Towing 101: Lights Matter

Posted: November 7, 2013 by Bunce Rental in Towing

Before legally towing a trailer on a public road, you have to have working trailer lights.  If your trailer lights don’t work, not only are you at risk of getting a ticket, but you’re also inviting an accident.  Trailer lighting is critical to letting other drivers know what your intentions are, mainly braking and turning.

I can’t stress the importance of checking your trailer lights before you leave on any towing trip, no matter how short.  This is why we work with you to make sure trailer lights are functioning to the best of our ability before you leave our yard.

All of our trailers use 4-wires on a flat plug to control basic lighting and brake functions: tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals.  Most trucks, vans and SUV’s (made since the mid-1990’s) include factory installed trailer lighting connectors.  If your vehicle has one of these connectors, we carry standard wiring-connection adaptors (provided free of charge with the rental) that should make installation a snap!

However, if your vehicle is not prepared for towing or requires a special wiring-connection adaptor, you will need to install or find the correct connection or adaptor.  With some planning and research, you can safely install a wiring kit into your vehicle’s wiring system, or take your vehicle to a professional camping or trailer shop and have the wiring installed there.  Remember, to tow a rental trailer it is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle has the proper trailer wiring and connection adaptors.

We also suggest you always have an observer confirm your tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals are working properly each time you hook up and several times during your trip.

For more information on you federal lighting requirements, check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/standards/conspicuity/trlrpstr.html

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