Summer Road Trips With Your Trailer

For many Americans, the summer months mean travel and often that travel is in the form of a road trip. If you’re planning to tow a trailer behind your vehicle, you’ll want to plan to keep trouble at bay. Mastering trailer towing doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require some knowledge and preparation

Accredited claims adjusters have seen it all and have several tips to help you tow a trailer behind your vehicle with safety as the top priority. Whether you’re a seasoned trailer tower or a first timer, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any challenges. Don’t let towing a trailer intimidate you – with the right knowledge and preparation, you’ll be able to navigate the roads with ease.

SUV towing a recreational vehicle

Selecting the Right Trailer
The first step in safe trailer towing is selecting the appropriate trailer for your needs. Consider the size and weight of the trailer in relation to your vehicle’s towing capacity. If you aren’t sure what your towing size and weight capacity is, you can check your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Overloading your vehicle can lead to serious mechanical issues and increase the risk of accidents. The larger the trailer the more braking power you will need so be sure your vehicle is well equipped to stop your trailer.

Proper Weight Distribution
Once you have the right trailer, distributing the weight properly is crucial for stability. The general rule is to place about 60 percent of the weight towards the front half of the trailer. This helps maintain a lower center of gravity and prevents the trailer from swaying. Make sure heavy items are secured and balanced to avoid shifting during transit.

Trailer Braking Systems
Understanding your trailer’s braking system is essential for safe towing. Trailers over a certain weight often require their own braking system. Ensure your trailer is equipped with functioning brakes and that they are properly synchronized with your vehicle’s brakes. You will also want to regularly check the brake fluid levels and inspect the braking system for any signs of wear or damage, especially before a long road trip.

Tire Maintenance
Tire maintenance is another critical aspect of safe trailer towing. Inspect the tires on both your vehicle and trailer before every trip. Look for signs of wear, such as uneven tread or bulging, and ensure the tires are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well. Properly maintained tires will improve fuel efficiency and reduce the risk of blowouts. While blowouts may seem like a minor inconvenience, our accredited claims adjusters have seen very serious accidents that started with a tire blowout.

Safe Driving Practices
When towing a trailer, adjusting your driving habits is essential for safety. Allow for increased stopping distances and avoid sudden maneuvers and too-quick lane changes. Maintain a steady speed and use turn signals well in advance of any lane changes or turns. Be aware of the increased length of your vehicle and make wider turns to avoid clipping curbs or other vehicles.

Navigating Tight Turns and Reversing
Navigating tight turns and reversing with a trailer can be challenging, but with practice, it will become manageable. When making turns, swing wide to avoid cutting corners too sharply. When reversing, take it slow and steady. Use your mirrors and, if possible, have a spotter guide you from outside the vehicle. Practice these maneuvers in a safe, open area before hitting the road.

Staying Alert and Prepared
Staying alert and prepared for the unexpected is key to driving at all times and is critical for a safe towing experience. Keep a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle, including items such as flares, a flashlight, and basic tools. Plan your route in advance, considering rest stops to avoid fatigue. Familiarize yourself with the route’s road conditions, including any steep grades or sharp curves.

The Role of an Accredited Claims Adjuster
Despite all precautions, accidents can still happen. In the event of an accident, an accredited claims adjuster can be invaluable. These professionals specialize in evaluating insurance claims and ensuring you receive fair compensation. They can guide you through the often complex claims process, help document the accident scene, and assess damages accurately.

How an Accredited Claims Adjuster Can Assist
1. Expert Evaluation: Accredited claims adjusters have the expertise to accurately evaluate the extent of damage to your vehicle and trailer. They understand the nuances of various insurance policies and can interpret the terms to your advantage.

2. Accurate Documentation: Proper documentation is crucial for a successful insurance claim. An adjuster can help gather and organize necessary documentation, such as police reports, medical records, and repair estimates, ensuring nothing is overlooked.

3. Negotiation: Insurance companies aim to minimize payouts, but an experienced adjuster can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement. They understand the tactics used by insurers and can counter them effectively.

4. Peace of Mind: Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be stressful. Having a professional handle the claims process allows you to focus on recovery and getting back on the road.

Whether you’re exploring new destinations or revisiting favorite spots, mastering the art of trailer towing ensures a smooth journey and the confidence to handle any challenges along the way.

For more information on how to earn your 6-20 ACA designation and join this growing field, we invite you to call our Clermont, Florida office at 1-800-309-2549 or read more about the accredited claims adjuster certification process on our website. Beyond our ACA courses, we have partnerships that allow our students to continue learning the proper ways to handle claims and continue to grow their career.

In Florida, once our students earn their 6-20 accredited claims adjuster designation, they can apply to the state for their all-lines adjuster license. This will enable them to work on home insurance claims, auto and RV insurance claims and property insurance claims. They would have the flexibility to work as a staff claims adjuster or an independent insurance adjuster.

Even if moving out of the state of Florida or your practice takes you out of state, Florida has a reciprocity agreement with other states within the U.S. Individuals who obtain their Florida license are eligible to work in 34 of the 37 states across the U.S. that require an adjuster license.

Ready to learn more? Contact us today at 1-800-309-2549.


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