If you have just bought a trailer for your boat to move it to your new home, there are a few things you need to do. First, to make sure that you don’t hit a car on the way to your destination, you should practice in an empty parking lot. Second, you need to have a sense of direction and a firm grip on your wheel so that making narrow turns is not difficult.
Driving a boat trailer is not the same as driving a car. While others might be doing it easily, you will need a few basic lessons and long hours of practice as a beginner. Before you know it, you will be backing up your trailer at a launch ramp with ease. In the start, backing up in a straight line might make you feel that the rest will be equally easy. However, keep in mind that even the smallest of obstacles will seem huge when the time comes to negotiate a turn.
So, we recommend that you take a look at the following tips for guidance:
The Clockwise and Counter-Clockwise Dilemma
To make sure that you are not steering your boat trailer the wrong way, the one thing you need to keep in mind is that if you turn right, your trailer will turn left. For example, while reversing, you turn the steering wheel clockwise. However, the trailer goes left. So, for the boat trailer to turn in the direction you want, you will have to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction.
How To: Grab the steering wheel from the bottom with one hand and move your hand to the left clockwise to turn the trailer left. If you want to go right, turn the wheel counter-clockwise.
Check the mirrors on both sides to ensure no obstructions close by. Grip your steering wheel from the bottom and reverse. Gently ease back, keeping your car straight. The steadier you are, the better the trailer will move in a straight line. If your trailer starts to move in the wrong direction, press on the breaks gently and steer in the opposite direction.
Making a Turn
Placing plastic cones in a parking lot is a great way to mimic a turn. This will allow you to see whether you can make tight turns or not. Grip your steering wheel again and straighten your car. Your trailer’s tires should be in a while with your vehicle’s tires.
Turn the steering wheel counter-clockwise and make your turn. When the trailer has turned all the way, straighten your steering wheel. This will make the trailer follow the car’s lead.
You might be tempted to drive your trailer at a fast pace, but as a beginner, you need to go slow. Even if you have practiced in a parking lot, you shouldn’t speed up to avoid accidents. Even pros take it slow because driving a trailer at high speed can make it go out of control.
In conclusion, check your side mirrors, memorize the clockwise and counter-clockwise working of the steering wheel, use cones to practice turns, and go slow.
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