Essential Checklist Before You Tow Trailer or Caravan

Gary White   Author: Gary White

There are a number of essential checks you should carry out before and after you attach your trailer/caravan to the towing vehicle.

Before coupling up the trailer

• Make sure the tires are inflated to the correct pressure.
• Check hoses, belts, fluid levels, trailer spring hangers, and springs are in good shape.
• If towing a caravan, ensure all cupboard and locker doors are shut.
• Make sure the hitch, drawbar, and trailer ball are the correct ones for the trailer you’re about to tow - and that all are tight.

Loading Your Trailer

• Ensure the cargo is evenly distributed and its weight does not exceed the trailer’s specification.
• In a caravan, ensure the majority of the weight is over the caravan’s wheels, and as low as possible to the floor.
• Ensure the cargo is secure. Tie it down if necessary.

After coupling up the trailer

• Check safety chains and cables are secure. The safety chain must be tight enough to prevent the trailer’s tow hitch from hitting the ground in the event of the vehicle becoming uncoupled.
• Observe the tow vehicle and trailer from the side: The trailer should sit parallel with the ground (or ever so slightly tongue low) and in line with the chassis of the tow vehicle.
• Test the brake lights and indicators.
• When trailer and tow vehicle are properly set up, adjust the mirrors so you see down the entire length of the trailer.

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