Saturday, May 28, 2016

Warm Weather Towing Tips

Monday, June 20th will mark the first day of summer. Many of our customers have asked for tips regarding driving and towing their TrailerShowroom trailers in warmer weather. Before reviewing specific suggestions for towing a trailer, we cannot stress enough that your towing vehicle must be in tip-top shape first!

We recommend having your main vehicle professionally serviced before beginning any long haul towing trip-regardless of the weather. Ask your mechanic to pay special attention to the vehicle's fluids and coolants. Finally, check your emergency kit and onboard tools to ensure that if an issue does occur, you'll be prepared.

Now…please use this list of tips as a handy checklist before hitting the road with your precious load!

  • Make sure that your trailer tires are properly inflated. Only check the tire pressure when the trailer has been idle and is in the shade. When the pressure is low, the tread temperature will rise and that ups the risk of a blowout. A trailer tire can lose as much as 30 percent of its pressure and still be hard to detect. However, when the pressure drops that much, the lifespan of the tire is cut in half. Under inflation leads to tire damage and handling disturbances. This also directly affects fuel efficiency. On the flipside, check to make sure that the trailer tires are not overly inflated. That makes them more susceptible to punctures and damage from sudden impact.
  • Mind the weight of your load and make sure it does not exceed your trailer's towing capacity. When the temps rise, towing a trailer load at high speed will increase the wear and tear on the tires. A good rule of thumb is to never exceed 60mph.
  • Pay attention to the age of your trailer tires. No matter how much or little you have used them, the maximum life expectancy is considered around 5 years. For trailer tires that have seen lots of action, 3 years may be their limit. A number of factors come into play when reviewing the true condition of tires, such as mileage, how they've been stored and tread condition.
  • Never use truck tires or passenger car tires for your trailer!
  • Make sure that each tire's valve stem has a cap. This may sound like a minor point, but when they are not screwed on, the internal rubber valve can become contaminated and affect the tire's integrity.
  • Never embark on a trip without a thorough check of all spare tires: the trailer's and the towing vehicle's.
  • Inspect the wheel rims to ensure they are not bent or cracked.
  • Reduce your trailer tire's air pressure when not in use, especially during extreme temperatures. Also, use tire covers to prevent them from drying out and cracking.
  • Make sure the trailer's bearing have been well-lubed. Hot weather can wreak havoc on bearings and when they're well lubed and in good condition, the endplay should be smooth and properly set.
  • Do a visual check on the trailer itself, which will mean inspecting the axles and trailer hitch. Make sure that nothing is obstructing your rear view sight lines (windows & mirrors clean?) and that no chains or tie downs are dragging the ground.
  • Take a few practice drives before embarking on a summertime road trip with your precious cargo. That way, you can check the steering and your overall comfort level.

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