Guidelines for Safe Trailer Towing

Safe Trailer Towing Guidelines for Gooseneck and 5th Wheel Trailers

Safe Gooseneck Trailer TowingFailure to follow these instructions may result in vehicle crash, property damage and/or personal injury.

  • Do not exceed tow vehicle manufacturer’s stated maximum towing capacity or stated maximum axle weight.
  • Do not exceed the Maximum Gross Tow Weight of hitch or coupler.
  • Do not exceed the Maximum Tongue Weight of hitch or coupler.
  • Before towing any trailer for the first time confirm adequate clearance between trailer and both cab of tow vehicle and trailer and rear of tow vehicle. Compensate for trailer swing during turning.
  • Do not tow with worn parts. Before towing check hitch ball, hitch coupler, safety chains and other connections.
  • Be certain the hitch ball fully engaged and/or locked in its towing position before coupling to trailer.
  • Be certain the coupler-latching pin is functioning properly. Coupler must be within manufacturers specifications. Socket should be clean, smooth and lubricated.
  • Before towing make certain hitch coupler is fully seated and securely latched on hitch ball.
  • Always attach safety chains. Securely connect safety chains to the spring loaded U-bolt bracket with only enough slack to allow full turning. Excess slack may prevent safety chains from maintaining control in the event hitch connections fail.
  • Verify proper operation of trailer lights, turn signals, electric brakes and breakaway connections each time you tow.
  • Maintain tire inflation at tow vehicle and trailer manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Proper trailer loading is critical for safe towing. Always follow trailer manufacturers recommendations to distribute load between trailer axle(s) and trailer tongue.
  • Periodically inspect and re-torque all hitch fasteners.
  • Use towing mirrors on both sides of the tow vehicle.
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