POSTCARDS FROM FLORIDA
Tips for summer trailer trips
Nothing is cooler than hitting the road with a boat, but know the proper way to tow before traveling. (Orlando Sentinel file)
It's sidesplitting comedy when Arnaz's character haplessly attempts to back the monstrous trailer into his in-laws' narrow driveway or Ball's character tries to cook dinner as the trailer is pulled along a twisting mountain road.
So before hitching the boat, Jet Skis or camper to the car for a summer road trip, take a look at these tips, courtesy of AutoMD:
•Understand towing capacity: Never exceed your vehicle's towing capacity. For example, you may think that just because you have a truck, you can tow a boat, but if the boat and trailer are heavier than your towing capacity, you can find yourself in deep water.
•Getting hitched: Buying the right hitch is crucial if your vehicle is not already equipped with a manufacturer's towing package. The hitch must not only match your vehicle's towing capacity but must be the right one for the load you are hauling.
•Are the brakes in sync?: Make sure that the brakes and lights on your car or truck are in sync with the brakes and lights on your trailer. Trailer brakes and brake lights should go on when your vehicle's brakes and brake lights go on.
•Weight distribution is key: Incorrect weight distribution can cause your trailer to flip. Load heavier cargo first, making sure you secure items with ropes or cords. Fill in extra spaces evenly, front to back, and side to side.
•Perform a maintenance check: Towing adds extra stress to a vehicle, accelerating repair issues for equipment that's not properly maintained. Check all fluid levels, get an oil change, inspect the brakes and tires.
•Do a practice run: Driving with a trailer is a different experience, so practice accelerating and stopping, backing, turning corners and parking before leaving. On the road, avoid driving too fast.