Trailer Safety – Know The Weight Towing Capability Before You Buy A Trailer
The definition of a trailer varies greatly depending on who you ask. For some people a trailer means almost anything that can be pulled behind a motor vehicle and used to haul items. For other people a trailer refers to anything that can be pulled behind a vehicle and used as a car trailer.
For the majority of people a trailer refers to either an off road trailer or one on a road. These trailers are available from many different manufacturers and are designed for various purposes. For those who need to cross rivers and streams a trailer will have to meet certain standards set by the US Coast Guard. These standards allow for a trailer to safely tow a single individual, a couple or even a family of five.
The weight rating of the trailer itself as well as the weight of the vehicle it’s towing will determine the maximum weight rating a manufacturer allows for a trailer to pull. Generally the weight rating for most trailers is in the range of thirteen hundred to three thousand pounds. On the other end of the scale the maximum allowable weight for a tow vehicle is nearly seventeen hundred pounds.
The length of the trailer in miles will also determine the maximum allowable weight. To find the total weight a manufacturer uses a formula based on the vehicle being towed as well as the weight rating of that particular vehicle. This formula is then divided by the specified weight rating of the trailer, to give a percentage of how much extra weight will be required to tow the trailer. Most manufacturers refer to the gross trailer weight or GVwr. This number is actually based on the weight of the tow vehicle as well as the trailer being towed. However, if a manufacturer has any information that indicates the vehicle and trailer are towed as a pair then the manufacturer will use the single number.
The next thing a manufacturer will consider when figuring out the hitch limit is the weight of the towing vehicle itself. If the trailer isn’t equipped with a winch then it may not be safe towing. Towing an uneven surface can be a problem in some cases. There are also many other situations where a towing capacity will need to be determined. For example, if the trailer might have to go through a thick forest then it will need to carry more weight in order to get around it.
The next time you’re considering buying a trailer think about the weight towing capability of the trailer as well as the load limit. Not all trailers will meet your needs. If you can’t tow a certain amount then it’s wise to choose a different model. Check with the manufacturer to find out what type of load limit is recommended for your particular make and model. Then make your purchase and enjoy your new vehicle.