You Should Know / Using Your Trailer / Towing Information
Important Towing Information
- Trailer laws addressing requirements such as brakes, lights, safety chains, licensing, etc., vary by state. It is the responsibility of the trailer owner to make sure your trailer fully complies with motor vehicle the laws in your jurisdiction. Your local trailer dealer can assist you in this regard. If you are unsure, contact your state motor vehicle department for full information before selecting a trailer.
- The total weight of your boat, engine, fuel, water and gear must not exceed the trailer's maximum load carrying capacity. Overloading a trailer can cause serious injury, property damage, or even death. Note: Maximum load carrying capacity is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less the weight of the empty trailer. This information is imprinted on the foil VIN sticker on the left frame rail of every Load Rite trailer.
- Improper tongue weight on the tow vehicle hitch ball can cause loss of control of the tow vehicle and result in serious injury, property damage, or even death. Depending upon trailer model, proper tongue weight should be adjusted to 5% to 7% of GVWR when fully loaded.
- Improper adjustment of boat supports or improper positioning of the boat on the trailer may cause damage to your boat hull, personal injury, or even death. Contract with your dealer for proper trailer adjustment.
- Serious injury, property damage, or even death can result if the total weight of your loaded trailer exceeds the rated capacity of the hitch on your tow vehicle, or the rated towing capacity of the tow vehicle. Consult your tow vehicle manufacturer to determine the towing capacity of your vehicle and hitch.
- Failure to properly attach safety chains or cables between your trailer and tow vehicle can result in a run-away trailer should the trailer coupler become detached from the hitch, and could result in property damage, personal injury, or even death.
- Failure to properly engage the tow ball in the coupler ball socket and securely lock the coupler latch mechanism can cause the trailer to become detached from the tow vehicle while traveling, which may result in property damage, personal injury, or even death.
- Failure to replace coupler or latch assembly if either shows any evidence of wear or damage can result in property damage, personal injury, or even death.
- To reduce the risk of property damage, personal injury, or even death, make certain that all trailer lights are in proper working order.
- Maintain proper torque on lug nuts or wheel bolts. Failure to do so may result in property damage, personal injury, or even death. Lug nuts should be tightened to 85 – 95 lb/ft of torque.
- Keep wheel bearings lubricated. Failure to properly lubricate bearings may cause failure and possible wheel loss resulting in property damage, personal injury, or even death.
- Keep tires properly inflated. Failure to maintain correct pressure may result in tire failure and loss of control resulting in property damage, personal injury, or even death.
- Trailer brakes must be maintained in good working condition. Loss of adequate braking could result in property damage, personal injury, or even death.
- Failure to tie down the bow independently from the winch line could allow your boat to shift while traveling, causing loss of control of the tow vehicle and resulting in property damage, personal injury, or even death.
- To reduce the risk of serious injury or even death, do not step inside or on the trailer frame during launching or loading procedures.
- To reduce the risk of serious injury or even death should the winch strap, cable or hook fail, always stand to one side when winching the boat onto your trailer.
- Your trailer will look better and last longer if you rinse it off with fresh water several times a year. If your trailer is used in salt water, the trailer should be rinsed off after every trip. An annual washing with a mild detergent will help to keep your trailer bright and clean. Avoid wax on a galvanized surface. Do not store when wet. Air drying in a humid environment can promote oxidation of surfaces. Always tow your trailer after washing to aid in drying.
- Some insurance policies do not provide coverage when towing a trailer. Check your policy, or call your insurance agent, to be sure you are fully covered.