The overall idea of hauling something big and huge behind your Car or SUV might seem like a fun adventure. You might find yourself in one of the several reasons for needing to tow a car. Maybe you are on a vacation and one of your family members car broke down. Or maybe you have a boat trailer or camper you need to tow using your car. However, whatever might be the reason to tow a trailer behind your car, you need to know some detailing about towing a car and the resulting bumper damages that it can cause.

Towing by no means is as simple as it seems. You need to consider several things before considering to hook the trailer to your car and drive away. Truck stops and service centers see more damaged tow rigs and bumpers, coming through their doors each month. And if you desire to not find yourself in a similar situation, you certainly need to read our guide and ensure that you don't make the same common mistakes, which are made by others. A wise man learns from their own mistakes, but an intelligent man learns from the mistakes made by others.

Will a Bumper Get Damaged When Towing a Car?

Everyone loves the idea of hitting the road with the trailer being towed on the vehicle. The feeling is simply unbeatable. It allows and provides you the freedom to go almost anywhere and simply live an adventurous life. However, with all the adventures and thrill, it is also important to take care of certain precautionary measures and be safe, whether while you’re drivig in dark night or towing a trailer.

You need to consider a lot of things before you let yourself consumed with wanderlust. Towing by no means is easy. If done inefficiently, it can cause a lot of damage to your vehicles bumper, suspensions, brakes and tires. Not only the car but in adverse conditions, even the life of people in vehicle and trailers can be at risk. Fortunately, we have come up with the perfect guide for you to understand the do's and don'ts - while hauling a big a trailer behind your car.

What's the Ultimate Towing Force That a Bumper Can Withstand?

Your Car or SUV can only haul and carry so much weight. It is important for you that you know the rating of your tow vehicle completely. Overloading the vehicle doing towing, or trailer can result in a whole bunch of problems, one of which is bumper damage. Other problems like brake failures, overheated transmissions, broken suspensions and blown out tires are also quite commonly reported, because of hauling overload trailers with the cars. And it only makes sense, that none of this out comings will make you happy. Some of this incidents can even result in human casualties.

To avoid such instances, it is important that you know the ratings and towing force that your cars' vehicle can withstand in and out. Always look up your vehicles tow ratings before you go on the adventure with your trailer. Ensuring that your hitch system perfectly matches your cars towing specs, if confirm your smooth journey and ride. All of the following numbers need to checked to determine the towing capacity and in ensuring a smooth car towing. The vehicles towing specifications are generally listed out in the user manual and are also given on the sill of driver's side door. In addition to this, the trailer's unloaded weight can be obtained from the vehicle identification number plate.


1. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

The gross vehicle weight rating is the weight limit of your Car or SUV. This weight includes the vehicle weight plus passenger, accessories, and cargo. Do look and check the rating in the user manual.

2. Gross Combination Weight Rating

The gross combination weight rating is the maximum weight of the tow Car or SUV plus the weight of the loaded trailer, passengers, fuel, equipment and anything else which you plan to carry or haul.

3. Gross Axle Weight Rating

The gross axle weight rating is the amount of weight that a single axle can bear safely. It is extremely crucial to know this rating, both for your Car or SUV and for the trailer. Do look and check the rating in the user manual.

4. Towing Capacity

Towing capacity is the amount of weight that your vehicle can pull. This amount is given in the user's manual. Do not carry any more weight than prescribed in the manual. If the towing capacity of your bumper is not enough for the vehicle, or you don’t have the bumper at all, then Oedro bumper is a good option for you. The trailer hitch of Oedro bumper receiver can tow up to 3500 lbs. But anything above that limit weight can result in serious repercussions for your vehicle's bumper. Click here to check out Oedro bumper FAQ.

5. Tongue Weight

Tongue weight is the amount of trailer's weight which is tolerated by the trailer hitch. In the ideal case, this must be about 10 percent of the total weight of the trailer. If there is too much tongue weight, the steering wheel will be hard to control and will be less responsive. And too little tongue weight will make the trailer sway. This kind of weight is measured by using a specialized kind of scale, which can be found at trailer supply shops.

In situations, where you are finding it difficult to estimate the total weight of your cargo and trailer, take the loaded trailer to the nearby vehicle scale and get in measured. Whatever the situation is, do not haul or carry the trailer without knowing the ratings first. Knowing the ultimate towing force that the car and bumper can withstand is crucial for a happy journey.

Common Mistakes to Avoid and Ways to Prevent Bumper Damage While Towing a Trailer

Following are the various common mistakes which people often make while towing a trailer on their vehicles back.

1. Overcompensating Weight Distribution

The weight distribution bars with the chains come in different sizes and strengths, for different tongue weights and can be extremely tunable. People often look at the bars and comes up with the perception that bigger is better. However, it is not always true. Thus it is important to check your tongue weight and then select the bars accordingly. With the correct bars, the goal is to keep the load bars parallel with the bumper or frame of the trailer. If the weight is incorrectly set up, it will result in excessive proposing and in inefficient steering. This will result in damage of the bumpers and the frames.

2. Not Applying Brakes

With the added weight of the trailer, your vehicle gets access to extra momentum. This means that it will take longer to reduce the speed of your car. And for this reasons, many states in the United States requires that the trailer over a certain weight, be equipped with the separate braking system. The brakes which come with the trailer not only improves the overall control, but it will also stop the trailer in the case when it gets separated from the vehicle. There are two different types of trailer brakes. One is electrical and other is a surge. Not all states allow surge brakes, so much sure you check out the local laws in regards to trailer brakes. Applying brakes is important, as it can save the bumper of the car from getting damaged when the car gets out of control.

3. Underinflated Tire Pressure

If you are taking your trailer out on the road after quite some time, chances are high that the tires need inflating. Taking the fully loaded trailer with underinflated tires can be cumbersome and dangerous. tires with less amount of air create more friction with the road, which can ultimately lead to blowouts and possible rollovers. This can lead to damage to your vehicle and its bumpers. Thus be sure to check the pressure in the tires of both the trailers and the tow vehicle, before you take it out on the road.


4. Improper Loading of Cargo

If the trailer is not loaded properly and the weight distribution is uneven, chances are that it will be less possible to have total control on it. Thus it is important to have proper weight distribution in the cargo, and about 60% of the total weight on the front axle. Towing a car is not easy. Safeguarding cargo items and preventing them from shifting, will ensure the overall center of gravity low. Bumpers are the first one to catch the heat of swaying of the trailer. If you don't want the bumper to get damage, ensure that the cargo is properly loaded.

5. Avoiding Local Regulations

This particular mistake will not really cause any damage to your vehicle's bumper, but it can be pretty nasty too. Make sure you check out all of the local regulations in regards to the towing of the trailer. Or else, you will definitely end up getting a ticket from the authorities. As discussed in the above segment, some of the states in the United States require trailers to have a separate braking system. Most of the states also need the trailer to have a taillight on the trailer. Thus, before going out on a vacation with your trailer to some other neighboring state, ensure you fulfill all the regulations requirements.

6. Not remembering that you are Towing a Trailer

Doesn't matter how strong your towing car is, it is always good to remember that you are towing a trailer at your back. The vehicle starts to get less responsive, after putting the trailer on its back. Now you won't be able to accelerate fast, turn around quickly or even put on the brake efficiently. You will have to give yourself that extra amount of time that will allow you to take necessary action in time. Be it while applying the brake or while making a turn, a few extra seconds can be extremely precious. This is one the most common reasons, why people find their vehicle with the damaged bumper, simply because they did not realize that they were carrying a trailer on their vehicles back. It is ideal, to take some short practice run before you decide to go on a long adventurous ride with a trailer and towing car.

Wrapping Up

Going on a fun adventurous trip with all your family and friends sound exciting. But taking a loaded trailer with a towing car can be quite cumbersome. It only takes a moment to turn your adventurous trip into a disaster trip, if you don't take precautionary measures for the towed trailer. Slightest of error can result in serious damage to your car and its bumper. Not only the bumper of your vehicle is at stake, but the life of your love is also at stake. Our guide to how to prevent your bumper damages when towing a car talks about all of the pain points you need to care about.

This article speaks in detail about all the do's and don'ts you need to consider when knowing how to tow a car. Car trailer and tow car need to work in tandem in order to ensure your safe and fun ride. Do not make the most common mistakes which people often make while towing a trailer. Know all the ratings of your car and learn all the tricks to prevent your car and bumper from getting damaged. These damages can burn a hole in your pocket if the car is not insured.

OEDRO is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of auto parts. Learn more about Oedro.

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