5 Essential Off-Road Trailers Tips
5 Essential Tips for Towing Off-Road Trailers
Getting out into the countryside for a getaway can be fun enough, but the excitement really picks up when you decide to leave the beaten tracks behind and get your 4×4 working off-road – because, let’s face it, that’s what it was designed for.
However, you might mistakenly think that trailers will prevent you from really going off-road into those rugged trails. Never fear! Our 5 essential tips for towing off-road trailers will help get you where you want to be, safely and with all your cargo firmly intact.
Tip 1: Jack-Knife Points
This first one applies to all towing. One especially important consideration when towing is knowing your jack-knife points. That is, how far you can reverse with a turning trailer before it causes any damage.
Find an open space where you can intentionally create a jack-knife situation and have someone spotting for you outside while you slowly reverse. Once you’ve reached the limit of your jack-knife, make a mental note of the angle your towed load makes with your vehicle and what it looks like in your rear-view mirrors.
Be sure to check both sides since some cable connections may limit the jack-knife angle in one direction more than the other direction. This knowledge will be extremely valuable when navigating tight spaces or sharp turns, and it’ll probably surprise your off-roading buddies.
Tip 2: Don’t be Last in a Convoy
If travelling in a convoy, don’t be last in line with your trailer. Especially in off-road conditions, there is always the risk of something falling off or going wrong with your cargo: someone behind to monitor the situation could save a lot of headaches.
Tip 3: Deflate Your Tyres
It’s common sense to deflate your vehicle’s tyres when going off-road, but some forget to do the same thing to their off-road trailer. Although the trailer is lighter and the tyres are not driven by the engine, they can still dig into soft surfaces such as sand and mud. Deflated tyres provide a larger footprint and also help cushion the blows of a rough surface, protecting your supplies and reducing wear and tear.
Tip 4: Pack Wisely
The increased stresses of towing an off-road trailer mean that a little more consideration must go into how you pack the trailer. Try to keep everything as snugly packed as possible, with little empty space between things. The emptier spaces there are, the more things can slide and jump around and cause damage. Be sure to wrap fragile items in soft things, like towels and blankets, and separate them from the heavy items as much as you can. Off-road trailers, and their cargo, face much more hardy conditions than you would encounter on tar.
Tip 5: Move Your Trailer’s Plugs if They are Low-Mounted
Some vehicles have trailer plug points mounted very low, sometimes below the tow hitch assembly. This is an accident waiting to happen when going off-road. When driving through a small ditch, up an embankment or off a small ledge, these plug points will get snagged.
Check the location of your plug points and make sure they are never the first things to hit the ground, even if they seem to have good clearance. You will be thankful you put in the effort at home with all your tools at hand rather than having to fix the problem out in the veld.
Thinking of buying or renting an off-road trailer and heading out for an awesome adventure? Conqueror’s impressive selection is bound to have just what you’re looking for.