Rick Heeren, international sales manager for ShoreLand’r Trailers said, "I’m not going to cut back on my plans to hit the road this summer. I still plan on driving to my favorite fishing spots; I just plan on maximizing my fuel economy by following some easy trailering tips. Other boaters can increase their tow vehicle’s gas mileage by following these same tips."
Check tire pressure on the vehicle and trailer.
Low tire pressure can drag both the vehicle and trailer reducing fuel mileage. Low tire pressure can also lead to heat-caused tire failures.
Proper tongue weight is a must.
Proper tongue weight should be between 5 to 7 percent of the total tow package, which will include the weight of the boat, all loaded gear and the trailer weight. This helps the trailer tow properly by reducing swaying.
Proper adjustment of your boat to the trailer.
Make sure the boat is level on the trailer and the trailer/boat is level when hooked to the vehicle. In adjusting the boat on the trailer, V-frame trailers allow for the lowest adjustment of the boat to the trailer and at the same time enables easy loading and unloading of the boat without any damage to the trailer or boat. Proper boat and trailer adjustment also reduces wind resistance.
Match vehicle’s tow rating to trailer weight.
When towing, make sure the tow vehicle is capable of towing the boat and trailer package by checking the vehicle’s tow rating in the owner’s manual. Using a 2,000-lb. tow package to tow a 3,000-lb. boat and trailer package will reduce fuel mileage and is unsafe.
Invest in a boat cover.
To further reduce wind resistance, invest in a boat cover. This will reduce the wind drag when towing down the highway. Local marine dealers can be helpful in locating and fitting the right cover. A cover also protects the boat from the elements.
Double-check bearing protectors.
Most trailers come with bearing protectors to keep the hubs properly lubed. These need to be checked regularly to make sure they are full of grease. Most bearing protectors can be tested by simply pressing the spring-loaded piston. If the hub has adequate grease, it will rock back and forth slightly, but it will not fully compress. Refer to the trailer owner’s manual for specific instructions.
Watch your speed.
When towing, accelerate slowly and steadily from complete stops. Maintain constant speeds - if the speed limit is 55 mph, maintain this speed. In interstate driving where the posted speed limit is 65 to 75 mph, Heeren recommends driving 5 mph slower than the posted speed limit.
Iowa-based ShoreLand’r Trailers makes boating, ATV, motorcycle, PWC, agricultural and utility trailers. For more trailering tips, visit www.shorelandr.com.