In this blog post, we outline the key factors to consider in hiring a trailer.
Choosing the Right Trailer
There are various types of trailers available, from enclosed trailers to open trailers. The choice would depend on the kind of gear you’ll be carrying. For added security and protection from the weather, an enclosed trailer might be preferable.
Test brake lights and indicators before you hit the road and ensure the trailer is securely attached to your vehicle.
Always carry essential items like the following in case of emergency.
- Spare tyre and tools: Ensure you have a spare tyre for the trailer and the tools needed to change it; this includes a jack, lug wrench and tyre iron. Pack a toolbox with essential tools for minor repairs and maintenance. Additionally, carry spare parts that are specific to your trailer, such as lightbulbs, fuses, connectors and fasteners.
- Wheel chocks: These are essential to prevent the trailer from rolling when it’s parked.
- Safety chains: Ensure your trailer has a safety chain to connect it to the towing vehicle. These provide an extra level of security in case the trailer becomes detached from the tow vehicle.
- Proper hitch lock: To prevent theft, use a secure hitch lock to protect your trailer and its contents when it’s unattended.
- AA Roadside Assistance Membership: Consider having a roadside assistance membership that covers your trailer, as it can be a lifesaver in case of significant breakdowns or accidents.
Securing Your Load
Securing your load is paramount when towing a trailer. Loose or oversized items can pose serious safety hazards, affect driving, and even lead to accidents.
- Secure fastenings: Ensure everything is fastened securely. Use proper tie-downs, straps, and anchor points to prevent shifting. Loose items can move during transit, potentially causing imbalance or instability, making the trailer hard to control.
- Visibility and aerodynamics: Unsecured items can obstruct your view, creating blind spots and increasing the risk of accidents. Poorly secured loads can disrupt the airflow around your vehicle and trailer, reducing fuel efficiency and affecting handling.
- Weight distribution: It’s crucial to distribute the weight in both the trailer and the car evenly to maintain stability and control. Heavier items should go in the car, closer to the axles, and lighter items should be secured or tied down.
- Packing strategically: Teach the kids about efficient packing. Use bins, organisers and packing cubes to maximise space and keep everything organised.
- Check your load periodically: Stop periodically during your trip to check the securement of your load. Straps may loosen over time due to vibrations and movement.
Remember, a successful road trip is not just about the destination but also the journey itself. It’s an opportunity to create wonderful family memories. Prepare well, be safe and enjoy the ride!