I’ve covered the issue of the “proper” truck in previous posts, but it bears repeating: a truck, no matter how big, cannot prevent trailer sway. To use my favorite visual, it’s like hanging my tire swing from a bigger oak to keep it from swinging in the breeze. Physics wins, folks. Trucks provide towing power, not sway control.
So which truck should you buy? Well, that question isn’t as simple as it once was. With the auto-industry barrelling headlong into electric vehicles, some of you are wondering if you should wait for the perfect EV or get a gas guzzler while they’re still around. As someone who still has close ties to the auto industry, I can assure you that gas powered vehicles will be around for quite some time. But the EVs will become more available as well, and I’m confident in my engineering colleagues who are working hard to increase the range of their batteries.
That being said, my advice for a tow vehicle hasn’t changed: buy the vehicle that you can drive during your normal every-day routine without putting you into debt at the gas pump. If you’re towing a travel-trailer, a half-ton pickup or SUV is plenty powerful enough for the casual camper. If you tow a very light trailer, the small SUVs with a towing package perform well. For the 5th-wheel enthusiast, a 3/4 ton may be necessary, however, many manufacturers are building 5th-wheels with light pin weights, so a 1/2 ton might work fine.
Okay, I can hear the screams of the “truck guys” out there. I read the comments all the time–“you need a PROPER truck!”
“Proper” is my new least-favorite word. It’s a good word that covers any situation without meaning anything at all. I hear the same thing about loading a trailer. Again, I’ve addressed this before–you really have little choice in loading a trailer. The compartments are where the compartments are. It’s pretty difficult to do it wrong (leave your bowling ball collection at home).
Moving on, the real question is: can I tow safely with an economical vehicle?
The anser is “yes.” The reason Hensley Mfg. exists is to make every tow vehicle safe. Since 1993, we’ve perfected the “converging linkage system” of the Hensley Arrow and have made many improvements since (there are more to come…stay tuned). Because the converging linkage system acts as a single-direction tool, it does not allow the trailer to pivot on the ball, but keeps the tow vehicle free to initiate a turn.
What this means to you is that you can choose a tow vehicle based on your specific towing and daily driving needs with no concern for safety. Get a good brake controller (which are often built in if you get a towing package) and your only concern is which park you’ll go to next.
If you visit our Build Your Hitch section of the Hensley Mfg. website, you can choose your tow-vehcile and trailer size as well as the estimated distance you tow annually. We think of everything. That way, you can be sure to get exactly what you need without spending more than necessary. Hopefully, my advice here has already saved you tens of thousands of dollars on a tow vehcle. We can save you even more by ensuring you get the Hensley hitch you need.
As always, feel free to call one of our towing specialists if you have questions. They can be reached at 1-800-410-6580.