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Pre-Rental Trailer Checklist

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Pre-Rental Trailer Checklist

February 22, 2024

Pre-Rental Trailer Checklist

Imagine you're planning a big move or heading out for a weekend adventure that requires more gear than your vehicle can handle. You decide renting a trailer is the way to go. Before you even step into the rental office, you've got a game plan. You've checked your vehicle’s towing capacity in the manual to make sure it can handle the load. You remember advice from a friend about the importance of balancing the load and making sure your vehicle is equipped with the right hitch. You're also aware that not all trailers are the same, so you're planning to ask questions to ensure you get one that fits your needs. With a checklist in mind, you're ready to make this rental process smooth and ensure your journey, whether it's across town or across the state, is safe and hassle-free.

Pre-Rental Checklist

Before You Rent:

  • Know Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity: Check your vehicle’s manual to ensure it can handle the weight you plan to tow.
  • Inspect Your Vehicle: Make sure it’s in good condition for towing. This includes checking the tires, brakes, and lights.
  • Choose the Right Hitch: Confirm you have the correct type of hitch for the trailer you intend to rent. If not, you might need to rent or purchase one.

Selecting the Trailer:

  • Size and Type: Ensure the trailer size and type are appropriate for what you're hauling (e.g., flatbed for large items, enclosed for weather-sensitive goods).
  • Weight Capacity: Check the trailer's weight capacity to ensure it can carry your load.

What to Bring:

  • Driving License and Payment Method: Required for the rental process.
  • Vehicle Registration and Insurance: Some places might require proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
  • Tow Ball and Hitch (if not renting): If you're providing your own, ensure they match the trailer's requirements.
  • Additional Mirrors: If your trailer will obstruct your vehicle’s rearview, consider bringing extended side mirrors.

Upon Pickup:

  • Inspect the Trailer: Look for any damage and ensure the tires are in good condition.
  • Test Lights and Brakes: Connect the trailer to your vehicle and check that all lights and brakes (if equipped) are working.
  • Review the Hookup Process: Make sure the trailer is securely attached to your vehicle, with safety chains properly crossed and connected.

Safety Gear to Carry:

  • Spare Tire for the Trailer: Just in case of a flat.
  • Basic Toolkit: Including items for minor repairs.
  • Wheel Chocks and Jack: For changing a tire or preventing the trailer from rolling when parked.

General Tips:

  • Load Balance: Aim for a 60/40 front-to-back weight distribution to reduce swaying.
  • Secure Your Load: Use straps and covers to ensure nothing shifts or falls off during transport.