SOME SERIOUS TOW VEHICLE CONSIDERATIONS   Leave a comment

While shopping for a boat be sure to give serious consideration to your towing vehicle.

While shopping for a boat be sure to give serious consideration to your towing vehicle.

In purchasing a tow vehicle one needs to consider some other factors other than how big the truck is and how much weight it can pull.  There is more to towing a boat or RV than pulling it.

You need a vehicle than can handle the weight.

In purchasing a new tow vehicle one should look for features such as electronic stability control, antilock brakes and electronic brake force distribution.  These features can sense when a truck is hauling something or when it is not.  The braking dynamics of such a vehicle are different from when it is not towing or carrying a load.  They sense what is happening and make corrections faster than the driver.  They are great safety features and may prevent deaths due to driver error.

A major consideration in the purchase of a tow vehicle is the trailer weight, the weight of the gear stored in it, the weight of the passengers and the weight of the vehicle itself.

The combined weight that a truck can handle is called the gross combined weight rating and is stated on the inside panel of the truck driver’s side door.  It is the maximum amount of weight that the truck can safely handle.

Sound complicated.  You really need to sit down with someone who knows what they are doing to make sure your tow vehicle is going to be able to handle the larger boats and RVs.  There is a lot of information available on the Internet but it is always better to sit down face to face with someone who does this kind of thing every day.

Often that is a person from whom you bought the towing package.  They can sit down with you, map out how much the rig is going to end up weighing and how much you will need in a truck in terms of at least combined gross weight rating.

After the purchase it is vital that the driver perform the extra maintenance required of a vehicle used as a towing vehicle.  Check the vehicle maintenance book and look to the section on excessive use.  When you work a vehicle extra hard you need to have it serviced more often.

You probably will want the cooling system serviced a little more often.  You are also going to put a lot of stress on the transmission and other components. The transmission and drive train need servicing regularly and checked frequently.  The last thing you want is to have your transmission going out when you head up a hill.

The transmission takes the most wear and tear in towing.  Any sigh of transmission slip or maybe the fluid looks a little burned or worn need immediate attention.  It will keep your truck running longer.

These are a few of the considerations one should make in buying/operating a tow vehicle for use with a boat or recreational vehicle.  Think about it.

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