Whether it’s towing your boat on the weekends, taking your bikes on excursions, hooking up a trailer or RV, or simply being able to tow another truck or car, having the best towing accessories is essential, both for the safety of the trailer and your vehicle.
In addition, driving with a trailer attached to your vehicle — whose width, on the other hand, cannot exceed the width of the vehicle — can be difficult and even dangerous if you do not have the minimum accessories, such as adequate LED lighting.
For this reason, we have compiled a list of 10 of the most popular trailer accessories:
- Universal hitch
The hitch is the connection between your vehicle and your trailer. A universal hitch fits a wide variety of vehicles such as cars, trucks, or SUVs, generally through sliding systems that allow it to adjust to the frame of almost any vehicle.
- Back-up alarm
Driving a trailer can be tricky, but parking it is even more challenging, especially if the load you’re carrying in the trailer obstructs your view (as it does in most cases). For this reason, a great option is to install sensors in the trailer connected to alarms inside your vehicle. This will help you to calculate distances when you are maneuvering.
- Lashing straps
Whether you are transporting furniture, bicycles, or suitcases, it is essential to have good straps set to secure the load. Tie straps help prevent movement inside the trailer and avoid losing the load (especially on uneven roads). ). The best of them include load tensioners and resist at least 800 kilograms of force. The heavier and bulkier the load you will transport, the more resistant the lashing straps you use should be.
- LED lighting and current modulator
Whenever you attach a trailer to your vehicle, you must remember that it (the trailer) must have its own set of lights connected to your vehicle’s lighting system. For this purpose, LED lights are best. Yet it is important to determine whether you may need a current modulator since the trailer LED lights can affect the system when connected to the vehicle, especially in modern cars.
- Supplemental electronic trailer brakes
It is a matter of physics: no matter how light the trailer you have attached to your vehicle, it will affect its performance. The main issues are the engine force needed to move forward (and, therefore, gasoline consumption) and the average braking distance. For this reason, especially in cases of heavier loads, it is a good idea to install supplemental brakes.
These brakes connect to the vehicle’s braking system and react proportionately to them. Although there are many reasons to install them, the most important is they reduce stopping distance, improve safety, and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle brakes and components.
- Weight distribution system
Another trailer accessory that concentrates on safety is the weight distribution system. The functionality is simple: regulate the weight of the load so that it does not affect the maneuverability of the towing vehicle. Thus, it is indispensable when the load weight pressing directly on the hitch is so significant that it sinks the vehicle’s rear. This disproportion results in a serious risk when driving.
Consequently, the weight distribution system relieves pressure on the vehicle’s rear axle, stabilizing the load and improving driving conditions. This accessory is essential for heavy and bulky loads.
- Hitch Cover
A hitch cover is what its name implies precisely: it’s a cover to protect your hitch when you’re not using it. It is simple, extremely economical, and highly recommended for hitch maintenance, especially if you leave it mounted on your vehicle for long periods.
- Spare tire and tools
Your trailer’s tires might have a different (probably lower) tread than your vehicle’s, especially if it’s a pickup truck or utility vehicle. For this reason, it is essential not to forget to have both a spare tire for the trailer and the necessary tools to change it.
- Tow rope or strap
Whether or not you use a trailer, if your car has a hitch (whether factory or installed), it’s good to have a suitable tow rope or strap. However, it is important not to mistake these with recovery ropes, which are more elastic and do not have metal hooks at the ends. Towing straps, unlike the others, can withstand higher pressure (typically several tons of force).
- Anti-theft lock
One last accessory that can be essential is an anti-theft lock installed on the hitch and secures it to the trailer so that no one can uncouple the trailer from your vehicle and take it away.
When should you call a tow truck?
When we think of a tow truck, two situations usually come to mind: an improperly parked car or an accident. But in between these two scenarios, there are a large number of cases in which it will be necessary to call a tow truck: technical problems appear that force you to stop driving; running out of gasoline; a flat tire without the tools to change it; getting stocked into a swampy area; or, even the impossibility of driving due to a health problem.
When driving becomes a risk, or you cannot carry it out safely, call a tow truck. In general, if you have insurance, the insurance company will take care of sending a tow truck to wherever you are.