What Kind of Towing Capacity Do You Need?

Many lightweight vehicles are capable of hauling a trailer, and a light trailer, like JIMGLO’s enclosed or flatbed, means there is  less strain on your towing vehicle. Going above the weight recommendations for your tow vehicle could mean anything from voided warranties to swaying to serious accidents. With that in mind, how do you know how much towing capacity you need?

Know Your Tow Vehicle
You can find your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity by viewing the owner’s manual. The manual will have detailed instructions, limitations, and tips for safely towing using your vehicle. Compare this information with the certification plate in the vehicle, usually on the driver’s door. If you have lost your owner’s manual, many manufacturers will allow you to download free copies.

You will want to know the combined gross weight rating (CGWR) of your vehicle. This is the maximum weight allowed for the vehicle, cargo, passengers, and trailer. Subtracting the loaded weight of the vehicle from the CGWR will tell you the towing capacity.

Weighing In
While trailers will have a vehicle identification number (VIN) plate somewhere on the frame, the only way to be sure of your gross trailer weight is to load it and weigh it. Before you go on your trip, get your loaded tow vehicle and trailer to a vehicle scale. These are sometimes available at state highway weigh stations, commercial truck stops, or refuse transfer stations.

Your tongue weight—the force on the back of your tow vehicle by the trailer—will need to be measured differently. This number needs to be 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight and measured on a level surface. Towing supply shops and trailer dealers will have specialized tongue weight scales that you can use. You can also use a bathroom scale for tongue weights that you anticipate to be less than 300 pounds. If your tongue weight is too high, you can shift weight around inside of your trailer; in most cases, 60 percent of the trailer weight should be in the front and 40 percent in the back.

Haul Your Gear with JIMGLO Trailers
Many of the car trailers out there have problems, but JIMGLO has worked from the ground up to solve them. Our innovative, lightweight car trailers make loading and hauling your car a breeze. Between our advanced technology and sleek designs, you’ll tow your car in safety and style. Get in touch online, by phone at 520.384.4564, or toll-free at 888.5.JIMGLO today.

Tim Norris