these skills are not only for driving. There is a good deal of preparation that needs to go into towing a trailer. For one thing, the cargo might be variable, and the weight of whatever it is that you are towing is essential knowledge at the preparation stage. There’s quite a bit of difference between towing a caravan or towing a small travel trailer filled with vacation items that were just a bit too bulky for the car.
How Driving Changes
When you learn to drive a car, you will soon become used to how that car “feels” on the road, what each touch of the steering wheel does to the car’s relative position, how much you accelerate with a light touch of the pedal, etc. Then, when suddenly driving a different vehicle, you might find all of these altered somewhat – but rarely by much. This is not the case when you strap on a trailer.
With a trailer on the back, you can expect your acceleration to be significantly lessened (although you will in time reach the same speeds), you will notice how taking corners changes, and the changes to how sharply you can hammer on the brakes. Naturally, there are a lot of safety concerns inherent in all these changes, and that can be a challenge for ordinary motorists attempting to tow a trailer for the first time.
Furthermore, the rules of road can change too. Now you need to watch much more closely for vehicles in the rear mirror and envision a new “safe position” for them. After all, the length of your vehicle has been significantly extended – and it will not all turn at the same time.
Highway safety experts Valtir also advise that trailer travel is something which many smaller roads are not entirely conducive to. This is especially true of roads with sharp bends and turns,especially those with no highway barricades to speak of!
Tips for Towing a Trailer
So here, follows some tips to help you tackle trailer driving with confidence:
When you prepare to tow a trailer, there areseveral things to check. A trailer means extra stress on the vehicle, so you will want to ensure your vehicle has been recently serviced. There are also some new tires to check, and you should make sure that the trailer isn’t bouncing around from being too lightor too overloaded for the vehicle. Finally, you should make sure to use trailer safety chains around the hitch.
Make Wider Turns
The trailer’s wheels will always end up closer to the inside of any turn than any of your car’s wheels. Therefore, you should always aim to give yourself this extra space when turning.
Drive in the Right Lane on Highways
This will allow you to drive a bit slower and to get into the breakdown space if anything goes wrong. Furthermore, you will be able to stop more easily here without the dangers of suddenly braking.
Covering these bases, all that’s left is to start driving and get a feel – for the new feel – of your vehicle.