Drivers may haul trailers for a variety of reasons. Some may haul trailers on vacation, while others may do so when moving to a new home. Regardless of why drivers tow, it’s important to keep certain things in mind before hitching up.

1. Use the right hitch. If you’re not paying attention, you may not immediately recognize if you have purchased an incorrectly sized hitch, but that might become apparent when the trailer is detached during a ride. Your vehicle owner’s manual may suggest which size hitch to use. If not, consult with an expert at your local dealership.

2. Make sure the trailer is level. When attached to a vehicle, trailers should be level. Trailers that do not appear level or those that seem to be rising up and down on otherwise flat roadways should be inspected if not brought to the attention of a mechanic.

3. Drive more carefully. Discomfort or inexperience may propel many drivers to be extra careful when towing a trailer, but even drivers with significant experience towing trailers should keep greater distance between their vehicles and other cars and trucks sharing the road. That’s because braking takes longer for heavier vehicles, such as those towing trailers.

4. Practice turns. Even if you’ve been towing campers, boats or trailers, it’s important to practice when you get new equipment. Going through various situation in a low stress environment can help you be ready when the real time comes. Practice your technique in empty parking lots before hitting the road with a new trailer, camper or vehicle.

5. Consult an expert. It can be hard to admit when we need a little assistance, but it’s better to have a little bit of embarrassment in the short term than to get on the road and have a major and, potentially costly, embarrassment in the long term. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from professional drivers, or even experienced friends or neighbors who have been towing large trailers or campers for a long time.

6. Have the right vehicle for the job. The Ford F-150 sets the high standards for light-duty full-size pickups with its lightweight yet high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy cab and bed — the same high-grade 6000 series used in military and industrial applications. The results? Best-in-class payload and towing capability. The Ford F-150 comes with a six-engine lineup including power stroke Turbo Diesel so that you can make sure your F-150 fits your towing needs.

Drive on over to Dandridge and talk to the knowledgeable sales team about which vehicle is the right one for your towing needs. They are fully versed on the entire Ford line and are happy to help steer you in the right direction.

-Sponsored by Rusty Wallace Ford.