Towing Capacity of Vehicles

by Contributing Writer

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Under The Hood:

 Towing Capacity of a Chevy Kodiak

Power

The Chevrolet Kodiak's towing capacity comes from a massive Duramax diesel-powered 330-horsepower (hp), 6.6-liter V-8 engine to generate 520 feet-pounds (ft.-lbs.) of torque. The torque generated in the engine gives the truck quick acceleration while hauling a load. An optional 325-hp 8.1-liter diesel V-8 with 620 ft.-lbs. of torque is also available.

Towing Capacity

The two-wheel-drive Kodiak C4500, which weighs more than 10,000 pounds (lbs.) is used primarily for commercial purposes and public emergency work such as firefighting, It's capable of towing 16,000 lbs. and another 5,500 lbs. of cargo on the vehicle itself with the 330-hp V-8.

Performance

Without a payload or trailer, the 300-hp Kodiak C4500 can reach zero to 60 miles-per-hour (mph) in 12 seconds. The Kodiak 300-hp diesel also powers the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD (heavy-duty) pickup trucks.

 Towing Capacity of a 1996 Winnebago Rialta

Dimensions

The 1996 Rialta measured 20 feet 8 inches long with a 152-inch wheelbase. Later, Rialtas added a foot of overall length as the series continued. The gross vehicle weight rating is 7,000 pounds on early models and 7,275 on later Rialtas. The gross vehicle combined weight rating is 9,000 pounds, rising to 9,275 on the later vehicles, which enables the Rialta to safely tow up to 2,000 pounds.

Equipment

The 1996 model is powered by a 2.5 L five-cylinder engine, while 1997 and later Rialtas have a more powerful 201-horsepower 2.8 L V6 engine. The compact Rialta is easy to maneuver and can get up to 21 mpg on the freeway. It's still a fully self-contained motor home in spite of its small size, however. Standard equipment on the Rialta includes a water heater and water pump, rooftop air conditioner, bathroom with shower, a stove and a 20-gallon fresh water tank.

History

Winnebago built approximately eight thousand Rialtas during the production run, which actually outlasted the Eurovan's production by two years. It was replaced in the lineup by a larger, Mercedes Sprinter-based Class B RV.

 Towing Capacity of Trucks

Towing Capacity

Every passenger vehicle has a towing capability, with its capacity determined by the manufacturer. That information usually is listed in your owner's manual.

Ford F-150

Ford's F-Series is the best-selling truck in America, a distinction it has held for more than three decades. Ford offers a number of two- and four-wheel-drive models. Several models have a maximum towing capacity of 11,300 lbs.

Chevy Silverado

The standard Chevrolet Silverado offers a maximum trailer weight rating of 10,700 lbs.

Dodge Ram

The standard Dodge Ram 1500 offers a maximum trailer tow capacity of 10,450 lbs.

Other Trucks

Other full-sized trucks such as the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan offer towing capacities of 5,200 and 7,400 lbs. respectively.

Warning

Read your owner's manual carefully for instructions on how to tow, special equipment needed such as a hitch, factoring in payload and cabin weight.

 Towing Capacity of a 2010 Chevy Traverse

Standard Towing and Payload Capacities

The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse has a standard towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. The standard payload capacity for front-wheel drive models is 1,621 pounds. All-wheel-drive models have a standard payload capacity of 1,393 pounds.

Maximum Towing and Payload Capacities

When properly equipped, each 2010 Chevrolet Traverse has a maximum towing capacity of 5,200 pounds. Payload capacities remain the same, regardless of how the Traverse is equipped.

GVWR

The front-wheel-drive Traverse has a gross vehicle weight rating of 6,411 pounds. All-wheel-drive models have a GVWR of 6,459 pounds. The GVWR is the maximum allowable weight of the Traverse, passengers, cargo and tongue weight of the trailer.

Towing Power

The Traverse is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine. In most models the engine provides 281 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 266 ft.-lbs. of torque at 3,400 rpm. The LTZ trims have a more powerful variant of the engine, producing 288 horsepower and 270 ft.-lbs. torque. Towing capacities are not affected by the engine in the Traverse.

 The Towing Capacity for a 2002 S-10 Crew Cab

Towing Capacity

Several things determine a vehicle's towing capacity: what the chassis and axles can handle, what the tires are rated to carry, what the engine has to pull and what the transmission can manage without breaking. The base-model, two-wheel-drive S-10 with a regular cab weighed in at a paltry 3,000 pounds, had a total Gross Weight rating -- maximum capacity -- of 4,200 pounds and a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds.

The Crew Cab model, though, weighed in at a stunning 4,000 pounds; the additional cab weight and wheelbase, combined with the mandatory V-6 and four-wheel-drive system that came with all Crew Cab models tacked on nearly half a ton over the base model. In terms of towing capacity, the four-wheel-drive system and associated drivetrain offset some of the Crew Cab's extra mass; however, it still rated 500 pounds lower than the base model. GM approved the heavy Chevy for 5,500 pounds of towing capacity.

 What Is the Towing Capacity of the Escalade EXT?

Size

The towing capacities for the Escalade EXT varied by year, and they included maximum capacities of 7,300 lbs., 7,400 lbs., 7,500 lbs., 7,600 lbs. and 7,900 lbs.

Time Frame

During the first two years, 2002 and 2003, the Escalade EXT had a towing capacity of 7,900 lbs. The 2004 model year saw a decline in capacity to 7,400 lbs. Maximum towing capacity dropped again in 2005 to 7,300 lbs., before rebounding to 7,500 lbs. in 2006. The 2007 and 2008 model years saw an increase to 7,600 lbs. For the 2009 and 2010 model years, the Escalade EXT towing capacity leveled back off at 7,500 lbs.

Considerations

Reaching maximum towing capacity requires installation of a proper trailer hitch and towing package. A Class 1 trailer hitch is only capable of handling 2,000 lbs., and a Class 4 can handle as much as 10,000 lbs.

Types

The Cadillac Escalade was available in one base trim line, with available options, from 2002 until 2009. During the 2010 model year, a Luxury and Premium trim became available. Towing capacity was not affected by the trim level.

Expert Insight

During a review of the 2010 Cadillac Escalade EXT, Edmunds said, "The Cadillac EXT's 6.2-liter engine is quite strong. Like the Avalanche, its basic layout isn't set up for 5th wheel towing, but is well-suited to medium-weight using a standard hitch."

 What Is the Towing Capacity for Pickup Trucks?

Manufacturing Factors

Factors that help increase towing capacity include horsepower, brake size, frame design, torque, engine configuration and the axle ratio.

Hitches

The type of towing hitch a truck is fitted with also influences its towing capacity. With a class III hitch, mid-sized pickups can tow up to 5,000 lbs., while full-sized trucks with a class IV hitch for can tow up to 12,000 lbs. A full-sized pickup with a gooseneck hitch can tow 25,000 pounds.

Expert Insight

According to Autotropolism, a low RPM torque -- not horsepower -- determines the towing capacity of pickups. The ease with which a pickup can climb a 7 percent grade -- the highest grade on most U.S. highways -- determines its towing capacity, according to the website.

 The Towing Capacity of a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4

Range and Comparison

The 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 pickups have towing capacity ranging from 7,300 lbs. to 7,800 lbs. This capacity range falls in the middle in comparison with the likes of the Chevrolet K1500 and the Ford F150 four-wheel-drive. The Chevrolet K1500 ranges from 5,000 lbs. to 7,500 lbs., while the F150 four-wheel-drive ranges from 7,700 lbs. to 7,800 lbs.

Types

The towing capacity of a specific Ram 1500 depends on its trim level and bed size. The Ram ST with a long bed has the lowest towing capacity at 7,300 lbs. The ST short bed can tow up to 7,400 lbs. The LT trim level, both long and short bed, can tow up to 7,800 lbs.

Considerations

The maximum towing capacity rating is the most weight the truck can structurally handle. It can become unsafe to tow at your vehicle's maximum, as different components may wear out. To maintain safety when towing at the vehicle's maximum, make certain to perform timely maintenance. Another way to improve the safety of your towing is certain add-ons, such as electronic brake control, heavy-duty shocks and a transmission cooler.

 What Is the Towing Capacity of a 2007 V-6 Ford Ranger?

V-6 Choices in the 2007 Ranger

In 2007, the Ranger was available with a choice of 3.0-liter or 4.0-liter V-6 engines. Both used an iron block and aluminum heads; the larger and more sophisticated single overhead cam 4.0-liter was introduced as an improvement over the overhead-valve 3.0-liter. The 3.0-liter engine produced 148 horsepower and 180 foot-pounds of maximum torque, while the 4.0-liter engine was rated at 207 horsepower and 238 foot-pounds of torque.

Towing Capacity

The maximum towing capacity for the V-6 Rangers was 2,620 pounds for the 3.0-liter V-6 with a 3.73 rear axle ratio, automatic transmission and two-wheel drive. The more powerful 4.0-liter maxed out at 6,000 pounds, with a 3.55 rear axle ratio, automatic transmission and two-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive towing capacities were somewhat reduced, at 2,560 and 5,860 pounds, respectively.

Payload Capacity

Payload capacity for all 2007 Rangers was 1,260 pounds, regardless of engine choice.

 Towing Capacity of a 1997 Chevy Silverado 1/2 Ton Pickup

Standard Towing

The standard towing capacity is the maximum weight the Silverado can tow regularly. The 1997 Silverado half-ton trucks were broken down into two main body styles, the regular cab and extended cab. The regular cab had a standard towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. with two-wheel drive to 2,500 lbs. with four-wheel drive. The extended cab's standard towing was rated at 2,500 lbs. The two-wheel-drive extended cab with an 8-foot bed was rated at 2,000 lbs.

Maximum Towing

The maximum towing capacity is the most that the vehicle can tow safely. The regular cab models had a maximum towing capacity of 7,000 lbs. with four-wheel drive to 7,500 lbs. with two-wheel drive. The extended cab models -- in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive -- had a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 lbs.

Payload

Another concern when towing is payload capacity. This is the maximum weight the Silverado's chassis can bear. This is a concern as the trailer's tongue weight -- the weight at the point where the trailer connects to the truck -- adds to the payload weight. The four-wheel drive versions have the lowest payload capacity, ranging from 1,668 lbs. to 1,938 lbs. The two-wheel drive models range from 1,804 lbs. to 2,229 lbs.

 The Towing Capacity of a Ford F250

Conventional Towing

The 2015 Ford F-250 can tow between 12,200 pounds and 14,000 pounds, depending on its options. The lowest-capacity F-250 is the four-wheel-drive model with the 3.73-to-1 axle ratio and 6.2-liter V-8, while the highest-capacity models are any that combine diesel power with a Super Cab or Crew Cab.

Fifth Wheel Towing

With a gooseneck trailer, the 2015 F-250 can tow between 12,100 pounds and 16,800 pounds. The lowest-capacity model is the four-wheel-drive, Crew Cab model with the 6.2-liter V-8 and 3.73-to-1 axle ratio. The highest-capacity model is the Regular Cab version with two-wheel drive, and the 6.7-liter diesel engine.

 Towing Capacity of Small SUVs

Definitions

There's no official definition of a "small" SUV. However, many classify an SUV as "small" or "compact" if it measures less than 106 inches from the center of the rear wheel hub to the center of the front (the "wheelbase").

Low End Capacity

On the low end of 2010's offerings is the Subaru Forester (1,000 pounds towing capacity). The Acura RDX, Honda CR-V AWD, Hyundai Tucson AWD and Nissan Rogue AWD are all rated at 1,500 pounds. The Jeep Patriot AWD, Jeep Wrangler 4WD, Kia Sportage AWD and Mitsubishi Outlander can tow 2,000 pounds apiece.

High End Capacity

On the heavier end, the Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute AWD, Mercury Mariner and Toyota RAV4 AWD each rate 3,500 pounds of towing capacity. Land Rover's LR2 can haul 4,400, Jeep's Liberty 4WD and Toyota's FJ Cruiser sit at the top of the small SUV towing heap at 5,000 pounds each (all figures are for 2010 models).

 The Towing Capacity of a Saturn SUV

Saturn Outlook

The 2009 Saturn Outlook could tow 2,000 pounds in its standard and all-wheel-drive versions. With the V92 Trailer Towing Package installed, the Outlook's towing capacity increased to 4,500 pounds with front- and all-wheel drive.

Saturn Vue

The base 2009 Vue with the 2.4-liter engine and the Vue Hybrid could tow 1,500 pounds. The V-6-equipped 2009 Vue could tow 3,500 pounds.