How to Disconnect a Trailer

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From rental trailers to fifth wheel RVs, there are several kinds of trailers that we see on the road.   If you will be towing, you will need to know how to disconnect a trailer.  The basic principles for disconnecting a trailer are similar among the different types.

Let me share with you how to do this the easy way.  Here’s how to disconnect a U-Haul rental trailer, including tips to ensure you never have an accident while performing the task.

1.  The trailer and tow vehicle need to be parked on a level surface. You don’t want to be parked on an incline or decline and make  sure that the trailer is not slanting to the right or left.   Failure to do so will make disconnecting the trailer more difficult and result in the trailer shifting back and forth and rolling during the unhitching process.

2.  Put the tow vehicle in park, turn off the motor and set the parking brake.

2.  Place blocks or wedges under the trailer to keep it from rolling during the unhitching process. Place them in front of and behind the tires.

3.  Disconnect the safety chains from the hitch structure and disconnect the wires for the trailer lighting.

4.  Loosen the coupler by pushing down on the latch (C) while turning the hand wheel (D) counterclockwise.  As you loosen the hand wheel, the ball clamp will drop.  Stop and give the trailer a push, pushing it toward your vehicle. You are then ready to attempt to lift the trailer using the handle on the tongue.  If the coupler doesn’t release from the hitch ball, loosen the hand wheel some more, give the trailer a push and try again until you are able to release the coupler from the hitch ball.

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 5.  Once the trailer is disconnected from the tow vehicle, you can place the coupler on the ground, on a tongue stand or on a block like structure to keep the coupler off the ground.

That’s it!  You now have the knowledge to disconnect a U-Haul trailer.  Keep in mind that U-Haul locations are happy to connect, disconnect, and check the connection for all of their rental trailers.

Do you have any tips on how you disconnect a trailer? Are you a towing expert? What do you tow? Let us know in the comments below.