Towing a trailer behind your truck

Truck Camper Towing TrailerIf you are planning on doing any kind of outdoor adventure that involves you bringing extra cargo or a trailer, chances are you'll need to tow with a trailer hitch! While it may seem unapproachable, setting up and towing a trailer behind your truck is easier than it looks. But, it does require some study and set up in advance to make it as easy as possible when you’re actually towing.

During your research phase, the first thing you need to ensure is that your truck has a rating capacity of at least the max weight of the load you want to haul. Check the owner’s manual for your truck to determine the weight limits and figure out the appropriate hitch to have installed. You’ll want to make sure to stay within the manufacturer’s weight ratings or you could potentially cause major damage to your vehicle, truck and other drivers on the road.

Here are the numbers that you’ll need to know before getting set up to tow behind your truck:

Tongue Weight Gross trailer weight (GTW): how much the trailer weighs fully loaded. 
Gross trailer weight (GTW): how much the trailer weighs fully loaded. 
Tongue weight: the downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer coupler. You’ll need to know your trailer tongue weight in order to determine the best hitch for your vehicle.
Gross combined weight rating (GCWR): The maximum weight of the trailer tow vehicle combined, this weight should never be exceeded. 
Hitch rating: this is an incredibly important number! It’s the weight that the manufacturer has tested and determined that the hitch can handle. For example, the SuperHitch Original can handle 2,000 pounds tongue weight and tow up to 20,000 pounds.


What it basically comes down to for hitch towing is weight! Weight is the most important factor when it comes to towing. Both knowing how much weight your trailer hitch can tow and how much weight your truck, hitch and ball mount can handle. 

Truck Camper
All hitches are not created equal. If you’re planning on towing a heavy amount, you need to make sure that your trailer hitch is up to the task. Take for example Charles Spray. He trusts the best hitch available for towing a trailer behind his fully loaded truck and camper: the SuperHitch!

“Getting ready for the Ponies in the Smokies car show in Sevierville, TN. Love your products! It runs great down the highway and that’s the important part.”

-Charles Spray

SuperTruss 3The SuperHitch comes in two different weight capacities. The SuperHitch Original heavy-duty trailer hitch is rated at 2,000 pounds tongue weight, 20,000 pounds with weight distribution and uses our patented dual receiver design (2-inch upper and 2-inch lower) to max out class five hitch maximum capacities.

To fight the blight of wimpy factory and aftermarket tow hitches the SuperHitch Magnum is also available. With weight distribution, the SuperHitch Magnum trailer hitch is rated up to 3,000 pounds tongue and 30,000 pounds towing.

Reinforced Pin Locations
Both of these trailer hitches come with hardened reinforced hitch pin locations to prevent common elongation of the hitch pin holes known as egging. When hitch pin holes are not properly reinforced, the elongated pin holes with extra space around the hitch pin leads to effects of poor handling. For example, feeling the trailer’s dramatic push forward on the tow vehicle while stopping. Gain control and avoid this with the SuperHitch 20K trailer hitch.


The SuperHitch Original and SuperHitch Magnum are built incredibly strong and can handle heavy towing within the vehicle manufacturer’s indicated maximum capacities. They are also made in the USA and are backed by our Legendary Lifetime Warranty.

SuperTruss 2The SuperTruss is an incredibly strong extension for towing when you have overhang in the bed of your truck.


Depending on the application, trucks are often used to both tow and haul at the same time, just like Charles who has a truck camper in his truck bed while towing a trailer. If the cargo in the truck bed blocks the trailer hitch receiver by crossing the threshold of the vehicles rear-end, you'll need specific towing equipment to maintain your ability to tow. The SuperHitch SuperTruss extension pairs perfectly with each model of SuperHitch to give you the ability and convenience of extending your tow hitch in the safest way possible. Take advantage of the versatility of your tow vehicle by giving it the tools it needs to go big.


For a full list of steps on how to tow a trailer you can visit our recent blog for step by step instructions on towing a trailer behind your truck. If you’re interested in purchasing our SuperHitch trailer hitch and want to upgrade like Charles, there are a couple of options available to you! You can click here to visit one of our Certified Dealers near you. You can also contact us for more information or questions at support@torklift.com or by calling 800-246-8132.

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kerstin

Written by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes, spoiling her cat Clio and daydreaming about future travels. 

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Trailer sway? Tow smoothly with this simple suspension fix

towing-trailer-swaySafe trailer towingHeading out on the road this travel season with your boat trailer, fifth wheel, travel trailer or horse trailer? Once you’ve hooked up the trailer to your tow vehicle, there are certain things you should look for to ensure a safe towing experience.

 

 

Before you go find your adventure, ask yourself the following questions:checklist

     -  Am I towing within my vehicles tow ratings?
     -  Is my trailer weight within my hitch ratings?
     -  Do I have proper tongue weight?
     -  Do I need a weight distribution system?
     -  Are my trailer lights working properly?
     -  Is there rear end sag on my vehicle?

This simplified list only features a few crucial items you should consider. For more information on how to safely tow a trailer, take a look at our article where we debunk the top 7 towing myths.

DaphneStableLoad Challenge test-driver Daphne Risso experiences poor handling from heavy payloadIf your truck or vehicle is showing signs of rear sag, the vehicle’s ability to handle safely is severely compromised. Rear end sag (where the nose of the vehicle tilts upward and the rear is pressed downward) is an indication that heavy payload is lacking the support it needs. This causes unresponsive steering, increased stopping distance, increased tire wear and a laundry list of other issues that are unsafe and damaging to the vehicle.

To avoid this poor handling nightmare, install the StableLoad suspension stabilizer. The StableLoads help your vehicle’s factory suspension to support heavy payload like a trailer or truck camper.

StableLoads are applicable with both towing and hauling on several vehicle applications like trucks, vans, SUVs and light commercial vehicles. As long as the vehicle comes equipped with factory overload leaf springs (which most are), the StableLoads work their magic once installed.  

What’s this magic? We won’t keep it a secret. The lower StableLoad application attaches to the overload leaf springs just below the leaf spring pack.

b2ap3_thumbnail_engagedstableload.jpgStableLoad suspension stabilizer turned on    wedge-packPrecision-crafted wedges

By using specially designed wedges that take up the space between the overload leaf spring and the leaf spring pack, the vehicle now uses the strength and support that the factory overload leaf springs were built to provide.

When turned on, the benefits of the StableLoad suspension stabilizer include a leveled vehicle and significant reduction in poor handling characteristics like side-to-side sway, body roll, bounce and porpoising. Some people mention it’s difficult to distinguish when the trailer is hooked up because the StableLoads provide such a smooth ride.

b2ap3_thumbnail_StableLoad_Disengaged_IU.jpgStableLoad Suspension Stabilizer
turned to the off position
A special feature of the StableLoads is the ability to switch them on and off. Since they engage and disengage with the simple twist of a 3/8-inch ratchet, your vehicle won’t lose its smooth factory ride when you aren’t towing.

The problem with other aftermarket suspension products is the inability for adjustment leaving you stuck with stiffened suspension when you don’t need it.

 

Since most people have vehicles for multiple uses, the adjustable feature of the StableLoads provides outstanding level of convenience and allows you to enjoy optimal ride quality in any circumstance.

To gain real-world feedback on the StableLoad suspension stabilizer, we gave rally-goers who tow trailers or haul campers the opportunity to drive a Ford F150 truck with the suspension upgrade turned both on and off. With a 2,800-pound payload in the bed of each identical Ford F-150 truck, the StableLoad Challenge kicked off one incredible experiment.

edThose who took the StableLoad Challenge were in disbelief at the effectiveness of the StableLoads. We posed one question to test-driver Ed Shaw once he completed the StableLoad Challenge with the StableLoads suspension stabilizer turned on.

Torklift:
Do you feel the difference?

Ed Shaw:
“Oh yea, a lot! This drives very smooth now. Very impressive.”

To see how the StableLoads made a huge impression on other rally-goers, watch this video:

With a lifetime warranty, most StableLoad applications are no-drill and involve a simple, DIY installation. For few applications that may require drilling, Torklift recently unveiled the StableLoad Drill Tool that allows you to drill through a leaf spring in an impressive 37 seconds.  See how it works here.

Click here to find your application and learn more about the StableLoad suspension Stabilizer.

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Do I need a leveling kit for my truck?

What type of leveling kit do you need for your suspension? A leveling kit in general will raise either the front or back of a vehicle to achieve an even, leveled stance. For towing any type of trailer or hauling a significant load like a truck camper, it’s typical the extra payload will cause the rear of the vehicle to sag.

How do you know if you are in need of a suspension modification?

Try this: 
     1.  Load your vehicle or connect your trailer 
     2.  Step back to see how the vehicle sits from front to back 
     3.  Determine if the rear of the truck is sagging from the load
     4.  Take a short test-drive – how is your drivability?

b2ap3_thumbnail_sagging.jpg
Heavy load causing truck rear to sag while towing

When towing or hauling, it’s best to achieve a leveled ride and avoid rear-end sag. If this sagging is what you see happening to your truck, you might take a moment to learn about what leveling kit or suspension upgrade could help your truck’s ride quality. 

When the vehicle is sagging, the driver typically experiences: 
       -  Characteristics of off-balance steering 
       -  Extended braking distance when trying to stop the truck  
       -  Sway and porpoising motions when driving

A simple solution to eliminate vehicle sag and level your truck while towing or hauling is the StableLoad suspension stabilizer.

b2ap3_thumbnail_SL_Product_Box_OU.png
StableLoad Suspension Stabilizer

b2ap3_thumbnail_Leaf_Springs.png
StableLoads installed on leaf springs

In addition to leveling your vehicle, the Torklift StableLoads are tested and proven to solve multiple drivability issues. By pre-engaging the stronger factory overload leaf springs, StableLoads give added support to the suspension your truck was designed to have originally.

In order for your overload leaf springs to help manage what you are towing or hauling, they must come into contact with the rest of the leaf springs. The StableLoad suspension stabilizer eliminates delayed contact and puts your springs to work sooner, eliminating truck sag.

See how the StableLoad’s wedge pack eliminates the space in the lower overload leaf springs:

b2ap3_thumbnail_stableload-display.png
StableLoads engaged and disengaged

If you use your truck as a daily driver and aren’t in need of a permanent modification, the lower StableLoad application is the perfect solution. With the ability to literally turn them on and off by engaging and disengaging them in seconds, the StableLoads allow you to enjoy the convenience of returning to your comfortable factory ride when you’re not towing or hauling. This feature is unlike other suspension modifications that stiffen your ride quality when your truck is not in tow/haul mode.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of Torklift International’s StableLoad suspension stabilizer or learn more about different types of suspension by reading our editorial, "What kind of aftermarket suspension upgrade should I get?". 

See Related: Top 5 problems caused by truck sag when towing or hauling

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