Understanding the Towing System for Different Trailer TypesAugust 23, 2023 by Kyle McFarlane
Trailers are useful for a wide variety of professional tasks and recreational activities, but there are crucial things to consider before hitching a trailer to your vehicle and hitting the road. There are different types of trailers for different uses, various parts of a tow system that makes things safe for different trailers, and even various hitches to consider as well. Safety and practicality hinge on understanding the systems you implement when towing a trailer. Learning more about how to complete your towing system can help you set it up properly for your trailer and vehicle.
Overview of Different Types of Trailers
Not only do trailers differ in terms of size, but they also vary in construction and features to accommodate different types of loads and accomplish different tasks. The types of trailers you might purchase for hauling include:
- Enclosed: Trailers built with an encasement of walls and a roof designed for protecting the items you are hauling
- Utility: Trailers with an open bed rather than an enclosed space
- Dump: Trailers with an open box bed, liftable at the front for dumping cargo
- Tilt: Trailers that also have an open-bed design, but are adjustable to tilt back and down for easier loading and unloading
- Livestock: Trailers with a long, enclosed, and windowed design for transporting cattle or other livestock as comfortably as possible
Choosing the right trailer means evaluating your needs and preferences, but it also entails considering the parts you need for towing the trailer.
What To Know About Towing Systems
A towing system consists of more than just the vehicle and trailer themselves. It also includes the equipment that keeps the trailer safely and reliably coupled to the vehicle you are driving. There are 7 essential parts to account for when preparing:
- Hitch: The hitch is the primary connector between the vehicle trailers, and is also the core structural component of the towing system.
- Ball mount: The mount consists of a shank that inserts into the hitch and a platform that serves as a mounting point for the ball component.
- Trailer ball: The ball serves as a crucial connection point between the vehicle and the trailer.
- Hitch pin: This component pins various hitch components together to keep them from sliding out of place while towing the trailer.
- Coupler: The front part of the trailer that latches onto the ball component.
- Safety chain: These chains extend directly from the vehicle to the trailer as a safety measure to ensure that they stay connected even if other parts of the towing system experience a failure.
- Wiring harness: The wiring harness connects the electrical systems of the vehicle and trailer, synchronizing tail lights, turn signals, and other important functions.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that each part must be compatible with one another and with the type of trailer you are towing as well.
Choosing the Right Hitch for Your Trailer
Before you can hit the road with your trailer, you need to choose the right hitch for the job. There are receiver hitches, ball hitches, and weight-distribution hitches that each serve unique purposes.
Choosing the right hitch comes down to the weight rating of your vehicle and the overall weight of your trailer with the load it is carrying. When you shop at McFarlane’s, we can help you find the right hitch for your vehicle’s make, model, and year.
Once you have the right hitch, there is one last step before you can safely start towing the trailer. It is always a good idea to inspect the trailer and system before a trip. Ensure that each part is functional and in place, check that the electrical systems are working as intended, and consider checking the condition of your trailer’s tires often.
McFarlane’s Makes Towing a Trailer Easy
If you need parts to complete your towing system, McFarlane Trailer Sales can help. We have a wide range of brands and parts available to help you bring your trailer out on the open road. Reach out to us today and learn more about what we can do to set up your trailer and vehicle.