If you are looking for a vehicle to tow a boat, a caravan or even a trailer, you will be befuddled with lots of choices. Rarely will any tow vehicle shop owner allow you to hook up your trailer or boat and test drive the towing vehicle. The search for right towing vehicle therefore can become an arduous task. You'll have to trust your knowledge about towing vehicle, read the specifications carefully and study the manual properly to come to a decision regarding your vehicle purchase. Some research and effort from your side will help you to choose a proper towing vehicle.
How to Choose the Right Vehicle for Towing
Technological developments have led to growth of plethora of trucks and top rated towing SUVs, enough to make a towing vehicle buyer confused in making the right choice. However, depending on your budget, the weight you are expecting to be carried safely by the towing vehicle and needs of your family, you can choose a good towing vehicle.
To begin the process of choosing a towing vehicle, you have to do a little math. Every vehicle has a standard permissible weight it can carry. It is known as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). You have to calculate the GVWR of the trailer or recreational vehicle (RV) you are going to tow. The sum total of weights of the vehicle, passengers, cargo and fuel add up to GVWR. You must also be aware of the weight of loads you are expecting to carry with you. This may include the combined weights of luggage, gear boxes, passengers and trailer's tongue weight or weight pin. Now add these weights to the weight of the trailer or RV.
You must also make a note of the maximum towing weight you can carry. It is mentioned in the brochures of the vehicle. If you are towing the maximum weight while you are almost approaching the GVWR, it is a clear indication that you need a vehicle with higher weight loading capacity. Many experts driver in towing vehicles regard it as a thumb rule that a fully loaded trailer (or it may caravans, boats, horse trailers) must not exceed 85% of the total weight of the towing vehicle.
Moreover, you have to think what type of vehicle you want. Do you want a car, SUV or a truck to carry your trailer? Trucks are generally required for towing very heavy trailers and if you are willing to buy a tow vehicle for family recreational outings, it is worthy to consider cars or SUVs. Even medium-sized cars or SUVs are perfect if your trailer is not going to carry heavy weights.
Other Factors to be Considered
Besides the above factors, you need to analyze following features in the towing vehicle you are planning to purchase.
- The weight of the towing vehicle is an essential parameter to be considered. Cars with small frames and structures are generally not considered ideal as a towing vehicle. But it all depends on the weight to be pulled. Trucks with big frames are always the best as their build up is huge and they have great capacity to pull load.
- As technology has developed, towing vehicles come with various automatic features. Depending on your ease, you can choose any of them. Towing vehicles with manual features are generally for experienced drivers.
- When it comes to engines, check the torque power and not only the horsepower.
- Diesel run towing vehicles are not only pricey but they're also believed to provide better torque than other fuels.
- You need to check out the tow package that you are getting. Oil cooler, transmission fluid cooler, heavy-duty alternator and battery are some features you must check out as a part of tow package, you are getting.
- You also need to check the type of hitch you will require. Your towing vehicle's specs and depending on your requirements, you can choose the right kind of hitch.
It is a challenge and fun to find out the best towing vehicle. You must meet your friends, relatives or neighbors who have experience in purchasing towing vehicles to seek advice. You can also request the towing vehicle shop owner to help you choose an ideal towing vehicle for you. Your own research and study regarding choosing a right towing vehicle will also help you greatly.