Tip 4 - Trailer Towing Tips.
(Paraphrased from a presentation given by The Hitch Shop in 2000)
- The strongest trailer ball is
one machined from a single stock of metal as this design has the lowest
failure rating. Balls that have a screw stud cannot achieve the same
- Lubricate the ball to prevent
metal fatigue. Cover it with a vinyl bra when not used.
- Lubricate the front pivot
point of each equalizing bar with light grease. Cover them with a rag to
keep it clean.
- Tow a tandem axle trailer
level with the ground so both axles support equal weight to stop the trailer
with maximum resistance. Leveling should be accomplished by positioning the
ball height, NOT adjusting the tension of the equalizing bars.
- Pull up only enough force on
the equalizing bars to restore the height of the tow vehicle. Any more lift
will result in a dangerous condition.
- Tow your trailer with
approximately 10% of the gross trailer weight on the ball. This is a good
starting point. At NO TIME must the trailer tongue lift off the ball. This
is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS as the coupler could come off and the trailer will
likely not survive the impact. The symptoms of this are hobby horsing as you
travel down the road, especially over frost heaves or long bumps, etc.
- A trailer towed behind a short
wheelbase vehicle will have a greater tendency to sway than behind a long
wheel base vehicle. Most of the sway can be controlled with an anti-sway
bar. It's attached between the frame of the trailer and the hitch of the tow
vehicle, adjacent to the hitch.