Introduction to Towing
Towing can be overwhelming for first timers. Towing a trailer is different to normal driving and can cause other drivers around you to catch a case of “trailer frenzy” – resulting in cars speedily overtaking you, changing lanes and braking in front of you. With the right equipment and basic knowledge, towing can be as easy as driving in a saloon.
Here is how towing affects your vehicle:
- Your vehicle becomes heavier and slower
- Your vehicle will not stop as well
- Your turning circle will be large meaning you will have to position your vehicle before tight corners.
Most vehicles can tow and what you plan to tow will affect what type of hitch you need. Trailers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes – There are 4 main categories of trailers:
- Open trailers or flatbeds
- Marine trailers
- Enclosed cargo trailers
- Recreational vehicle trailers which will include travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, horse and cattle trailers and folding camp trailers.
You should know what kind of trailer you plan to tow and ask yourself “What am I going to transport in this trailer” Your trailer may require a basic receiver hitch, gooseneck hitch or a fifth wheel hitch to take care of the heavy-duty work.
Distance and how far you plan to travel plays a large role in towing – freeways require different needs to unpaved roads.
Some vehicles like the Mercedes Benz E-Class can tow a trailer of up to 2,000kg without needing any upgrades. If you wish to increase your car’s towing strength you can opt for upgrades like increasing transmission or springs. But your SUV may already have a wiring harness or not need one.
If your vehicle is “tow-ready” fresh out of the factory, then there is a high chance it will already have a trailer hitch mounted to the body of the vehicle. Even if you have an upgraded motor package it will be missing the draw bar or ball mount and hitch ball. These items are separate and depending on your height and weight needs, will differ from vehicle to vehicle. Some trailers need a 2 inch ball and some need a larger one. To find out what size ball you will need, check the tongue or coupler of the trailer. This is where the ball will be located.
In the world of towing, accessories are a hot topic. for example modified wing mirrors can allow you to safely see more of your surroundings and the options for add-ons are virtually endless.
With our information you will be well versed in all things towing-related and use our recommended product lists for the best experience out on the open roads.