When you have a lot to tow, it’s normal to want to take a few trips as possible to avoid having to take tons of trips. Instead, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what limits your vehicle has to avoid breaking down or possibly damaging your trailer.
These are the top things to consider for your vehicle’s towing ability and what can be changed to boost it a little.
Your Truck’s Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating
Every vehicle that can tow gets a GCVWR. This is the gross combined vehicle weight rating and lets you know the maximum amount of pounds your truck can handle when it’s loaded, and a trailer is attached and loaded as well. The maximum amount in the USA is 80,000 pounds, but most personal trucks can’t tow more than 15,000. If you don’t have your owner’s manual for your truck anymore, you can look up your vehicle’s information on the manufacturer’s website to find out how much your truck can handle.
The Type of Hitch Your Truck Uses
If you’re ready to tow as much as possible, it’s vital that you get a good hitch for your vehicle. A heavy-duty pintle hitch can take on a lot of weight and pull a lot of stress off of your shoulders.
If you’re handling large loads, consider looking for a class five trailer hitch, which has the highest weight ratings and can offer as much as 20,000 pounds to your towing weight. These are best used on full-size pickups and commercial trucks.
Local Laws and Ordinances
There are laws depending on your state or city that will tell you how much you can tow by size and weight. In most states, this is usually no taller than 14 feet and no wider than eight and a half feet, with a combined length of no longer than 65 feet: but it does vary slightly in some states, so it’s a good idea to research your area before you sign on to haul anything.
Although your vehicle may be able to handle these sizes or lengths, going beyond it might be dangerous for other drivers on the road.
The Age and Quality of Your Truck
If your vehicle is older and has issues with items like the suspension, or your exhaust, you won’t be able to tow as much as you would otherwise. You can make changes like upgrading these items, but it’s vital to know that if you’re planning on towing something that’s close to your truck’s limit and you’re driving a 20-year-old truck that’s struggling: you might not be able to haul that close to your limit. Have your truck checked out by a professional first to ensure that it can handle the types of loads you want to haul.
Towing Safely is of Vital Importance
Although you may think your vehicle can take on far more than your GCVWR or that your suspension can handle more than others may expect, it’s vital that you avoid trying to tow more than you can handle. It’s better to take multiple trips than to break down on the highway.