Driving with a trailer attached requires practice, the best advice is never forget that you have trailer on tow and that requires you to adjust your driving to take into account factors such as needed a much longer braking distance at least twice the normal amount. Never forget that you have a trailer in tow just keep you safe and alert. Horse trailer insurance is currently not mandatory, but it will ensure that should you slip up you will be compensated. For further reading we do a google search for a guide to towing a horse trailer from Nissan.
Here are some of the basic tips to help you properly handle horses in your care:
- Before hitching up ensure that the tow ball height matches the height specifies by the trailer manufacturer. This will ensure that weight is correctly balanced between the the trailer's axles the towing gear and the towing vehicle.
- Hitching up requires practice and more practice, but after time it will become easy and even second nature. However if can not wait you could invest in a rear view camera to aid you in lining up your tow bar to the hitching gear.
- Braking. As mentioned in the introduction when you first depress the brake paddle you will be in for a few nervous moments as you realise it is not slowing down at the same rate when your driving without a trailer attached. The reason is the extra weight and the best advice is to drive slowly and also allow at least twice the normal braking distance when towing a horse trailer.
- Snaking, this is scary especially the first time that it happens, some people accelerate to take the slack and thus regain control. However the correct way is to hold tight and do not try and steer out of it but apply gradual barking whilst holding steering wheel steady and steering only when necessary approaching bend etc.
- Gears have an important role to play when towing, use them to help you slow down gradually and also when faced with steep climbs. With practice you will know which gear to automatically select to slow down or climb a steep hill.
- Be prepared should you breakdown or get a flat tire you most likely be stranded on a busy or quiet country road both presenting their own hazards. Investing in emergency warning triangles will enable you to warn well in advance oncoming drivers that they need to slow down. Make sure that you place the triangle or warning apparatus a distance that will enable them to brake comfortably to avoid collision.
- Reversing is difficult as it is counter intuitive as such like hitching up practice and more practice is the only solution. In addition try to park in places that reduce the need to reverse. Add a warning bleeper device to warn to anyone in the vicinity.