HOW DO YOU LOAD YOUR CARGO?

Safe and secure towing starts with loading your cargo correctly. Uneven trailer weight can lead to problems with steering, braking and sway control.

FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOU CAN HANDLE


LOOK AT THE VIN PLATE

To avoid overloading your trailer, find your recommended weight rating on the VIN plate on your trailer’s frame. Confirm the Gross Trailer Weight Rating (GTWR) before towing. The GTWR is the total weight your trailer can handle plus the trailer’s weight itself.

ADHERE TO THE 60/40 RULE


Maintain even trailer weight by loading heavy cargo first. 60% of the weight should be in the front half of the trailer and 40% in the rear half. Make sure cargo is evenly balanced from side-to-side, keeping the center of gravity low to the ground.

ENSURE IT’S ALL SECURE


After the cargo is properly balanced, you'll want to secure it in place. Unsecured cargo can shift while the vehicle is in motion, which can make your trailer unstable. Use nylon rope or towing straps to tie everything down.

HOW TO CONNECT YOUR TRAILER

RECEIVER HITCH

Towing a boat or trailer up to 10,000 pounds? Learn how to connect a receiver hitch in four easy steps.

FIFTH-WHEEL HITCH

A fifth-wheel hitch looks like the horseshoe-shaped hitch on a big rig. It’s perfect for towing RVs.

GOOSENECK HITCH

If you’re towing the heaviest loads your truck can handle, you’ll want to use a gooseneck hitch. Learn how to connect it here.

KNOW HOW TO DRIVE WITH A TRAILER

If this is your first time towing a trailer, be sure to practice in an open area before hitting the road. Here are the basics.

SLOWER AND STEADIER

Take it slow and give yourself room between your truck and other vehicles. It takes more distance to accelerate and brake when towing.

STAY IN CONTROL

If you feel the trailer start to sway or whip, simply take your foot off the gas pedal. Do not brake or speed up.

THE LONGER THE TRAILER, THE WIDER THE TURN

Swing wide while turning and double-check your mirrors to be sure your trailer clears all obstacles.

HAVE PATIENCE WHILE PASSING

Account for your trailer length when passing a slower vehicle by leaving plenty of clearance and using your turn signals.

TAME THE TERRAIN

Always slow down before going downhill. If you're driving a manual transmission, downshift when going both uphill and downhill.

BRING A FULL-SIZE SPARE

Never use a compact spare tire when towing a trailer. Only a full-size spare is made to handle larger loads.

HOW TO PARK

Always park on a flat surface with room to pull forward. Apply the parking brake and use chock blocks on your trailer wheels.

HOW TO BACK UP

Start with your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. To turn left, move your hand left. To turn right, move it right. Slight steering wheel turns equal greater trailer movement.

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