People look for the vehicles which must have any towing capacity for any difficult situation or as per the need. In general, a vehicle must have a towing capacity and it can be confusing to the average car buyer. There are many elements that determine the towing capacity of a vehicle and this doesn’t include horsepower. Almost every vehicle has a capacity to pull up something small or even an average size equipment or cars of around 1000-1500 pounds. If we talk about larger cars, minivans, SUVs and crossovers then can pull up around 3500 pounds on an average.

What Usually Determines Towing Capacity?

As we have already mentioned that there’s a long list of factors that determines the towing capacity. Some of those factors include horsepower, axle ratio, engine size, frame design, wheels, torque, break size, suspension load ratings, oil and transmission cooling and whether the vehicle is rear wheel drive, four wheel drive or a front wheel drive.
The towing capacity is also determined during the manufacturing process and at that time the automaker decides for which purpose the vehicle is going to be used for. For instance, a vehicle’s tow rating needs to account for hot weather & or towing up a steep incline, factors that are obviously more difficult than towing on a level road.

How Does Torque Work for Hauling?

Usually, an automatic transmission with a torque converter can easily tow heavier loads than a vehicle of the same transmission. So, the simplest way to adjust the torque is to drive in lower gear which is defined to driver while towing. Manual & automatic transmissions both have overdrive gear ratios, which basically reduces RPMs, and increases fuel efficiency along with quitier ride, but they also reduce the torque. If your vehicle has 5-6 gear transmission then you can drive in fourth gear to tow heavy items. For a four speed automatic driving in third gear is the best way to decrease engine load and also increase torque.

Towing Capacity Terms to Know

  • GVVR – “Gross Vehicle Weight Rating”. Maximum weight the vehicle can tolerate for the driver, passengers, accessories and components.
  • GTW – “Gross Trailer Weight”. Maximum weight for a trailer.
  • GCWR – “Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating”. Maximum amount of gross weight.
  • GAWR – “Gross Axle Weight Rating”. The Maximum weight allowed on a single axle for towing purposes.
  • TW – “Tongue Weight”.

How to Find the Vehicle’s Towing Capacity?

Your owner’s manual will clearly show you the towing capacity and payload for your vehicle. It will also help you with the instructions how to attach the trailer and how much weight it can lift. Many manufacturers provide downloadable copies of the owner’s manual on their website. Most rear-wheel vehicles have a higher towing capacity of the owner’s manual on their website.

How to Find the Weight of Different Trailers

Once you know the weight & towing capacity for your vehicle, you’ll want to look at your trailer weight. Here we have some trailer weight listed down below.

  • Aluminium Boat Trailer: 200-300 Pounds
  • Fiberglass Boat Trailer: 200-500 Pounds
  • 8-foot single-axle utility trailer: 320 pounds
  • 10-foot single-axle utility trailer: 360 pounds
  • 12-foot tandem axle utility trailer: 1,200 pounds
  • 16-foot tandem axle utility trailer: 1,300 pounds
  • Bumper pull horse trailer containing four horses: 4,500 pounds
  • 26-foot 5th wheel: 5,900 pounds
  • 31-foot 5th wheel: 7,800 pounds
  • 35-foot 5th wheel: 10,200 pounds
  • 17-foot camper: 2,300 pounds
  • 23-foot camper: 4,200 pounds
  • 30-foot camper: 4,800 pounds

The Difference Between Payload & Towing Capacity

Well, while buying a new car we can see both payloads listed, and the two teams are not interchangeable. Payloads can be defined as carrying ability while towing capacity refers to pulling something. So,if your truck can tow 8,000 pounds that doesn’t mean it can carry 8,000 pounds on it. The following is the payload & towing capacity of some of the most popular trucks & SUVs for the 2019 model year.

  • Ford F Series
    Payload: 1300-2300lbs
    Towing Capacity: 5000-13000lbs
  • Toyota Series
    Payload: 1120-1620lbs
    Towing Capacity: 3500 to 10,000lbs
  • RAM 1500
    Payload: 1500-2300lbs
    Towing Capacity: 6000-7500lbs
  • Chevy Colorado
    Payload: 1200-1500lbs
    Towing Capacity: 3500-7000lbs
  • Ford Explorer
    Towing capacity: 2,000 to 5,000 lbs
  • Jeep Wrangler
    Towing capacity: 2,000 to 3,500 lbs
  • Toyota Highlander
    Towing capacity: 1,500 to 5,000 lbs

This Guide will help you with the towing capacity of some popular SUVs and how the towing & payload works. Next time you are going to buy a new car you’ll know this information.