A Quick Checklist Before Travelling With Your Trailer

If you have a trailer to tow an ATV, boat or anything else, you should go through a quick checklist of items to ensure that it's safe and properly set up before you hit the road, and do this each and every time you travel with your trailer. Note a few items that many trailer owners overlook, especially when they're somewhat new to owning a trailer and travelling with it.

Check the wires for slack

The wires that connect your trailer and vehicle need to be connected securely, to ensure the trailer brake lights and turn signals will always work properly. However, there needs to be enough slack in the wires to allow for turning, without the wires getting too close to the ground. When you're new to owning a trailer, have a friend slowly move your vehicle forward and turn it while it's safe in the driveway or street, while you stand behind it and check the amount of slack in the wires. This can give you an idea of whether they need to be shortened or lengthened.

Check the license plate illumination

Many areas require the license plate on the trailer to be illuminated even during the day, so it can be seen easily despite its smaller size. Check the bulb and wiring to this illumination and ensure it's working before you hit the road, to avoid a potential ticket or fine.

Check load weight distribution

Ensuring that your load is not over the trailer's or vehicle's maximum weight is important, but you also need to ensure the weight is distributed evenly over the length of the trailer. If it's uneven toward the front or back, this can cause the trailer to dip and lean and potentially scrape along the ground. Too much weight near the back of the trailer can also create a whip effect when you turn a corner, so the trailer is harder to control and may topple or spin away from the car.

Check the wheels

The wheels of the trailer should all be properly inflated; you should also check for dryness, cracking, rot, worn tread and other such damage when you check the tire inflation. Worn tread can tell you if the trailer's wheels need an alignment, and dry or cracking tires may risk actually rupturing when on the road. Be sure you have a spare tire with you at all times, but especially if you notice any worn tires on the trailer that you cannot replace before the next time you travel with the trailer.

For more tips, contact a trailer repair company.