How to Tow a Chevy Trackerby Sarah Shelton
Originally called the Geo Tracker, the Chevrolet Tracker was produced from 1998 to 2004. This small sport utility vehicle is easily outfitted for towing, and an all-wheel-drive Tracker with a manual transmission can be towed with all four wheels on the ground. To tow the Tracker, you will have to outfit the vehicle with a custom baseplate and add a wiring kit or use a supplemental brake light system. You should also keep track of mileage while in tow, and recirculate the oil in the Tracker's transfer case every 200 miles.
Find the weight of your Tracker. A 2004 Tracker has a curb weight of up to 3,027 pounds. The total weight of your Tracker will depend on the addition of any options or accessories. Look on your door tag or in your owner's manual for your weight.
Check the tow rating on the vehicle that will tow the Tracker. Both the hitch and the towing vehicle should be rated over the Tracker's gross weight. Make sure you are not exceeding your towing vehicle's gross combination weight rating (GCWR) as well. Towing information is available in the owner's guide of the towing vehicle. The weight rating for the hitch is stamped directly on the hitch.
Pull the Tracker behind the vehicle that will tow it. Connect the Tracker to the towing vehicle by attaching the tow bars to the baseplate. Secure the locking pins and clips and lock the arms into place, as directed in the tow bar instructions. Follow these carefully as tow bar directions can vary between manufacturers.
Attach the safety cables or safety chains from the Tracker to the hitch. Make sure that the clips or clamps are tightly fastened on, and that the chain is not scraping the ground. Plug the cord from the Tracker into the towing vehicle, pushing the plug in firmly. Connect the breakaway system if installed on the Tracker.
Release the parking brake on the Tracker, and shift the transmission into neutral. Leave the key in the steering column, set on the off-unlocked position. Set any other towing equipment, such as for an automatic transmission, as directed by the manufacturer instructions.
Check the bolts on all mounted towing equipment, and all connections, one more time. Make sure that any items left in the Tracker are safely stowed, and check the air pressure in the tires. Test the brake lights, running lights and turns signals to make sure they are operating correctly.
Slowly accelerate, keeping an eye on the Tracker to make sure that it is following behind you correctly. Adjust your acceleration and stopping times to make up for the extra weight behind you. If this is your first time towing a vehicle, start out in a familiar area with light traffic to get a feel for handling.
Getting hands dirty is just part of the fun for Sarah Shelton, who draws on personal experience to write home and garden, automotive and travel articles. Her pieces have appeared on ConsumerSearch.com, USA TODAY, Dremel.com and other websites. Shelton received a bachelor's degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and currently lives in southern Oregon.