September 24, 2015
You just bought a new pickup truck. Now, how do you know what you can safely tow with that pickup truck? What guidelines should you go by and what types of products are available to help the capability of your truck?
These are some of the questions you should ask. You wants to get the most of your pickup truck! We have already tackled the issues of what goes in to the GVWR equations and what components are affected, so let’s choose the correct trailer/camper for your truck!
When additional weight from a trailer is added several feet behind the rear axle of your pickup truck, stability and driver control of your truck will be instantly affected. Similar to a teeter totter having unevenly distributed weight, your truck should experience some negative side affects. The additional weight in the rear will cause your rear leaf springs to flatten out, the tires will bulge and driver control will diminish due to the front/rear weight disparity. You’ve got to find a trailer that not only fits your needs, but also works well with your truck!
The Numbers Game
When deciding whether your truck is suitable to tow a specific trailer, the first numbers to compare are you GVWR and the Gross Trailer Weight(GTW). When working the numbers, remember to figure in weight of person(s) in vehicle, gas in the tank, additional luggage as well as any additional items or full tanks in the trailer itself. Now that you have the GTW, multiply the number by 10% and you’ll have the approximate tongue weight to compare to the truck’s max towing capacity (this should be found in the vehicle manual).
Selecting The Correct Hitch
Now that you have the numbers figured out, it’s important to select the right hitch for your set up! With 5 different hitch classes along with the 5th wheel and Gooseneck trailer setups, it’s important follow the guidelines to avoid catastrophe. Classes I and II are light and can typically be safely towed by most passenger cars and small trucks, when looking at classes IV or V you may want to consider a weight distribution hitch to help distribute the weight more evenly.
Next time we’ll look at the benefits of the weight distribution hitch and whether or not it can be combined with the Roadmaster Active Suspension… Stay Tuned!