Troubleshooting Some Common Problems With a Towing Trailer

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If you use a trailer to tow a boat, or for holding supplies for your business, you'll always want to ensure that every part of the trailer is in good working order. If a trailer's lights are not working, or if the trailer itself does not remain securely attached to the vehicle, you could face expensive citations, and of course be putting yourself and other drivers on the road in danger. Note a few tips on how to troubleshoot common problems with a trailer you may be towing, so you know it's always in good repair, and know that you'll be safe when it's in use.

Dim lights

If the lights of the trailer actually work but aren't bright enough, or dim when you engage the turn indicator or brakes, this is often caused by a faulty ground wire, or by rust and corrosion along the wiring of the trailer. If ground wires are not connected to the lights properly, this wire won't allow for proper electrical current to flow. In turn, the lights won't function as they should, and they'll appear dim. Tightening the ground wires and their connections can restore electrical power.

Rust and corrosion in the sockets of the lights, or along the trailer where the running lights are located, can also interfere with electrical currents. Examine the light sockets and the body of the trailer where running lights are mounted and remove any noticeable rust, and this may restore the electrical current, so lights can illuminate properly.


If you turn corners and the trailer you're towing tends to lift one tyre off the ground or pull to one side, this could be caused by uneven loading of the trailer. Note if you tend to put heavy items on one side or the other, as dispersing your towed weight evenly can correct this problem.

However, the trailer may also have the wrong axles for the load you're towing. If the trailer only has one axle running along the middle of the trailer body, the weight of your load may be pushing down too much on one side of the trailer when you turn, so the other side lifts or resists. It can be good to invest in a trailer with more than one axle, or with added tyres along each axles, so that the weight of your load is evenly dispersed and supported. This can prevent lifting, jerking, pulling, and other issues that are common with lightweight, single-axle trailers.

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