Top 10 towing tips, no matter what brand of tow vehicle you drive.
1. Stay Within Your Limits
• Review the towing capacity of your specific vehicle and ensure it is capable of handling the weight of your trailer and cargo you are towing.
• Confirm your trailer hitch is capable of handling your trailer’s loaded weight. Your owner’s manual will show the maximum tongue weight it can safely support.
2. Ensure You Are Not Overloading the Tow Vehicle
• Ensure that the vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), vehicle weight when empty, and the payload, the weight of all people and cargo in the vehicle, and the tongue weight of the trailer, do not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), the maximum operating weight of a vehicle.
• Do not exceed the GVWR maximum load capacity, which can be found on the Certification/Tire label on the driver’s side B-pillar or door.
3. Know the Appropriate Tongue Weight
• Check the trailer owner’s manual to determine the downward force that the tongue of the trailer exerts on the hitch. This is usually between 10-15 percent of the total weight of the loaded trailer, but specific trailers (such as boat trailers) may fall outside of this range. Correct tongue load is critical in avoiding trailer sway.
4. Pack Your Trailer Properly
• Remember to stay within the trailer’s maximum load capacity which is shown on the trailer’s load capacity label.
• Ensure weight is evenly distributed on the left and right sides of the boat.
• Properly secure all gear in the boat to prevent the load from shifting.