HOW TO TOW SAFELY

    

1.ASK QUESTIONS:

Towing vehicle Trailer

What is the: What is the:

Make and model? Type of trailer?

Model year? Gross trailer weight?

Vehicle maximum towing capacity? Tongue size?

 

2.DETERMINE THE TOWING WEIGHTS

The most important factors in choosing the correct towing equipment is the gross trailer weight (GTW) and tongue weight (TW).

 

For the trailer: Gross trailer weight is the weight of the trailer completely loaded. To determine actual GTW, the trailer should be placed on a vehicle scale.To determine an approximate GTW, review the weight chart on Page 105.Select a similar trailer and find the corresponding trailer length. The Gross Trailer Weight provided is a stock trailer.Adjust the chart weight accordingly to the actual load. Tongue weight (TW) is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer coupler. Usually, TW is 10% to 15% of GTW. Tongue weight may be measured using a bathroom scale, by resting the trailer coupler on the scale and placing the scale on a box so the trailer is at normal towing height.Load the trailer as if being towed.
For the tow vehicle: The vehicle’s maximum towing capacity is
determined by the manufacturer. This is found in the owner’s manual.

 

3.SELECTING THE RIGHT HITCH

With the correct Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) and Vehicle Towing Capacity, the correct trailer hitch can be selected.Refer to the trailer weight guide chart  , to match the GTW to a trailer hitch.

Class I Hidden Hitch is designed for vehicles towing 2,000 lbs.

GTW or less, 200 lbs.TW.In some cases, Class I Hidden Hitch may tow up to 2,500 lbs. GTW, 250 lbs. TW. A typical Class I application is used for towing small utility trailers. Passenger vehicles are most suited for Class I applications.

Class II Hidden Hitch is designed for vehicles towing 3,500 lbs.

GTW, 300 lbs.TW.A typical Class II application is used for towing large utility trailers, boats or campers. Sport utility vehicles, minivans, large passenger cars, and mid-size pick-up trucks are suited for Class II Hidden Hitches

Class III & IV Hidden Hitch Receivers have the towing capacity of up to 6,000 lbs.GTW or less, 600 lbs TW. The towing capacity may be increased to a maximum of 10,000 lbs.GTW, 1,000 lbs. TW using a weight distribution system.The GTW and TW must conform to the vehicles maximum towing capacity. Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual. All pick-up trucks, full size vans and sport utility vehicles may use a Class III receiver.

 

 

Class V Hidden Hitch MAGNUM Receivers have the towing capacity of 8,000 GTW, 1,200 TW;14,000 lbs.GTW, 1,700 lbs.

TW with weight distribution.The MAGNUM is designed for only full-size pick-up trucks.

 

 

4.SELECT THE PROPER ACCESSORIES

Once the correct trailer hitch is selected, towing accessories complete the towing package. The following accessories are required. Several types of each accessory are available. Consult the noted page number for exact requirements.

 

 

1. Trailer ball - mounted on the drawbar or ball mount.The ball size must match the trailer coupler size.

2. Drawbar/Ball mount - Hidden Hitch products have removable ball mounts.

3. Trailer coupler - required on a trailer.

4. Electrical and wiring - all tow vehicles must be properly wired.

5. Brake control - required when towing a trailer with electric brakes.

6. Safety chains - required when towing.

7. Transmission oil coolers, a must for all automatic transmissions.

HITCHING UP TIPS

Hitching a trailer to your tow vehicle is usually a one-man job, but it is easier if someone helps.

Here are the basic steps:

1.

Back your tow vehicle as close as possible to the trailer;it's easier and safer to do this than to pull the trailer to your car or truck.

2.

Release the coupler locking device.

3.

Raise the front end of the trailer coupler directly over the hitch ball; then lower it until it is seated on the hitch ball, covering it completely.

4.

Check under the coupling to ensure the ball clamp is below the ball and not riding on top of it.

5.

Latch the coupler to the hitch ball. Make sure it's locked in place by lifting up the trailer tongue. If the coupler comes loose from the ball, unlatch it and go back to Step 3.

6.

Make sure your jack is fully raised.

7.

If you have a weight-distributing hitch with spring bars, follow the above procedure, then attach the spring bar chain to the trailer and tighten it until your trailer and car are in a normal level position.

8.

If your trailer has a surge brake, breakaway cable, or chain, attach the cable or chain to your tow vehicle, allowing enough slack for you to make tight turns.

9.

Attach the safety chains and criss-cross them under the ball mount to ensure they do not drag.

10.

Connect the trailer wiring harness to the lighting system of your tow vehicle and check its operation (see the 'Pre-Trip Checklist').

   

TH E 'PRE-TRIP CHECKLIST'

TOW VEHICLE Walk around the vehicle and check these items:

ITEM

OK

NEEDS

   

ATTENTION

     

Coolant level in radiator

__________  ________

Coolant level in coolant recovery reservoir

__________  ________

Radiator cap fits properly

__________  ________

Water level in battery

__________  ________

Battery terminals free of corrosion

__________  ________

Radiator hoses (flexible and tight)

__________  ________

Fan belt tight? Worn?

__________  ________

Transmission fluid level

__________  ________

Condition of transmission fluid (if fluid is

__________  ________

pinkish-oil OK, if fluid is dark brown, you

__________  ________

need your transmission serviced)

__________  ________

Transmission fluid cooler hoses and connections

__________  ________

Engine oil level (how many miles since

__________  ________

last oil change?)

__________  ________

Power steering fluid level

__________  ________

Hose & connections to power steering

__________  ________

Spark plug wires snug

__________  ________

Air filter (when was it last changed?)

__________  ________

Fluid in windshield washer reservoir

__________  ________
  
      

TRAILER Walk around the trailer and check these items:
  

ITEM

OK

NEEDS

   

ATTENTION

     

All lights operate properly

__________  ________

All tires (tire pressure and tread wear)

__________  ________

All wheel lugs

__________  ________

Safety chains connected and criss-crossed

__________  ________

Breakaway switch and lanyard

__________  ________

Coupler locking-pin (if used)

__________  ________

Trailer electric cable connected & secure

__________  ________

Trailer lights and turn signals

__________  ________

functioning with tow vehicle

__________  ________

Tongue jack fully up

__________  ________

Dolly wheel removed (if appropriate)

__________  ________

Load distributed in trailer so that proper

__________  ________

tongue weight is maintained

__________  ________

(about 10% on trailer load)

__________  ________

Trailer is level when attached

__________  ________

Bearings greased

__________  ________

Coupler size matches ball size

__________  ________

Pin & clip installed through drawbar of hitch

__________  ________
  
 

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPT.
  
Call for personal service- Mon-Sat 9:00 - 6:00 EST  Toll Free: 1-888-461-3033 ~ Local: 1-770-460-0314
   Authorized Hidden Hitch Distributor/Installer
  949 GA Hwy. 85 ~ Fayetteville, GA 30215

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