How to safely use a trailer to transport your electric scooter(s) or electric bicycle(s)
How to attach your trailer to your car hitch
CORRECTION: The chains should always be crossed!!!
How to secure your electric scooter to your trailer for safe transportation
- GVW: This is the maximum allowable gross weight of your trailer and all of the items within it.
- VIN: This is the Vehicle Identification Number.
- Coupler: A device on the tongue of the trailer that makes the connection to the hitch on the tow vehicle
- Coupler size: The correct size (2” or 1 7/8”) will be stamped on the coupler.
- Hitch: A device on the tow vehicle, to which the coupler of the trailer is attached. The hitch also supports the weight of the trailer tongue.
- Safety chains: They keep the trailer attached to the tow vehicle in case the coupler connection comes loose. Fasten safety chains to the frame of the tow vehicle, not to the hitch or ball.
- Trailer lighting connector: A device that connects electrical power from the tow vehicle to the trailer. This connector operates the brakes, brake lights, running lights and turn signals as required.
- Torque is the measure of the amount of tightening applied to a fastener (nut or bolt) and is expressed as length force. A force of 90 lbs, applied a the end of a wrench 1 fott long will yelad 90lbs.-ft. torque.
The first thing you need to do is to install a hitch receiver (image 1 & 2) to your car or truck. The shop will recommend the proper size of the hitch receiver according to your vehicle. For cars the hitch receiver is 1 7/8" and for vans, suv's or trucks it's 2", and all this depends on the weight that you will be carrying.
Along with the hitch receiver is included the ball hitch (image 3).
Trailer's tongue / Coupler
At the trailer's tongue (image 4), just below the coupler's hand lever you will find usefull information (image 4 & 5).
(Trailer's load capacity specs)
If you take a closer look, you will find information such as the size of the ball hitch that fits this trailer's coupler and the load capacity of the trailer.
(Trailer's lighting connector)
At the trailer's tongue (image 4), you you find attached the lighting connector, which you attach to the connector that is installed in your vehicle when you install the hitch receiver.
(Trailer's security chains)
At the trailer's tongue (image 4), you will also find the security chains (image 7) which are attached to the hitch receiver (image 2).
Once you have successfully installed a hitch receiver, you then go to a retail shop to look for a trailer that fits the specs of your hitch receiver. When you are looking at the trailer, as previously mentioned, look at the the trailer's tongue to see the size of the ball hitch that fits this trailer's coupler and the load capacity of the trailer.
Severe personal injury or death could result if safety information below is ignored;
- The maximum speed that the trailer can be safely towed is 100km an hour. Always reduce your speed when towing a trailer.
- Expect trailer reaction to changing air pressure caused by passing trucks or buses.
- Use rear view mirrors frequently to observe both the trailer behavior and traffic.
- Make sure the hitch (ball size) matches the coupler.
- Check the hitch ball for wear, corrosion and cracks before coupling.
- Replace worn, corroded or cracked hitch ball before coupling the trailer.
- Make sure the hitch ball nut is tight before coupling the trailer
- Inspect the trailer tires before towing.
- If tire treads have less than 1/16” depth replace the tire.
- Worn, damaged or under-inflated tires may result in loss of control fo the vehicle.
- If a tire has a bald spot, bulge, cut, or crack immediately replace the tire before towing the trailer.
- You must check the lug nuts for tightness after the first 20, 40 and 80km of driving a new trailer (or remounted wheel)
- Tighten lug nuts before each tow. Lug nuts must be tightened to the proper torque for the axle size on your trailer.
- An overloaded trailer may result in failure or in loss of control of the trailer.
- Never load a trailer so that the weight on any tire exceeds its rating.
- Proper handling of your trailer depends on having the trailer load distributed properly.
- Maximum tongue weight must not exceed 10% of the trailer GVW for a ball or bumper hitch.
- A shifting load may result in failure, or loss of control of the trailer.
- Always secure the gate latch after closing.
- After 80km or 1 hour of towing, stop and check if the;
1. Coupler is secure
2. Safety chains are fastened and have not been dragging
3. Tires not visibly low on pressure
4. Cargo is secure
5. Gate is latched and securely fastened
- Slow down for bumps in the road. Release the brake when crossing the bump.
- Do not brake while in a curve unless absolutely necessary. Instead, slow down before you enter the curve and accelerate through the curve.
- Worn or broken suspension parts may cause loss of control.
- The coupler, ball and hitch transmit the towing forces between the tow vehicle and trailer. To reduce wear and ensure proper operation, coat the ball with a thin layer of automotive bearing grease before each use of the trailer.
- Check the locking device on the coupler and make sure that it operates properly. Have all bent or broken coupler parts replaced before towing the trailer.
- The coupler handle lever must be able to rotate freely and automatically snap into the latched position. Oil the pivot points, sliding surfaces and spring ends with SAE 30W motor oil. Keep the ball pocket and latch mechanism clean.
- Inspect the frame structure for cracks or failure any time you know that your trailer has been subjected to an impact.
- Excess paint, oil and grease must be removed from the fastener contact surfaces or not applied at all.
- Axle bearings must be inspected and lubricated once a year or every 3200km to enusre safe and reliable operation.
- DETERMINING CORRECT LOAD LIMIT FOR THE TRAILER
1. Locate the VIN number on the drivers side of the trailer. THE Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and weight of the trailer are located on this label.
2. Subtract the weight of the trailer from the GVW to determine the maximum load limit.
- DETERMINING CORRECT LOAD LIMIT FOR YOUR VEHICLE
1. Consult your vehicle’s owners manual or contact your dealer to determine the maximum towing capacity for your vehicle.
- Secure the cargo to the trailer using appropriate straps, chains, and tensioning devices. Close the ramp gate and secure the trailer ramp latch, so that the ramp gate cannot open while the trailer is being towed.
- Trailer gates can not be used as tie down points
NOTE: Once you purchase your trailer, you MUST READ the owner's manual for in depth explations pertaining to your trailer