Most are, you haven’t given much thought to your truck, SUV, or crossover’s towing capacity unless your job needs you to use it for daily towing. Maybe you’re trying to decide between renting a trailer to move your stuff from one house to another or buying a boat for some summertime pleasure. No matter why you want to tow something behind your car, it’s critical to understand what your towing capability actually entails. You may avoid placing unnecessary strain on your tow rig and keep you and your family safe by knowing how each part of your car affects your overall tow rating.
Simply defined, your vehicle’s towing capability refers to the weight it can draw. Remember that it doesn’t merely refer to the items fastened to the back hitch. Most manufacturers fail to mention that your towing capability is a combination of the weight of your trailer and everything within or on it, as well as the weight of your vehicle’s occupants, cargo, and gasoline. In some circumstances, it might be more beneficial to check your tow vehicle’s gross combined weight rating or GCWR. It includes all of the criteria mentioned above in a single, simple-to-read figure.
How, therefore, is your towing capability determined? Engineers determine a vehicle’s towing capacity by looking at five critical regions of the vehicle.
The beating heart of your car can only do so much. To that end, one of the critical determinants of how much you can tow is how much horsepower and torque your engine generates. Large V-8 engines typically have a lot of torque. However, those motors typically have lower gas mileage than their smaller counterparts. Be honest with yourself when searching for a vehicle to tow. There is no need for a 10,000-pound towing capability and an engine that consumes more fuel than necessary if you just want to tow a 1,500-pound pop-up camper.
Your transmission type is as crucial to your ability to haul as your engine is, if not more so. Modern automatics can be equally capable as their manual counterparts, although manual gearboxes are frequently considered the best option for cheap towing heavy loads. What you can tow with your car will mostly depend on the gearing inside and how robust the internal gears are. A transmission cooler and temperature gauge are wise purchases if you intend to perform any significant pulling for extended periods or up steep inclines.
Whatever you are towing, every component of your drivetrain, including your axles, is put under additional stress. The rear differential determines the final gear ratio of a rear-wheel drive vehicle, which can further increase or decrease the vehicle’s towing capacity depending on the number. The more you can haul in the end, the stronger your axles and rear differential will need to be.
The first half of the equation merely involves getting your car moving. You’ll eventually need to slow down, and if your car’s brakes are inadequate, you might not be able to manage the added weight of a large trailer. Although it is technically conceivable, improving your car’s brake system would be prohibitively expensive. If there is where your towing formula falls short, you might just need to consider purchasing a more durable vehicle.
Your vehicle’s frame is the last essential component of the towing capacity. Tough, body-on-frame-designed automobiles are often better able to handle towing damage than unibody versions since it handles all of the demands of pulling and halting the trailer behind you. How much you can tow behind you will also depend on the size of your SUV or crossover’s wheelbase, as vehicles with short wheelbases are more challenging to handle when towing than those with large wheelbases.
When it comes time to attach the trailer, your vehicle’s hitch may be challenging, even if you have the world’s most potent tow vehicle. Based on the trailer’s gross trailer weight rating, or GTWR, hitches are divided into four classes and are classified as follows:
Please don’t push your luck and surpass it now that you thoroughly understand what factors into your vehicle’s towing capacity. Doing so will only reduce your car’s lifespan and endanger you and other drivers on the road. If you respect the towing capacity of your car, it will be simple and trouble-free.