In my quest to find the towing standards for different vehicles, more specifically my current vehicles that were owned upon the acquisition of my 17’ Burro
, a 99 VW Cabrio, a 98 Bonneville and a 95 Jeep Cherokee, I needed to find the tow rating of each so I could then tow my little egg to the exciting and fun filled destinations of my hearts desire.
We could eliminate the VW just on principle alone, so the decision fell between the Jeep and the Bonnie. The Jeep, one would think, is the obvious choice but this vehicle is driven and maintained by my 18 year old daughter (noticed I did not state owned) and subsequently really could not be trusted to be able to make it to the state line let alone tow a trailer no matter what the size beyond the end of the driveway.
This leaves the Bonnie. Now I inquired here on this superb, fact filled site that is exclusively dedicated to the pursuit of a passion we all share and came up a little disappointed. When poising the question on the tow factors of a 98 Bonneville I got little to no response which in retrospect can be fully understood. I mean who wants to advise a perfect stranger on the capability of the tow capacity of a vehicle, specifically when you have never had the pleasure of trying to tow with that particular four wheeled demon. Conversely who would take the afore mentioned advice to spend upwards of six hundred dollars to outfit their vehicle to tow their prized egg to find out that three hundred miles down the road you have dropped your transmission all over the last mile of said road?
So this only leaves a few other pools of knowledge available for the quenching of this burning question. The owner’s manual of the vehicle in question, the local mechanic/auto parts store/local dealer and the unbridled, sometimes dubious information highway otherwise known as the World Wide Web.
The vehicle owner’s manual. This should be the first and most authoritative place to obtain the needed information for towing your egg. Every new car comes with one that one would think; along with the myriad of other information contain within its fact filled pages that the tow ratings for the vehicle would be one but alas this isn’t always true.
The local mechanic/auto parts store/local dealer. Now I know I have squished these three together but for all practical purposes they basically the same and I have found that they all have varying degrees of competency when presented with a question that can not be found readily at hand i.e. what ever manual is at hand during the time of the question, or in the case of the auto parts store clerk just a vague shrug will do.
So now we come to the good ole WWW. This option also tried its best to impede my search for the knowledge I so desperately sought. No matter how the question was put forth by me into the vast Google search engine my answer was not going to seemingly appear. Then on one of my Boolean searches I found this little gem of a site:
And for those who wish to know the towing laws for each state:
Alas the 98 Bonnie only has a tow rating of 1000 pounds but being one not to conform and having a strong desire to stick it to the man I went ahead and put a tow bar, electric brake controler and a tranny cooler on the four wheeled filly and have not had any problems on the short runs (less than 200 miles) I have done so far. On a side note I have done what I should have done in the first place and that was to buy a vehicle that will tow the Burro
with no problems, a 2001 GMC Jimmy with a factory tow package rated at 5700 pounds.