Always use the correct hitch equipment for your vehicle.
Crosswinds, large trucks going by, and rough roads can affect the trailer and the hitch.
Never attach rental hitches or other bumper-type hitches. Only use frame-mounted hitches that do not attach to the bumper.
Always seal any holes in your vehicle if the trailer hitch removed.
If not sealed, dirt, water, and carbon monoxide (CO) from the exhaust may enter your vehicle.
Consider using mechanical sway controls with any trailer. Ask a trailering professional about sway controls or refer to the trailer manufacturer's recommendations and instructions.
Always attach chains between the vehicle and the trailer, and attach the chains to the holes on the trailer hitch platform. Instructions about safety chains may be provided by the hitch manufacturer or by the trailer manufacturer.
Cross the safety chains under the tongue of the trailer to help prevent the tongue from contacting the road if it becomes separated from the hitch. Always leave just enough slack so the combination can turn.
Never allow safety chains to drag on the ground.
State or local regulations may require trailers to have their own braking system if the loaded weight of the trailer exceeds certain minimums that can vary from state to state. Read and follow the instructions for the trailer brakes so they are installed, adjusted, and maintained properly. Never attempt to tap into your vehicle's hydraulic brake system. If you do, both the vehicle anti-lock brakes and the trailer brakes may not function, which could result in a crash.
Always check all trailer lamps are working at the beginning of each trip, and periodically on longer trips.
Turn Signals When Towing a Trailer
When properly connected, the trailer turn signals will illuminate to indicate the vehicle is turning, changing lanes, or stopping. When towing a trailer, the arrows on the instrument cluster will illuminate even if the trailer is not properly connected or the bulbs are burned out.
Special Trailer (ST) tires differ from vehicle tires. Trailer tires are designed with stiff sidewalls to help prevent sway and to support heavy loads. These features can make it difficult to determine if the trailer tire pressures are low only based on a visual inspection.
Always check all trailer tire pressures before each trip when the tires are cool. Low trailer tire pressure is a leading cause of trailer tire blow-outs.
Trailer tires deteriorate over time.
The trailer tire sidewall will show the week and year the tire was manufactured. Many trailer tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires more than six years old.
Overloading is another leading cause of trailer tire blow-outs. Never load your trailer with more weight than the tires are designed to support. The load rating is located on the trailer tire sidewall.
Always know the maximum speed rating for the trailer tires before driving. This may be significantly lower than the vehicle tire speed rating. The speed rating may be on the trailer tire sidewall. If the speed rating is not shown, the default trailer tire speed rating is 105 km/h (65 mph).