How To Increase Towing Capacity

All vehicles have a maximum towing capacity that was provided by the manufacturer. The number is written in the form of pounds and this is for the maximum weight that a certain vehicle can carry using a certain configuration. This given capacity is indicated by how a vehicle can handle the weight of added load. There should be enough horsepower in the engine to be able to move a trailer, at the same time, brakes need to be powerful enough to stop the load. The capacity can be increased by making certain modifications. Before you do anything, you need a couple of things first. These are:

Maximum towing capacity

You first have to assess how much is the weight you want to tow with regards to the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle. If there is an excess of 1,000 to 2,000 pounds for the tow rating of the trailer, you need to consider using another vehicle. Although, if the difference is manageable, you can just do modifications.

Get a new programmer

You can buy a new programmer because it can increase the horsepower and torque, providing more power to the vehicle to accommodate heavier loads and will work according to the electric control module to improve the shifting of automatic transition for better control. The programmers made are usually specific to how it will be applied and based on the type of truck.

Performance upgrades

There are trailer dealers that can upgrade the performance of towing vehicles. They are not allowed in all areas, so it is advised to check with the local laws first so you can be sure. If the vehicle you own can be inspected for emissions, the device can cause your vehicle to fail the test, so never neglect local laws.

Via SummitRacing

The common upgrades are the cat-back exhaust systems and intakes of fresh air with air filters. If they are combined, they can increase the horsepower and torque by up to 10% because there is an airflow opening that enters the engine.

Vehicles that were manufactured in the last 10 years can be installed with engine programmers called the “chip.” These can alter the computer behavior in engine control and will deliver additional torque and horsepower. If you are doing this to a tow vehicle, always go for the program is listed as safe for towing. Be careful because there are programs that lessen the towing capacity in exchange for added performance if you have a lighter load.

You can retrofit parts of an RV into some old vehicles that use automatic transmission so your vehicle can take heavier loads. It is because they normally hold gears longer and anything that can be done to keep temperatures down as this lengthens the life of the tow vehicle. The majority of manufacturers come with a factory option or provision from the dealer for certain parts, and those parts should be used if possible.

A professional mechanic

A professional mechanic can help you improve the truck’s braking system. It is crucial that the tow vehicle can stop right away while carrying a heavier load. It is a good option to do an upgrade for the brake rotors and pads because this adds braking power. At the same time, equip a trailer brake controller onto the vehicle so the driver can easily adjust the stopping power while driving.

Use heavy-duty parts to improve the axles and differentials, but this can cost a lot. A better gear ratio increases the towing capacity without affecting the drive train of the truck.

Bigger radiator

You can get a bigger radiator and a new set of lubricant for the engine oil and transmission to improve towing capacity. If there is added stress to the vehicle, the transmission of the engine will run hotter, and other things you will result to sin order to maintain the temperatures at low levels for an extended lifespan of the vehicle. The majority of the manufacturers install provision for these parts.

A new hitch

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You can buy a hitch that can handle the added weight load you want to tow. A lot of vehicles already have a standard class III hitch, which can be used for towing 5,000 lbs. Although, adding a higher class hitch allows a safer transport of heavier loads. Like upgrading to a class IV hitch increases the total hitch capacity by up to 10,000 lbs.

Suspension capability

This is another improvement you can make, but it costs a bit more in exchange for its effectiveness compared to asking a shop to install heavy-duty springs. The rear leaf springs that are usually found on full-sized pick-up trucks can have another leaf or two installed and re-arch the springs. The coil springs that are heavy duty for the front of the suspension are widely available as well.

You also have to outfit your vehicle with the best shock absorbers for trailers. Good quality shocks help the vehicle’s stability and keep it from rapidly swaying when your trailer runs on potholes or difficult pavements.

Always be careful when you are towing heavier loads than the maximum even if you have done modifications. It can be difficult to tow long trailers that have a short wheelbase, like the sporty ones or crossovers.

When you are trying to increase the towing capacity of your vehicle, always have enough information before your proceed. Also consider if you will need the increase all the time because you have to be cautious. These tips I gave are the most effective and they are based on experience. You don’t always have to do it alone because you can always ask someone for help if you are unsure. Always be careful when you are towing loads more than the maximum capacity even if you’ve done upgrades. Read and do your research carefully, and ask others about it because no one wants an accident in the middle of the road.

Nancy MacCoy

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