At Plattsburgh Spring, Inc., we want to provide you
with as much helpful information as possible. Following are some links that
may answer some questions you may have, or even give you some insight on
towing or installation. If you are in need of any further instructions or
information, please call us toll-free at
YOUR TOWING EQUIPMENT
Trailer Hitches, Receivers, and Ball Mounts
Select these products by their gross trailer weight and tongue weight
ratings. Select hitches and receivers by specific vehicles.
Select by gross trailer weight rating, mounting platform thickness and hole
size, and coupler socket size. Platform must be at least 3/8" thick. Hole
must not exceed threaded shank diameter by more than 1/16". Use lock washer.
Tighten per instructions. When tightened, shank must protrude beyond bottom
of nut. Gross trailer weight rating and ball diameter are marked on DRAW-TITE
balls. Hitch Balls and all friction points should be greased on a regular
The coupler socket should be smooth, clean, and lightly lubricated. Tighten
or adjust per coupler manufacturer's instructions.
Connect safety chains properly EVERY TIME YOU TOW. Cross chains under
coupler. Attach securely to the hitch or tow vehicle so they can't bounce
loose. Leave only enough slack to permit full turning. Too much slack may
prevent chains from maintaining control if other connections separate. Don't
let chains drag on the road.
Trailer Lights, Turn Signals, Electric Brakes and Break Away Switch
Make these safety-critical connections EVERY TIME YOU TOW, no matter how
short the trip. Check operation, including electric brake manual control,
before getting on the road.
Sway controls can lessen the effects of sudden maneuvers, wind gusts and
buffeting caused by other vehicles. We recommend them for trailers with
large surface areas, such as travel trailers. Adjustable friction models can
help control trailers with low tongue weight percentage.
Other Useful Equipment
AIR SPRINGS, AIR SHOCKS, or HELPER SPRINGS are useful for some hitch
applications. A TRANSMISSION COOLER may be necessary for heavy towing. Many
states require TOWING MIRRORS on both sides.
Check often. Follow tow vehicle and trailer manufacturers' recommendations.
Improper tire inflation can cause trailer sway.
Check Your Equipment/Replace Worn Parts
Check ball, coupler, chains, retaining pins and clips, and all other
connections EVERY TIME YOU TOW. Re-check at fuel and rest stops.
SAFE TOWING TIPS
No Passengers In Trailers!
Never allow people in trailers while towing, under any circumstances.
Proper loading helps prevent sway. Place heavy objects on the floor ahead of
the axle. Balance the load side-to-side. Secure it to prevent shifting.
Tongue weight should be 10-15 percent of gross weight for most trailers. Too
low a percentage of tongue weight can cause sway. NEVER load the trailer
rear-heavy. LOAD THE TRAILER HEAVIER IN FRONT.
The additional weight of a trailer affects acceleration, braking and
handling. Allow extra time for passing, stopping, and changing lanes. Severe
bumps can damage your towing vehicle, hitch and trailer. Drive slowly on
rough roads. STOP AND MAKE A THOROUGH INSPECTION IF ANY PART OF YOUR TOWING
SYSTEM STRIKES THE ROAD. CORRECT ANY PROBLEMS BEFORE RESUMING TRAVEL.
Check For Excessive Sway and Eliminate It
Excessive sway can lead to loss of control. Sway motion should settle out
quickly. Sway tends to increase on a downgrade. Starting slowing, increase
speed in gradual steps. If sway occurs, adjust your trailer load and
equipment. Repeat until the trailer is stable at highway speed. Do this
whenever your trailer loading changes.
If Your Trailer Suddenly Starts To Sway
Turbulence from another vehicle, a wind gust, or a downgrade can cause
sudden sway. So can a shift of the trailer's load or a trailer tire blowout.
IF THE TRAILER SWAYS, IT IS THE DRIVER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ASSESS THE
SITUATION AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION. Below are suggestions that may apply,
depending on conditions:
- Reduce your speed gradually.
- Hold the steering wheel as steady as possible.
- If your trailer has electric brakes, apply the trailer brakes alone,
without using the tow vehicle's brakes.
- Don't hit your brake pedal hard unless absolutely necessary. A "jackknife"
- Don't try to steer out of the sway condition. Sudden or violent steering
can make it worse.
- Don't speed up. Sway increases as you go faster.
- Don't continue towing a trailer that tends to sway. You may lose control
during an emergency maneuver or if the conditions listed above occur.