A Look at the Trailer Hook Up Process
We all have that friend who is innately capable. They can pitch a tent, hunt, tie a knot and hook up a trailer. While we haven’t got time in this article to teach you the finer points of the aforementioned, we will take a look at the trailer hook up process so that you can impress others of your own level of aptitude. Besides, mastering such a skill is important if you ever intend on towing something!
Get into the right position
You can start the trailer hook up process and make life easier for yourself by ensuring there is adequate space around your trailer for the tow vehicle to maneuver into place. What’s more, it’s always a good idea to have both the tow vehicle and the trailer on level ground. Now it’s time to position your vehicle in front of and in a straight line with the trailer. Once in the correct position, begin to back up your vehicle in a straight line until it’s about 10 inches away from the trailer coupling. Now check that you have the proper alignment.
The trailer coupler should now be raised until it’s about 2 to 3 inches higher than your vehicle’s hitch. Next, the tow vehicle needs to be backed up carefully so that your hitch slides directly underneath the trailer coupling. Here’s where you might want to grab a buddy to guide you in. However, it is possible to perform this part of the trailer hook up process on your own. The best advice is to proceed slowly and to continually check that you’ve got the alignment right.
Now that you’re in position, it’s time to lower the trailer coupler down onto your vehicle’s hitch. Make sure that the hitch locking mechanism on your trailer is open. You will know if everything is in place when you can close the hitch locking mechanism fully. However, it’s worth double-checking that you can’t lift the trailer off the hitch. Now it’s time to connect the safety chains. These are an important safety feature that stop your trailer from completely detaching from your vehicle while in transit. Safety chains should be crossed over for added safety.
Now it’s just a matter of connecting the trailer plug, and checking that all of your trailer lights work (tail, tag, signal and hazard lights) are working.
Before you begin towing, carry out a quick check to make sure everything is secured and working correctly. It’s a good idea to follow these 4 steps when performing your final check:
- Check that the hitch lock is firmly in place is in the closed position
- Make sure the jockey wheel is fully retracted (or removed) and locked into place
- Ensure the trailer plug is connected
- Ensure that all lights are working
Now that you know the steps involved in the trailer hook up process, it’s time to hit the road with your trailer in tow!