tow vehicle

Check the owner's manual and manufacturer's guide to determine if your desired SUV, minivan, truck, pickup or passenger car can tow a trailer.  You need to consider the weight of the trailer you wish to tow and match that with the tow vehicle's engine capabilities.  Will the tow vehicle stuggle under the weight of the trailer?  Can the tow vehicle sustain towing the weight of the trailer up and down hills for considerable distance.  The family car may be able to tow a trailer for short distances, but what about your holidays which may require you to travel thousands of miles?  Choosing the incorrect trailer for your tow vehicle or vice versa can become a costly mistake.  Replacing a transmission every few months or even voiding your vehicle warranty can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Do your homework !


Your selection of tow vehicle may depend on a number of things about the trailer you wish to tow.  Trailers generally fall into four main categories - flat bed or open trailers, enclosed trailers, boat trailers and recreational vehicle trailers.  The recreational vehicle trailers include travel trailers, folding camper trailers and fifth-wheel trailers.  Off road trailers may be the same size as their on road counterparts, but don't be deceived.  These off road trailers can be extremely heavy due to the heavy duty components required to enable them to sustain rough terrain.

Once you have established the capabilities of your chosen tow vehicle, you next need to investigate a compatible hitch system.  Some vehicle manufacturers specially design towing packages for particular vehicles, but if you wish to purchase a non genuine tow package, you need to make sure the equipment is not only compatible but capable.  Towing packages may include things such as brakes, suspension, alternator, radiator, engine-oil cooler and axles/wheels/tires.

They may include the actual trailer hitch receiver, but rarely do they include the drawbar or ball mount. 

trailer hitch receiver

ball mount


hitch ball

Varying towing packages may be on offer from different manufacturers depending on the type and size of the trailer you wish to tow.  Not all tow vehicle are required to have extended side-view mirrors.  If the trailer you are towing is narrower than your tow vehicle, these mirrors may not be required as you are able to see approaching traffic.

other articles that may interest you
towing terms
tow hitch
weight ratings
sway prevention
trailer tires
backing up
weight distribution
scale weights
trailer wiring
trailer towing
tongue weight
trailer sway
loading the trailer
general maintenance



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