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One of the benefits of owning a sport utility vehicle is the ability to tow a trailer. But before you haul the boat up for a weekend at the lake, you should understand trailer towing basics so that "the one that got away" is only a fish.

For more information, contact your Honda dealer. You can also consult trailer dealers and manufacturers. To get you started, we culled tips from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Don't forget to check with your state's motor vehicle department for safety tips and regulations specific to your area.

Weighing In
Do not exceed the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating). This is the maximum weight that your vehicle can carry, including driver, passengers and cargo. You can find this information in your owner's manual.
Stay balanced. A trailer is designed so that approximately 10 percent of its gross weight is loaded in front of the front axle. This is called the Trailer Vehicle Hitch or Tongue Load Weight and helps ensure stability for road handling.
Make sure tow vehicle and trailer tires are properly inflated and rated for the maximum weight capacity to be towed.
Do a safety inspection of all components before any trip.

Backing Up
Always remember that when moving in reverse, the trailer will turn in the opposite direction of the tow vehicle. Turn the tow vehicle's wheels to the right to make the trailer go left, and vice versa.
Move the wheel slowly, as sharp steering wheel corrections can cause the trailer to "jackknife" and crash into the tow vehicle.
When steering, place one hand at the bottom of the steering Wheel. The trailer will go in the same direction as your hand when you turn the steering wheel. In other words, move your hand to the right and the trailer will go right, etc.
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