Ready, set, tow! But wait . . . Before you hit the road, do you have the right vehicle to carry what you need?
Let’s go over what criteria you should consider when looking for a towing vehicle, including the numbers you need to know, what tech features can improve your experience, and some suggestions for vehicles known for their towing abilities.
Some things you need to know about your towing vehicle include:
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
- Towing capacity
- Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)
When you’re browsing for a vehicle, look for these ratings in the owner’s manual or informational brochures.
If you know what kind of trailer you’re going to be towing, find these specifications to look for a vehicle that can handle the load:
- Curb weight
- Hitch/tongue weight
You can find a guide to calculating these numbers here.
Why all these numbers? In one word, safety. Here are a few important points to keep in mind:
- The towing capacity must be greater than the trailer GVWR.
- The trailer’s curb weight and the hitch weight count against the vehicle’s payload. Even if your vehicle has a heavy towing capacity, your remaining payload may be decreased significantly if you plan on carrying a lot in your vehicle, including passengers.
- The tongue weight will rest on the rear axle of your vehicle, which may cause it to exceed the rear axle’s GAWR. You can purchase a weight-distribution hitch to spread this weight out evenly.
If you find a vehicle that meets all these requirements, it should be suitable to tow what you need.
Automotive technology has advanced significantly over the years. Now, all kinds of features are available to enhance the safety of your vehicle and improve your overall driving experience.
Some features that can be especially useful when towing include:
- Back-up cameras / multi-camera systems
- Bed view cameras (for trucks)
- Blind-spot detection
- Air suspension
- Electronic trailer sway control
- Towing/extended mirrors
Some of these features can be purchased as add-ons to your vehicle while others are sold on the aftermarket. If the manufacturer of the car you’re interested in offers a towing package, ordering it with your vehicle is certainly convenient, but you can always buy the gear you need on your own. A NAPA Auto Parts expert can help you.
To keep your cargo safe, you’ll also need the following equipment before you can start towing:
You can find all these items at NAPACanada.com. To be matched with products guaranteed to fit, input your vehicle’s details in the top left corner of the webpage.
Trailer Hitch - Receiver Style - Class 3 - Multi-Fit
Top Towing Vehicles
To start compiling your towing vehicle shortlist, check out some of these models that were designed with towing in mind.
Small to Midsize Cars
Don’t forget, successful towing depends on the condition of what you’re pulling! Keep your trailer in good shape with this maintenance routine.
If you’re new to towing, check out this article for some tips to help you tow with confidence. If you encounter an emergency on the road, contact CAA for roadside assistance.
For any questions about picking a towing vehicle or towing accessories, speak to an expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts store.