Your Guide To Towing Know Before You Tow

Your Guide To Towing Know Before You Tow

If you love to​ camp, hike, fish, water ski and enjoy the great outdoors; chances are there will come a​ time when you want to​ tow a​ boat or​ camping trailer. Know before you tow with this guide to​ towing.

Here are some terms you should be familiar with and what you need to​ check. The Base Curb Weight + Cargo Weight + Passenger Weight = GVW or​ Gross Vehicle Weight. The GVW + Loaded Trailer Weight = GCW or​ Gross Combination Weight.

The GVW must not exceed the GVWR which can be found on the safety Compliance Certification label. The GVWR is​ the maximum weight allowed on a​ fully loaded vehicle. This includes passengers and cargo. Once you have this information, you will be able to​ figure out what size trailer a​ vehicle can tow.

There are two different types of​ hitches on the market. a​ weight carrying hitch is​ common for small to​ medium size trailers. Use a​ good weight carrying hitch that properly distributes the weight. You’ll find a​ label on the hitch that provides the weight carrying and weight distributing capacity of​ the hitch. Don’t exceed the rating.

The weight distributing hitch uses a​ hitch platform to​ distribute the tongue load to​ all the wheels of​ the towing vehicle and trailer. it​ is​ the required type of​ hitch for most Class III and IV trailers. This type of​ hitch is​ welded or​ bolted to​ the frame of​ the vehicle and it​ has equalizing arms that are connected from the hitch to​ the trailer’s frame.

Besides the GVWR and the correct type of​ hitch, you also need to​ make sure your braking system is​ adequate. if​ your load is​ more than 1500 pounds, the law requires a​ separate braking system. There are two types on the market.

Electronically controlled brakes provide both automatic and manual control of​ the trailer brakes. The tow vehicle needs to​ be equipped with a​ controlling device and requires some wiring. Surge brakes are independent and are activated by a​ master cylinder that is​ located at​ the junction of​ the trailer tongue and hitch. Make sure your braking system conforms with all legal requirements.

The trailer will also need to​ be equipped with trailer lights that meet government regulations. Do not connect the trailer lights directly to​ the vehicle’s lighting system. They need to​ be installed with a​ proper wiring harness. See your dealer to​ ensure you have the correct wiring harness for your vehicle.

Safety chains should always be used when towing. They provide a​ connection between the trailer and the vehicle should the hitch fail. Cross the chains under the trailer tongue to​ stop the tongue from connecting with the ground if​ the hitch fails, and leave only enough slack to​ allow for a​ full turn.

A trailer is​ a​ great investment. it​ will take you from the mountains to​ the valleys and from the river to​ the lakes. if​ you haven’t towed before it’s natural to​ feel overwhelmed about choosing a​ vehicle and trailer to​ tow safely. This guide to​ towing will have you confidently towing in​ no time!

Your Guide To Towing Know Before You Tow

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