TOWING WITH CRUISE CONTROL - Is towing a horse trailer with cruise control safe? Not always. Here's what you need to know:
- Cruise control provides both driver comfort by reducing fatigue and improving fuel consumption by reducing sudden accelerations and decelerations. Note that cruise control is intended for roadways without frequent stops and turns. Using cruise control with a well-matched tow vehicle and horse trailer is safest and most effective on flat, straight highways.
- Highway and Interstate speed limits work well within the settings for the use of cruise control. To exceed the limit would not be safe.
- When setting a speed point, remember that trailer tires (ST-Special Trailer) have speed limit maximums. The speed limit is stated in a code on the tire. Generally, the speed limit on ST tires is 65 mph. Do not exceed this limit.
- Always disengage cruise control and drive manually on winding roads so that you can pace your speed through the turns.
- It is unsafe to set a speed point on roads with varying speed limits.
- The towing capacity of a vehicle in relation to the total weight (GVW) of the trailer it is pulling will make a difference in how well cruise control will perform on grades and hills.
- If your transmission starts downshifting (hunting for the right gear) on steep uphill grades, it is safer to disengage the cruise control and drive manually.
- Coming down hills, disengage the cruise control and drive manually. Cruise control will not keep the speed from exceeding the set point.
- Never use cruise control on icy, bumpy, or slick roads.
- Never use cruise control while driving around town.
- If your vehicle has overdrive, check the vehicle manual regarding the use of overdrive with cruise control.
- Be cautious with ABS (Automatic Braking Function). ABS works when cruise control is engaged and will apply the brakes quickly and suddenly if a car or other object moves into your radar range.
- Always choose driving manually over using cruise control in bad weather.
Tom's Trailer Talk "Quick Tips" are provided by EquiSpirit Trailer Co.
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