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Posted on: 17/08/2021

How to be Safe and Legal when Towing

Written by: Eco Trailer
Black Land Rover towing a black enclosed car trailer on a motorway
Car towing a caravan

There is a lot to consider when you are towing, from the driving itself to loading the trailer and more. If you make a mistake though, not only can it be unsafe for you and other road users but you could actually be breaking the law. 

Trailer Towing Weights Explained 

All cars have a maximum weight they can tow. If you overload your vehicle you can affect the handling and braking of your car and can cause additional damage to your engine since it has to work harder. 

The maximum trailer width for any vehicle is 2.55 metres and the maximum length for a trailer towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3,500kg is 7 metres. 

What Weight of Trailer Can You Tow? 

As we mentioned, the weight of the trailer you can tow is entirely dependent on the vehicle you drive. When considering if your car can tow your trailer you need to think about:

  • the weight of items you plan to tow,
  • the empty weight of your trailer, 
  • and your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity.

The combined weight of the contents you plan to tow and the empty weight of your trailer cannot be more than the car’s maximum towing capacity. 

Check the National Trailer and Towing Association website for more information on the towing capacity of your vehicle. 

Tips For When Loading Your Trailer

Loading your trailer properly is paramount no matter if it’s a trailer for moving house or one of our eco-trailers. Once you’ve checked that your vehicle can tow everything it’s time to load up, the bulk of your weight should be at the front of your trailer to avoid a snaking situation. If you are loading a traditional front-engine car you can just drive straight in but a mid or rear-engined car will need to be reversed on. 

You should aim for a 60:40 weight split from the front to the rear of the trailer. Keeping your weight at the front minimises the risk of the trailer swaying or jack-knifing. Your load should be secured to the trailer so it doesn’t move around. With a car securing it with ratchet straps properly is key. 

Put the tie straps around the vehicle’s tyres and tighten them up to keep it secure. Attach the ratchet strap to the trailer hooks and tighten that too. Periodically through your journey stop to check over the straps and make sure the vehicle is still secure. 

Driving With a Trailer

When you are driving with your trailer keep in mind the speed limits. On a national single carriageway, you are limited to 50mph and on dual carriageways and motorways, you are limited to 60mph.

To keep other drivers safe, bear in mind that when you are towing the nose of your vehicle will be slightly higher than normal so adjust your headlight level so you don’t dazzle other drivers. Also, remember that when you are towing you’ll need to take a wider turn for corners and roundabouts. 

If you end up in a situation where the trailer begins to snake gently, let off of the accelerator and try to keep the vehicle as in control as possible, as you slow down it should become more controllable. 

If you are in the market for a vehicle trailer check out our trailer range, Here at Eco-trailer we build our trailers to the highest standards to keep your vehicle safe. If you want to find out more, get in touch today.