Re: OT - determining towing capacity
When the manufacturer comes up with that max. towing capacity, they figure towing down a flat, straight road with no cross winds. About 2/3 of that rating is what most people could tow comfortably without over taxing their drivetrain and getting white knuckles. If you are dealing with mountains, you better figure even less. Also consider what you are towing. Towing a long pull behind camper, is like pulling a long billboard down the road. Cross winds can really play havoc with them. It doesn't help that camper manufacturers keep building them lighter and higher off the ground. A fifth wheel is going to tow easier, because the tongue weight is centered over the vehicle. When a manufacturer claims you can tow in over drive, remember that is only under ideal conditions. Any time your tranny is shifting up and down, it's time to go to the next lower gear, that's if you want your trans to last. When towing up long grades in the mountains, shift down, take your time, and get in the slow lane with the semis. This may sometimes mean using second or even first gear.(Watch your RPMs).