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Guest 70 Electra

This is a little like asking "how high is 'up'". The answer will vary depending on what your criteria is.<P>Do you mean "Will it overheat?" Or "Will it accelerate reasonably?" Or "Will I damage anything?" Or, "Is it safe?" Or, "What does GM recommend?"<P>First, check your owner's manual. A 1999 Park Ave manual was the oldest I could put my fingers on, and it clearly states 1000 lbs. is the maximum for this car, in that year (1999). <P>For other cars, and other years, it may depend on what equipment the vehicle has. Often the manufacturer requires heavy-duty (larger) radiator, and even an oil cooler, in order to tow a moderate amount of weight. If you don't have an owner's manual, you might try calling or writing to Buick. I know they have a toll-free customer line, but I don't have the number.<P>Having said all that, the primary limitation placed on towing capacity by the manufacturer is due to the cooling system. If you are in a mild climate, do not encounter hills, and drive carefully, you may be able to exceed the "recommended" trailer weight. (By the way, I'm assuming this trailer has its own brakes--either electric or surge!)<P>Even if cooling and acceleration performance are not concerns for you, you could be limited by the physical capability of the hitch. What rating is available for the hitch? 1000#? 3000#? Be aware that your car does not have a separate frame, and any hitch will be attaching to the body. While the hitch itself may be good for 3000#, you need to convince yourself that the body attachments are good for this as well!<P>Be aware that the draw-weight of the trailer is only one factor in hard it is to tow. Tongue weight and wind resistance must be considered.<P>Tongue-weight usually should not be more than 10% of the trailer's weight. You can see that with a 3000 or 4000 pound trailer this is a lot of weight on the rear of a Park Ave. If this is a concern, a weight-distributing hitch can be used to share the tongue weight between all 6 wheels (4 on car, 2 on trailer).<P>Wind resistance plays a big factor in towability, too. A 500# barn door won't tow as well as a 1000# low profile trailer. Boats are usually pretty bad (pound-for-pound) for wind resistance. That's why it's tough to state an exact weight that is "OK".<P>Hope this gives you some things to think about. Bottom line: check out the owner's manual, and don't expect the tow rating to be much above 1000#.

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Greg made some very good comments.<P>I concur that you will probably find the tow limit to be 1000lbs as that's pretty much were most of the late model GM front wheel drive cars are rated. That would also indicate a Class I hitch (avaliable either with a bolt-on style flat metal hitch or a small shank hitch that takes a 1" square insertable shank and probably a 1 7/8" hitch ball.<P>As Greg mentioned, there are many factors which go into formulating the tow ratings. Engine power, transmission capacity and cooling, BRAKES, chassis tuning issues (soft vs firm vs Heavy Duty), and body structure (unit body or body-on-frame.<P>Along with the tow rating, there will also be a comparable tongue weight specification. Don't forget to make sure that the rear springs might need some assist from air struts (the later variation of air shocks) as the automatic level control equipped vehicles have on them. Got to keep the car level with the tow item attached to the hitch.<P>Everyone used to tow with cars--key word "used"--but with the increasing weights of what people desire to haul around these days, they probably need something on a "real", full size light truck chassis platform to handle things as they need to be handled in modern driving conditions.<P>Just some thoughts . . <BR>NTX5467

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