Follow These Guidelines Before Using Your Vehicle For Towing
One of the benefits of having a vehicle is that you can haul personal belongings across states or if going on a long road trip. As such, many motorists hitch items such as trailers to their cars as they travel or move houses. Unfortunately, not everybody understands how to hitch and tow valuables, which often leads to accidents. So, before you transport your valuables, you should learn about the hauling process. Here are four things you should know about towing your vehicle.
Determine the Vehicle's Ability
Your vehicle's capacity is the weight it can move without compromising your safety on the road. Ultimately, every vehicle manufacturer tells you the heaviest load you can hitch to your vehicle. Note that going beyond it will cause damage to some vehicle components. For example, you might end up with engine issues, misaligned wheels, and problems with the suspension. Additionally, your vehicle may become unstable on the road, which increases the chances of causing an accident. On the other hand, most people don't know how to interpret the figures to ensure safe towing. So, if you don't have a vehicle manual, you can check the manufacturer's website for details like the model type and capacity.
Determine Your Vehicle's Gross Weight Rating
The vehicle's gross weight determines the maximum haul capacity. Note that the gross number includes the vehicle's weight, people, and luggage. In addition, you must also consider the tongue weight of the trailer you're using. As such, the total weight of these components cannot exceed the gross vehicle weight rating. If it does, you will be towing under unsafe conditions.
Find Out the Load's Weight
The weight of what you're towing also determines whether your car will safely tow the luggage. Remember that the weight of the trailer itself and everything you're going to load onto it contributes to the towing capacity. Hence, their added weight should remain within your vehicle's rating. You should also check your hitch and ensure your vehicle can safely use it. In such cases, the website and car forums for your vehicle model are excellent resources for this information.
Handling the Car
It is wise to keep the weight of the trailer and its contents lower than your vehicle's total capacity. This is because your car is easier to maneuver when not loaded to maximum capacity. Moreover, a smaller load has less impact on the vehicle's center of gravity, which keeps it stable on the road.
If you are unsure about hauling your belongings, consult a professional tow operator before hitching a trailer onto your vehicle. They can help determine whether the weight and vehicle capacity will allow you to safely tow the trailer to your destination.