Towing 101 – Terms You Should Know | Miller Toyota
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Towing Terms to Know in Manassas, VA


Towing 101 – Terms You Should Know

An SUV or truck that can tow and haul heavy loads is valuable for work and leisure. But you need to understand that not all vehicles can do these tasks. If you want a model capable of towing, consider getting a truck or an SUV. These vehicles are designed to tow trailers, ATVs, and other vehicles, as well as haul cargo.

Before buying a vehicle, you need to ensure that it meets your towing and payload requirements. You should also check for essential towing accessories like hitches.

If you don’t know which truck or SUV to purchase, you can consult the experts at Miller Toyota in Manassas, VA. Our knowledgeable team can help you explore the different Toyota truck and SUV models that excel in towing. Visit our dealership today to learn more about the towing capabilities of our vehicles.

Basic Towing Terms

Towing Capacity: This is the maximum amount of weight a truck can tow including its own weight and the weight of any cargo on board. Staying within this limit is essential to safe driving.

Payload Capacity: A truck’s payload capacity refers to the amount of weight it can safely add onto its empty bed. Safe towing and driving requires following this limit.

Curb Weight: The curb weight refers to the weight of your vehicle, including its standard equipment, car fluids, and a full gas tank, before adding people or cargo.

Conventional Towing: Conventional towing involves using the tow ball at the back of a vehicle within the specified weight limits of the tow vehicle. It ensures a standardized and safe towing process. This method differs from unconventional methods, like tethering to the vehicle's chassis or body.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR):The GVWR is a measure of how much weight a given vehicle can carry safely. It covers everything from the passengers to the cargo on board.

Gross Trailer Weight Rating (GTWR): The GTWR refers to the total amount of weight that a trailer can carry with it during hauling. It includes the weight of the trailer and its cargo.

Tongue Weight: The tongue weight refers to how much weight the loaded trailer presses down on the hitch ball. Ideally, it should be around 10% for normal trailer weights or 15% for fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailers. Having the proper tongue weight is essential. It helps prevent swaying and enables your vehicle to tow smoothly.

Gross Combined Weight Rating: The GCWR is the maximum weight that a towing vehicle and a loaded trailer can handle safely. This includes all cargo and passengers. It’s crucial to follow the GCWR for safe and secure towing.

Tow Bar: A tow bar is a device that lets your vehicle tow another vehicle or trailer by connecting them together. This tool enhances your vehicle's versatility and towing capability.

Hitch Types

A hitch is a device that connects a trailer to the towing vehicle. It is important to know about the different kinds of hitches so you can choose the appropriate one:

  • Bolt-on Trailer Hitch: This hitch is attached to the vehicle's frame and can be used for light or medium-duty hauling. It can be put on or taken off quite easily.
  • Fifth-Wheel Hitch: Used for heavy-duty towing, such as large trailers or campers, fifth-wheel hitches sit in the pickup truck's bed and provide more stability than other hitches.
  • Fixed Tongue Hitch: Also known as a permanent hitch, this type has a fixed ball mount and offers little flexibility, but it works well if you always tow the same type of trailer.
  • Gooseneck: A gooseneck resembles a fifth-wheel hitch but is used in commercial or agricultural applications requiring increased maneuverability. It is also mounted in the bed of a pickup truck.

Find a Toyota for All Your Towing Needs in Manassas

Miller Toyota in Manassas, VA, is here to help you find the right Toyota model for your towing requirements. Our friendly staff can guide you every step of the way. Visit our dealership today and explore vehicles that are excellent in towing, like the Toyota Tacoma and 4Runner.