5 things you need to know before you start towing
Getting a vehicle that tows well can open up a whole new world to you. You can move stuff around without needing to hire a van. You can get a boat, even if you don’t live near the water. You can even pick yourself up a camper and enjoy an RV holiday.
Whatever you want to use your towing car for, there are some safety precautions you must follow. Not doing this can put your own, your family’s, and the other people on the roads life’s in danger.
Below, we have gathered out 5 most important tips for keeping you and the people around you safe while towing. Read on, to find out more.
1 – Don’t overload your car
Once you have a car with the power to tow, it is important to work out what your car’s towing capacity is.
Towing capacity is not something you should ignore. While it may seem like your car can cope with towing more than its recommended amount. You cannot see the damage that is being done to the rest of your car while you drive.
Overloading your car can lead to damage in the following area:
- Steering column
- Brake pads
- The whole Brake system
- Your tires
- Your wheel arches
- Your fuel consumption
- Your engine fan
- Your engine
You will not be able to notice most of this damage until it is too late and you have an expensive bill to pay. It is better to stick to your car’s recommended towing capacity.
You will find this a great guide for working out the towing capacity of your car – https://camperguide.org/ford-explorer-towing-capacity/.
2 – Make sure you have the right towing hitch point
When purchasing a boat, trailer, or RV to tow you must buy the right equipment for the car that you have.
Some cars and trucks come with built-in towing equipment, if this is the case for your car then things will be a lot easier for you.
However, if you have to choose new towing equipment for your car, you will want to think very carefully about it. Picking the wrong type of towing equipment can lower the towing capacity of your car.
3 – Check you have the right tires
Another part of the car that you need to be aware of is your set of tires. (They are so important that we have dedicated the next two tips to them).
If you are looking to use your car to tow then you are going to need to install thick tires on your car.
If the tires are too thin, they will not provide your wheels with enough support. Lack of support can cause the wheel arches to crack or even buckle while you are driving.
This is not only dangerous for you (and anyone in your car) but dangerous for the people driving behind you and any oncoming traffic you get too close to.
4 – Check your tire pressure
This tip will not only help to keep you safe but it should also improve the fuel economy of your towing operation.
As we mentioned before, towing can be harsh on your wheels and tires. As well as making sure you have the right width of tires fitted to your car, you will need to make sure that your tire pressure is correct.
If the pressure is too high this can lead to more punctures and flat tires. You do not want your tires to blow out on the road.
However, it is also important that your tire pressure is not too low. If it is, the tires will drag more, which will make your vehicle less fuel efficient.
Over time, this can add huge sums to your fuel bill. So, spend the $2 to check your tire pressure and adjust it if needed – it is worth the investment.
5 – Check your brake pads
Our final tip is the most important one.
Before each journey you make (when you are towing) you should check your brake pads.
As we mentioned before towing and particularly towing above capacity can be really harsh on your car. One of the most dangerous areas towing can damage are the brake pads. They wear down faster while we are towing things.
If you regularly check your brake pads and replace them when you need to you can avoid nasty accidents.
It is also worth noting that your stopping distance is a lot longer when you are towing, so you really need your brakes to be in peak condition.