How to Safely Pull a Trailer


When driving with a towed trailer, a sway could prove to be fatal. The trailer could even fishtail and tip over, or worse, could hit oncoming traffic.

Even a small sway could lead to a major accident, which means costly repair bills as well as medical expenses. In most of these cases, the damaged sustained by the trailer is irreversible, which means that it has to be sold in scrap.

Losing control of a towed vehicle is something that can happen to anyone, even experienced drivers. Therefore, it is imperative that you follow certain protocols when driving with a towed trailer.

Not Exceeding the Towing Rates

The first thing you must be concerned about is the rating of your hitch and your gross axle weight rating (GAWR) of your vehicle.

The maximum load of your trailer should not exceed the rating of your hitch and the GAWR throughout the journey. If it does, there are high chances of your trailer swaying on the road.


Distributing the Load Equally

How the load is distributed within the trailer makes a big difference on how effectively you will be able to drive. This means you must distribute the load equally on the left side and right side, or according to the specifications of the trailer manufacturer.

All the items within the trailer should also be secured within the frame, so that they do not shift when making a turn. The pressure on the tires should never be irregular, as it makes it difficult to control the trailer.

Braking System

It is always better to have a separate braking system for the trailer. In many states, if the trailer weighs more than 1,000 pounds, a separate braking system is legally required.

In any case, a braking system will help you drive the trailer more effectively, so consider having one installed if your trailer doesn’t have one.

No Passengers

It is important to keep the trailer empty when it is being towed. If you have passengers inside your trailer, it could create an imbalance when they move thereby resulting in a sway.


You should consider practicing driving with your towed trailer in areas with little to no traffic. This will allow you to understand the proper way to accelerate, stop, and take turns. Furthermore, you will also have a fair bit of an idea about the roof clearance.

Driving in High Winds

If you start experiencing high winds during driving, then it is best to stop.

If you trailer starts swaying, then you should never pull the brakes hard, or try to steer out of the sway. The right thing to do is to slow down gradually until the vehicle comes to a complete halt.

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