Essential Tips For Hauling A Vehicle For First-Timers

If you need to transport a motor vehicle over a long distance due to a long distance move or other circumstance, you will need to rent or buy a trailer. If you have never hauled a vehicle before, the following guide can help you learn the basics of what you need to successfully transport a car or motorcycle.

Determine the Capacity of Your Load and How Much You Can Tow

Trailers and car haulers have maximum load and gross vehicle weight restrictions. If you attempt to haul a load that exceeds these restrictions, the trailer may sway uncontrollably when you are driving, putting you at risk of causing an accident.

Determine the weight of the vehicle you will transport before you rent any trailer equipment. You can find this information in the owner's manual of the vehicle.

In addition, the vehicle you use to tow the trailer must have a hitch system and a hitch ball that can safely tow your load. Hitch systems are rated by class. The higher the class, the more weight you can tow. The supplier of your trailer should be able to tell you if your existing hitch system is adequate.

Rent the Right Trailer

Trailers vary in size and shape depending on what type of vehicle you plan to tow. For a motorcycle or scooter, you can rent a lightweight trailer that will hold the bike upright during your trip. The trailer should include tie-down rings, a chock to secure the wheels of the bike and a ramp.

Any trailer for towing a car or truck should include the following features.

  • Automatic brakes
  • Loading ramp
  • Security chains
  • Tilt out fenders
  • Brake lights
  • Taillights and turn signals

The trailer supplier should be able to help you choose the appropriate device based on the type of car or truck you plan to haul.

The width of trailers varies. Your state may have restrictions on towing trailer width. Contact the department of motor vehicles (DMV) in your state to make sure you purchase a trailer that is legal to haul on highways.

Purchase Accessories

In addition to renting or purchasing a trailer, you should also invest in a few essential accessories. The place where you acquired your trailer should stock these items. Accessories you should definitely buy include:

  • Extra tie downs
  • Clearance lights for wide trailers
  • License plate lights
  • Reflectors
  • Flares
  • Trailer jack and stand

Some of these devices may be required for trailers in our state. Your state's DMV can let you know what accessories you must have to haul a trailer load.

If you are not used to hauling loads, you can also invest in a wireless backup camera kit. You can attach a small camera to the back of the vehicle being towed. The camera communicates with an LCD screen that you can mount in your car.

Get Insurance

Before you get on the road with your trailer load, make sure that you have trailer towing insurance. Check the fine print of your insurance policy to see if it includes coverage for trailers or call your agent for assistance.

If you do not have coverage, some trailer rental companies offer damage coverage. You can choose from different coverage limits. Standard trailer rental policies include collision damage, medical life coverage and towed property coverage.

Heed Safety Measures

When you transport a vehicle, it should be completely empty. Do not load any items inside the car as the extra weight may cause the trailer to sway or whip on the road.

Do not try to drive at the same speed you normally would without a trailer. Furthermore, make sure to follow the trailer rental company's instructions for suggested highway speeds for your type of trailer.

If you do not choose the right type of trailer, ignore instructions for attaching the hitch properly and drive as if you are a standalone vehicle, you put your safety and the well-being of other drivers on the road at risk.