Everything You Need To Know About Towing Your Race Vehicle
So, you’re planning on hitting the track with your track car after installing your latest parts? Or you’ve found a rally that looks like it’ll be a blast to race? Either way, you are likely looking at using a tow vehicle to get your track car to the event. There are many things that need to be considered to ensure you are safely towing your track car and not risking damage to it, your tow vehicle, or other drivers on the road. GVWR, trailers, safety accessories, we’ll take a look at all of those factors in this post, so let’s get started!
What Are GVWR and GCWR?
GVWR – or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, is the maximum operating weight of your vehicle according to the manufacturer specifications. This includes all aspects of your vehicle, meaning the vehicle itself, fuel, accessories, passengers, cargo, but not including trailers
GCWR – or Gross Combined Weight Rating, is the maximum operational weight of the vehicle with everything included (so GVWR) plus the weight of the trailer and all of the contents of the trailer that your vehicle is towing.
There are a number of other factors to consider with GCWR as well:
- Curb Weight – The weight of the vehicle while parked at the curb, excluding passengers and cargo
- Dry Weight – Takes curb weight a step further by excluding the weight of fuels, oils, and fluids
- Gross Trailer Weight Rating – The maximum weight of a trailer the vehicle can tow
- Gross Axle Weight Rating – The maximum weight tolerable by any particular axle
Another thing to consider is that there are certain limitations in place on vehicles at certain weight thresholds. In the United States for example, 6,000 pounds and 8,500 pounds are important thresholds for weight ratings. At 6,000 pounds vehicles are restricted from some city roadways, while at 8,500 pounds or more, vehicles require insurance under Section 387.303 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. Additionally, vehicles over 26,000 pounds require a Commercial Driver License. For more information on these restrictions, or restrictions for other countries, see this Wikipedia article.
Can My Vehicle Handle Towing?
The next thing to consider of course is whether your vehicle can handle towing or not. You’ll need to be sure your vehicle is fit to tow with in the first place (not a job suited for a 25 year old beater car with a barely working transmission and severe rust damage for example), but then you also need to be sure that your vehicle can tow the amount of weight that you need. This is where you will need to check your GCWR ratings from the manufacturer. Attempting to tow weights above the limits of your vehicle can cause serious damage that will cost thousands in repairs, so it is crucial to have an accurate idea of your total GCWR.
What Kind Of Trailer Should I Use?
There are many types of trailers that you could potentially attach to your tow vehicle, but what you really want here is an enclosed car trailer. An enclosed car trailer will keep your race vehicle secure and protected while towing, as well as keeping it out of sight if you have to make any overnight stopovers at hotels along the way. But added security isn’t the only benefit of an enclosed trailer. Enclosed trailers also offer the ability to customize the interior for additional storage. Add some shelving or racks to your trailer and you’ll be able to haul the tools you need to work on your car, extra fluids, replacement gaskets, microfiber towels, and whatever else you can think of that would come in handy on the road. By being enclosed, this trailer also adds additional protection from the elements. No more rain or snow getting on your track car, put it in the trailer and keep it dry all year long. The best part, even with all these benefits, enclosed trailers are often the most affordable types of trailers available! Easy on the wallet and with benefits all over the place, an enclosed trailer is definitely the way to go.
Are Other Towing Accessories Needed?
There are a number of towing accessories and pieces of towing equipment you will need when towing your track vehicle. While some are more of a luxury add-on such as tow mirrors, others, like a wiring harness are necessary. Luckily, 21 Motorsports is here to help with all your towing needs! We carry trailer hitches, tow bars, towing balls and mounts, and anything else that you can think of. Our goal is not only to supply you with the information that you need to tow safely and with confidence, but to also offer you the best products
Safety Comes First When Towing
Of course, safety always comes first when towing. Taking proper precautions before towing and running through your safety checklist will not only protect other drivers on the road, it will protect you, your trailer, your tow vehicle, and your track vehicle as well. If you haven’t already taken a look at our list of things to know before towing, be sure to check that out! Follow the basic steps to ensure you are towing safely, and you’ll be ready to hit the road and get to the track without issue!