Check the coupler or kingpin for fatigue, damage, cracks or missing parts before towing. Test the lock mechanism for complete and correct latching so the trailer will not come unhooked. For ball type couplers, make sure the coupler and ball size match. If you are using a bumper hitch type coupler, it is recommended to put a bolt or similar device through the latch mechanism when hooking to the tow vehicle for safety. For more information, go to the Owner’s Manual and see the Proper Hitching Techniques section.
Hitching up a trailer to your tow vehicle is usually a one-person job,
but it is easier if someone helps you. Here are a few of the basic steps:
- Back your tow vehicle as close as possible to the trailer. It is easier and safer to do this than it is to pick up and pull the trailer to your car or truck.
- Release the coupler locking device.
- Raise the front end of the trailer. Place coupler directly over the hitch ball then lower it until it is seated on the hitch ball, covering it completely.
- Check under the coupling to ensure the ball clamp is below the ball and not riding on top of it.
- Latch the coupler to the hitch ball. Make sure it is locked in place by lifting up the trailer tongue. If the coupler comes loose from the ball, unlatch it and go back to Step 3.
- Make sure your jack is fully raised.
- If you have a weight distributing hitch with spring bars, follow the above procedures. Then attach the spring bar chain to the trailer and tighten it until your trailer and car are in normal, level position.
- If your trailer has a surge brake breakaway cable or chain, attach the cable or chain to your tow vehicle, allowing enough slack for you to make tight turns.
- Attach the safety chains.
- Connect the trailer wiring harness to the lighting system of your tow vehicle and check its operation.