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Tow a Trailer Easily with these Tips from Chevrolet

BANGKOK – Towing a trailer for recreation or business is a learned skill that requires attention to detail, excellent driving skills, weight calculations and proper load distribution. Here are some practical tips from Chevrolet experts to help customers tow properly:

Pick the right vehicle

When properly equipped with a tow hitch and ball mount, a Colorado pickup truck can tow up to 3,500 kg (trailer with brakes) and Trailblazer SUV can tow up to 3,000 kg (trailer with brakes). Colorado Midnight Edition, High Country, High Country STORM and Centennial Edition as well as Trailblazer LT, LTZ and Z71 are equipped with technologies that help, including Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control and Downhill Mode.

Pick the right hitch

Choosing the right hitch and making the proper electrical connections affect how your vehicle handles, corners, and brakes, and allow you to alert other drivers about lane changes and turns while towing. Before selecting a hitch or trailer, you should be familiar with the weight ratings specific to your Chevrolet vehicle. Consult a professional installer to meet your towing needs.

Do the Math

Gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is the total allowable weight of the completely loaded vehicle and trailer including any fuel, passengers, cargo, equipment, and accessories. Do not exceed the GCWR of your vehicle. The GCWR for the vehicle is listed in the Trailering Table in the Owner’s Manual. To check that the weight of the vehicle and the trailer are within the GCWR for the vehicle, follow these steps:

  • Start with the “curb weight”
  • Add the weight of the trailer loaded with cargo and ready for the trip
  • Add the weight of all passengers
  • Add the weight of all cargo in the vehicle
  • Add the weight of hitch hardware, such as a drawbar, ball mount, load equalizer bars, or sway bars
  • Add the weight of any accessories or aftermarket equipment added to the vehicle

Secure it for safety

Always attach safety chains between your vehicle and trailer. Cross chains under the tongue of the trailer so the tongue will be less likely to drop if the trailer should separate from the hitch.

Manage load distribution

When loading a trailer, distribute 60 percent of the load over the front half of the trailer and evenly from side to side. Loads sitting too far forward or too far back can create unwanted trailer sway. Never exceed the load capabilities of your vehicle, including tongue weight, which is the downward force of the coupler of the trailer on the vehicle’s hitch (usually 10 to 15 percent of the loaded trailer weight for a conventional hitch).

A few more essential tips

When backing up a trailer, place one hand at the six o’clock position on the steering wheel. To move the trailer to the left, move your hand to the left. To move the trailer right, move your hand right. Back up slowly and in small increments to maintain control.

Braking when pulling a trailer requires extra distance. Allow one vehicle and trailer length between you and the vehicle ahead of you for every 10 mph of speed.

Don’t try to steer out of a trailer sway situation; it will only make it worse. Instead, hold the steering wheel as steady as possible, release the accelerator (without touching the brake) and activate the electric trailer brakes (if equipped) by hand.

Driving up a steep incline, a lower gear can provide more power or torque. Crest the hill at a speed no greater than the speed at which you want to descend. Shift into a lower gear to help provide “engine braking” on the descent.