How Much Towing Capacity Do I Really Need?

2017 Ford F-150
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How Much Car Do I Need to Tow That Trailer?

It’s time to get back to the outdoors. With warmer weather comes dreams of family adventures, and many of those outings require us to tow a trailer. Whether you’re looking to pull a lightweight tent trailer or a massive fifth-wheel toy hauler, choosing the right vehicle is essential.

Asking what your vehicle is able to tow might be the wrong question. Experts suggest looking at what you want or need to haul first, and then finding the right car or truck to pull it. There are massive differences in the weights of trailers and the towing capacities of different vehicles, so you'll want to do your research before you buy. Choosing wrong can be unsafe or cause mechanical failures in the towing vehicle.

Fortunately, even light vehicles have become more capable of towing, while at the same time, trailer manufacturers have introduced new, lightweight designs that don’t require heavy-duty trucks to haul.

On the following slides, we will first look at the math you need to consider, then look at some vehicles with the capacity to tow different loads.

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