Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/12/22 10:56 a.m.

Let's all post up our tips and hacks related to towing. I can go first!

Recently I bought some cheap Velcro straps, and I've used them to keep my straps organized. They are also great for keeping the extra line tied up when the straps are in use. Very happy with the setup so far.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
11/12/22 12:56 p.m.

I have a small enclosed trailer for my F500, I worry about security a lot and wanted a fairly theft resistant setup. Got some good locks from paclock after seeing some of their stuff on the lock picking lawyer YouTube channel. Fun but is you can get it all keyed alike and order more things keyed the same through them.

https://www.paclock.com/products/ucs_81a/

birdmayne
birdmayne GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/12/22 12:56 p.m.

Big rubber bands also work well for keeping straps rolled tight. 

I also inherited a trick from my wife's grandpa. Roll your smaller ratchets up tight and stuff a few of them in an old sock. Keeps them rolled up, and makes them easy to store under a seat. Need a strap or three? Grab a sock!

 

 

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
11/12/22 1:00 p.m.

I had not seen the square locks. I went with the round puck locks, with the steel hasp enclosure around them. Has a barrier underneath key area to prevent drilling. 
also a top end young lock. The average box store ones can be broken way too easy. 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
11/12/22 1:09 p.m.

Don't bother putting new shoes in electric brakes.

You're much further ahead to just replace the whole assembly.

By the time the shoes are worn out, everything else is pretty rough too and it's cheaper to swap the whole thing. 4 bolts, 2 wires and it's all done. 

Axles are pretty standard so it's just a matter of picking the correct assembly. 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
11/12/22 1:11 p.m.

If you have a tandem axle trailer, just carry a 4x4 wood block with you.

When you have a blowout, pull the good wheel on the same side up onto the block and it will lift the bad wheel up enough to swap the tire.

Faster, safer and easier than the jack.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UberDork
11/12/22 2:49 p.m.

Couple of things I learned about towing over the years.  Probably all obvious, but I'd never towed before, so I was learning as I went. 

  • Squeeze the throttle.  I started with a V6 truck, then a small V8 SUV and finally a big V8 truck.  I had issues towing my little 6x12 trailer that got better as I went to bigger motors.  But, I also learned out to drive differently over the years.  Earlier, I would drive like normal.  Although in tow mode, it would still hunt for gears as I tried to keep up with traffic.  By the time I had the V8 truck, I had learned to squeeze the throttle slowly when I needed to speed up.  Time when I needed to pass to give me time to get there.  Let the truck slow down a bit when going up grades and maintain rpm instead of speed.  Basically, not being in a rush.  Sure, I might get there 15 or 30 minutes later, but my stress level was lower and my MPG's were higher.
  • Maintain a level trailer.  I'm still amazed to see people towing trailers that are either way low at the front or way low at the back. An adjustable hitch ball carrier is not much more than a fixed one, but the ability to keep the trailer level makes towing so much easier.
  • Interior wise, E-track and wood was my go to.  I was able to create shelves with 2x4's and e-track 2x4 insterts, hanging stuff from e-track, building simple shelves and workbench at the front with wood, etc. 
  • Giant twist ties were awesome.  I could hold karts down, keep cables organized, create loops to hang stuff, etc.  Fairly cheap with lots of uses.  (For example)

-Rob

frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/12/22 3:14 p.m.

Not so much the equipment but the driver.   
 

 Towing demands great situational awareness. Not only what's in front of you but behind you and along side of you.  You don't ever want to be boxed in with no out.  Even if your out is the shoulder of the road.   Speed up or slow down to prevent that.   
      Get your mirrors adjusted so you don't have to move your head to see through them.  Far easier to flick  your eyes from ahead to behind, and on your sides.  Keep moving your eyes never fixate on anything.  
        It's absolutely  wrong to ease onto the freeway at less than freeway speeds expecting others to slow down to provide you an opening.         That's where you should be going your fastest. In order to safely blend into traffic.  . 
 Slowing down before an off ramp especially one going downhill is proper ( provided you stay above the minimum speed limit while you are on the freeway proper). Once clear of the freeway slow it down well before the end of the off ramp.  

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/12/22 4:34 p.m.
ShawnG said:

If you have a tandem axle trailer, just carry a 4x4 wood block with you.

When you have a blowout, pull the good wheel on the same side up onto the block and it will lift the bad wheel up enough to swap the tire.

Faster, safer and easier than the jack.

Or, if you want to be fancy, one of these:

spedracer
spedracer New Reader
11/13/22 5:47 p.m.

I've seen a lot of people using the "through the wheel" method of strapping down their car, without paying attention to where they position the strap in the wheel. You have to make sure that you're going through the spokes that are closest to the tie down point. If you don't, the strap can rotate the wheel (if it unloads enough over a bump) and now your strap is loose.

I've always tried to follow this advice and its worked out fine. Recently was parked in such a way that I could get my car on the trailer without removing the front splitter. Was lazy and did just that at the end of the day... The splitter prevented me from putting the strap through the wheel as I normally do. Sure enough, when I got home one of the front straps had slackened as the wheel had rotated at some point.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/13/22 10:10 p.m.

If you haven't had your rig out recently, stop and do a walk around after the first few minutes on the road. 
 

Always check your tire pressure and lights. The four way flashers will operate the brake light and turn signal circuit. 

Caprigrip
Caprigrip Reader
11/15/22 11:12 a.m.

Bring two spare tires for peace of mind always - if you have replace one on road, you at least have some safety margin.    Make sure you also have socket in size of trailer lugs.   

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
11/15/22 11:25 a.m.

A typical aluminum can is nearly a perfect snug fit for many 3500lb axle hubs- if you lose a bearing cap, drink up, tear can in half, flare it out slightly, and squish it on there.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/15/22 9:35 p.m.

I have a habit of feeling up the hubs to check my wheel bearing's temperature at every stop.  Wife always asks why I'm back their "touching the wheels".

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
11/15/22 11:11 p.m.
A 401 CJ said:

I have a habit of feeling up the hubs to check my wheel bearing's temperature at every stop.  Wife always asks why I'm back their "touching the wheels".

Me too. Tires as well.

It only takes one blowout or failed bearing to make this habit at fuel stops.

slantsix
slantsix HalfDork
11/23/22 8:08 a.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

If you haven't had your rig out recently, stop and do a walk around after the first few minutes on the road. 
 

Always check your tire pressure and lights. The four way flashers will operate the brake light and turn signal circuit. 

I do this with Every Trailer, Every Trip.

It's not optional if you want worry free towing. And I tow with older stuff, so keeping it in check helps me get to and fro with out roadside incidents.  Always fix the wiring and Get good, Maybe Expensive Tires for the trailer.

 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
11/23/22 1:52 p.m.
ShawnG said:
A 401 CJ said:

I have a habit of feeling up the hubs to check my wheel bearing's temperature at every stop.  Wife always asks why I'm back their "touching the wheels".

Me too. Tires as well.

It only takes one blowout or failed bearing to make this habit at fuel stops.

Being that I am on a single axle trailer, I have seriously considered trailer tpms if I start getting out more. Probably overkill. (Tire pressure monitoring)

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
11/23/22 5:58 p.m.

In reply to Apexcarver :

If you don't know, my wife and I used two trucks and large trailers to move all of our stuff two provinces over.

She learned to drive with a big trailer pretty quick.

 On one of our last hauls the wife unit got to watch the travel trailer in front of her spit out chunks of tire and eventually tear up the wheel before the driver noticed.

She was on the radio, asking me what was going on with the trailer ahead of her and I got to explain why we always checked both trailers at every stop.

Between both of us, we put on enough miles to go halfway around the planet and didn't have a single problem with either trailer. 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
11/23/22 6:01 p.m.

If you have a holiday trailer with oem tires on it, check the weight rating.

Manufacturers cheap out and I found that with out trailer fully loaded, I only had 50 lbs of weight rating left on the tires.

Going up one load range bought me peace of mind and made the trailer tow much better as well.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/23/22 6:55 p.m.

In reply to Apexcarver :

Trailer tpms is awesome, it really helps with peace of mind.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/23/22 10:19 p.m.

When you buy straps, find some with biggish loops where they are sewed together at the ratchet. Then you can pull all of the strap through the ratchet, roll up the excess and push it through the loop with a bit of slack so that when you tighten the ratchet all of the excess is pinched in the loop and you don't have 10 ft of strap to deal with.

Jobapplication
Jobapplication New Reader
11/26/22 6:10 a.m.

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article. Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting 

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