Towing and hauling safety tips for rocky paths
Even if you can’t imagine ever leaving the pavement while towing, you just might find that the campground you chose has unpaved trails that you may find challenging. Here are a few safety tips for you that will help keep you safe while towing off the beaten path.
What are the risks of off-road towing?
Here are some of the dangers that come with driving off-road:
When you’re towing off-road, there will be a lot of obstacles that you’ll encounter including steep inclines. It’s important to be very careful when going up or down these because if you’re not, you might roll over. Make sure to go slow and use low gear so you won’t have any problems.
Deep Ruts and Ravines
Another thing that you need to watch out for is deep ruts and ravines. These can damage your tires - or even worse - make your rig flip over. So if you see one, avoid it at all cost, or else you’ll be putting yourself in danger.
Loose Dirt and Gravel
Another hazard that you might encounter while towing off-road is loose dirt and gravel. This can make your car lose traction and slide which can lead to an accident. So be extra careful when driving on these surfaces.
Sharp Boulders and Rocks
Other things that you need to watch out for are sharp boulders and rocks. These can puncture your tires or even damage your car’s undercarriage. So if you see any, try to avoid them at all costs.
Trees and Branches
Lastly, another danger that you need to be aware of is trees and branches. These can fall on your rig and cause serious damage. So, if you’re driving in an area where there are trees, be extra careful and watch out for any falling branches.
Another problem for people who tow offroad is getting stuck. To help you lessen the chances of getting stuck, let’s identify some possible scenarios:
- Mud: One of the most common reasons why people get stuck is because of mud.
- Sand: Sand can also be very tricky to drive on especially if it’s deep.
- Water: Although it may seem minor, this can actually cause your car to get stuck
- Rocks & Stumps: Rocks and stumps can cause your vehicle to get stuck by puncturing your tires or damaging your car’s undercarriage. To help prevent suspension squat and major damage to your suspension, install a set of Timbren SES suspension upgrades.
What are the advantages of towing an off-road trailer?
Many overlanders find the convenience of owning an off-road trailer appealing. Trailers can enhance your overland experience by:
- Allowing you to transport more supplies into the backcountry for an extended stay.
- Making the camping experience more convenient and comfortable.
- Allowing you to unhook and leave your trailer in the backcountry, while making day trips away from camp with a lightly loaded vehicle.
- Minimizing preparation for an overland trip (especially if you keep your trailer loaded and ready to go at a moment’s notice).
*Advantages of traveling with an off-road trailer vs a larger, self-contained RV-type:
- Less expensive.
- Allow you to use your towing vehicle as a daily driver.
- Able to go anywhere the tow vehicle can.
How should you prepare before heading out on your off-road adventure?
Tow vehicle safety: Your tow vehicle is the first thing you must consider for towing safety. One of the fundamental rules regarding towing safety is to correctly match the strength of your tow vehicle with the size trailer you want to tow. The hitch must safely connect both the tow vehicle and your trailer in such a way that provides both ease of handling and safety under extreme conditions.
Keep a weather eye for any sag or squat when the trailer is engaged. Easy-to-install Timbren SES suspension upgrades are an effective solution that can eliminate rear end sag.
Towing capacity: Towing capacity is the most weight your car can pull both legally and safely. Towing too much weight can lead to your trailer swinging and pulling your tow vehicle beyond control. It can also create difficulty stopping and wear out your brakes quickly.
Tire Safety: Tire size and pressure is also an important subject for both your tow vehicle and your trailer. Also, a tire rating of 10 Ply or higher is recommended for towing. Using a tire with a rating less than 10 Ply will cause the tire to degrade at a faster rate and contribute to high-speed instability.
Mirrors: Your tow vehicle might require special mirrors, one flat to see the road, and one convex to see the side of your trailer. These mirrors should extend out from your tow vehicle, enabling you to see all the way down the side of your trailer.
Lights: Special light and wiring systems need to be installed on your tow vehicle before you can tow any trailer. A qualified hitch installer will wire up your taillights, signals, and brake light functions into a special plug or connector in order to access the trailer's light systems.
Why are Timbren SES upgrades your best choice?
There are, of course, other suspension solutions beside Timbren SES. One of them is airbags by Air Lift. Before we say why Timbren SES is your best choice, let’s first of all compare them to Air Lift:
The biggest drawback of an air bag suspension has always been installation. That’s because there are a lot of components to install. And you’ll need to drill holes to mount the compressor, manifold, and tank. If you own a car or light-duty truck, there’s going to be problems with space, not to mention the noise factor whenever the compressor decides to kick in.
If you want the smooth ride that air bags offer, you’re going to have to pay for it. Without including labor, you’ll be looking at a couple of thousand dollars. If you decide to install it yourself to save on labor costs, there are quite a few components in the box. If you don’t have the proper tools, the task is probably above your pay grade.
Airbags take a pounding. Unless they’re high-quality, they will eventually leak. If they decide to burst on a road trip, it could compromise your brakes, reduce control of your vehicle and lead to an accident.
You need to think twice about using an air bag system on your vehicle if you’re the type to ‘set it and forget it’. This complex system is expensive and needs plenty of TLC! Regular checkups are imperative in order to protect your investment.
Having said all that, here’s why we think Timbren SES kits are your best choice:
- Installation takes about 30 minutes.
- SES kits for half-ton trucks run just under $300.00.
- Timbren SES don’t need air. Therefore, they don’t leak!
- Timbren SES upgrades require zero maintenance.
For more information on Timbren SES suspension upgrades visit Timbren.com