Three Important Tips to Make Your GMC C35/C3500 Pickup Ready for Towing
Perhaps, one of your main reasons for getting a GMC C35/C3500 Pickup is its trailering capability and ability to negotiate with different kinds of terrain. With its all-terrain package, the new GMC Sierra 3500 HD allows you to tow your payload anywhere you need to. But what about those C3500 models that don't come with such option? Since your GMC truck is designed with built-in towing capabilities, all you have to do is to put on some towing accessories and do a bit of modifications to make it ready for hauling your loads. Here are some tips to help you do that:
Before you gear up your truck for towing, it pays to take some time first to crunch some numbers. Pull out your owner's manual and check your truck's weight ratings. In case you no longer have your manual, the numbers can also be found at the inside part of the driver's doorsill. Take note of the maximum gross trailer weight and your truck's maximum gross vehicle weight rating (or GVWR). To find out how much weight your truck can safely carry, subtract the curb weight from the gross weight. Owners of newer GMC trucks no longer need to do this because the figures in the doorsill already include the maximum combined weight of cargo and passengers. Even if the weight of your trailer is within the truck's tow limit, you still have to add the tongue weight. Most of the time, if you've correctly attached the trailer, the tongue is about ten percent of the total trailer weight. You also have to factor in the luggage that you usually put on your truck bed during your travels.
- Go for a reliable towing set-up.
After knowing the weight of trailer and cargo your ride is capable of hauling safely, the next thing you have to determine is the kind of trailer you plan to tow. Are you thinking of attaching a camping trailer, a boat, or a utility trailer? Depending on the kind of trailer you'll tow, you can outfit your trailer with a basic receiver hitch, a heavy-duty fifth wheel hitch, or a gooseneck hitch set-up. If the trailer isn't equipped with its own set of brakes, you also have to work on that. You may also need to install additional wiring or other upgrades.
- Factor in your individual towing situation.
Keep in mind that your towing requirements are also dependent on the distance and conditions of the road you will be towing on. Your needs may be different if you'll tow a huge fifth-wheel camper on interstate freeways than when you're hauling a small trailer with your ATV on the suburb's unpaved roads. The set-up will also be affected if you're thinking of accommodating cargo carriers and bike racks.
The bottom line is to always consider your individual towing situation and, if you're a little bit confused, ask an expert on the towing setup that will work best for you. Don't forget to check with your local laws, too. There might be restrictions on the type of trailer that you can legally tow on city streets and highways.