The first place to start when considering your set up of a tow vehicle. The truth is many pickup trucks, SUVs vans and some cars can be set up to tow an RV. The three things you must know are the towing capacity of the tow vehicle and the size and weight of the tow vehicle.
Never just take the word of a salesman or a mechanic for the facts. You will always want to double check the manufacture’s specifications on both the tow vehicle and the trailer for safety. With the large numbers of recreational vehicle trailers for sale, not to mention fifth wheel trailers and pop-up camper trailers. The world of RVs comes in every size and weight category you could ever imagine.
For the vehicle you already own, refer to your owner’s manual for the manufacture’s guide lines for towing capacity. The areas of concern are the tow rating, maximum tongue weight and the trailer loaded weight. These specifications can be found in the owner’s manual of your vehicle.
Another area of concern is the wear and tear on the tow vehicle pushing the limits of its tow capacity will cause it to wear out much faster. The added expense of costly repairs, brakes and tires for a vehicle being pushed to its limits are high. For longer term use size your towing trailer for half to 3/4s of the capacity of the tow vehicle. All dealerships have printed towing specifications for the vehicles they sell. You will also find what additional equipment that may be needed to tow certain size trailers.
Many people will make the mistake of thinking just because there friend’s ½ ton pickup can pull a trailer the size you want means yours will. Many vehicles equipped with a tow package from the manufacture will be able to tow larger loads than a vehicle without a tow package.
A manufacture’s tow package will include a lot more than just a trailer hitch as compared to a standard model. Here is a list of some of the upgrades you can expect to find in a tow package.
- Transmission oil cooler
- Engine oil cooler
- Heavy duty radiator
- Heavy duty battery
- Heavy duty flasher system
- Upgraded wiring harness
- Axle ratio and wheels and tires for towing
There is a lot more included in a towing package than the trailer hitches, some may even have electric trailer brake controllers. So never think the standard package a vehicle comes with is built for towing.
Any trailer small large the front part is called the tongue. Every tongue has a coupler that the ball on the tow vehicle is inserted into and then locked onto securely.
Not all tow packages are created equal as some may require some additional equipment, for instance. For large trailers extended side view mirrors are needed to see approaching traffic that comes up on either side of the trailer.