Tips for Safe SUV Towing & Trailering

 

When there's a load of cargo to move, go ahead and hitch that trailer to your professional grade GMC full-size or crossover SUV, such as the Terrain, Yukon, or Acadia. SUV towing and trailering isn't really too different from towing with any other vehicle--you just need to put safety first.

 

Loading

 

Before hooking the trailer to the SUV, properly place the load. This applies no matter what type of vehicle tows the trailer, but it's important and bears repeating. Misplaced loads affect the tow vehicle's braking and steering capabilities. To prevent trailer sway and maintain trailering stability, cargo should be loaded and secured properly. A good rule of thumb is to distribute about 60% of the load over the front half of the trailer. Once the cargo is properly loaded, use ropes or straps to secure the cargo, and check the tire pressure on the tow vehicle and trailer before hitting the road.

 

Always check the maximum trailer weight rating for your GMC vehicle before heading out.

 

Hooking Up

 

Many GMC SUVs and crossovers have standard or available rear backup cameras, which makes coupling the SUV's trailer hitch to the trailer tongue an easier task, because the camera helps provide a clear view of the SUV's rear. If driving an SUV without a backup camera, have a helper give directions, (make sure this individual is at a clear and visible distance away from the vehicle) and drive very slowly while backing up, to center the hitch ball and trailer tongue. After attaching the trailer to the SUV, perform a couple final safety steps. Always attach safety chains between the SUV and trailer and cross them under the trailer's tongue. Be sure to leave enough slack in the chains to allow for turns, but make sure the chains are never dragging on the ground. Finally, test the trailer's brake lights and turn signals to make sure they're functioning properly.

 

SUV Towing

 

Adjust the mirrors of your SUV before taking off with a trailer in tow. The newly adjusted mirrors should create a clear view all the way to the end of the trailer. When towing a trailer, a vehicle's reaction time increases, so make sure to test the SUV's brakes at a low speed before hitting the road. It's also important to drive below the posted speed limit and check mirrors frequently.