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Old March 16th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #1
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Default What determines towing capacity?

Kicking around the idea of buying a tow rig this summer, I can't really go as big with my jeep as I want to until it's got a hauler. I don't honestly have much use for a pick up- I live 7 minutes from work and don't need to haul anything. BUT- I'd really like a vehicle that can tow the jeep on a trailer, be a DD and maybe have luxuries like glass windows :tonka:. So, if I'm looking at say a FS Bronco or maybe a short Suburban or possibly a ZJ/WJ with a V8, what really determines towing capacity?

Frame rigidity?
Tire/Axle size?
HP?
Leaves Vs. Coils and Links? (Not sure about Tahoes and Grand Cherokees for this reason)

what's the most important?
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Old March 16th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #2
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the Gross vehicle weight is mostly it, or what every the manufacture says it can handle. for me as an example. My F-150 has a GVW of 7300lbs and I have a class IV hitch (rated to 7500lbs) the most I can haul is 7300lbs (14600lbs total truck and trailer/load).
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Old March 16th, 2008, 05:49 PM   #3
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Lawyers, and Warranties
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Old March 16th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #4
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Lawyers, and Warranties
Yes. Vehicles get tow ratings based on testing for overheating, braking when loaded, and acceleration when loaded. There are also durability tests to determine how long the components will live when towing a certain amount.

I personally think lots of vehicles are over-rated in the towing dept these days. Wheelbase is a big factor for me personally when choosing a tow vehicle. Tow with something too short and you'll figure it out quickly.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:10 PM   #5
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Actually it is the GCVW: Gross Combined Vehicle Weight. That is the rated GVW of your vehicle plus the weight of your trailer on contents. They have a tenedncy to overate the vehicles. Which means you can pull it, under optimal conditions.
I've seen a fair share of 1/2 ton and SUVs overloaded on the open road. Some people doing some pretty scary shit out there.

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" - Albert Einstein

Do yourself a favor and go 3/4 ton if you can.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #6
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Yes. Vehicles get tow ratings based on testing for overheating, braking when loaded, and acceleration when loaded. There are also durability tests to determine how long the components will live when towing a certain amount.

I personally think lots of vehicles are over-rated in the towing dept these days. Wheelbase is a big factor for me personally when choosing a tow vehicle. Tow with something too short and you'll figure it out quickly.
yes i know how vehicles get tested, but on half the cars i think they pull the number out of a hat and see what the competition has to say, then ask the lawyers
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:22 PM   #7
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one of my favorites

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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #8
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yes i know how vehicles get tested, but on half the cars i think they pull the number out of a hat and see what the competition has to say, then ask the lawyers
Like how Ford suddenly upped the F-150's tow rating after Tundra came out?
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #9
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Actually it is the GCVW: Gross Combined Vehicle Weight. That is the rated GVW of your vehicle plus the weight of your trailer on contents. They have a tenedncy to overate the vehicles. Which means you can pull it, under optimal conditions.
I've seen a fair share of 1/2 ton and SUVs overloaded on the open road. Some people doing some pretty scary shit out there.
Do yourself a favor and go 3/4 ton if you can.
that's exactly what I want to avoid: I've seen some scary crap on the e-way myself over the years... My thing is that I don't really have a need for a gigantor truck, and at 4+ a gallon, a diesel is certainly out. I don't want to overload a Grand Cherokke, and I know people who tow with them, but it seems a bit small for dragging a jeep and trailer around. I'm thinking about finding a late Bronco, maybe.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:52 PM   #10
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just get a 1/2 ton truck then, fuel mileage won't be that different from a Full size bronco.

and the longer wheelbase will only help it on the highway.


or split the difference and a get a Tahoe
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Old March 16th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 88yj View Post
Yes. Vehicles get tow ratings based on testing for overheating, braking when loaded, and acceleration when loaded. There are also durability tests to determine how long the components will live when towing a certain amount.

I personally think lots of vehicles are over-rated in the towing dept these days. Wheelbase is a big factor for me personally when choosing a tow vehicle. Tow with something too short and you'll figure it out quickly.
I agree, and think some are underated. My '99 Suburban with 5.7L and 3.73 gears is only rated to tow 6000lbs. but my 95 ZJ w/4.0L is rated for 5000lbs. My '01 Explorer Sport Trac w/4.0L is rated to tow 5500lbs. How can those two small 6cylinder vehicles be rated just under what the big Suburban is rated for. I also think the Suburban is underated.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #12
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a 90s z71 extended cab with a 350 the one i had pulled like a champ. the vehicle plays a big part but ability and knowing your limits is bigger
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Old March 16th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #13
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When it comes to towing, the heavier the tow vehicle, the better your towing experiance will be. If you have a 2000 pound trailer and 4500 pound jeep (assuming its on the heavier side), you should be ok with a 1/2, or 3/4 ton pickup. If you want to spend the bucks and need something to pile the family in than I would suggest a Suburban.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #14
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towing your TJ you're gona need AT LEAST a F-450 Super Duty if not a Gm kodiak .. hope that helps
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Old March 16th, 2008, 08:34 PM   #15
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Remember those published numbers are the max rated GCVW. As you approach or exceed those numbers your safety factor decreases. If your rated at 5k and towing 5k you might want something more.

I personally don't like towing with IFS anything, but thats just preference.
And just to keep things in perspective, I can visualize the difference between a Dana 35/44 axle and a Dana 60/70.
A half-ton pick up is for towing a couple sleds and transporting the family dog or occassional fat chick.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 08:34 PM   #16
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I first look at the weights. If what I'm towing with is close to what I'm pulling, I'm OK. But if your tow rig is lighter than the load, I be scared unless you take proper precautions (the right brakes, the right hitch, the right tires, the right trailer, etc...)

My parents '03 Yukon with 5.3L & 3.73's is rated higher than my '94 burb with 7.4L & 4.10's 3/4ton....for sale BTW...

Lucas
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Old March 16th, 2008, 09:28 PM   #17
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My parents '03 Yukon with 5.3L & 3.73's is rated higher than my '94 burb with 7.4L & 4.10's 3/4ton....for sale BTW...

Lucas
No its not, your Suburban is rated to tow 10,000lbs. That Yukon is probably around 7500lbs
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Old March 16th, 2008, 09:30 PM   #18
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As you approach or exceed those numbers your safety factor decreases. If your rated at 5k and towing 5k you might want something more.
You mean like if your rated to tow 6000lb and you are towing about 8000lbs?:tonka:
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Old March 16th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #19
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I be scared unless you take proper precautions (the right brakes, the right hitch, the right tires, the right trailer, etc...)


Lucas
you forgot to add "the right driver" in there.. you can have the most badass tow setup every but if you throw some Johnny Geo Drive behind the wheel who's never driving anything big before in there.. Everyone's fucked
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:12 AM   #20
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towing your TJ you're gona need AT LEAST a F-450 Super Duty if not a Gm kodiak .. hope that helps
Can I park it at your place? :tonka: I can barely fit 3 cars in my driveway, and the Jeep won't fit in the garage anymore. I'm thinking a mid-90's something. What about a reg cab 3/4 ton?

AND: Does it have to be 4wd? Does that make a difference in towing ability? Other than on snow?
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