TrailerTek Long Distance Towing Tips

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TrailerTek Long Distance Towing Tips

Towing a trailer long distance can sometimes be a daunting prospect, is the trailer up to it? Are you going to get stuck hundreds of miles from home? Towing a trailer presents a higher risk to your journey that if you were to be without one, but of course sometimes it is necessary to make these trips. Today here at TrailerTek we are going to cover some ways you can stay safe on your TrailerTrek and cover all those miles with confidence!

 

Preparation

 

If you have read any of our other TrailerTek guides you will know that preparation is key when it comes to towing in a safe, reliable, and legal way. Keeping your trailer well maintained and giving it a once-over before your towing trips can be a lifesaver. So here are a few ways you should be preparing before you embark on your journey…

 

Trailer Maintenance

 

Unsurprisingly the most important factor to consider when towing your trailer long-distance is the road worthiness of your trailer. When wheels start falling off and brakes lock up, you’ll find your trip coming to a very abrupt end. So how can you keep your trailer towing safely?

Just a small amount of regular maintenance can be the difference between your trailer lasting decades or just a few years. Here are a few of the most important things to keep in top condition and how you can ensure they are always functioning correctly:

  • Bearings: Bearings live a rough life, so showing them a little love goes a very long way. Keeping them well-greased and free running are essential for safe towing. It doesn’t take long to notice worn, or poorly maintained wheel bearings – they will cause vibration, humming/grinding, and also effect the directional control of your trailer.

 

On a long journey, worn bearings will produce huge amounts of heat, which will in turn cause further damage and may result in the wheel completely seizing – and that isn’t good for anyone! Greasing your wheel bearings annually is a great way to ensure they live a long and happy life. If you suspect a worn bearing, the easiest non-invasive way to check it out is to try and wiggle the wheel firmly - if you can hear, see, or feel movement within the hub you might just have yourself a worn bearing which should be investigated further, and replaced if necessary.

 

  • Lighting: Correct lighting is important whether you’re planning on towing in the day or at night. It keeps you safe while you’re on the road by giving a means of communication with other drivers about your intentions. To legally tow on the road all of your trailer and vehicle lights should be functional. So, give them a check over before you set off and replace any missing or broken bulbs. It will save you a nasty fine and might even save your life!

 

  • Towing Gear: So, this covers your tow bar, couplings, and any other fancy gadgets you have. Make sure you are always using the correct coupling head for the tow ball you are using and ensure it is properly connected with any locking mechanisms functioning correctly before you leave. It is also a great idea to check for any rust or damage which might compromise strength of the towing gear.

 

Coupling

Route Planning

 

Planning your route is always a good idea when travelling a long way whether you are towing or not. When covering longer distances you are more likely to encounter road closures and hold ups. You should try and avoid narrow roads where possible, to make your trip easier. Having a backup route can help relieve a lot of stress when you find your original plan is a no-go!

Going over your chosen route briefly before you leave helps you familiarise yourself with any landmarks to look out for, which is always useful for ensuring you aren’t heading in the wrong direction.

 

Backup Planning

 

Unfortunately, sometimes, even when taking precautionary measures and planning ahead you will occasionally encounter difficulties on your trip, but once again preparation is key. If you are well prepared for a few scenarios it will be easier to overcome them on the roadside and get your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible. Here are a few things that can help if you encounter problems on your journey:

  • Strap & Tie-Down Failure: If you are towing a boat trailer or have something strapped down to your trailer the vibration and stresses caused while towing can cause them to snap or fail. This is usually fairly obvious to the driver as the broken straps will be having the time of their life, dancing around in the wind to a banging noise as they whip themselves around your trailer. If you carry a few spare straps or tie downs this is usually an easy fix and is as simple as replacing the unruly strap. Note – if your trailer load requires strapping down you should always use more than one strap even if the load is small, just in case you encounter a failure.

 

  • Light Failure: Unfortunately, it is very difficult to know whether your bulbs have blown during your trip. But if you are made aware of a blown bulb by another driver, or even stopped by the police, having a spare set will allow you to make your trailer legal on the spot which could help avoid a penalty!

 

  • Tools – Having a small tool kit can go a long way when you are towing, sometimes a spanner or pair or plyers can be the difference between calling for assistance and making it to your destination. Some of the best kit to keep are: Screwdrivers, Pliers, Spanners, Tape, emergency triangle, and a torch.

Towing Trailer

To Conclude

 

When driving a long way you are more likely to experience difficulties on your trip, but if you are well prepared and keep your trailer well maintained you will have a much safer, and calmer journey. To give yourself a great advantage you should have back up plans in place which will usually be enough to keep on rolling and make it to your destination with ease!