Backing up your trailer for the first time can be a little complicated; it is not correctly connected to your vehicle, which makes it much harder to control when turning. In this article, we will walk you through the necessary steps, tricks, and tips to properly backup your trailer like a pro.
Hook Up Your Trailer
The very first thing you are going to do is connect your trailer to the ball hitch; if you don't do this correctly, you are risking your container coming loose on the road and possibly causing a significant accident. Once you have placed the trailer on the ball, connect the chain. The chain should make an X across.
Why a chain? The chains ensure that if the trailer disconnects from the ball hitch, it will still hold together, giving you enough time to stop and address the problem. Without the chain, your trailer may get loose and spiral into the road. Always double-check and make sure that the latch on the connecting part is still closed and secured! This will keep your trailer secure and make sure the lock won't come off. Once you have completed the above steps, connect the pin and lock the entire mechanism into place; without the pin, your trailer may bump into your truck.
If you are used to placing your hand on the upper part of your steering wheel, you should know that it makes it much harder when backing up your trailer. When you are in reverse and turn left, your trailer goes right, and when you turn your steering wheel right, your trailer will naturally go left. Fix this situation by simply holding your steering wheel from the bottom area instead of the top.
Taking It Slow
Face it. Towing your trailer as a beginner is difficult. Backing up is something that only gets better with practice! Enough practice will make you more confident, less stressed, and overall better at towing a trailer. Be sure to take it slow, look into your side mirror for reference of your trailer placement, and if your trailer is moving the wrong way, pull forward to straighten out and try it again!
Have a trailer wider than your vehicle? No problem! Use the fender wheel of your truck and fender of your trailer to connect the dots and use it as a reference point. If you have a backup camera installed, it will help tremendously! Just do not stare into it too long; make sure you are keeping your eyes on your surroundings by looking it to your mirrors as well.
Practice Makes Perfect
Reversing in a straight line is easy, but let's be real; you won't always have the option to do so. You must practice turning your trailer when backing up. While driving in reverse and turning to correct the position of your trailer, you can see through your windows. Roll your window down, place your arm on the windowpane, and pop your head out if it makes it any easier! Never be afraid to step out of your vehicle if you feel the need to look at your progress. It can be a little embarrassing to do so in a large crowd, where you feel all eyes on you. Don't let that get to you; every single person watching had the same struggle and experience at some point in their life!
Ask Somebody To Help
If you have a friend or trust a nearby stranger, ask them for some help if you need it! You might be surprised at how many people are happy and willing to take a minute to assist you. This helper will be especially helpful if you are backing up on the passenger side or if you need to make a tight squeeze through a severe angle.
Longer trailers are a little bit easier to backup than shorter!
Practice these steps over and over until you feel confident, and you will be ready to hit the road, knowing that you're safe and prepared. If you are transporting any cargo on the trailer, be sure to tie-down everything to prevent damage to the load, or worse, damage to other vehicles on the road! We offer a wide range of heavy-duty tie-down straps you can check out here on our website.
As always, reach out to our team at Rhino USA with any questions you may run into while reading this guide. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and we hope you have an awesome day!