How To Connect Your Trailer
CONNECTING YOUR TRAILER
The first thing you are going to have to do is familiarize yourself with your boat trailer. Check the lights, the tongue, the jack, and understand how your particular boat will be hooked up. Pay special attention to the size of the ball your trailer hitch requires (usually marked on the top or side of the tongue of the trailer hitch) and make sure you have the appropriate size ball on your truck. Using too small of a ball can result in losing your trailer on the highway – not something you want to risk. No doubt there are many standard features when it comes to boat trailers, but there is some variability, especially with aging trailers. We can’t account for all of these discrepancies, so do yourself a favor and just take a peak before you get started.
Once you have familiarized yourself with your boat trailer and ensured that you have the correct size ball, make sure you use your jack to prop up your boat enough that the hitch from your truck will fit under the tongue of the trailer.
Then, you are going to have to back up your truck enough so that it lines up in center of the boat hitch. Once lined up, you will usually have some wiggle room with your jack. Next, lower the tongue onto the hitch using the jack. Once down, you can usually hear a “drop” sound where the tongue has properly attached to the hitch.
Next, it’s time to secure the connection and connect the chains. One way to assure the tongue is low enough to the hitch is to analyze the top “open circle” that is apparent on many boat trailers. If it’s flush to the ball of the hitch, then you are good to go.
After that, lock your trailer hitch and add your safety pin. Finally, attach the safety chains (I like them crisscrossed so if the tongue would ever fall the chains would catch it), connect your lights, and attach your safety break cable. Remember, for clarification on these details, you should refer to the video.
Finally, double check your lights, blinkers, and give your trailer a good look over. Before leaving, the motor should be trimmed up and supported, your jack should be up and locked, and double check to make sure your lights are secure.
Then you should be good to go!
1. Familiarize yourself with the trailer and ensure you have the right size ball for your trailer hitch
2. Make sure your jack is all the way up before backing up your truck
3. Back up your truck
4. Drop down your tongue with your trailer jack
5. Make sure the trailer hitch and truck ball are flush (make sure it’s all the way down)
6. Once achieved, latch the trailer down
7. Add pin in tongue to lock the latch
8. Connect the trailer lights to the truck
9. Attach safety chains & break safety pin
10. Check your lights and blinkers
11. Make sure boat is tied down to the trailer and that your motor and jack are locked up!
12. Before hitting the road, do a final check to make sure your jack is locked up, your motor is up and secure, and your boat is secured to the trailer with working lights