Don't Ignore Your Vehicle's Towing Capacity Rating

Automotive Blog

Fifth wheel hitches offer you a safe and convenient way to carry an extra load with your vehicle. However, it's important to understand that the hitch doesn't work independently. A hitch cannot perform correctly if you aren't taking into consideration the towing capacity of your vehicle. Failing to realize this can come along with significant and costly damage to your car so make sure you aren't ignoring this factor.

The Risks


One of the greatest safety risks is the chance of the load becoming detached from the vehicle. If the load is too heavy, this puts excess strain on the tow hitch which could cause it to separate from your vehicle. This can be especially dangerous because the load will create a hazard for motorists traveling behind you. Any property damage or injury caused by this detachment will likely fall on your lap as the liable party.


Towing a load that is too high for your capacity rating will also put excess wear and tear on your transmission. In some cases, this strain can just decrease the lifespan of the part. However, too large of a load can also result in the immediate failure of the transmission. The harder the transmission works, the more heat energy produced. This increased heat energy can break down the lubrication inside the transmission, which can eventually cause it to seize up and simply stop working.


Towing a load that is too heavy can also diminish the amount of control you have over your vehicle. This is especially the case during periods of high wind or when you are traveling at high speeds. In these types of conditions, trailers will often sway back and forth. This swaying motion can cause the towing vehicle to also move from side to side, which can make it harder to keep control and remain in your lane.

Measure Weight Accurately

A quick review of your owner's manual can help you determine what your vehicle's towing capacity is. Once you have this information, make sure you are weighing your loads correctly. Don't just consider the weight of the load. You also need to consider the weight of the trailer as the combined weight of the load and trailer need to be within your capacity rating to avoid these risks.

When it comes to getting the most out of your fifth wheel tow hitch, make sure you are keeping your vehicle's towing capacity a top consideration.

To learn more, contact a company like Major Tire & Hitch Inc. 


21 December 2015