Towing Tips as Boating & Camping Seasons Begin

As people get their travel trailers and boats ready for a trip to a campground or lake, Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land reminds people to ensure their trailers are towed safely.

“Make sure your vacation memories are about summer fun, and not roadside repairs or worse,” Land said. “Take a few extra minutes before you leave to look over your trailer so you and your loved ones reach your destination safely. When you’re on the road, use extra caution and allow more stopping time and distance between vehicles.”

Land reminds people that the law requires trailers or pop-up campers weighing 3,000 pounds or less to have two reflectors, one on each side, as well as safety chains that connect the tow vehicle to the trailer. The chains should be loose enough to allow sharp turns but not drag on the road.

Additionally, before people head out, Land advises them to:

  • Check tire pressure on the trailer and tow vehicle
  • Ensure the wiring is loose enough to make turns without disconnecting or touching the ground
  • Verify their vehicle and hitch setup is able to pull the size of trailer they have
  • Check all turn signals, and running, hazard and brake lights to see if they’re in working order
  • Make sure all items on the trailer are properly secured
  • Position side- and rear-view mirrors for good visibility
  • Raise the trailer jack, tongue support and any stabilizers and lock in place

“Nothing makes for a fun summer getaway like a trip to your favorite camp site or lake,” Land said. “Keep your vacation enjoyable and carefree by properly securing your trailer so it’s ready to hit the road.”

Once on the road, people should:

  • Give themselves a much greater stopping distance than they would need without the trailer
  • Signal well in advance when passing a slower vehicle and allow extra distance to clear the vehicle
  • Use the automatic gear setting that the vehicle manufacturer recommends for pulling a trailer
  • Avoid sudden starts or stops that can cause skidding, sliding or jackknifing
  • Make wider turns at corners so the trailer doesn’t hit the curb
  • Have another person assist when backing up the vehicle and trailer when possible

Land Michigan reminds residents they can obtain more traffic safety advice and more information about the department’s programs and services at

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One Response to "Towing Tips as Boating & Camping Seasons Begin"

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