Towing

Whether you're towing trailers, boats or recreational vehicles, there are some safety regulations and guidelines that should be observed. See the Towing Guide for all towing articles.


Towing a trailer seems like a pretty straightforward task. But unless you're paying attention to some simple safety rules, you may be in for a rough time.

The harder your vehicle's engine works, the hotter it gets. If you're towing, your transmission is working harder, too. What can you do to prevent it from overheating?

When you tow a payload, you need to keep an eye on what's going on around you. What's the best way to use your mirrors when you tow?

Anyone who pulls a trailer knows that ratcheting straps, bungee cords and rope are necessary to properly secure any load. But how can you keep your tie-downs organized when you're not using them?

On the surface, towing seems simple. But if you're not careful, your load can get out of control, causing a serious accident. What should you know before you tow?

Pickup trucks come in all sorts of sizes and options -- big ones, small ones, short ones and tall ones. Understanding all the choices and lingo can be confusing. So what does half-ton truck really mean?

Some weights associated with towing are fairly complex, but not every weight connected with towing is hard to calculate. In fact, some are remarkably straightforward -- gross trailer weight (GTW) is a good example.

If you've never had the experience of towing a trailer, then you probably don't know what tongue weight is. Sure, it may sound funny -- but to someone hitching up a heavy load, it's very serious.

Now it's your turn in the driver's seat to tow a boat, trailer or even another car. Suddenly, towing doesn't seem so simple, and you're worried about jackknifing. So how can you avoid it?

Like carrying added baggage, towing burns extra fuel. But maybe there's no other way to get the job done, or you just really need that getaway to the lake. Can you go green?

It's relatively simple to determine when you've added a little too much weight to your car, truck or SUV. But what if you were loading something much bigger -- perhaps a massive recreational vehicle?

You may think loading up your stuff into your family vehicle and towing with a moving truck is a cinch. But could a few tips prevent a disaster in your next road trip?

One of the most difficult things to do while towing a vehicle is to back up. In fact, you should avoid it if possible. So why is it so tough?

While some people are lucky enough to have lakefront or oceanfront property, the rest of the boating community are typically stuck transporting their boats -- often for many miles -- which usually means wheeling out the trailer and hitting the road.

Launching your boat can be a challenge, especially when you're being stared at by a crowd of fellow boaters waiting their turn at the ramp.

The majority of the driving population takes a lot of things for granted. Their vehicles speed up, slow down, back up and turn when they require them to, and with relative ease. But add a couple of thousand pounds onto the back, and things get a litt

If you're hauling precious cargo, your trailer's suspension better be good enough to give a well-cushioned ride. Have you checked your leaf springs?

No matter how much the kids are screaming and the wife is glaring, the answer to "Are we there yet?" while taking a trip with a trailer doesn't mean you can just give it a little more gas. Towing a trailer is tricky business, and more speed makes it

Safely towing a trailer, even in a straight line, requires skill. Turning while towing, however, presents a completely different set of concerns -- even for an experienced driver. What makes turning while towing so difficult?

Slowing your vehicle to a stop usually doesn't require much effort on your part. But what happens when you have hundreds -- or even thousands -- of pounds of trailer weight attached to your rear bumper?

Passing another vehicle on the highway isn't all that difficult. In fact, most drivers do it without a second thought. But what if you were pulling a heavy camper trailer? Would that change the situation?

With practice, shifting gears in a car or truck isn't really difficult for most people. But when you add the weight of a trailer, finding the right gear might not be quite so simple anymore.

Cars with an automatic transmission have no clutch that disconnects the transmission from the engine. Instead, they use an amazing device called a torque converter. Find out all about the torque converter.

You find references to force, power, torque and energy all over the HowStuffWorks site. Learn what these terms really mean and how they relate to one another.