As far as cars go, a full-size body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive car like a Ford Crown Victoria (rated to tow 2,000 pounds) or Chevy Caprice is a basic minimum for towing anything approaching the weight of a 2,000-pound trailer. For smaller trailers, a smaller car can work, but for hauling anything more than 2,000 pounds you're going to need a truly tow-friendly vehicle. Ideally, a truck or an SUV is always a smart choice for towing that boat or camper. Even a compact pickup like a Ford Ranger or Chevy Colorado is going to be better than just about any car. For heavier loads (say more than 4,000 pounds) a half-ton truck like a Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado will meet the needs of just about any of the trailer-towing basics we're discussing here. But even among half-ton trucks, towing ability can vary. For example, an F-150 with a 5.4-liter V8 will have a much easier time towing a 5,000-pound load than one with a 4.6-liter V8 because it simply has more horsepower and torque. Furthermore, the engine isn't the only thing that can handle a heavier load. The transmission, brakes and rear axle are also upgraded, along with the larger engine. Beyond a typical half-ton truck, a three-quarter (such as an F-250) or one-ton (F-350) can handle loads well beyond 5,000 pounds. For example, an F-250 with a 5.4-liter V8 and 3.73 gears is rated to tow 12,500 pounds. Properly equipped, an F-150 is rated to tow 8,000 pounds with a 5.4-liter V8, an automatic transmission and 3.55 gears. Besides the tow vehicle and the trailer, the other critical element is, of course, the hitch. Trailer hitches are rated according to capacity of the load weight and tongue weight. Load weight is referenced in terms of Gross Trailer Weight (GTW, see chart at the end of article). Tongue weight is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball. This is usually calculated at 10-15 percent of the maximum rated GTW. The tongue is usually formed from the V-shaped merging of the trailer framerails at the front of the trailer. The coupler of the trailer is what accepts the hitch ball.