Should A Trailer Be Level When Towing?
By all means, yes!
If you have ever hooked up a travel camper to a tow vehicle, you may have wondered – how important is it to keep the trailer level? Our company has handled hundreds of tows till now and we understand the importance of this information.
We understand that it is not possible for everyone to hire professionals when they need to tow a trailer. But everyone should know why is it important to keep the trailer at the level. Any mishandling can create dangerous situations for yourself and everyone else on the road.
Here are some good reasons why to do your best to keep your trailer at a leveled position.
Good Ground Clearance
Anyone towing a trailer understands that ground clearance is pretty important. When you take the effort of leveling your trailer, you can have plenty of ground clearance and save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Roads with few bumps and dips are the safest to travel but unfortunately, you don’t get them at every place. When you run into awkward driveways with big dips and the trailer is not level, you run the risk of damaging your vehicle. If you are driving nose high, the jack is at the highest risk.
Let’s say the trailer is 4” off level. Which means you have lost about 4” inches of ground clearance. Any steep curb is more likely to cause damages. When you are off towards the front, going down a curb can also bounce the trailer in the ground which is not good news!
Fuel Economy And Better Aerodynamics
The aerodynamics and fuel economy of your vehicle are co-dependent. If you are driving a vehicle with a trailer that is too high at the front, the air bed underneath your travel trailer will lift it. Your engine will have to work harder to cover the same distance and gas mileage will increase. This can slow you down.
Manufacturers of travel trailers design them to be level when towed thus optimizing their aerodynamics for a towing position. Leveled trailer is more likely to get the best mileage. As all of us are trying to improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, so pay attention to the trailer level.
Stability And Safety
When it comes to trailers, stability is synonymous with sway prevention. Sways can put the vehicle out of control and even if you are very good at driving, it can take the truck along with it. It is no secret that trailers sways cause several accidents on road.
The technical reason for trailer sway is the improper distribution of weight. When the center of gravity is misaligned, the trailer becomes more susceptible to sway. The situation gets worse when the trailer starts to pull up on the hitch reducing the amount of traction in the rear tires. While you can compromise the safety of your vehicle by loading it unevenly, you also put others at risk of injuries or fatal accidents.
Minimize the chances of trailer sway by keeping the trailer level.
Minimize Tire Wear And Blowout
An unlevel trailer affects the weight distribution and may increase tire wear. That’s because more weight is rested on one axle rather than being equally distributed on all of them. When you are traveling with nose high, the rear tires become more flattened and any amount of excess weight can blow them out.
Moreover, unequal weight distribution causes more heat production in some tires, and thus chances of tire wear and blowout increase drastically. It’s best to keep a jack and a spare with you for such emergencies.
Brakes Perform At Their Best
Brake performance depends on a number of factors. While it’s crucial to maintain levels of brake oil, you must also drive with a level trailer. Towing means you have to carry massive amounts of weight with your engine power and similarly need to control your vehicle during sudden stops.
An unlevel trailer is going to make things worse for you as all of the tires do not have equal contact with the ground. When the trailer is sitting too low on the front, the rear set of tires has different pressure as compared to the front ones. It means when you hit the brake, the stopping power of tires will be executed differently and your vehicle may skid. If you don’t want to affect the braking ability of your towing truck, make sure the trailer is level.
Road safety is paramount, not only for you but for everyone else on the road. The next time you are towing a trailer and find yourself wondering about the importance of level, keep these points in mind. If you want to learn more about trailer sway and how to maintain the level for different trailers, get in touch with us. We are happy to help!