Towing with an Equinox - What You Need to Know

The Chevy Equinox is a compact sport utility vehicle — the compact part is what makes people leery about about its towing capacity. Sure, it doesn’t quite have the strength of a mid to full size SUV or truck, but it can do a decent job towing and hauling with the right setup and approach.

Towing Tips for First-Timers

Equinox owner or not, here are some quick tips for newbies when it comes to towing:

Check your brakes. Before you tow, keep in mind that you’ll be putting extra stress on your vehicle’s braking system, even if you’re using trailer brakes. Visually inspect the pads and rotors and make sure you have enough brake fluid in the system.

Carry a spare trailer tire. You’ve already got a spare for your vehicle, but don’t forget a spare for your trailer as well!

Keep your speed down. In most states, it’s the law to keep it under 55 mph, not to mention that your vehicle owner's manual suggests you tow at 55mph or less. While people regularly ignore these guidelines, they're suggested for a reason.

Stay in a lower gear. Do not go into overdrive while towing. Keep it in a lower gear while towing so that a) the transmission slows the engine speed quicker in an emergency and b) you don't strain the overdrive gear, which may not be designed for the stress of towing.

Leave plenty of space. You’re going to need a lot more space to stop while pulling a trailer. Give yourself an additional car length at lower speeds, and even more at highway speeds!

What You Need to Know About Your Equinox

Check your owner’s manual for exact information, but most Chevy Equinox SUVs have a towing capacity of around 1,000 pounds for a trailer without brakes and 1,500 pounds for trailers equipped with brakes. This is much, much lighter than most vehicles, and includes the weight of the trailer. So if you have a 500 pound trailer, you only have 500-1,000 pounds left to tow at the most. This is somewhat limited, but you’re probably looking at hauling small loads anway, like towing a mid-size ATV or 4-wheeler, or trailering some lawn equipment.

Also keep in mind that the most your Equinox plus any cargo or trailer can add up to is 5,787 pounds if you have a front wheel drive SUV — 5,952 pounds for all wheel drive models. That includes you, your spouse, kids, dogs, luggage, and so on in addition to whatever you’re towing. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in premature wear and damage to many of the components of your vehicle — not to mention it compromises your safety.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t tow anything for the first 500 miles on the vehicle. Even after that, you need to limit your speeds and take frequent stops during the first 500 miles once you start towing.

Equipment for Towing

Tow hitch

If your Chevy Equinox is not yet fitted with the equipment for towing,<, null, null, null, null)">accessory section; just search by your year and engine type to find the equipment you need.