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2900 MS-39, Meridian, MS, 39301

Towing Terms to Know in Meridian, MS

Towing 101 – Terms You Should Know

Besides being suitable for everyday driving, Toyota pickup trucks and SUVs can haul large toys, such as boats, trailers, ATVs, and other recreational vehicles. Toyota trucks and SUVs have their towing capacity in their descriptions or specifications. In addition, you can find guidelines and terms related to towing in your model's owner's manual. However, you might find these terms confusing if you aren't knowledgeable about vehicles.

Many drivers (especially new ones) are unaware of the meaning of towing terms in their manual, such as payload and towing capacity. If you want to maximize the towing performance of your Toyota, you must understand common towing terms.

Basic Towing Terms

Max Towing Capacity

The maximum towing capacity of a vehicle determines how much weight it can safely tow. Manufacturers determine it based on engine size, brakes, chassis, and transmission. Vehicle damage or accidents may result from exceeding this capacity.

Payload Capacity

Vehicle payload capacity is the weight of cargo, passengers, and additional equipment your vehicle can carry in addition to its weight. Overloading your vehicle will affect handling and braking.

Conventional Towing

The conventional method of towing relies on the vehicle's tow ball. Conventional towing limits are much lower than the vehicle's actual towing capacity.

Tongue Weight

Tongue weight is the downward force the tongue exerts onto a hitch when a vehicle is towing. The tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer's total weight for stable towing.

Gross Combined Weight Rating

GCWR is the maximum weight of the towing vehicle, trailer, passenger, and cargo. It is crucial not to exceed this weight for safe towing.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

GVWR refers to your vehicle’s maximum weight, including its curb weight, passengers, cargo, and accessories. The safety and integrity of the vehicle depend on following this limit.

Gross Trailer Weight Rating

The GTWR is the total weight of your trailer when everything is loaded onto or into it. It includes the weight of the trailer itself. Knowing your trailer's gross weight rating is imperative to avoid exceeding its maximum weight.

Gross Axle Weight Rating

The GAWR is a measure of the maximum weight that can be supported on a single axle. Drivers use the GAWR to determine how to evenly distribute cargo between the front and rear axles to reduce road damage from fully loaded vehicles.

Braked vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity

You can tow a much heavier load by having a trailer with its own brakes. Thus, braked towing capacity exceeds unbraked towing capacity or a tow vehicle's ability to tow without brakes.

Curb Weight

Curb weight includes the weight of your vehicle, plus standard equipment, oil, coolant, and fuel, but excludes passengers and cargo. The measurement determines the towing and payload capacity.

Tow Bar

Towed vehicles connect to towing vehicles via tow bars. The tow bar must be compatible with the vehicle's towing capacity and towing weight.


Trailer hitches attach to tow vehicles with this device. Various trailer coupler types and sizes are available, but the coupler tongue must match your trailer's tongue size.

Hitch Types

A hitch connects a trailer to a towing vehicle. Knowing the different types of hitches will help you choose the right one for your needs:

  • Bolt-on Trailer Hitch: This hitch is ideal for light to moderate towing tasks. You can easily install and remove a bolt-on hitch.
  • Fifth-Wheel Hitch: This is specifically suitable for heavy-duty towing. It is perfect for towing trailers or campers.
  • Gooseneck:This hitch is similar to the fifth-wheel hitch but is used mainly for commercial and agricultural towing.
  • Fixed Tongue Hitch: This hitch is permanent. It offers little flexibility but is ideal for those who frequently tow the same type of trailer.

Find a Toyota for All Your Towing Needs at Toyota of Meridian

It is important to consider towing capacity if you plan to buy a truck or SUV for regular towing needs. Whether you are looking for a pickup or SUV, Toyota of Meridian in Meridian, MS, has the right Toyota for you. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to provide you with more information on the vehicle you are considering, including its towing capacity.

Toyota of Meridian 32.389118820263064, -88.68396276137415.