Towing a rental trailer in winter can be an intimidating task for many drivers--especially when traveling long distances. Knowing how to stay safe on slippery, snowy, icy winter roads can help you have a smooth, low-stress journey. The following tips will help you on your journey.

Familiarize Yourself with the Trailer Brakes

The brakes on your rental trailer will become very important when driving on slippery winter roads. Before you set out on a long road trip with your rental trailer, familiarize yourself with the functionality of the brakes. Test drive the trailer and towing vehicle together on roads near your home until you are used to the way the brakes handle.

Keep Your Dates Flexible

Make a point to keep your travel dates flexible. Weather-related delays are common at this time of year. Sticking to deadlines and specific travel dates can make you feel pressured to drive when it's not safe.

Keep the Weight In Front

On slippery roads, it's safer if your towing vehicle is heavier than the trailer. If you're uncertain about how the weight of one vehicle compares to the other vehicle, put sand bags or extra weight in the trunk of the vehicle in front. This will help ensure that the extra weight will be in the front instead of in back.

Beef Up the Tires

When driving over hazardous roads covered in ice and snow, use chains on the trailer and on the vehicle doing the towing. You may also consider using studded tires on the front vehicle, but keep in mind that studded tires aren't legal in all states, and those states that do permit studded tires often regulate their usage. Familiarize yourself with the laws of each state along your route before using this tires of this kind.

Avoid Steep Inclines

If the terrain between your starting point and destination includes a lot of hills and steep inclines, plan your route carefully to avoid the roads with the steepest grades. This could require you to drive out of your way, but unless you're already experienced driving a rental trailer under these conditions, this could help you avoid accidents.

Know When to Get Off the Road

When driving your chosen route, stay tuned to local radio stations for weather updates. When bad driving conditions become an issue, find somewhere to pull over until the roads are safe again.

For more information, talk to the representative from your rental agency. He or she may be able to answer your questions and give you more advice.