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3 min read

Prepare Your Vehicle for Towing This Summer

By Bill DeBoer on May 12, 2014 7:30:00 AM

Summer is Tow Time.  Towing a trailer or boat can enhance your summer fun, but it can also create unexpected expenses. The process of towing puts additional wear and tear on your vehicle and increases the risk of an accident or other problem along the way. As you ask “can my vehicle tow a boat?” or “can my vehicle tow a camper?” you must also consider how to prepare your vehicle for towing


Check the Tires

The tires play a significant role in your towing capabilities. In addition to checking the air pressure in the vehicle and the trailer, check the tread and the weight limits on the tires. This information will ensure you can safely transport your camper or boat to its destination. Always make sure you have a spare for your vehicle and the trailer.

Reduce Your Blind Spots

Most vehicles aren’t built to exact towing specifications. When you have a large trailer behind you, your blind spots become more numerous and larger. Installing wider towing mirrors can help you reduce these blind spots so you can drive more safely.

Check Your Vehicle Systems

Many of the vehicle’s systems undergo additional stress when towing. If you ever asked “is towing hard on my transmission?” or “is towing hard on my brakes?” the simple answer is, “Yes.” Check your fluid levels and top off anything that is low, including transmission fluid and oil. This reduces the risk of overheating. Take a close look at your brakes and make sure the brake pads have plenty of life. Check all the lights on your vehicle and trailer. 

Get Training on How to Hitch

Using the right hitch is just one aspect of proper towing. If your vehicle didn’t come with a towing package, make sure your mechanic knows the weight and type of trailer you will tow to ensure they install the right one. Learning how to properly hitch your trailer to your vehicle offers better protection. As you hitch up, check the following:

  • The pin connecting to the ball mount is intact.
  • The hitch coupler is fully secured.
  • The spring bar hinges are tight and clips are in place.
  • The safety chains are securely attached.
  • The electrical plug is tightly secured.

Take a Test Run

The final step before taking your big road trip is to take a test run. Hook up your camper or boat trailer and take it for a ride around familiar territory. This allows you to get a feel for the trailer and learn how to handle it properly. It also gives you some practice in using any additional equipment, such as a brake controller or equalizer hitch.

Before you start towing this summer, make sure you protect yourself and your family by completing the necessary steps for safe towing. Whether you are taking a boat to the Jersey Shore or your camper to the Adirondacks or Poconos, being prepared will make your trip more enjoyable.

Are you getting your vehicle ready to tow for upcoming vacation travels? Contact us. We can help you prepare your vehicle for towing this summer by completing the necessary checks and maintenance to keep your vehicle safe.

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Bill DeBoer

Written by Bill DeBoer

William J. DeBoer (Bill Jr.) is Co-owner and Vice President at DeBoer’s Auto. As the company’s General Manager, Bill has been responsible for bringing innovations in daily operations to the full-service, high-tech auto repair facility for 20+ years. Passionate about computers from an early age, Bill’s interest in technology gravitated to cars while he was in college. By obtaining a Certificate in Automotive Technology followed by a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State, Bill was able to fuse his interests into a car technology specialization and join the family business shortly thereafter.