Towing a trailer with ease and safety requires a certain amount of experience. It's a good idea to learn the feel of a trailer by practicing turning, stopping and backing in an open area such as an empty parking lot. Observe these rules:
After hitching the trailer to the car, check that the car sits approximately level. If the car is severely nose-up, redistribute the trailer cargo and/or the cargo in the vehicle.
Always check the function of trailer lights before departing.
The weight of the trailer may lighten the load on the front tires. This will affect vehicle handling and stopping, particularly on wet or slippery roads.
Allow for much greater stopping distances when towing.
Drive smoothly. Jerky starts and hard stops increase wear and may cause handling problems.
Avoid any sudden or sharp maneuvers. Allow for wider turning radius.
Crosswinds and turbulence from larger vehicles will cause your car and trailer to become unstable. Be prepared.
Maintain vehicle and trailer tire pressures at the proper inflation at all times.
Any problems or changes in vehicle feel while towing will be magnified greatly in foul weather. Slow down.
Passing requires considerable time and distance due to the length and weight of the trailer. Plan ahead.
Backing up accurately with a trailer must be learned. Practice with the trailer in a remote area before the skill is needed.
Use the mirrors frequently to check oncoming traffic as well as status of the trailer.
If the trailer begins to sway, DON'T make any sudden changes in speed. Depending on traffic, very gradual acceleration or deceleration will bring the trailer into line. A sudden change may cause the trailer to jackknife.