Towing in winter with your truck, SUV, or car means dealing with road conditions that are far away from ideal. Like any other type of winter driving, towing in winter demands preparing your vehicle properly, adjusting your behavior behind the wheel, and following a few tips can enable you to avoid all the trouble down the road.
The below article provides suggestions about the actions that can make your winter towing experience safe and somewhat convenient.
Choose The Right Tires
One driving aspect that snow or ice significantly impacts is your vehicle’s ability to grip the road. Therefore, tire traction becomes even more important in winters. Over time your tow trucks or vehicles can lose their traction power, hence, weakening their gripping ability.
Therefore, in winters, it’s imperative that you give yourself every advantage in this aspect. Make sure to check your tire conditions beforehand; if needed, replace the tires with the new ones, ensuring they will provide you the needed traction.
By just being careful about your vehicle’s tire, you are avoiding the mistake that leads 90% of towing drivers towards accidents, especially in winters.
Install Trailer Brakes
Predicting trailer behavior is your key to avoid nasty accidents on the road. Winter towing conditions are treacherous; the only way to take good control of your load in these conditions is by installing trailer brakes.
By doing this, you will be distributing the brake load between your trailer and towing vehicle. This action will significantly reduce the chances of trailer fishtailing or sliding. Indirectly you are also taking off the working pressure from the ring’s tires – they are no longer 100% responsible for stopping your towing vehicle and trailer-.
Have The Right Tire Pressure
The temperature change can change your tire pressure, making a difference of as much as ten psi. Checking the tire pressure is a critical prerequisite when taking your vehicle out on slippery winter roads. This also goes for towing trucks or trailer towing. Make sure to check the tire pressure before starting your towing journey.
Make sure to keep it on the optimum level. If you are planning to cover a long distance, you may need to recheck and refill your tire pressure during the journey as well. Overlooking pressure needs can cause the breaking down of your towing vehicle in the middle of nowhere, which is not appreciable at all, especially under harsh weather conditions.
Stay Smooth, Stay Alert
Smooth driving becomes even prudent when facing traction problems on the road. It is important to be as vigilant as possible and drive smoothly. This usually involves reducing your impacts on brakes, accelerator, and wheels, making sure to apply pressure slowly, and being in complete control of stopping capabilities and steering angle.
Towing in winter is especially a test of your ability to stay alert and drive smooth, as these sloppy roads will not allow you to correct any mistake you commit behind the wheel. So, pay extra attention to the road beneath your wheels and keep a close check on the weather up ahead and adjust your driving strategy accordingly.
Asking your vehicle to carry an extra load in winter adds excessive pressure on its traction force, even with the best winter tires installed. Hauling extra weight can exert pressure on the engine, and any abrupt change in pressure can cause it to jam and stop working. Therefore, the only way to avoid sticking in the ice or deep snow is to maintain your towing truck’s forward momentum.
Especially if you find yourself dealing with slopes, slides, or hilly conditions, avoid stopping at the slopes or in the areas where the snow is piled up. Maintain proper momentum of your car and stop at clear or areas with shallow snow to avoid sticking.
Don’t Use Cruise Control
While cruise control is a great option to avail when driving long distances, it is not a good option to choose in the winter towing process. It should never be used in winter for two important reasons:
- One, by switching to the cruise control option, you become less attentive to driving activity and may not be able to react swiftly in dangerous weather conditions.
- Secondly, the computer is unaware of the changing weather conditions or the amount of snow down the road. It may accelerate or downshift at the wrong time, causing dangerous and fatal accidents.
Like any other action, little care and vigilance can make dangerous winter trailering or towing into a safe one. Following the safety tips behind the wheel and getting down on the road with a perfect vehicle can make you avoid dangerous accidents while completing your responsibility as a towing driver or even as an adventurous RV towing the travel trailer in the wrong conditions.