When it comes to the installation of passenger vehicle tow hitches in Eugene, OR, the question is more about whether you “should” than whether you “could.” It is possible to place a hitch on any vehicle, even a Prius or a two-door coupe. However, it is one of those processes where the utility needs to outweigh the risk. Here are five considerations before you install a tow hitch on a passenger vehicle.
- Check rating
A vehicle’s rating will include weight limits, and passenger cars will often have a tow limit of 1,000 pounds. This will be indicated in the owner’s manual or, if your passenger vehicle is a small SUV, in a separate towing manual. If you believe you will be doing any towing with a vehicle, ask the manufacturer for this specialized information.
Also, realize that this is a combination of the weight between trailer and load—not just the cargo. Depending on your plans, you may find your vehicle’s abilities do not meet your expectations.
- Know what you wish to tow
It is unlikely that you can tow a camper behind your sedan. However, there are tent trailers designed to be pulled by motorcycles. You may not get all the amenities, but you will at least have shelter while you enjoy the great outdoors.
Before you arrange for tow hitch installation, first know your vehicle’s capabilities and what it will ultimately be towing. Make sure your expectations are reasonable or you may find that heavy-duty tow hitch damages your vehicle.
There are also functions where a hitch is useful but not necessarily made for towing. Cargo and bike racks often plug into a hitch. It is likely in these instances that you can save money on a lighter set-up.
- “Towing not recommended”
Be careful if those words are in your owner’s manual. If your car is under warranty, towing a trailer anyway may void it. Also, it is possible your vehicle’s frame cannot handle towing. All that being said, if for some reason you must pull a trailer with this vehicle, have a hitch and tow expert assess it first. Cars that can hold two adults in the back seat may still be capable of hauling 400 pounds of luggage in a small trailer.
- Know it’s not just the weight—it’s also the brakes
Many people install a hitch on their compact car seeing that it has a tow capacity of 1,000 pounds. However, with that weight, there are other considerations too. A vehicle may be able to tow that much, but can it stop with that much weight behind it? Despite the rating, you may want to decrease the amount you’re pulling, just to be sure you can still handle the vehicle safely.
- Consider alternatives
Look at your reasons for installing a tow hitch. Do you wish to have an alternative for hauling items that are dirty? Laying a tarp in your back seat may be a better choice. Looking to pull a canoe or other small water craft? See if your car can handle a roof rack. It is always possible that your car cannot tow a trailer safely.
Whether you need to outfit your large truck or small SUV, we have plenty of options for tow hitches in Eugene, OR. We can also help you assess whether your vehicle is appropriate for towing. Call the team at Ron’s Hitch N Tow today.