Tips for Hitching a Trailer: What You Need to Know

It’s important to keep both your vehicle and your trailer safe by properly connecting the two. Hooking up a trailer is easy to understand, but it should still be done with care in order to prevent accident. Follow these steps:

1. Use a jack to elevate your trailer so that the trailer’s coupler height is higher than the vehicle’s ball height.

2. Carefully reverse your vehicle so that the ball is directly underneath the socket. (Make sure your vehicle is in park and the emergency brake is on.)

3. Lower the coupler socket onto the vehicle ball until the full weight of the trailer is on. (Make sure it’s in the fully unlocked position as you do this.) Close the coupler clamp to secure the ball in the coupler.

4. Retract the jack.

5. Now, lock the coupler on the ball using a pin or coupler lock.

6. To secure the process, cross your safety chains under the tongue and hook them to the vehicle. This action prevents your trailer tongue from hitting the ground in case it accidentally comes loose while in motion.

7. Plug in electrical connections for your trailer lights and be sure to test them. Additionally, plug in the electrical brake on your trailer (if you have one). Be sure to have someone in the vehicle test:

  • turning on the headlights (which will turn on your trailer lights)
  • left and right blinkers
  • brake lights

You’re ready to go. Drive safely!

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