first time towing... tips?

Nov 5, 2003
Shippensburg PA
Towing the 40 to the Outer Banks next Saturday.
My first time towing the 40! I have towed large, heavy horse trailers with this GMC before, so I should be OK with the actual driving.

I'm asking for suggestions on loading and little things that might be overlooked like tying the soft doors closed :rolleyes: (saw THAT one before! brand new doors flying away into the wild blue...)

Using an appropriately sized trailer that mainly hauls tractors. dual axles and brakes of course.

what does everyone do while loading? drive it forward until you see the trailer settle back level? a little more? You need some tongue weight, but how much?

using the big straps, I've heard crossed in back but not in front?

thanks to everyone for the tips!

Looking forward to the nice leisurely drive down (while keeping all the tread on my 35's!!!)


1000+ Club
Feb 9, 2006
East Texas
When I towed my 40 home, I used a HD trailer and a dodge diesel.

I pulled it forward until I saw the tow truck "squat" just a little. I think that it is more of a feeling than a science. You just want there to be a little tongue weight or you will have a squirrely trailer.:eek:

This is how far forward mine was on an 18' trailer.

I have pulled numerous vehicles on trailers and I can tell you from a personal opinion that I like to use straps on the axles only and leave the towed vehicles suspension to bounce up and down. Some people tie off to the frame and ratchet down extremely hard to where they "load" the towed vehicles suspension. That causes you to feel all the movement in your tow truck.

I pulled the 40 onto the trailer and left it in neutral and no parking brake (level surface obviously). Then I used two straps on the front to keep it from moving backwards at all and one strap on the back because that was all I had of the big HD straps. If I had 4 straps I woud have used them. My trailer has the rails all around it so I knew the 40 would not come off forward so that is why I used two in the front and one in the back.

Just my .02!

Jan 22, 2003
Ideally 10% of the total towed load is tongue weight. If you use chains, go down through the pocket and back up to hook the chain (Thanks Poser!) so that if the load slackens up the weight of the hook will keep it hooked. If it gets squirrley, either power out of it or hit the trailer brakes first.
That's all I know...........................;)



Rust Patrol
Mar 9, 2007
HUH ? Oh..... CT
All of the above advice is excellent. The only thing I can add is to check the trailer connection to make sure the ball or pintle is locked on. I tow all the time and have caught myself a few times. It's easy to forget stuff if you are talking to someone, etc.

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