Here’s a tantalizing view of summer adventure in America: The clomp of a trail horse’s hooves on a rocky path deep in the backcountry. Sparkling lake water lapping at the sides of a boat. The buzz of an all-terrain vehicle high above the valley on a dusty mountain road. These are the sounds of summer adventure in America. What do they all have in common?
Some of the best summer activities require a trailer to make them happen. If you have a camper for comfort during those cold mountain nights, if you want to bring horses to the trailhead, if you’re going to be riding ATVs, and if you’re planning on boating at your favorite lake, it’s essential to have quality tires on your trailer. So put your trailer in tow and let’s head into the great American outdoors this summer.
Are You Prepared to Travel with Your Trailer?
The tale of the traveler who’s unprepared is the tale of a terrible trip. Before you take to the road, it’s absolutely essential to be prepared with your trailer.
Consult this list of tips on how to pull a trailer before taking off on your summer adventure:
- Review your state’s Driver’s Handbook to see if there are any road rules about which lane you must be in with your trailer on the interstate
- Perform an equipment check to make sure everything is good working order:
- Check the ball hitch: The tongue of the trailer should be snug on the ball, with the locking mechanism snapped firmly in place, and the lock pin inserted
- Check the chains: You must have two criss-crossing chains connecting your trailer to the vehicle
- Check the tires: Bald or damaged tires are a hazard, and under-inflated tires will slow you down and decrease fuel efficiency
- If tires are bad, get a new set of durable trailer tires that will hold up under adverse conditions and give you better fuel efficiency
- Consult this video on how to change your tires in just 5 minutes
- Check brake lights and signals: There should be electrical wires connecting the trailer to the vehicle
- Practice driving with the trailer in tow in a parking lot or other space
- Practice backing up properly: Turn the wheel in the opposite direction you want the trailer to go, and avoid jackknifing by avoiding sharp turns while backing up
- Practice “overshooting” turns: Give the trailer plenty of room so it doesn’t go off the road when negotiating turns
- Practice long stopping times: It takes longer to stop with a trailer, so give it more time than you’re used to
As long as you double-check equipment and make sure everything is secure, and get your trailer hauling skills down, you’re in good shape. At all times, be aware of how much clearance you need to make it around turns, through tunnels, and under bridges. Put the necessary time, thought, and care into your preparation, and you’ll be on the road stress-free.
Where Are You Taking Your Trailer This Summer?
Our American heritage is one of bountiful nature: gigantic blue lakes, sprawling wilderness, and golden hills that stretch out at the feet of majestic blue mountains. The options are plentiful for fantastic trips with a trailer in tow. With horses, ATVs, and a boat, you can go places you’d never go on foot.
Let’s start out on horseback. These are the animals that made the famous Pony Express of 1860 possible. Without horses, America may well have never become what it is today.
A Great Place to Take Your Horses
Where to begin? The West Coast has one of the most epic trails in the world—The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which spans 2,663 miles from Canada to Mexico. You’ll find an exhilarating journey awaits in Washington State’s Cascade Mountain Range, where a 15-mile section of the PCT straddles the backbone of the mountains in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Starting at Sand Flats Horse Camp, which is quick and easy to access by vehicle, you’ll climb switchbacks for several thousand feet on your steed. At the top of the ridge, the Crest Trail will guide you along mountain ridges through the Norse Peak Wilderness, accompanied by stunning views of great Mount Rainier, an active volcano. You’ll end your ride at Government Meadows Horse Camp.
You can also begin your ride at Government Meadows, which is advised if you want to get to the trail quicker and/or you don’t have a horse that can handle the thousands of vertical feet from Sand Flats to the trail. The Forest Service road up to Government Meadows is 20 miles long and gravelly, so make sure your trailer has the right tires to sustain the trip.
A Great Place to Launch Your Boat
If everyone in your family isn’t a boat-enthusiast, don’t worry. There are so many activities for everyone at Arizona’s Lake Havasu, the options are almost mind-boggling. The main attraction is the lake, with 400 miles of coastline, 60 miles of navigable water, and 300 days of sunshine a year. Lake Havasu is remarkable for having the original London Bridge as one of its attractions. This is a major spring break getaway, but it’s also a boating mecca.
There are many oasis you can only access by boat. In Goose Bay, Friendly Island offers camping and secluded, sandy beaches, barbecue stations, and ramadas. The site is well protected from wind and boat wakes—it’s a great place to relax on the way to you next boating adventure. Likewise, Steamboat Cove has campsites and ample beachfront to get away from the crowds. Or, check out The Sandbar, where boaters beach their watercraft to party and live it up in the sunshine.
Great Places to Ride Your ATV
ATV riding is a hugely popular sport in the US. Stay right here on our blog to find out about the best places for ATV riding. From Tennessee’s Brimstone Recreation Trail, to Utah’s Paiute Trail System, to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, there’s a little bit of every kind of terrain you could ask for.
Just like with a boat, when you’re transporting your ATVs to the site, make sure they’re properly fastened and secured on the trailer. Check your ATV tires before you hit the road, make sure they’re in good shape and properly inflated. Most importantly, get ready to have a blast in the great outdoors this summer!