If you have a boat and you have chosen not to keep it at the marina, you will need to learn how to tow it. Once you get a hang of it, it becomes easy, but the first few times might be a little challenging. Here are some tips to help the towing process go more smoothly.
Make a Checklist
This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but you will wish you had a list if you are towing your boat and realize later you forgot to replace the drain plug. Before you tow the boat for the first time, make a list of each step of the towing process. An example of things you might have on your checklist are the following:
- Replace the drain plug
- Strap the boat to the trailer
- Tighten the lug nuts on the trailer wheels
- Inspect the tires for proper inflation
- Check the runaway chains
- Secure the motor
Know the Actual Weight of Your Load
People new to boat towing make the mistake of only determining the load weight based on the boat weight on its own. However, there is a lot more to compensate for when deciding what size of hitch you need and making sure your vehicle can handle the boat. Don't forget about the weight of the boat and trailer combined; any coolers and items you have stored in the boat, whether the gas tank is full or not, and of course if any passengers are in the vehicle. All of this is going to add to the overall weight. Your vehicle can only handle a certain weight, so make sure you are not exceeding it.
Make Wide Turns
As is the case any time you are towing a trailer, make sure you are making wide turns. Make sure when you are making turns, you are going as wide as you can without going into the other lane. The trailer will turn more tightly than your vehicle, which means you need to make a wider turn to make sure the trailer turns enough to make it around.
Prepare for Stopping
The last thing you want to do is have to slam on your brakes when you have a boat trailing behind your vehicle. To prepare for this, check your brakes before you get on the road. After the boat trailer is hitched onto your vehicle, drive a short distance, then test your brakes. This helps you understand how much longer it takes to brake when you have a large load on the back of your vehicle. It prevents you from failing to stop all the way if you get into a situation where braking immediately comes into play. While towing a boat, always drive slower than you normally would. For more information, contact a business such as Kingsway Towing Group.