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Old 08-03-2011, 10:20 PM   #1
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What is my "ACTUAL" Tow Rating?

North American and Foreign Automobile manufacturer's publish Tow Ratings (or tow limits) for most of the vehicles they manufacture, but what most of us don't know is that a published Tow Rating can be a little mis-leading.

Automotive engineers calculate a Tow Rating based on five major components of the given model vehicle in question, that being; the Engine, Transmission, Axles, Brakes, and Frame. Now, where does the weight of the vehicle come into play? Well, this is the part of a Tow Rating that is frequently overlooked by consumers......

Since any given model vehicle can be configured differently with options (ie; 4WD, sun roof, trim packages, etc.), and used differently by the consumer, the engineers had to come up with a means of associating a specific vehicle weight to a publicized Tow Rating. This is where a vehicle's "Curb Weight" comes in the picture. Every vehicle is assigned a "Curb Weight" which represents the base model vehicle including a 150lb driver and a full tank of fuel (includes all fluids required to make the vehicle operational).

Bottom line: Manufacture Tow Ratings are based on the specified Curb Weight of the base model vehicle in question. If you look at the fine print under most publicized Tow Ratings you will find that the Tow Rating doesn't include the combined weights of the vehicle's OP&C (options, passengers, and cargo). To determine the ACTUAL Tow Rating one must subtract the combined weights of OP&C from the publicized Tow Rating.

When shopping for a new TV, know that you will have to subtract OP&C weight from the publicized Tow Rating. If you have an existing TV, take it to a CAT scale and weigh it under loaded conditions..., then:

(Weight of OP&C) = (CAT Scale Weight) - (TV Curb Weight)

(ACTUAL Tow Rating) = (Published Tow Rating) - (Weight of OP&C)

Working within the weight limits of any given TV, TT, HTT, PUP, etc., will make for a safe and enjoyable towing experience.


Thanks to Bob for contributing info for this thread

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Old 08-04-2011, 09:57 AM   #2
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This is good info so our new to towing members can make informed decisions. One misconception I have run into with folks is that a 4x4 can tow more then a 4x2, when in fact the weight of the 4x4 option actually reduces the amount of weight it can tow over its 4x2 counterparts.
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