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Having What it Takes to Tow
written by Bass Pro Shops

Helpful hints to make sure your tow vehicle has what it takes to get the job done.
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It may be fully rigged and ready to go. But before you take it home, make sure your tow vehicle has what it takes to get the job done. Some 14 and 16-foot fishing packages weigh less than 2,000 lbs. and can easily be towed with today's mid-size vehicles as well as small trucks and SUVs. But stay on the safe side by first determining the combined weight of your boat, motor and trailer package. Don't forget to include the added weight of the fuel on board, added accessories, sporting gear and other equipment you plan to tow in the boat. Count on your TRACKER dealer for an expert estimate of the total weight of the entire load you'll be hitching up. Next, compare that weight with your vehicle's maximum tow rating. Your vehicle dealer or the manufacturer's literature should have tow rating charts for your particular vehicle. The most reliable rating of all is the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). It's the manufacturer's maximum allowable loaded weight of the vehicle and trailer-including passengers, gear and fuel carried in both the vehicle and trailer.

Ask about Towing Packages

Most manufacturers offer towing packages for their vehicles that offer heavy-duty components and accessories to boost a vehicle's towing limits. Surprisingly, 4WD or all-wheel-drive vehicles are often rated lower than 2WD vehicles. That's because 4WD systems add significant weight to the vehicle. However, the added traction (and low-range gearing on 4WD vehicles) means better control on the road and better traction on slippery and/or steep launch ramps.

 

Toyota is a member of the TRACKER tow team. As the official trucks and SUVs of TRACKER Marine and Bass Pro Shops, Toyota manufactures a full fleet of 6 and 8-cylinder tow vehicles. Get more details on matching a Toyota tow vehicle with your new boat at your Toyota dealer, at toyota.com or at your TRACKER Marine dealer. TRACKER Marine not only builds a wide range of outstanding boats designed for easy towing-we also manufacture outstanding custom-finished, factory matched Trailstar trailers for every one of them.

 

Getting Hitched

Double check that the ball is the right size and properly engaged in the hitch. Your tow vehicle should be equipped with a frame- or body-mounted hitch-never a bumper hitch. Bumper hitches are unreliable under all but the lightest towing conditions, and are even illegal in some states.

 

Stopping Power Brakes are an option. Towing regulations regarding Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) vary from locale to locale as do requirements for brakes on boat trailers.

 

Tire safety -- it's in the air. Use a precision tire gauge to check your trailer's tires before every tow. A flat or low-pressure tire can cause serious trailer-control problems before you ever realize something's wrong.

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