On the Road Towing Necessities

On the Road Towing Necessities

Whether towing your boat locally or across the country like the AFTCO Freshwater Pro Team, unexpected trailer issues can swiftly derail your road trip. Being stranded unprepared without cell service only amplifies the frustration. Preparing a towing kit with a few essentials can save time and money, ensuring a quicker return to the road.

Bassmaster Open angler and Bass Talk Live host Matt Pangrac covers over 25,000 miles in a year towing his Best On Tour wrapped boat across the United States. After facing various towing challenges, Pangrac assembled the ultimate towing kit. Pangrac admits he’s not the most mechanically versed guy, so consider this a beginner’s ultimate towing kit.

Matt Pangrac on bass boat

"When I first decided to fish all of the Bassmaster Opens, I knew that I would be on the road a ton and that I would need to be prepared to handle any towing-related issues that might occur," Pangrac said. Most items listed below will fit into a large plastic bin for quick access.

  • Basic Tool Kit
  • Can of Blaster PB-50
  • Electrical Tape
  • Fix-A-Flat
  • Flashlight, Headlight, and Hanging LED Light
  • Proper size lug wrench for your trailer tires and spare
  • Spare set of wheel bearings
  • Spare trailer light bulbs
  • Tire Changing Ramp
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Warning Triangle and Road Flares
  • Wheel Chocks
  • Wooden 4x4 or 4x6
  • Work Gloves

"You can certainly upgrade your towing kit to make life easier when you have an issue. Investing more upfront will help you save money in the long run, and believe me, I've learned this the hard way," Pangrac said. The other tools he suggests adding to your lineup are listed below.

  • Battery Powered Impact Wrench
  • Floor Style Jack (Adequately sized to handle your boat and trailer)
  • Grease Gun (Especially if you don’t have a closed bearing hub system)
  • Jump Starter Pack
  • Roadside Assistance Membership (Recommend BoatUS for on the water assistance)
  • Portable Air Compressor

Preparing ahead of time helps provide peace of mind on the road. With your towing kit secure and ready, it’s time to inspect your vehicle, boat, and trailer. By checking these six areas listed below, you’ll be all set to hit the road.

  1. Check the tire pressure on your towing vehicle and boat trailer especially if you live somewhere where the temperature changes frequently.
  2. Inspect your trailer lights and make sure the trailer brake lights are operational.
  3. Ensure your boat is secured to the trailer with its tie-downs at the transom and connection at the bow eye.
  4. Make sure all your wheel bearings are lubricated. If they don’t have lubrication, it can cause your wheels to lock up which could cause a serious accident on the road.
  5. Equally distribute your gear throughout your boat’s compartments, and make sure everything is secure so it doesn’t fly out on the highway. If all your gear and tackle are in the front compartments, your trailer will have too much weight in the front, putting extra pressure on the hitch.
  6. Check the trailer tongue weight. The trailer tongue is what connects your trailer and your towing vehicle. Too much weight on the hitch will cause the rear tires of your towing vehicle to drag, making it harder to steer. Also, too much weight on the back of the trailer can lift your towing vehicle’s rear wheels off the ground, making your trailer fishtail. Generally, the tongue weight of your trailer should be about 7-10% of the total weight of your trailer.

    With your boat and trailer ready to go, all that's left are snacks for the road. "When it comes to long road trips, there are a few more must-have items for me," mentioned Pangrac. "Sunflower seeds, Reese's dipped pretzels, and extra phone chargers are top priorities. I'm a road snack guy, and I constantly lose my phone charger!"

    These towing essentials will keep you covered on the road and help get you on the water faster.

    Towing Boat