Automotive repair guide

Tow Your Minivan Trailer Safely

Mini van safety, trailer hitch minivan, travel trailer minivan

The minivan is a very popular and useful vehicle for a common man. It is frequently used for enjoying vacations and family trips as well as for carrying luggage from one place to other. The minivans are also used to tow small trailers. One should be very careful while towing a trailer with a minivan. He should know the basics of towing a trailer before attempting to do so. Here are some good tips for towing a minivan trailer safely:
Towing Needs: Determine your towing needs prior to thinking of towing a trailer to minivan. All minivans are not similar and have different towing capabilities. Some may have 4-cylinder engine while the others may have 6-cylinder engine. Most minivans are front-wheel drive. For towing purpose rear-wheel drive vehicles are preferred as trailers put more weight on the rear wheels of the tow vehicle. If you have to tow a trailer with heavy load then you should leave the idea of minivan and think of any tow truck or SUV.
Capabilities of your vehicle: You should better know the capabilities of your minivan before using it as a towing vehicle. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual, local auto dealer or any other reliable source of information. You should know about tow rating and GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) of your minivan. A trailer with a weight much less than the tow rating of your minivan can be safely towed. GAWR is the weight which can be born by each wheel axle of vehicle.

Requirement of Towing Package: You have to decide whether you need a towing package or not offered by many minivan manufacturers. It will be a bit expensive but consists of many features to facilitate towing. It includes oil cooler, automatic transmission fluid cooler, trailer hitch and many other components to improve the towing capability of your minivan. For light weight trailers you need not to spend money on towing package.

Service: Before using your minivan for towing purpose, its thorough service is necessary. The vehicle has to pull extra weight and its brakes, transmission, engine and frame will get much stress. Do not forget to check vehicle fluid levels and tire pressure. Tires should be properly inflated.
Brakes of Trailer: It may be compulsory in some states to have separate braking system for the trailers over a certain weight. It is also necessary for your own safety.
Trailer Hitches: Variety of types of trailer hitches may be available in market for your minivan. A typical ball receiver for the trailer to mount may be sufficient for you.
You should also check about towing rules and regulations in your state by visiting your state DMV. Also check for warranty type and insurance coverage of your minivan. The warranty terms regarding towing should be followed meticulously.

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