Follow These Tips for Safe Travel With Any Trailer

When you use your trailer, whether it be one of our Foldy Trailers or another one, you want to make sure you take every step to drive safely. Trailers need to be maintained and serviced before you set off, and by following these tips, you can drive with the peace of mind that you’ll be driving safely.

Tip 1- Tyre Safety

Before setting off your trailer’s tyres should be checked for any punctures or tears. If the tyre has been sitting in one place for a long period of time, there could be a flat spot on it. If it has not been used regularly, the rubber may become hard and start to perish, and small cracks may appear on the sidewalls. We recommend checking your wheel bearings at your local MOT service station every 50,000 miles or three years.

Once your tyres have been inspected (including the spare tyre) and found in good order, check the air pressure.

The Foldy Trailer tyre is specified to uses 4.50-10C tyres on 350B x 10H2 wheel rims and the maximum allowed tyre pressure rating is 4.25 bar (425kpa) or 62 psi.

It is also worth checking to ensure no wheel bolts have come loose or gone missing. If any bolts are loose, tighten them to 90Nm of torque and replace any missing wheel bolts before driving with your trailer.

Finally check for unwanted bearing noise such as grinding or a friction whine when spinning the wheels. If there is noise, the bearings may need replacing. Also make sure that the axle is straight and the wheel rests perpendicular to the ground.

Tip 2- Check Your Breaks

Because the Foldy trailer is a class O1 trailer up to 750kg, it does not require any trailer assisted braking. For other trailers with brakes, you should check the brakes when the wheel is raised from the ground. The three main types of breaks used on trailers are:

  • Electro Magnet
  • Hydraulic
  • Mechanical override disc

All need to be checked for adjustment, wear and tear on the pads or shoes, and the hydraulic fluid level needs to be checked. If you are unsure about the state of your trailers breaks you must contact the service centre for your trailer and have them checked and possibly serviced.

Tip 3- Check Your Suspension

Suspension is another important component that should be checked. Things to look out for and check include:

  • Cracked or broken leaves
  • Leaf seperation
  • Shock absorber leaks
  • All bolts should be tightened
  • Check bushes are not perished or split
  • Check all bolts and look for wear marks

The suspension of a trailer should be maintained regularly like a car.

Tip 4- Check the Chasis

After checking the suspension, you should check the chasis of the trailer. You should look for any evidence of cracks in the welds, the steel sections, or any major rust problems that may need to be reinforced. Also, check the bolts that may hold the body to the chassis where applicable.

Tip 5- Lights and Wiring

Next you should turn your attention to test the vehicle’s wiring and lights. We recommend making sure that all the wires and connections are good. Often you will find that the plug is full of dust and moisture, which can cause corrosion and a poor connection from the car. It’s a good opportunity to clean all the connections with some old rags and emery paper. In the Foldy trailer, the contacts on the connector are not waterproof, so the connector pins should face downwards when not attached to the vehicle. Should your vehicle use a 7-pole plug connector, ensure a 13-pole female to 7-pole male adapter is installed securely to make electrical contact.

Also make sure to check the lights still work. Take out the lenses and clean any dust that may be inside as dust can make a big difference to the intensity of the lights. By giving them a clean, you will increase your trailer’s visibility to other vehicles. Should you use your trailer to lower a boat into water, ensure the lights are now lowered in, or you have installed waterproof lights specific for boat trailers. Make sure to replace any blown lightbulbs with the same specification of bulbs. Using a higher Wattage can make the tail lights very hot, causing a fuse to short in your car.

Tip 6- Check the Hitch

The most vital tip for travelling with a Foldy Trailer or another trailer is to inspect the hitch. On the Foldy Trailer, the tow arm must be attached to the motor vehicle via an approved tow bar or hitch. The tow arm joint socket should always have lubricating grease inside the socket, which will enable a smooth and tight fit coupling onto the ball of the motor vehicle tow bar when attaching the trailer. Make sure to place the safety cables over the tow bar ball-joint of your car, and that the nuts are fastened securely.

Tip 7- Ensure Your Load is Safe

The last tip is to ensure that the load you are carrying is not only securely equipped and tied down, but the trailer and cargo does not exceed the rate given by the towing vehicle manufacturer. Make sure that the weight of your load is dispensed evenly about the trailers axel and cargo bay and does not weigh down in just one specific place. Under no circumstances should the trailer tip up away from the tow hitch when it is decoupled. The tow arm of the trailer should rest easily onto the tow hitch and not require excessive force to lift up or push down. Trying to lift or move a poorly balanced trailer can result in you injuring your back and it making a poor coupling to the towing car.

Other tips we also suggest includes keeping hold of your Certificate of Conformity if you have it and keeping it in a safe place. The certificate should accompany the trailer should it ever change ownership or be subject to any form of vehicle testing.