Tips for Hauling Trailers

Since we have many trailer hauling friends out there, we wanted to pass along some helpful tips for hauling trailers across this fine country of ours.

Getting Hitched

Before you embark on your next adventure, and especially before you latch on that trailer, check the label on your hitch to make sure your hitch can handle the load of the trailer. Checked that box? Good. Ok now you need to jack up the trailer a bit, drive your truck in reverse until the hitch ball is centered to receive the trailer couple. Once you’re all lined up, put your truck in park and put on the parking brake. You can never be too safe. Next slowly lower the trailer down until it’s completely seated. Engage the latching mechanism. Now you can hook up the trailer’s electrical chords. Don’t forget the safety chains, which are best attached in a cross-cross pattern. They should be loose enough to allow for turns but should not drag.


Remember that whole “objects in motion tend to stay in motion” deal from high school physics? Well, it’s true. And now you’re lugging a lot more weight, so be sure to give yourself extra space between you and whatever is in front of you when needing to slow down. Also the faster you’re going, the more space you’ll need as well.

Weight Distribution

To avoid your trailer rocking and rolling out of line, make sure you load it properly. You want the weight distributed evenly from left to right, and from front to back.

Backing Up

The dreaded backing up. Frustrating for most first timers. Use this trick and you’ll master it easily: place your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and turn the wheel the direction you want the trailer to go. Turning the wheel clockwise will make the trailer go left, turning counterclockwise will make it go right.


Your rig is much longer now, about twice the size of your truck. So give yourself plenty of space while turning. The wheels of your trailer will always make a sharper turn than those of your truck, so make wide turns.


You finally made it to your destination! After all that fun with loading your trailer, turning, and backing up, now you’re ready to park it. If possible, have someone out of the truck helping you park. Once you’re in place, put the truck in park, put the parking break on, THEN let go of the break. Finally make sure to put blocks around the tires of your trailer to keep it in place.


Gateway Storage Center provides trailer parking and storage services for all types of trailers. With flexible terms and affordable rates, we’re the best choice for Alexandria, Springfield, and Woodbridge trailer parking. Give us a call today to learn more!

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