IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON TOWING
TOWING EQUIPMENT OWNERS: Make sure all operators of your equipment read and understand this information before
towing. Save for reference. This will help you properly select, use and maintain your towing equipment. Refer to owner’s
manuals for your tow vehicle, trailer, and other parts of your towing system. Learn the capabilities and limitations of each part.
GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT and
TONGUE WEIGHT are two of the most important items to consider.
THESE WEIGHTS MUST NEVER EXCEED THE LOWEST RATING OF ANY PART OF YOUR TOWING
GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT is the weight of the trailer plus all cargo. Measure
Gross Trailer Weight by putting the fully loaded trailer on a vehicle scale.
TONGUE WEIGHT is the downward force exerted on the ball by the trailer coupler. Measure
Tongue Weight with the fully loaded trailer on a level surface. The coupler must be at its normal towing height. Use a
commercial scale or a bathroom scale. Set up the bathroom scale as shown for heavy tongue weights.
TRAILER HITCHES, RECEIVERS AND BALL MOUNTS
Select these products by their gross trailer weight and tongue weight ratings. Select hitches and receivers for specific vehicles.
Match the products according to the anticipated use. Use
only those products designed for your vehicle.
HITCH BALLS Select by gross trailer weight rating, mounting platform thickness and hole size, and coupler socket size.
Do not mix one class of hitch with another class of coupler. Platform must be at least 3/8 inches thick. Hole must not exceed threaded shank diameter by more than 1/16 inch. Use lock washer.
Tighten per instructions. When tightened, shank must protrude beyond bottom of nut. Gross trailer weight rating and ball diameter are marked on
The coupler socket should be smooth, clean and lightly lubricated.1ighten or adjust per coupler manufacturer's instructions.
Use proper class type.
Connect safety chains properly
EVERY TIME YOU TOW. Cross chains under coupler.
This is done to cradle the trailer tongue in the event the
ball and coupler separate. Attach securely to the hitch or two vehicles so they can't bounce loose. Leave only enough slack to permit full turning. Too much slack may prevent chains from maintaining control if other connections separate. Don't let chains drag on the road.
TRAILER LIGHTS, TURN SIGNALS, ELECTRIC BRAKES AND BREAK AWAY SWITCH CONNECTIONS
Make these safety-critical connections
EVERY TIME YOU TOW, no matter how short the trip. Check operation, including electric brake manual control, before getting on the road.
SWAY CONTROLS Sway controls can lessen the effects of sudden maneuvers, wind gusts and buffeting caused by other vehicles. We recommend them for trailers with large surface areas, such as travel trailers. Adjustable friction models can help control trailers with low tongue weight.
Recommended tongue weight is 10% of gross trailer weight.
OTHER USEFUL EQUIPMENT AIR SPRINGS, AIR SHOCKS or HELPER SPRINGS are useful for some hitch applications. A
TRANSMISSION COOLER may be necessary for heavy towing. Many states require
TOWING MIRRORS on both sides.
TIRE INFLATION Check often. Follow tow vehicle and trailer manufacturers' recommendations. Improper tire inflation can cause trailer sway.
CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT / REPLACE WORN PARTS
Check ball, coupler, chains, retaining pins and clips, and all other connections
EVERY TIME YOU TOW. Re-check at fuel and rest stops.
SAFE TOWING TIPS
NO PASSENGERS IN TRAILERS
Never allow people in trailers while towing, under any circumstances.
TRAILER LOADING Proper loading helps prevent sway. Place heavy objects on the floor ahead of the axle. Balance the load side-to-side. Secure it to prevent shifting. Tongue weight should be 10-15 percent of gross weight for most trailers. Too Iowa percentage of tongue weight can cause sway.
NEVER load the trailer rear-heavy.
LOAD THE TRAILER HEAVIER IN
DRIVING The additional weight of a trailer affects acceleration, braking and handling. Allow extra time for passing, stopping and changing lanes. Severe bumps can damage your towing vehicle, hitch and trailer. Drive slowly on rough roads.
STOP AND MAKE A THOROUGH INSPECTION IF ANY PART OF YOUR TOWING SYSTEM STRIKES THE ROAD. CORRECT ANY PROBLEMS
AND REPLACE ANY DAMAGED PARTS BEFORE RESUMING
CHECK FOR EXCESSIVE SWAY AND ELIMINATE IT
Excessive sway can lead to loss of control. Sway motion should settle out quickly. Sway tends to increase on a downgrade. Starting slowly, increase speed in
gradual steps. If sway occurs, adjust your trailer load and equipment. Repeat until the trailer is stable at highway speed. Do this whenever your trailer loading changes.
IF YOUR TRAILER SUDDENLY STARTS TO SWAY Turbulence from another vehicle, a wind gust, or a downgrade can cause sudden sway. So can a shift of the trailer's load or a trailer tire blowout.
IF THE TRAILER SWAYS, IT IS THE DRIVER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ASSESS THE SITUATION AND TAKE APPROPRIATE
ACTION. Below are suggestions that may apply, depending on conditions.
steering wheel as steady as possible.
trailer has electric brakes, apply the trailer brakes
alone, without using the tow vehicle's brakes.
Don't hit your brake pedal
hard unless absolutely necessary. A "jackknife" can
Don't try to steer out of
the sway condition. Sudden or violent steering can make
Don't speed up. Sway
increases as you go faster.
Don't continue towing a
trailer that tends to sway. You may lose control during
an emergency maneuver or if the conditions listed above
DO NOT MODIFY PRODUCT. TOWING VEHICLE
MUST BE IN GOOD CONDITION. USE ONLY FOR TRAILER TOWING
AND/OR ATTACHMENT OF TOWING PRODUCTS INC. ACCESSORIES. DO
NOT EXTEND ORIGINAL STRUCTURE. DO NOT TOW ONE TRAILER BEHIND
ANOTHER, WHICH MAY CAUSE LOSS OF CONTROL. FAILURE TO HEED
WARNINGS AND FOLLOE INSTRUCTIONS MAY RESULT IN SERIOUS
PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH, VEHICLE CRASH, AND/OR PROPERTY
DON'T OVERLOAD ANY PART OF YOUR TOWING SYSTEM