Should (And Can) You Install A Trailer Hitch On Your Family Sedan?

Whether you've recently acquired a boat, a pop-up camper, or another recreational item you can't wait to take with you on your family's adventures, you may be wondering whether you need to purchase a new truck and trailer to transport your item from place to place. However, in many cases, you may be able to install a serviceable tow hitch on your midsize to full-size family sedan. When is installing a trailer hitch a good idea, and when may you need to upgrade your ride to accommodate your new toy? Read on to learn more about the factors you'll want to consider (and the calculations you'll need to make) when determining whether installing a trailer hitch makes sense for your current sedan.

Weight

Although many sedans are powerful and solidly-built enough to tow something several times their size, weight limitations are still important -- ignoring the recommended maximum gross weight of your trailer and tow load could have devastating consequences for your engine, transmission, and other crucial components. When calculating whether your vehicle can accommodate your new boat or camper, you'll want to take into account not only the weight of your item and its contents, but also the weight of the trailer and tow hitch itself. For example, if your vehicle can tow up to 4,000 pounds and your unloaded boat weighs only 3,000, you may assume you're in the clear. However, a heavy 1,000-pound trailer could put you right at the limit, and gas, life jackets, oars, and other assorted boating accessories could definitely put you over the top.

Drive styles

If your current sedan is all-wheel drive (AWD) or front-wheel drive (FWD), you should have no problem towing a trailer in just about any weather. AWD vehicles permit all wheels to spin at once, which can be the push you need to get you out of deep snow or mud or keep you on the road during heavy precipitation. Sedans with a manual transmission can also be well-suited for trailer towing, as you'll be able to find the right gear for the conditions without relying on your vehicle to do the shifting on your behalf.

However, vehicles with rear-wheel drive or automatic transmissions can sometimes have trouble towing in certain types of weather. Because these vehicles gain their power from the rear wheels, getting up to speed with a heavy load in the back can be challenging when roadways aren't clear. Although having a vehicle with RWD or an automatic transmission certainly won't keep you from towing, you'll want to take even more care to ensure your trailer weight is well below your vehicle's towing capacity.

Talk to a company like Geny Hitch for more information on towing your new toy.

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