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Heavy towing isn’t something only trucks can do – these big rigs can pull really fast

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Of course, when mentioning vehicles capable of towing five figures, the conversation turns to large pickup trucks. Heavy-duty options from all Detroit manufacturers can now carry a level of weight once reserved for someone with a professional trucker’s license.

But don’t ignore the everyday SUV. Just because something doesn’t have an open bed behind the passenger cabin doesn’t mean it can’t tow heavy loads. With the vast majority of family campers and toy haulers checking in well under £10,000, these closed-cab machines are more than capable of getting the job done.

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Before you dive into the numbers, it’s important to know that just because a vehicle is rated for a certain weight doesn’t mean it can tow that amount at any given time. The payload dimension of a vehicle is also very important. This is the sum of all masses on board an oil rig – people, cargo, fuel and vertical load. The latter is the weight that the trailer exerts on a vehicle at its coupling point; it is generally accepted that this accounts for around 10% of the trailer’s weight.

For example, if you’re towing a 7,000 pound trailer, you can expect the nose weight to be in the neighborhood of 700 pounds. If you take three of your linebacker buddies on the camping trip, there’s a very real possibility that all hands will add almost 1,000 pounds to the equation. Throw in enough food and gear for the weekend and chances are you’ll overload the SUV, making for a dangerous driving situation.

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Read the manuals, make sure your device comes with the right options, heed the warnings, and take your time. With these steps you are sure to have a good towing experience with your absolute non-truck SUV.

Jeep Wagoneer: £10,000

New for 2022, the Bucks Deluxe Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are sure to quickly become a favorite with patriotic country club crowds. Good looks and a fabled name will likely make it a coveted ride for this set. Expect horse trailers and big RVs behind those things, too, since Wagoneer is rated at a sky-high (for an SUV) towing capacity of 10,000 pounds.

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This duo also offers our first lesson on why a bigger motor doesn’t necessarily equate to more pulling power. The Wagoneer with a 5.7-liter V8 can pull five figures, but the Grand Wagoneer equipped with a 6.4-liter V8 can pull 9850 lbs. Why? Most likely limitations in suspension geometry and braking efficiency. The larger engine and accompanying gubbins weigh more and help explain the 150-pound drop.

Ford Expedition: 9300 lbs

When fitted with the right gear, Ford’s Brute of a ute can tow a total of 9300 lbs. Note that it’s rear-wheel drive, but the far more popular 4×4 is still good for a whopping 9200 lbs. To get that number, you need the 3.73 rear wheel ratio combined with an optional towing package.

Without those two elements, the SUV is limited to just 6000 lbs – but looks identical at first glance. They’re even powered by the same 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. For this reason, it is crucial to know exactly what options your tow vehicle is equipped with. Thanks to the higher total weight, the Lincoln Navigator and the Ford Expedition Max have slightly lower towing capacities.

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Dodge Durango: 8700 lbs

Picking up a large and loaded SUV from your Dodge store brings in a machine capable of towing a maximum of 8700 lbs depending on engine and drivetrain configuration. That total is reserved for the most beefy Durango vehicles, but perhaps surprisingly not limited to the largest engine.

The triumvirate of 5.7-litre V8s, 6.4-litre V8s and supercharged 6.2-litre V8s are all part of the 8700 club, although the ‘Five-Seven’ comes with the optional tow -n-Go package so it is not limited to 7200 lbs capacity in 4×4 configuration.

Nissan Armada: 8500 pounds

Freshly overhauled for this model year, the Nissan Armada now places it right below its toughest competitors with its maximum towing capacity. For 2021, the SUV adds integrated trailer brake control and a hitch receiver as standard on both trim levels offered in Canada.

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The only engine option in this equation is the brand’s 5.6-liter V8, making this part of the equation fairly straightforward. All versions of the Armada sold in our country are equipped with all-wheel drive. The only choices you have to make is the interior luxury level and the color of the exterior paintwork.

Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon: 8400 lbs

When you’re topping a new-for-2021 Tahoe or Yukon, its maximum towing capacity is 8400 lbs with the 5.3-liter V8 engine, powered by the rear wheels. The addition of a 4×4, like others in this group, shaves a few hundred pounds off its capabilities.

Much like the Jeep, opting for a larger engine does nothing for maximum hauling performance, as the 6.2-liter V8 and 3.0-liter I6 diesel weigh in at 8100 lbs and 8100 lbs, respectively, when packing the Max Trailering option group. 8200 lbs are limited. While the more powerful engines might not add capacity, they can make the towing experience easier thanks to that extra under-hood grunt.

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Land Rover Defender: 8200 pounds

Several members of the Land Rover SUV family can tow 8200lbs when properly kitted out, including the too-cool Defender, which was relaunched just last year. In fact, the brand claims that even the four-cylinder variant of the edgy Brit can haul that amount of weight, although we can’t imagine it doing so in much of a hurry. We’d bang for the V6 or the newly announced V8.

Other LRs like the Discovery – for which your author gets a lot of criticism from his peers for really liking the asymmetric tailgate design – are also apparently good at £8200. Ditto for the Big Daddy Range Rover, but the stylish Velar is limited to about 2/3 that amount.

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