Tips for Boosting Tow Vehicle Capacity

Operating a car dolly is dependent upon several components. While you can boost these components with an upgraded dolly, you won’t be increasing the towing capacity of your vehicle. While it may be simpler to purchase a more powerful truck, there are numerous modifications you can perform to boost your vehicle’s towing capacity and performance.

  • Replace the ball and coupler combination that links the tow dolly to your vehicle. The smaller one and seven-eighths-inch coupler/ball combination is better suited for lighter loads. Two-inch combinations work with trailers and dollies weighing up to 5,000 pounds. Two-and-five-sixteenths-inch combinations are used for hauling heavier items. Check the maximum safe weight stamped into the flat area on top of the tow ball.
  • For dinghy towing, you can increase the capacity of your tow hitch. Upgrade your Class I hitch to a Class II, which can haul trailers and dollies of medium weight. For extremely heavy-duty applications, consider going for a Class III or IV tow hitch.
  • Install a seven-pin electrical coupler, which allows you to equip your vehicle with an electronic brake controller. Without this component, you are relegated to towing used tow dollies and trailers that don’t have electric brakes. This limits your gross trailer weight to just under 1,000 pounds.
  • Upgrade the axle ratio of your towing vehicle. Low axle ratios force you to slow down on essentially all roads and gradients and consistently cause gearbox shifting, exposing your transmission to regular overheating, which isn’t good for your car and will eventually lead to malfunction and excess damage. Higher axle ratios generally lead to an even higher tow capacity.
  • Increase your towing vehicle’s tongue weight capacity, which describes the downward force exerted on the ball by the trailer or dolly’s coupler. This is, in turn, a measure of how much weight is being distributed between the tongue and axle. Reduce the tongue weight transferred to the back of your towing vehicle with a weight balancing hitch. Minimizing the weight pushing down on the rear axle and suspension allows for more responsive steering.

Keep in mind that cars are built with a specific gross vehicle weight rating. While you can change the hitch and how the weight is distributed, the gross vehicle weight rating will technically stay the same no matter the changes you make. For the safest towing and driving conditions, what you’re towing should not exceed the GVWR.

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