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Top 10 Towing Risks to Keep in Mind


7
Turning
If you find normal maneuvers while towing to be challenging, be extra careful when trying something like this.
If you find normal maneuvers while towing to be challenging, be extra careful when trying something like this.
Barry Crossley/iStockphoto

When towing a load that has a wider wheel base than your towing vehicle, you'll need to remember to make wider turns at corners and curves. That's because the wheels of the trailer (or towed vehicle) will be closer to the inside of the turn than your own vehicle's wheels. If you aren't careful, the trailer can hit curbs, signs or other items adjacent to the road. This can cause damage to the trailer, the trailer's tires and axle.

You should also take sharper turns gradually. Taking a turn too fast can strain your towing equipment. It also runs the risk of causing the trailer to flip over or to begin to sway. Simply slowing down and taking the turn carefully can reduce these risks significantly.

Turning isn't completely dependent upon technique. Your equipment will also have an impact on how well you can make turns. For example, if the trailer tongue -- the part that extends from the trailer to connect to your vehicle's trailer hitch -- is too long, it will be more difficult to make turns without rolling over the curbs. If the safety chains that secure your trailer to your vehicle don't have enough slack, they'll restrict your ability to turn at all.

Another very basic maneuver is simply coming to a stop. What do you need to know before you tap the brakes? Find out in the next section.