How to Tie a Car Down to a Trailer

by Russell Wood

Tying down a vehicle to a trailer takes a little bit of technique and a little bit of know-how, but if you do it correctly, you'll never have to worry about losing a vehicle on the road. This process takes no tools or special equipment other than tie-down straps, and it should take about 20 minutes to do.

1

Load the vehicle onto the trailer. This usually involves driving the car up a ramp onto the trailer. Make sure the vehicle is as centered side to side as possible, and put it in nose first if you can. This will give you a better towing experience.

2

Loop the ratchet tie-down strap across a front suspension point such as the lower control arms, and loop it around, hooking it to itself in the process.

3

Connect the other end of the ratchet tie-down strap, the one with the hook, to the anchor on the trailer. There should be some slack in the line.

4

Tighten the strap so that there is a little slack in the line. Make sure that when you're ratcheting the strap tight you don't twist the strap itself. If you do, it will be a pain to undo from the vehicle.

5

Repeat this process to the other corner on the front end.

6

Hook the ratchet tie-down strap around the rear axle of the vehicle or another strong suspension point, and connect the other end to the opposite side's tie down anchor on the trailer.

7

Repeat step 6 on the opposite side of the trailer, creating an "X" shape with the tie downs. Tighten them both down as tight as possible.

8

Tighten the front ratchet tie down straps as tight as possible. This will create a tension in the lines and won't allow any of them to slip.

9

Wrap up any excess strap around the ratcheting assembly and tie it off to itself.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.