The 4th of July is a fun summer vacation weekend. You will find many friends and family on the lakes near central Texas this weekend and throughout the summer. Lake Travis is a popular weekend destination and is packed with boats and jet skis on the holiday weekend. The roads also get very busy with drivers setting off for a fun weekend out of town. Roads can often be seen with trucks or SUVs towing a boat, four-wheelers, and jet skis behind them. Here are some safety tips to remember this weekend if you tow your boat out to the lake with your truck.
First of all, you need to adjust the way you drive your vehicle when you are towing something like a boat or motor home. More caution will be needed on the road and the drivers around you also need to be more cautious during busy holiday weekends with many tow trucks on the road. The weight of your moving truck will be very different with a boat in tow. You will need to exercise extreme caution when exiting, braking, accelerating, and changing lanes. You will need more room to come to a complete stop and you must drive slower than normal.
Before you start driving, you should verify that your boat trailer is secure and properly attached to your truck or SUV. It is important as a boat owner and driver that you know how to operate a tow trailer and the rules and regulations for doing so in your state. Make sure the vehicle you are towing with can support the weight of the trailer and the towed boat. Here is a checklist you can follow when placing the trailer and loading your boat:
Are the hitch and hitch ball (coupler) properly adjusted and the correct size?
Are coupler and all safety chains securely attached to hitch?
Are all the accessories tight?
Is the boat tied to the trailer?
Are the wheel nuts and bearings tight and tight?
Do you have the proper weight capacity for the trailer and tow vehicle?
Are the trailer tires inflated?
Are all the trailer lights working properly?
Do the brakes work? (You may need to buy a trailer with its own brakes)
Once you have checked the requirements and safety measures, you are ready to hit the road with your truck and boat in tow. Take extreme precautions and never drive too fast, aggressive, or recklessly. Have a fun and happy summer!