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How Much Can You Tow?

Published online: Sep 21, 2007 Feature
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You've made the decision to buy a new trailer to haul around your snowmobiles.

Now what?

Perhaps one of-if not the-most important things to consider when purchasing a trailer is your tow vehicle. You need to determine how much weight you can safely tow with your truck, SUV or other tow vehicle.

There are several places to find out this information, starting with your vehicle's owner's manual. For example, according to the owner's manual, a 2006 Volkswagen Touareg is rated to tow 7,716 lbs. That tow weight would be the trailer, plus its contents. So, if your trailer weighs 6,520 lbs. (you can find trailer weights for many snowmobile trailers in our Trailer Buyer's Guide in this issue), as did the trailer we towed with the Touareg, and add two snowmobiles (we took along an Arctic Cat M6 and M8), both of which totaled nearly a thousand pounds, we were pretty darn near the VW's tow rating.

SnoWest Magazine tech editor Ryan Harris' 2005 Chevy 2500HD with a Duramax diesel is rated to tow 15,900 lbs. That's easily a four-place enclosed snowmobile trailer with four mountain sleds and gear. In fact, we did a head-to-head comparison of the Touareg (with its V10 diesel engine) and Harris' Chevy Duramax pulling that trailer up a mile-long hill. You'll read about that competition in a later issue of SnoWest.

Do Your Homework

A couple of useful websites we've come across that can help you in your search (as well as possibly determine if what you have now as far as tow vehicle and trailer are a good and safe match) include: www.trailerhitches.com/info/towing-glossary.cfm and www.suvoa.com.

Trailerhitches.com has tons of information that can guide you through the process, from picking the right hitch to trailer classifications to tongue weights (another important consideration in towing) and more. The more knowledge you having going into buying a trailer or tow vehicle, the better off you are.

Suvoa.com is operated by the SUV Owners of America but don't let the SUV part stop you. There is plenty of information about other tow vehicles as well, from cars to big pickups. Once in the SUVOA site, click on "Resources," then go to "Towing Guide" and then play around in there. If you click on the "View All 2007 Models" you'll see the towing ratings for just about any vehicle you can think of.

According to SUVOA's website, "SUVOA consulted a number of industry sources to collect the most accurate possible data for the Towing Capacity Guide, but it is solely intended to be a guideline. You should verify all information by checking your vehicle's owner's manual and consulting with your dealer." That's good advice.

More Towing Tips

While you're in Suvoa.com, you should also check out the Introduction to Towing section. Again, click on "Resources," then go to "Towing Guide" and once there, scroll down under the title "SUVOA Towing Capacity Guide" until you get to the link "Introduction to Towing." Click on that and you'll find more good and helpful information on towing.

Another interesting read on the SUVOA site is on the main page under "Media Center" (right side of the page) titled "Outdoor Enjoyment in the Balance." Once again, this article proves we've got to be vigilant on all fronts if we want to continue to enjoy snowmobiling and other motorized recreation.

In the Trailer Buyer's Guide section of this magazine, we've tried to include pertinent information that sledders can use in their buying decision. As was already mentioned, we've included trailer weights, as well as hitch/tongue weight.  

Of course, another source of information on how much and what you are safe to tow are trailer manufacturers and dealers.

 

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