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Ford Transit towing capacity

April 15, 2024

The Ford Transit is the backbone of Britain for a reason, the Ford Transit towing capacity is unrivalled in the large van sector. The Ford Transit has the towing weight of a heavyweight boxer. It pulls no punches and the Ford Transit tow rating is as good as you'll find in the large van segment.

What is the towing capacity of a Ford Transit van?

The Ford Transit van has a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes or 3,500kg (7716 lbs) which is the weight a Transit can tow at its absolute maximum. This is the applicable to the all 3.5-tonne GVW models as well as some of the larger weight vans - the ones with double wheels.

The maximum Ford Transit towing weight is 3500kg for a braked trailer. The maximum unbraked trailer weight is 750kg. There are a few exceptions for smaller vehicles as to what size of braked trailer they are capable of pulling.

The Transit comes in smaller sizes with vans of a 2.9-, 3.1- and 3.3-tonnes. This poses a few problems for the overall towing capacity of the Transit because the GVW alters the gross train weight (GTW) - also known as gross combination weight (GCW) - of the van.

How do I know which Transit van I have?

Ford makes it really nice and easy to figure out which van you've got. That's because you'll probably know that the large Transit vans are often referred to as Transit 350. The clue here is that the 350 part is in reference to its GVW of 3.5 tonnes.

The smaller models are therefore known as follows:

  • Transit T290 = 2.9 tonnes GVW
  • Transit T310 = 3.1 tonnes GVW
  • Transit T330 = 3.3 tonnes GVW

If you need to know about the Transit dimensions or the Transit payload we have handy guides which also explain these weights and sizes, but those are the basics you need to know about the Ford Transit weight for towing.

Can a Transit van tow a trailer?

It sure can, a Transit van could tow a standard unbraked trailer as well as a proper braked trailer suitable for pulling a car.

You need to be mindful of what you put on the trailer that the Transit van is towing, but as it has such a high towing capacity of 3500kg most vehicles will be ok.

It does depend on the maximum weight of the car, boat, mobile home, jet ski or whatever else it is you fancy towing. The total payload on the trailer, plus the weight of the trailer itself, must not exceeded the Transit towing capacity. As most trailers are built to be light this shouldn't alter now much your Transit van can tow, but it's important to keep the overall total in mind for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the weight of the trailer forms part of the towing allowance. The trailer weight is also part of the overall gross train weight (GTW) of the Transit van and trailer towing combination. Importantly includes the van, the people in the van and any other contents in the van - keep reading and you'll understand why this is a really crucial factor in the towing capacity.

What is the Transit gross train weight?

The Ford Transit has a gross train weight of up to 7-tonnes or 7,000kg (15,432 lbs) for the very largest twin wheel vans. The other sub 3.5-tonne vans have a GTW of 5,000kg (11,023 lbs).

But what is GTW and why does it affect what I can tow? Well, the gross train weight is the total weight of the van plus the weight of anything you are towing, so imagine you've filled a 3.5-tonne Transit van completely full of weight but then you need to tow something.

The total of the Transit, plus fuel, plus your weight, any passengers and whatever you have in the cargo area has an overall weight of 3500kg. In order to not exceed the total allowable GTW of 5500kg you must therefore not tow anything more than 2000kg.

If you want to maximise your towing capacity and tow a full 3500kg - the maximum the Transit is safely allowed to tow, so as not to damage the chassis or towing arm - then you'll have to lower the amount of weight you are carrying.

Is the Transit tow bar standard?

The Ford Transit tow bar isn't a standard fit item but it can be specified as an option on all models. The tow bar for the Transit costs just £400 as an option and depending on the spec of the vehicle you have gone for (ie. which trim it is, Limited, Trend etc) it will also then come with Trailer Sway Control. This is a safety feature designed to stop the trailer from snaking around when it becomes unstable.

How to tow a Ford Transit

Despite the size of a Ford Transit it is still possible to tow it. The Ford Transit has a dedicated towing eye with the mounting point. The Transit towing eye location is in the front of the grille.

First you need to get the towing eye which can be found under the passenger seat of the Transit - it's usually bolted to the floor.

You then need to connect the towing eye to the front of the van. The location to put the towing eye on the Transit is behind a small circular cover to the side of the numberplate and next to the headlight.

Transit towing eye cover

You'll need to push the circle in and use a plastic device (so as not to scratch the paint) to prize the cover out. Simply insert the Transit's towing eye into the recessed hole and screw it into place. You can now insert a towing rope into the hole.

How to winch or recover a Transit van

As well as using and above towing eye for the front of the vehicle there is also a towing eye loop at the rear of the Transit. It's a small loop under the rear bumper that you can see if you duck down a little bit behind the van.

Ford Transit rear towing loop

You can use it for winching the Transit van if it gets stuck so it will help with recovery. It's not to be used for towing in the same way as the dedicated towing eye mentioned above.

Written by: thevanreviewer 

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