You’ve made the decision to buy a new trailer to haul around
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.
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
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
Of course, another source of information on how much and
what you are safe to tow are trailer manufacturers and dealers.