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What’s The Optimal Speed When Towing With A Hitch Mount?

towing

When towing with a hitch mount, vehicles are typically heavier and have a larger size, making them more challenging to maneuver and stop quickly. It’s crucial to drive at slower speeds to ensure better control over the vehicle and reduce the risk of accidents.

In general, the recommended speed for towing with a hitch mount is relatively low to ensure safety. We recommend speed for towing a vehicle with a tow hook is 25 mph. 

Adapt Speed To The Traffic Conditions

When the traffic is large, be sure to drive at a low speed and maintain a sufficient safe distance from the vehicle in front. This is because RVs and other large vehicles take longer to stop due to their weight.

A general guideline is to keep at least a 2-second gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. This gap allows for enough time and distance to react to sudden stops or changes in traffic conditions.

For vehicles with the tow hitch, the 2-second rule is adjusted based on the length of the vehicle. The recommendation is to allow 1 second of distance for every 10 feet of vehicle length. Therefore, a 40-foot RV would need to maintain at least a 4-second following distance behind the vehicle in front. 

Also, be aware of weather and road conditions. Rain, snow, or icy roads can significantly affect the handling of a vehicle with a trailer. Adjust your speed accordingly and give yourself extra time and space to react to changes in road conditions. 

During adverse weather conditions, the following distance should be increased. For wet roads, multiply the safe following distance by 4, and for snowy or icy conditions, multiply it by 10 to ensure adequate space for safe stopping.

 For long hauls, it’s important to maintain a reasonable speed to ensure safety and prevent driver fatigue. Driving at high speeds for extended periods can increase stress and reduce safety.

Local Regulatory Restrictions

The speed at which you can tow a vehicle with a tow hook depends on several factors, including the type of vehicle, the weight of the vehicle being towed, the type of tow hook, and the specific laws and regulations in your location.

In general, many states in the U.S. have a speed limit of 55 mph when towing. the maximum towing speed is about 10 mph lower than the regular posted speeds. However, this can vary.   For example, in Texas, any driver who is towing a trailer must not exceed a maximum speed limit of 70 mph. If the trailer is more than 26 feet long, these speed limits drop to 60 mph during the daytime and 55 at night.

Different Vehicle Types Have Different Recommended Speeds

It’s also important to note that the type of vehicle and trailer can affect the speed limit. For instance, a two-axle truck pulling a 3-axle (or more) trailer, exceeding 26,000 lbs total weight, has a speed limit of 70 mph.

For sedans, it’s important to note that they are generally not recommended for towing heavy loads due to their lower ground clearance and typically smaller engines. However, if a sedan is used for towing, the speed should be kept relatively low to ensure safety. 

SUVs are more capable of towing heavier loads due to their larger engines and higher ground clearance. The optimal towing speed for an SUV would still be lower than the regular driving speed to ensure safety. For instance, an SUV towing a 5,000-pound trailer should consider the tongue weight (10-15% of the total trailer weight) and the remaining payload for carrying passengers and cargo.

Pickup trucks are typically the most capable when it comes to towing, especially heavy-duty trucks. They are designed to handle large loads and have the necessary power and stability for towing. However, even with a pickup truck, the towing speed should be kept lower than the regular driving speed for safety reasons. A long wheelbase can help with stability, especially in wind or sway situations.

Moreover, the condition of the trailer tires can also impact the safe towing speed. Most trailer tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph, and going faster can cause tire overheating and tread delamination.

Lastly, towing at high speeds can consume more gasoline. Maintaining speeds over 55 mph while towing can consume 35% more gasoline.

Therefore, it’s crucial to check the specific laws and regulations in your location, the condition of your vehicle and trailer, and the type of hitch you’re using before deciding on a safe towing speed.

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