Safety is key with trailers and campers


Safety is key with trailers and campers 08-12-13

KALISPELL, Mont. - Troopers and other drivers say it can be dangerous to tow a trailer or camper.

"Take it slow, you're not in a big hurry to get anywhere, and it'll get you there safe," said Tony Baker, who works at Gardner's RV & Trailer in Kalispell.

He knows just how difficult it can be to pull a trailer.  They add length and weight.

"I would compare it to driving a vehicle on ice.  You know it's going to take you a little bit longer to slow down because you have all that extra weight behind you.  Also it doesn't handle as quickly or normally without a trailer."

While Baker says it's important to be cautious out on the road, he says it's just as important to do routine maintenance on the trailer every single time you take it out.

"Little things like tire pressure and checking your lug nuts, I would do that before every trip."

Some people create a checklist to go through before their trailer heads out on the road.

"I have a procedure I do and everything has a number," said Julie Balch, who's the owner of Integrated CDL and Trailer Training.

She teaches Commercial Drivers License classes and trailer training classes as well showing people how to properly hook up a trailer.

Balch stresses the importance of safety checks.

"Everything lands on their lap so they are the ones that have to make sure that everything is correct and safe, even if someone else hooks up that trailer, they need to know that everything is hooked up correctly."

They won't take much time and they aren't difficult to check.  It's the attention to detail that's important, says Baker.

"Little stuff that probably takes a person 10 minutes to check before they leave that will make the difference between a safe trip or not."

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