Can you increase a car towing capacity?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you increase a car towing capacity? We will tell you how to find your car’s maximum towing capacity and give you a few tips to stay safe on the road. 

Can you increase a car towing capacity?

You cannot increase your car’s towing capacity unless you plan to re-engineer the vehicle. Cars are designed with a specific towing capacity in mind, and some have no pulling weight at all. Increasing the towing capacity of your car means going over the recommended limit. 

What are the consequences of exceeding the maximum load capacity of your car?

If exceeding the maximum load capacity of your car, in addition to the fact that the chances of accidents increase and we would not make the most of our vehicle one hundred per cent, we could have problems such as:

  •  Failures in the braking system
  •  The car will not have the same speed as usual
  •  The stability, agility and balance of the car decrease
  •  There will be more gasoline consumption.

When cars are used very frequently to transport a large load of weight, the state of the mechanics is affected in aspects such as:

  •  The tires
  •  The suspension
  •  Break system
  •  Motor
  •  CO2 emissions increase.

How to know what is the ideal load capacity of your car?

Normally the maximum allowed weight is stipulated in the technical sheet, this usually varies in the brand, model, design, among other aspects.

You can also search for Maximum Authorized Mass (MAM) and in this way, you will find the authorized weight capacity that your vehicle can carry.

What do I need to take into account to get my car MAM?

What must be taken into account mainly to arrive at a final calculation are:

  •  The passengers
  •  Chassis capacity
  •  Motor
  •  Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)
  •  Vehicle Weight (VW)
  •  The trunk.

We will tell you a secret … There is a calculation that helps us to have greater accuracy to obtain the MAM of any car, which is:

 Maximum allowed weight = Maximum authorized mass – tare

Now that we know MAM, how can you increase the towing capacity of my car?

In this case, the problem is that we must take into account how much weight capacity our car has, to avoid accidents and enjoy longer.

The towbar or trailer anchor is the best option for this problem since its main characteristic is to increase the load capacity-it is worth noting that it has many functions, from bicycle transport to mobile home anchorage.

How do you find the towing capacity of your car?

To know the weight of the trailer that your  SUV, van or pickup truck can tow, you will naturally go and check the manufacturer’s recommendations. This information is usually written on the edge of the door of your tow vehicle. Can’t find the information? Contact your dealer, he will get back to you quickly.

However, the towing capacity of your car is not legally binding.

Did you know that the weight of what is in your towing vehicle, as well as the weight of your trailer and its contents, must also be considered when calculating the maximum towing capacity? Do not neglect what you are transporting, namely luggage, equipment (cooler, sports equipment) as well as passengers.

This extra weight will have a definite impact on the long-term durability and handling of your vehicles. And that impact will be even greater on the rear axle of your fifth wheel.

What is the actual towing capacity of your tow vehicle?

If you do some research about the towing capacity of different vehicle models, you will come across various acronyms.

But the most important element is the combined gross weight rating. 

This is the weight limit allowed if you combine the weight of your SUV or van loaded with all your luggage, equipment and occupants and the weight of your trailer and everything in it.

So, before taking the road, the first thing to do to know if you will be safe is to go to a heavy vehicle weighing station located near the highways to find out the combined weight of your vehicles.

Towing a trailer with a car: Before you get going

What is the state of your car? It is important that your car is in good working order. Brakes, coolant and oil levels, and the quality of your tires are important things to check. With a visit to your mechanic, you can confirm that your car is in optimal conditions for travel.

Install good trailer mirrors: Make sure your trailer mirrors are installed correctly, for better visibility. Here you will find more information about this:

Make sure the weight is correctly distributed: too much weight towards the front of your caravan can exert too much force on your car’s suspension and the trailer hitch, while too much weight at the rear of the caravan can destabilize it. Therefore, it is important that you distribute the load correctly. Here’s a great YouTube video on this topic:

Practice backing up before you leave – backing up the caravan is a skill you must acquire. You must learn before going on a trip, in a terrain that is familiar to you, and without stress. Take a look at the driving schools in your area; Ask if they offer RV driving courses that you can attend before you set out on the trip. To find the one that is closest to you, click here.

Check the tow hook or ball; Make sure it’s tight, and that everything is wired properly, including the lights.

This is a list of things you should check in your caravan, once everything is connected, and always before hitting the road:

  • Is the tow bar or hook properly adjusted?
  • Are the security chains connected?
  • Is the parking brake on the caravan released?
  • Have you closed all the roof vents and windows? Have you closed the gas cylinder?
  • Have you closed all the cabinet doors and drawers?
  • Is the freewheel activated?
  • Is the refrigerator in direct current?
  • Have you lifted the step?
  • Is the tire pressure correct?

The bottom line

Our final advice: Take it easy; the behaviour of your vehicle will be different when you have a caravan in tow. This is true for when you accelerate, brake or turn at a junction. That is why it is important that you take everything very calmly. We can summarize it as going slower, and being more methodical and aware when driving. Don’t rush, enjoy the views, and stay safe.

Please feel free to get in contact, should you have any comments or questions about the content. 

FAQ on Can you increase a car towing capacity?

What happens when you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity?

When you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity you bring a series of consequences for your card, such as engine overheating; tire failure, overloading the drivetrain, CO2 emissions increase among others. 

What percentage of max towing capacity is safe?

A percentage of 80% or 75% of max towing capacity would be safe and recommendable. 

How do you know if you tow too much weight?

You know you are towing too much weight when the rear of the truck will appear hunkered down and the front end will feel light.

How to know the weight that is carried?

There are all kinds of scales to know the weight carried both on the shaft and the lance. They exist from scales for the wheels to scales for the lance, passing through wheels that have the scale incorporated.

Where to put the load in a caravan?

If the vehicle does not have much space to carry things and it is necessary to load the caravan, it will always be done in the centre and on the axle. Placing the load in the front will result in an imbalance resulting in the vehicle sinking through the rear suspension. 

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