Towing Safety And Tow bar Wiring

Towing safety

Sailors tow a V-22 Osprey to a dock at Naval Station Norfolk
There are many safety considerations to properly towing a caravan or travel trailer, starting with the towing capacity of the vehicle and ranging from equalizer accessories to safety chains in a proper and legal manner.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association of the United States, more than 65,000 accidents occurred in the United States with passenger vehicles pulling trailers in 2004, an increase of almost 20% from the previous year.

Towing company Federal Way

In 2006, Master Lock conducted its annual trailer safety study to see how many Americans successfully tow their cargo. The Towing Troubles study included responses from trailer owners across the country and found that while the majority of trailer owners believe they know what they are doing when it comes to towing, most lacked the proper education. Master Lock reported that 70% of trailer owners did not know the correct way to tow their cargo.

An important factor in trailer safety is “tongue weight,” the weight with which the trailer presses on the towing hitch. Insufficient tongue weight can rock the trailer back and forth when towing. Excessive tongue weight can cause problems with the tow vehicle. [1]

Tow bar wiring
Vehicle specific
Of the many cars equipped with a tow bar, they most likely have electrical “hidden” car towing components. This electrical installation is commonly referred to as “Bypass Electrical System”. This system is used to protect car lighting systems from possible damage in the event of a wiring malfunction on a trailer. It is a proven and widely used system. Bypass systems are found in both “universal” (non-vehicle specific) systems and dedicated and OEM systems.

Since the early 2000s, vehicle technology has advanced with the introduction of CANbus network systems that allowed the interaction of different systems and even the detection of a trailer or caravan. In some cases, manufacturers have not only designed cars to detect the presence of a trailer, but have also created new and improved functionality within grid-connected systems. This actually makes it important for these particular vehicles to be able to “see” the trailer or camper. Some of these new features are safety and stability, but most are simply things of convenience, such as the automatic shutdown of the rear fog lamp and the parking sensors. The main safety innovation, now appearing in some cars, is the Trailer Stability Program, which is automatically activated when a trailer is detected on the network via dedicated sensors.

Some of the advanced systems introduced in some vehicles that can use trailer presence detection are: Lane Change Assist, Brake Electronics, Adaptive Cruise Control, Suspension System (ASS), Engine Electronics, Cooling System engine, parking aids and reversing camera.

The Trailer Stability Program or TSP is a feature that has been added to some vehicles to help correct the “snaking” action of a trailer.

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