10 Things to Know Before You Tow

Making sure your ride is properly buckled in saves money and heartache. Here’s what to know before you tow your car.

1. Know Your Tow Vehicle
Your tow vehicle’s manual or the plate or sticker near the driver’s door will have the manufacturer-recommended towing capacity as equipped. A safe load shouldn’t be more than 75% of the listed maximum.

2. Drop by Your Mechanic
You’ll want to care for your tow vehicle as much as you do your car. Make sure the fluid levels, brakes, lights, suspension, and tires are all in good shape, and change your oil before you hit the road.

3. Weigh In
Overloading your tow vehicle puts more strain on your vehicle, so know how much you’re going to haul. You’ll want to know the weight of your car, the empty trailer, and anything else you’re carrying.

4. Spread the Weight Out
Sixty percent of the total weight should be on top of or in front of the front axle and as even from side-to-side as possible. You can also buy a weight-distributing hitch for loads over 5,000 pounds.

5. Do the Math
You have a lot of numbers to crunch to tow your car safely. You’ll want to know the gross vehicle weight rating, the tongue weight, and the gross combined weight rating. Check these numbers against your gross combination weight rating.

6. Check Your Hitch
There are different classes of hitch receivers based on how much they can carry, how they’re set up, and what hardware they need. Your ball needs to be the right size for the receiver to have a safe, snug connection. Clamp it down completely to keep it from popping free.

7. Cross the Chains
Crossed safety chains will help your trailer remain attached even if the ball becomes disconnected. It also takes pressure off of the outside chain and keeps the trailer from dragging on the ground if it becomes unhooked. Hook the left-mounted chain to the right hook-up and vice versa.

8. Take the Rig for a Test Drive
Take a spin around an empty parking lot or in town to get a feel for how your trailer behaves. You’ll want to get accelerating, turning, stopping, backing up, and parking down to a fine science.

9. Double-Check Everything
Are your connections and tie-downs secure? Do your light functions all work? Are your tires inflated? Is there anything loose? Do you have any debris in or around the axle? Are your trailer and tow vehicle level?

10. Drive Defensively
When you’re towing a car, you can’t make sharp turns or accelerations, brake suddenly, turn sharply, or drive recklessly.

Towing Made Easy with JIMGLO Trailers
You love to ride in style, so why shouldn’t your car? We’ve solved a lot of common car hauler complaints with the most innovative trailers on the market today. You won’t find a better way to tow your car stylishly and safely. Get in touch online, by phone at 520.384.4564, or toll-free at 888.5.JIMGLO today.

Tim Norris