Nice Truck – But Will it Tow?
You’ve got a shiny new truck and a boat that’s ready for the water. But is your truck up for the job? E3 Spark Plugs offers a few tips on making sure your towing vehicle is truly capable.
First, it’s critical that you understand just how important a proper towing vehicle is to your and your family’s safety, and that of people with whom you’re sharing the roadways while heading out to the lake, river or ocean. Just imagine the consequences of your boat slipping off the trailer, or your trailer coming unhitched from your truck while zooming down the highway. Clearly, it’s a roadway horror story waiting to happen.
A primary consideration is whether your truck’s towing capacity is high enough for the watercraft you’ll be towing. Despite their often badass names and marketing blitzes, not all trucks quite live up to their hyped-up images here in the real world. Every make and model of a truck has limitations. And those limitations can vary depending upon the weight and shape of the watercraft you’ll be towing, and upon weather conditions at play while you’re towing. Knowing and respecting those limitations is just what will help you avoid a tragedy.
For instance, automotive experts warn that a 1500-size pickup truck generally is capable of safely towing a bass boat or a pair of jet skis. But anything larger or heavier will require a 2500 or 3500-level pickup. Note that it’s important to keep your towed weight, including the combined weight of your boat and trailer, safely below your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity. Come one hard gust of wind, you’ll need that window of capacity.
Also, while 4×2 trucks may have higher ratings, a four-wheel drive is crucial for safety navigating wet ramps. Other towing equipment that is critical or highly recommended include a good set of deep-tread tires, a backup camera (which will be a required standard in all new vehicles come 2018), bigger brakes, high-capacity air cleaners, top-quality truck spark plugs that will ensure strong, clean engine performance and dielectric grease for the trailer wiring harness. Dielectric grease will better seal the connectors within the harness, which controls the brakes, trailer brake lights and turn signals.
Got more advice for choosing the right watercraft towing vehicle? Post your thoughts on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.