How Can You Detemine a Vehicle's Towing Capacity?


Quick Answer

The first place to look when determining a vehicle's tow capacity is the owner's manual. According to Cars Direct, the towing capacity should be listed at the front of the manual with the vehicle's technical specifications. The manual ought to also contain the vehicle's towing capacity chart.

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How Can You Detemine a Vehicle's Towing Capacity?
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Full Answer

If the owner's manual for the vehicle is not available, Cars Direct suggests an inspection of the vehicle's door jamb where the technical specifications are often engraved on a plate below the latch. If it's not on the door jamb, this information may be found on the side of the door. The towing capacity can also be determined manually by first locating the vehicle's combined gross weight rating (also found in the owner's manual or on the door jamb). Next, approximate the vehicle's weight by adding the vehicle's listed curb weight to the weight of passengers and cargo. Then subtract this value from the combined gross vehicle weight to gage the maximum weight the vehicle can safely tow.

Cars Direct points out the importance of also checking the weight capacity of the hitch itself. In addition to not exceeding the vehicle's towing capacity, the load should not exceed the maximum capacity of the hitch. This ensures safe towing and reduces the chances of damage to the vehicle.

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