Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Towing Motorz #79

today on Motorz Chris tells you everything you ever wanted to know about towing hey welcome to motors now earlier this season we told you everything you ever wanted to know about diesel engines and what our diesel engines known for well towing so today we’re talking all about toing toing safety different types of hitches and of course what you can do to improve your vehicle’s towing performance but now what if you don’t have a big old diesel truck like this Jeep that’s right here well you’re in luck because we’re also going to discuss towing with smaller vehicles as well as what your limitations are with them now I learned all about towing through the school of hard knocks but that doesn’t mean that you need to now when I first towed a trailer I used whatever vehicle I had found the secure way to connect the two and ran with it all I was concerned about was making sure that the tow vehicle had enough power to tow the trailer and that was only the tip of the iceberg I didn’t take into account the tow vehicles ability to carry the extra tongue weight if the weight was distributed properly on the trailer or even if the trailers brakes were towing really starts before you even connect the trailer to your tow vehicle before you even get to the trailer check the GCW R which is the gross combined weight rating of the vehicle this tells you the maximum weight you can safely haul which includes a tow vehicle passengers cargo and the trailer make sure you don’t exceed that number now you can go to any certified scale to get your vehicle and trailer weight for a small fee now before you even start towing make sure that your vehicle is in good operating condition this towing is gonna add a lot of strain to it check the fluids and maintenance items and make sure your vehicle is within service intervals recommended by the OEM that includes motor and transmission oil brake fluid coolant and even the wiper fluid I mean being able to see how the windshield is the most important part right then make sure your brakes are in good working condition no squealing spongy or pulsating brake pedal or anything else that seems out of the norm also make sure that your tires are properly inflated the tire pressure should beyond a sticker that’s inside the doorjamb center console or glove box now what I like to do is run higher than the recommended pressure to increase the load carrying capacity of the tire which invariably helps the tire run cooler extending the tires life continue your vehicle inspection now it’s just under there making sure the tow hitch is in good shape it looks to be properly installed and all the bolts are tight and they’re not rusted out next thing we need to do are two things to determine what size tow ball the trailer needs and how big of a drop hitch we’ll need now doing that is pretty simple measure from the ground to the top of the hitch about 21 inches now measuring to the bottom of the trailer tongue it’s also 21 inches now if yours doesn’t match up then the difference will tell you how much of a drop or rise that you’re going to need however if you want to make it easier than that you can purchase an adjustable hitch platform like this one from an inventive products that also includes this turnover ball now you’ve got a whole range of adjustability for different trailers if you’ve got different size receivers then you can easily flip it over to quickly go from a two inch one to the two and five sixteenths inch one it just never ends with you I feel like if it’s not one thing it’s another well that ends today the craftsman c3 life one battery more than 30 tools and the power to tackle any job it stands in your way the c3 line from craftsman get the new more powerful xcp battery now runs up to four times longer trust in your hands well we’ve got our hitch set up at our vehicle that we want to use all checked out and ready to go now we want to hook up our trailer and there’s a couple different ways that we can go about this now you can use the old-school way of the guess and check method this requires you to keep backing up your vehicle and getting out and checking it which is no fun and takes a whole lot of time now there has got to be an easier way and hook up a trailer by yourself now I have a couple of suggestions for you these trailer alignment flags are as easy as it gets you take one and stick it onto the trailer hitch take the other one stick it onto the trailer tongue and then line them up in your rear-view mirror keep backing up until the two balls connect now that’s pretty low-tech if you ask me but hey it works now if you’re looking for something a little bit more high-tech in advance check out wired or wireless camera systems this makes backing up to a trailer like a video game now as you can see the camera is pointed right at the towhead see the camera works wonders the trailer is exactly where it needs to be without any guesswork alright the trailer is lined up and

we’re ready to connect it to the truck with the trailer hitch above the ball slowly lower the trailer onto the trailer ball it doesn’t hurt if you put a dab of grease on the trailer ball every once in a while once the trailer is sitting on the ball make sure you latch it securely to the ball up next are the safety chains of the trailer which on our smaller trailer we don’t have you’d want to cross the chains from the left side of the trailer to the right side of the receiver and vice versa with the right side of the chain in case the trailer separates from the hitch the safety change will serve as a cradle to catch the trailer tongue now there’s just three things left you want to connect the trailer wiring harness now with our setup it’s a four pin harness usually found on smaller trailers the other one is around seven pin harness harnesses like this include wiring for a trailer brake controller next for larger trailers is the trailer breakaway cable for the hitch just in case of a runaway trailer it pulls the pin and activates the trailer brakes preventing a trailer runaway situation now with the trailer all connected the last part is to check the trailer light now before you start towing you need to make sure that the trailer is in good working condition similar to the pre-trip inspection on your tow vehicle you want to do one on your trailer to check the tire pressure on all the tires on a tire sidewall there’s a max inflation pressure number make sure that’s inflated to what’s indicated on the sidewall the leading cause of trailer tire failure is under inflation check the sidewalls for dry rot since trailers spent a lot of time sitting a great solution to help with this problem is the snap ring tire saver from Covercraft which are available not just for trailers but rvs and vehicles too if the trailers been sitting around for a while or has high mileage pop the covers off the center cap to make sure the hubs are packed with grease once all these things check out you’re ready to load up the trailer to properly load a trailer the goal is to put 10 to 15 percent of the weight on the ton this is done by adjusting the location of the load relative to the trailer with a little bit of latitude you can move your load forwards or backwards now if the tow vehicle starts to sag there are a few options you can get load leveler bars which is a type of weight distribution hitch or you can install airbags on tow vehicle to help leveled out airbags increase the spring rate of the truck leveling it out by doing so you effectively distribute the load across the front and rear axle with the load on the trailer secure it down using chains binders or ratchet straps for vehicles I like the strap by the axles if possible and in Ex formation in other words right rear of the trailer vehicle to the left rear of the trailer and vice versa and the same on the front this will capture site as well as the lateral loads on your cargo now get on the road and in the first 10 to 15 minutes make a stop and check the load to make sure it’s still secure and all the straps are tight the harness is connected the safety chains are still on and the ball is securely clamped on it’s always a good practice to when you stop after a long drive to check the trailer again a quick two minute walk around will likely save the pain heartache and pocketbook if you spill your load on the highway now remember always load and unload the trailer with it connected to the tow vehicle you wouldn’t want the trailer to shift forward or flip up when nothing is secured to the nose of the trailer now imagine your trailer is like a teeter with the trailer axles as the center pivot point if you shift the load to one end the other ends gonna go flying on up and you don’t want that going on now let’s talk all about Tony accessories starting with trailer brakes now a lot of late model trucks nowadays have a factory option for a pre-installed electronic brake controller now if your truck doesn’t have one of these or you didn’t order one from the factory well there’s a lot of aftermarket options out there for you all you have to do is purchase one of these controllers mount it to where it’s accessible from the driver’s seat and connect the optional pre-wired harness for your vehicle yeah that’s pretty much it based on an internal accelerometer that measures the braking forces it applies the correct amount of trailer brake to help the truck and trailer slow down together you can apply just the trailer brake if need be by manually engaging this lever beneath the brake now other towing accessories included intakes exhausts and gauges you can check back to our diesel episode earlier this season where we talked in depth about modifications to your truck the same principles apply to just about every single towing vehicle out there towing creates a lot of stress throughout your vehicle which exhibits itself in the form of heat and he is bad now to counteract this larger capacity pans and covers help dissipate heat generated during towing if you have a rear axle with a removable cover try something like this one from PML the cover has machine cooling fins to help fight the additional heat from towing as well as increasing the oil capacity of the axle the same applies for the transmission replace it with a pan like this one that adds fluid capacity as well as additional cooling now head on over to our website if you’d like to watch our episode on replacing either of

these pans now on the subject of transmissions there are two things that you can do to address transmission temperatures one is to add an auxilary transmission cooler like this little guy right here what this does is adds cooling in series with the OEM cooler now you can also add a big ole flex-a-lite auxilary fan to help deal with the heat generated these fans are a piece of cake to install you probably end up spend more time just ripping off the bumper or the grill than installing it and you can get the step by step installation on that by going through our website airbags will always help when you’re towing it effectively increases the spring rate of the vehicle to handle the heavy loads generated when you’re towing a level vehicle is a safe vehicle as it maintains the proper steering geometry of the front axle keeps the headlights pointed in the right direction and gives you a proper vantage point down the road now you should buy at least two wheel chocks for your trailer and always use them they need to be in place prior to unhitching the trailer from the truck that once uncoupled there’s no way to stop the trailer from rolling forwards or backwards and that could be catastrophic or even injure someone now we’ll be right back after this break and we’ll talk more about trailer hitches if it’s your car why not make it your interior visit catskin comm today to find out how catskin Express transform drive for many 4-door sedans two-door coupes like our Mustang and hatchbacks OMS do not offer a factory install trailer hitch as an option for this you’ll need to look at the aftermarket to find one you can check out companies like draw-tite hidden hitch and Curt manufacturing these guys all make aftermarket hitches for a vehicle not equipped with one from the factory or is not an option from the dealer from there you can order one and install yourself in an afternoon otherwise you can go to places like u-haul to have one installed now moving on to trucks as seen earlier you can have the standard receiver hitch toward the rear of the vehicle beneath the bumper there are different classes of hitches based on the towing capacity of the vehicle and strength of the frame so here’s a breakdown of the classifications of hitches for light loads you can have a class 1 hitch for up to 2,000 pounds or a class 2 hitch for up to 3500 pounds for larger loads like campers and boats you can use a class 3 hitch for up to 5,000 pounds or a class 4 hitch for up to 12,000 pounds and finally a class 5 hitch which supports up to 18,000 pounds you’re going to want to get an aftermarket tow hitch that has a two and a half inch opening for that now if you have a pickup with an open bed you have a few more options in terms of connecting the trailer to the truck with a gooseneck the interface to the trailer is very similar to a standard receiver hitch and that it uses a tow ball to hook up to the trailer now with the trailer connected this is what it looks like most heavy utility trailers horse trailers and flatbeds would use this type of connection a gooseneck is able to distribute the weight over both the front and rear axle and as a result reduces trailer sway while towing additionally it’s a lot easier to maneuver the trailer in tight turning and backing up situations given the pivot point of the truck and the trailer a fifth wheel is similar to a gooseneck and that it attaches to the frame of the pickup above the rear axle a majority of its components sit above the bed like semi trucks the name fifth wheel comes from the idea that the saddle area is round similar to the wheel for the tires mounted in addition to the four wheels of the vehicle the fifth one is used to tow the trailer most applications of 5th wheels are for larger travel trailers as with anything you do practice makes perfect take your truck and trailer and find large empty parking lot set up some cones and practice turning and maneuvering you’ll realize that you will need to swing extra wide through turns as the trailer tracks a smaller radius than the vehicle when you come around a corner now once you feel comfortable there’s also the issue of backing up practice going and reverse to get into parking spaces or to get out of a tight spot it’s not easy to do as the inputs are reversed to get the trailer going in the direction that you want hard brought to you by craftsman at Sears just when you think you’ve seen it all craftsman comes out with something so useful and well designed yet simple you’ll never want to use another type of open end or box wrench again the craftsman 10-piece Mach series open end ratcheting combination of wrench set is built for speed and getting the job done right the first time the Box end has a traditional design for use on applications where torque is needed on things such as rusted or seized bolts however the open end of the wrench is designed to turn nuts and bolts fast without removing the wrench from the fastener it even has a red indicator accent on the open end to show you the correct ratcheting direction they come in this easy to clean black finish with red accents and a storage rack to keep

them in the 10 piece set comes in standard sizes 5/16 3/8 7/16 half and 9/16 inch and metric sizes in 8 10 12 13 and 14 and of course they all come with that unbeatable craftsman lifetime warranty so save yourself some time and your knuckles and grab a set today you can find a craftsman calm or checkout the link from our parts page what is boiling outside during the summer heat the inside of your vehicle can become an oven well once again the folks at Covercraft have the perfect thing to help beat the heat this is the covercraft UVs 100 custom sunscreen made specifically for your ride the UVs 100 is the only wind shield sunscreen to earn a US patent the silver reflective fabric is laminated to a foam core which acts as an insulator and helps protect against harmful UV rays which can damage your vehicle’s interior while also helping to keep out the heat the UV s 100 has a triple laminate construction a foam core Center that acts as an insulator it’s super easy to use and as you can see from the quick and easy installation here by simply unfolding it and positioning it in the windshield and just folding down the Sun visors to hold it in place there are five colors to choose from – silver blue metallic gold green ice and rose it even has an optional storage bag to keep it clean these are handmade by Covercraft one unit at a time right here in the USA with typical Covercraft quality see know it’s gonna be great to find out more about this great sunscreen just head on over to Covercraft comm or check out the parts page at our website a winch is a great utility add-on that sadly most people don’t take seriously enough for their trailers until they need it and realize that they’ve overlooked it they are a definite necessity for any type of serious trailering application the superwinch s 4000 s R is built after tons of feedback from racers and enthusiasts the 60 400 pound capacity winch has a sealed solenoid a handheld remote and has replaced a typical winch cable with 50 feet of yellow quarter-inch synthetic rope which is lighter than standard cabling and won’t damage the expensive paint and finish of that race car or hot rod it also comes with a larger heavy-duty clevis hook making it easier to latch on and remove when needed the enclosed casing and 1.8 horsepower motor make it a workhorse with lasting power it’s also built right here in the USA plus the solenoid comes with a three year warranty and the rest of the winch comes with a limited lifetime warranty superwinch offers some great add-ons too they offer a wireless handheld remote that could be used up to 50 feet away even floats in the water just in case you happen to drop it in the lake there’s also this trailer wiring kit to make sure your winch is hooked up properly with mating plugs to assure quick connections and disconnections and finally is optional cover helps keep your winch protected and looking great now for more information head on over to super winch calm or check out the end on our parts page III Diamond fire spark plugs are the most powerful spark plugs you can buy they deliver a more complete kill burn more power better economy and reduced emissions III time and fire spark plugs and auto parts in lawn and garden stores everywhere brought to you by e3 spark plugs born to burn welcome to letters now do you like to win free stuff well if you do you’re in luck because we love to give away free stuff right here at motors and we do it all the time every month in fact just go to our website and click the win link right at the top of the page not only are we giving away a brand new craftsman tool every month but several times a year we’re giving away other products from our sponsors and you can win something now one of our other monthly contests is called rides all you’ve got to do is send in a few photos of your vehicle and you’ll be automatically entered to have a shot at being our featured ride for a month and not only that but you’ll receive a new motors branded car cover from our friends at Covercraft made specifically for you and your ride now how cool is that in fact here are a few of our recent winners so now what are you waiting for go to motors dot TV slash win and enter them

all right now and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for all the latest news and behind-the-scene photos from the crew now I’ve got a few letters to read so let’s get to it our first one comes from Paul Dupree he writes and says my 1999 5.2 liter Dodge Ram 1500 has over two hundred and six thousand miles what can I do to clean out the varnishing that has occurred inside the engine well Paul that is a great question now this higher mileage is just best to leave well enough alone and stick with regular oil and filter changes engine flushes in the light can actually disturb gaskets and seals and sometimes cause leakage another issue is deposits or sludge coming loose that could block the engines lubrication system and create bigger problems Fred Kaminski asks how can I install an electronic distributor in a 1967 Ford Fairlane well hey Fred you have a number of choices and easy to install electronic ignition systems for vintage Fords you can go with Ford’s Duras spark two and a conversion kit from painless performance or opt for a variety of electronic ignitions from MSD excel or / tronics now Ricardo Robinson writes in and he’s got a question about El Caminos he asks I’d like to buy a Chevy El Camino to build from the ground up as a project car what year would you recommend and what tips do you have well Ricardo the classic 1964 272 el Caminos are our personal favorites because they look terrific and they’re very popular but popularity is your biggest challenge because that drives the price up now once you land your dream El Camino begin by making it safer with good brakes and suspension then work on the engine a drive line and of course cosmetic should come laughs safety always comes first and finally David Riley has a good question he writes in and asks what can I do to add more power to my 2012 Dodge Avenger the 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engines well David I just love letters like this one now the best advice I can offer to you is to invest in a heavy crate engine and just hang on man I’d like to thank David and everyone else for sending in your letter you guys all get free e3 spark plugs for your ride and maybe they’ll help you out too David now to learn more about how to send in a letter visit our website and click on the letters button on our home page and to learn more about III spark plugs and their diamond fire technology or to find out if they’re available for your ride visit III spark plugs comm hopefully with all the great information provided in this episode you’ll be better prepared to select the right trailer hook it up and load it up depending on what you’re going to tow it with whether it’s a car an SUV or a truck like our craftsman Motors f-150 right here now for more information on all the products featured in this episode or to watch more episodes of Motors just head on over to our website we’ll catch you next time on motors today on Motorz Chris tells you everything you ever spit yeah next thing we need to do to is this depth you didn’t do us yeah what was not an option from the dealer from there you can order one and it’s thought to yourself and pops that up in an afternoon that’s going so well Bob with a gooseneck that you’ll see is that you can ball has pretty much oh yeah of that deal