HITCHING UP YOUR TRAILER
HITCHING UP YOUR TRAILER*
Hitching up a trailer to your tow vehicle is usually a one-person job, but it is easier if someone helps you. Here are a few of the basic steps:
1. Back your tow vehicle as close as possible to the trailer. It is easier and safer to do this than it is to pick up and pull the trailer to your car or truck.
Release the coupler locking device.
Raise the front end of the trailer. Place coupler directly over the hitch ball
then lower it until it is seated on the hitch ball, covering it completely.
4. Check under the coupling to ensure the ball clamp is below the ball and not riding on top of it.
5. Latch the coupler to the hitch ball. Make sure it is locked in place by lift- ing up the trailer tongue. If the coupler comes loose form the ball, unlatch it and go back to Step 3.
Make sure your jack is fully raised.
If you have a weight distributing hitch with spring bars, follow the above
procedures. Then attach the spring bar chain to the trailer and tighten it until your trailer and car are in a normal, level position.
8. If your trailer has a surge brake breakaway cable or chain, attach the cable or chain to your tow vehicle, allowing enough slack for you to make tight turns.
Attach the safety chains as described on page 22.
Connect the trailer wiring harness to the lighting system of your tow
vehicle and check its operation (also see page 9 in this manual for details).
Hitching Up courtesy of REESE PRODUCTS, INC.
With a trailer in tow, you’re operating a vehicle combination that is longer, heavier and sometimes wider and taller, than you’re used to. So you’ll have to make some compensating adjustments in your normal driving practices. The following is advice in trailering tactics:
Take a “Shakedown Cruise”. At least one short trial run before your first trip will help familiarize you with your trailer’s operating characteristics. It will also allow you to check the trailer’s lights, brakes, hitch, etc., and let you know they are all working properly.
Slow down. Moderate to slower driving speeds put less strain on your tow vehicle and trailer and make for safer traveling.
Allow extra time and space between your rig and traffic. You will need both when passing and stopping, especially if your trailer is not equipped with brakes.
Check rear view mirrors. Doing this frequently will let you know that your trailer is riding properly. We recommend outside rear view mirrors on both sides of your tow vehicle.
Swing wider. You need to make wider swings (turns) at curves and corners because your trailer’s wheels are generally closer to the inside of a turn than the wheels on your tow vehicle.
Pass with extra care and caution. It takes more time and distance to get around a slower vehicle and return to the correct lane when you’ve got a trail- er in tow.
Watch the wind direction and speed. To avoid swaying, be prepared for sud- den changes in air pressure and wind buffeting when larger vehicles pass from either direction. Slow down a bit and keep a firm hold on your steering wheel. Aim straight down your lane.
Conserve fuel. You’ll go farther on a tank of gas at moderate speeds. Higher speeds increase wind resistance against the trailer and reduce fuel mileage.