I have been asked about my views on towing safety, particularly overloading mfr listed ratings, so I decided to post some links to reputable
sources of towing safety information and why it is important to think before you tow. I found these while I was doing my own research.
Sherline, a leading mfr of tongue weight gauges, has a guide to understainding tongue weight safety, load safety, and operating safety with a few stories if you click on the link in the first line:
Trailer Loading and Towing Guide
SAE has compiled a series of tests that the "Big 3" and Toyota have agreed to follow to standardize tow capacities. The test covers high temperatures, hills, braking, acceleration, and other important variables to towing a load. This will bring credibility to claims of tow capacities, but also shows what the vehicle is ACTUALLY able to move safely:
Pickup makers agree to standard test for towing ratings
While searching about overloading, I came across this article. It has some interesting points and is a good read. It also has a link to Truck Trend's SAE standard article at the end:
2009-2010 Truck Maximum Tow Rating Guide – Part Two | Tundra Headquarters
Here is a post discussing GCVW on How Stuff Works. This is good for people who are starting out and wonder what they are looking at when they are researching weights:
HowStuffWorks "How Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) Works"
Feel free to add to this list, but I just ask that the sources not be forum threads or heresay. I am not concerned with what Bob the service guy up at the Grease Monkey Garage thinks about the topic nor do I feel that because someone's rig pulls fine overweight, that it is the safe thing to do. This thread is for information on safe
towing practices. I will add to the OP anything that is relevant to the thread.