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Rig-Buying Consideration #12 — Tow (Or Towed) Vehicles

RV Blog -- Caddy Tow Vehicletruck or car — how big

TOW CAR EQUIPMENT  If you plan to buy a new vehicle to tow your trailer we suggest that you include in your purchase the trailer towing options offered by most automobile manufacturers. These include such things as heavy duty alternator and radiator, heavy duty springs* and shock absorbers, automatic transmission cooler, heavy duty fan and flasher unit and others, depending on the make of the vehicle.
Transmissions may be manual or automatic, but an automatic transmission may prolong your car’s engine life and generally does a better job of controlling engine loads than the average driver using a manual shift. Having adequate power is very important when considering the purchase of a new vehicle or the trailer towing capability of your present one. Emission controls that are required by the Federal Government have reduced overall engine power.
American manufacturers realize more than 30% of the vehicles they sell will be used for towing some type of trailer. The dealers are provided with guidelines to use when helping a customer decide on a tow vehicle. The guidelines are not just determined by the power output of the engine. The gear ratio of the differential is also a very important part of the guide-line.
Inspect your vehicle’s hitch regularly for loose bolts or nuts, cracked welds, loose ball mounts, worn parts, etc.
New trailerists often carry more food and other supplies than really needed. Remember that every item you take along is one more thing to stow and adds weight to the total load you must pull. Consolidate items in shelves, lockers, and in the refrigerator. It is better to have one full and one empty locker than two half empty ones. Special care must be taken not to overload the front and rear ends of the trailer.
* Be realistic when ordering heavy duty springs. Only springs heavy enough to support your loaded vehicle (not including trailer) are necessary. Too harsh of spring rate will only shorten the life of the tow vehicle, trailer and make your journeys less enjoyable.

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