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Old March 22nd, 2006, 01:01 AM   #1
do i look old !
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Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: West Branch Mi
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Default Towing basics

There is often questions of towing a rig , here are some basics on towing .

Things to conceder on your tow rig .

Tires , the more ply the more stable . light duty 4 ply will sway much more then a 6 , 8 or 10 ply .

Be sure you have positive tongue weight , 10% of load up to 500 lbs for most common ball hitch trailers .This helps prevent trailer sway which is the cause of most trailer accidents that i have seen .

Distance from your axle to the trailer hook point .
The closer you are to your tow rig axle the better it will handle and the more you can tow safely . Major reason a 5th wheel tows much better , the weight is over the axle not behind it .

This is a major factor with light pickups towing large trailers of the ball type . The back of a pickup truck is light . the trailer can start swaying and throw the truck off the road . Any SUV has less problem here do the back axle carring more weight .

weight , basic solid rule is dont pull more then you weigh . if your truck is 5,000 lb then figure 5,000 lb to be your safe load including trailer and load for a ball hitch . This is providing your vehicle is rated to pull that much .

Example from recent photo posted .

in my case H3 equals 4,700 lbs , jeep and trailer 5,700 , problem correct ! no becuase i will transfer 500 lbs on to tongue weight which is now part of the weight of the H3 making it 5,200 plus ocupants another 300 so a total of 5,500 for the H3 , the trailer and grand are minus 500 which makes them a total of 5,200 wich is about equal and max for the H3 to pull . This is NOT a perfect situation , its a max load situation there for extra care and lower speeds are required .

Other points here , H3 has short distance from the rear axle to the ball connection , this greatly reduces the trailers ablity to push the H3 around .It also has a stiff suspension and 6 ply tire which help with control .

I use this example because the photo is questioned as safe by some .

Last and very important fact id like to point out is trailer brakes . I think Mi requires trailer brakes over 5,000 lb loads . I personnally like trailer brakes on any trailer of 3,000 lb capacity or more . It saves your tow rigs brakes and makes a much safer stop .

When you look at the tow capacity of your tow rig , keep in mind this is optimum conditions there rated at .

Common sense is a life safer when towing , follow all laws on cross chains lighting ect.

This post is for basic knowledge and not meant to be set or rules but rather a guide line . I hope it asnwers towing questions and is helpful for some .:gman:
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