Towing 101


Towing 101 – Terms You Should Know

It is important to familiarize yourself with towing terms so you can transport goods or recreational vehicles safely and efficiently. These terms are necessary for anyone who intends to go camping with a trailer, move heavy loads, or simply want to understand the capabilities of their vehicle. This will make you confident in handling any towing task. Below are some essential towing terms:

Basic Towing Terms

Payload Capacity:This refers to the weight a vehicle can carry, excluding itself. It includes passengers, cargo, and additional equipment loaded on top of its own weight. You shouldn't confuse towing capacity with payload capacity. The latter represents how much weight your vehicle can carry. Besides affecting your vehicle's handling and braking capabilities, exceeding the payload limit also puts unnecessary stress on your vehicle's suspension system. This will reduce the life span of shock absorbers, among other components.

Max Towing Capacity: Maximum towing capacity (MTC) is the maximum weight that can be pulled by your car without causing any damage or accidents. The manufacturer determines this limit based on factors such as engine size, brakes, chassis, and transmission, among others. Exceeding this limit could result in road crashes or mechanical problems. Hence, check what your car manual says about its max towing capacity.

Tongue Weight: The tongue weight is the downward force exerted by the trailer tongue on the hitch ball connected with the tow vehicle's rear end. It should range between 10% and 15% of the total trailer mass for a stable, sway-free ride during towing operation. If the tongue weight is not correct, the trailer may start swaying side-to-side behind the tow car, which can lead to dangerous situations on the highway.

Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR):GWCR is the maximum allowable total weight of your towing vehicle, including itself, passengers, cargo, and trailer. This number should never be exceeded to avoid putting too much strain on drivetrain parts like transmission or differential gear. Failure may result in accidents while on the road.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR):This rating represents the maximum allowable weight of your vehicle, including all occupants, fuel, fluids, optional equipment, cargo — everything except for what you’re towing on its hitch ball. It does not include trailer tongue/pin weight or actual weight being towed, but it does cover any other load that may be carried in or on top of the vehicle.

Curb Weight: The weight of your vehicle, including all standard equipment, oil, coolant, and full fuel tanks but without passengers or cargo, is referred to as curb weight. It is a starting point when figuring out payload capacity and towing ability.

Tow Bar:A tow bar connects a towed vehicle to the towing vehicle. It's beneficial for flat towing, where all four wheels of the towed vehicle remain on the ground. The tow bar must match the towing vehicle's capacity and weight.

Hitch Types

Hitches are gadgets that fix a trailer to a towing vehicle. Here are the different hitch types:

  • Bolt-on Trailer Hitch: This hitch is attached to the frame of a vehicle and works well for pulling lightweight to medium-weight trailers. It can be put on or taken off quickly.
  • Fifth-Wheel Hitch: Built for heavy-duty towing, such as large trailers or campers, the fifth-wheel hitch is mounted in the bed of a pickup truck. This hitch offers better stability.
  • Fixed Tongue Hitch: This permanent hitch has a fixed ball mount. It is not very flexible but works best if you tow the same trailer frequently.
  • Gooseneck: Used for commercial and agricultural purposes, goosenecks allow for tighter turns because they have a smaller turning radius. They are also mounted in the bed of a pickup truck.

Find a Honda for All Your Towing Needs in Easley

It is crucial to learn these towing terms and then check the owner’s manual for specific instructions or limitations. If you don’t know what your car can pull or which accessories you need, ask somebody who does, preferably an expert. Safe towing practices protect your vehicle, cargo, and other road users.

Are you looking for a truck with excellent towing capability? Check out the Honda Ridgeline available at Hendrick Honda Easley in Easley, SC. We also have a good selection of used pickup trucks for sale. Visit us today and let our experts help you find the right truck for your towing needs.

Hendrick Honda Easley

Hendrick Vehicle Disclaimer:

$649.00 Closing Fee is not included in advertised price.

All prices exclude all taxes, tag, title, registration fees and government fees. Out of state buyers are responsible for all taxes and government fees and title/registration fees in the state where the vehicle will be registered. All prices include all manufacturer to dealer incentives, which the dealer retains unless otherwise specifically provided. Dealer not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers subject to change without notice; please confirm listings with dealer. All vehicles may not be physically located at this dealership but may be available for delivery through this location. Transportation charges may apply. Please contact the dealership for more specific information. All vehicles are subject to prior sale.
Additional Disclaimers:
Applies to 2024 Honda Ridgelines. For well qualified buyers. APR is a buydown rate based on up to 36 monthly payments of $28.60 per $1000 financed with approved credit through Honda Financial Services. Example down payment 10%. Excludes tax, license, dealer fee, state fees, dealer installed equipment. Offer expires 7/08/24.

For well qualified buyers. APR is a buydown rate based on up to 48 monthly payments of $22.09 per $1000 financed with approved credit through Honda Financial Services. Example down payment 10%. Excludes tax, license, dealer fee, state fees, dealer installed equipment. Offer expires 7/08/24.

Includes 2024 Accord, Accord Hybrid, Civic, CR-V Hybrid, HR-V, Pilot, and Odyssey models. For well-qualified buyers. Example: 10% down payment. 36 months financing at $29.48/month per $1,000 financed. Excludes tax, license, dealer fee, state fees, dealer installed equipment. Offer expires 7/08/24.

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4609 Calhoun Memorial Hwy, Easley, SC, 29640
Hendrick Honda Easley 34.826580, -82.536425.