Vehicle Checklist Before You Take That Snowmobile Vacation

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Sleds loaded, packing gear, excitement through the roof for the snowmobile vacation you are about to take. Boots, check. Goggles, check. Trailer…not sure. It should be good to go, right? Checklists are great to have as to not forget anything, but are you going through a vehicle/trailer checklist before you head out? If not, you should.

According to estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 1975, there have been more than 1.3 million accidents involving vehicles pulling trailers in the US. Most of these accidents, in the words of South Carolina Highway Patroller Sgt. Beres, “…are caused by human error. When I worked the road, I saw people using the wrong size ball – 1 7/8-inch ball on a 2-inch trailer hitch – or not using the two safety chains.”snowmobile safety

Excitement to head out the door and get on the road can be a blinding downfall. Details can be forgotten, steps missed, and the results could be deadly. The team at SnoWest Snowmobile Magazine encourages travelers to use the following checklist to help you hit the road with confidence, and get to those powder hills in safety.

  1. Ensure tires are properly inflated and in good shape. Look for any visible concerns such as nails or large chunks missing.
  2. Top off fluid levels where needed, including gas tank, coolant, oil, wiper fluid, etc.
  3. Check all of the lights, both front and rear, turn signals and reverse lights. Ensure the trailer lights have a good connection.
  4. Check your brakes, ensuring there is plenty of life left on the pads.
  5. Ensure that the brake controller is connected properly.
  6. Ensure all items being towed are tied down, both large and small.
  7. Ensure you have the right sized hitch ball, and that it securely fitted.
  8. Ensure the coupler or socket is locked over the ball with the pin and clip.
  9. Ensure the safety chains on the trailer are secured to the tow hitch.
  10. Check the tongue jack to make sure it is fully up and locked in place.
  11. Check and double check trailer connections.

It is always better to have these checks and double checks done a day or two before the trip. Last minute checks can often be hasty and less than thorough. If serious issues exist, your trip may be delayed, or even cancelled. Do your preparation, check off the list, and you’ll be sure to have a great time on your snowmobile vacation.




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