So you bought a pickup truck, but you’ve never hitched anything to the back of it. Well, it’s about time to change that. Here I will teach you how to tow a trailer, with step by step guide. Some Dallas Towing Company helped us to gather all those information about this towing guide
Know Your Number
The first step in towing a trailer is to know your numbers. Finding out your specific towing number should be done at the dealership when you buy your truck. Though this info was also available in your owner’s manual or online, you’ll need to find out you’re tolerating your gross vehicle weight rating or GV W R your gross combined weight rating or G C W R your gross axle rating and the vehicle’s curb weight.
Now keep in mind that your total rating does not compensate for a full load of passengers and cargo, so always make sure you account for the actual weights being loaded into your trip to make sure you don’t exceed your combined weight rating.
Now you have to Add together the gross vehicle weight and gross trailer weight. Being sure to include all passengers and cargo if that number is less than the G C W R, you’re good to go for the G VW R. Now you have to add the gross vehicle weight and the tongue weight of the trailer, which is usually 9 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight. If those two numbers together are less than your G VW are, you’re good to go. Finding the proper hitch depends on your vehicle and your trailer. You’ll need to know what size your hitch receiver is and you’ll need to know the size of ball you need for the trailer. In our case, we have a 2-inch hitch receiver, which is what you’ll find mom. Nearly every single half-ton pickup truck from the factory. And for our trailer, we need a 2-inch ball. Once you have your hitch fitted into the receiver and make sure to put the kingpin in place to hold it.
We are using an adjustable hitch that allows you to quickly change ball size and height to keep our car carrier sitting nice and flat.
We have the hitch at its lowest setting when it comes time to hook up. There are many things to consider. First, it is always best to have a second set of eyes spotting you from behind. Even though backup cameras make hooking up trailers so much easier than it used to be. Having a friend is always the best. Lets Back into your vehicle into the trailer so that the hitch ball sits directly underneath the ball housing. So once your truck is backed into your trailer and your hitch falls right underneath the housing, you need to lower your trailer onto the truck as it goes down. Just watch to make sure.
But the housing should fit right over the ball, so keep on cranking it down until the weight is off of your jacked foot. So then you need to close your hitch ball lock. Now in this trailer, you’ve got to pull up and push forward. Different trailers are different types of locks, but there is one thing you can always do. Put your hand underneath and you can feel the caller on the actual trailer grabbing on to the hitch ball. Then you take your card pen and fit it in there like that just to make sure that she’s locked on. So now you’re trailer is locked onto your ball. You need to stall your jack foot now on this trailer.
You just gotta crank it up.
But on a lot of trailers, the foot is hinged so you can rotate it to store it. Once your foot is up, you need to connect. Your safety changed. And there’s one rule to remember with the change. And that is to always cross them so fine. Which chain is connected to which side and go to the opposite side of the pickup truck just like that. So this makes sure that if your trailer ever did pop off the change, create a cradle which will catch the tongue of your trailer. So it’s not dragging on the road. Now the last step is to hook up your lights. Now, most modern-day pickup trucks have 7 and 4 pin connectors. In this case, we’re using a 7 pin connector. So it just fits in there like that. And there’s a groove on one side. So there’s only one way it can fit in. Now, once your lights are hooked up, make sure you double-check them. If you do have any issues, pick up some dielectric grease, which you can get from most big box stores or auto parts stores and just hit both ends of that connection that will make sure that everything works properly.
Weight balance on your trailer is very important as it affects your tongue weight. You want your tongue weight to be 9 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight because a lot of tongue weight will pull your rear suspension down, causing your nose to lift. And that is no good. As a general rule of thumb, you want your truck and trailer to both be sitting nice and flat when you’re all done hooking up to correct for too much or too little tongue weight, you can move your load to either in front or behind the trailer’s axle when loading the trailer. Your best bet is to load the majority of the weight right over the axle. So what is the easiest way to check for neutral weight balance? It’s to drive your truck. The steering shouldn’t feel lighter than usual, and the trailer should not want to sway all over the. So finally, you’re just about ready to go. But there’s one last thing to do. You always need to do a circle check before pulling out. Walk around your entire rig and go over everything. One last time.
Are the lights good? Are the tires properly inflated? Is the hitch on right? If everything looks good, you’re ready to go.
So now you’ve got your trailer hooked up and you’re on the road. But what about actually driving? Well, there is a lot to know about driving with a trailer. First things first, you’re going to want to get proper tow mirrors. If you don’t have proper towed mirrors, just take your regular mirrors and adjust them quite a ways out because you want to be able to see the back end to your trailer.
Now, the law says that you have to be able to see the car directly behind you while towing. So if you have a large enclosed trailer that blocks your rear weird view, you have to get towed mirrors.
One of the most important rules, in my opinion anyway, is to never hurry. Now, that’s a good rule to follow when you’re driving anything, but it’s especially important when you have a trailer on. It’s when you’re hurrying. It’s when you’re getting stressed out. That’s when accidents happen. Taking corners can also be a little tricky with a trailer, and there’s one thing you need to remember, you always need to take every corner nice and wide. And while you’re cornering, you want to also be paying attention to where your trailer’s wheels are because you don’t want to clip a light post or a curb. Another important part of towing safely is breaking. Thanks to that added weight on the back of your truck, it’s going to take you longer to stop. So you’re going to want to leave plenty of distance to the car in front of you. As a general rule, I like to leave between three and four car lengths. But it depends on how much weight you’re hauling. If you’re really pushing your truck, you’re going to want to leave even more distance than most heavy trailers come with some kind of internal braking system.
And here on our car carrier, we have electric trailer brakes, which are operated by an integrated trailer brake controller found up here in the dash in the tundra. The operation of trailer brake controllers is always a little bit different, but the goal is the same. And that is to have that trailer helping you to stop safely. So the first thing you need when you’re setting up your brake controller is a nice empty piece of road. Now, I’d like to set the brake gain to around 5 just to start off to give you a good baseline. Then drive your truck to about 20 miles an hour when you hit that speed, slowly start to squeeze the manual brake controller. What you’re watching for is for lockup in your trailer wheels. If the wheels don’t lock up, you’re going to want to increase the trailer game. Keep on increasing the game until you do see your wheels lock up and then back the gain of. By point five. This will make sure that your trailer’s brakes are working as effectively as possible while not locking up.
About 20 minutes after taking off. It’s a good idea to stop one more time and double-check all of your tie-downs as your load may have shifted. While your trailer was emotion and that’s how you tow a trailer.