Towing refers to an ability in Grand Theft Auto games to tow or pull an object, specifically a trailer or vehicle, using another vehicle. The feature is first made possible in Grand Theft Auto 2, when semi-trailer trucks possess the ability to pull trailers. The feature is also present in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V.
Attachments with trailers simply require the player reverse their vehicle into the front of a trailer until the camera readjusts itself to center on both the hauler and the trailer, confirming the coupling is complete. When pulling a trailer, the vehicle will possess poorer performance due to the need to pull extra weight, especially with regards to steering as the vehicle is now longer. Players have the option of detaching trailers after attachment.
All in all, GTA 2 features three forms of trailers, one of which is somewhat useful in actual gameplay. The Truck Cab and the Truck Cab SX represent the game's only two semi-trailer trucks, and are also the only vehicles in GTA 2 capable of attaching to and pulling trailers. Players may detach a trailer using the attack key or button.
Trailers sustain damage like other vehicles, and also emit fire the same way when heavily damaged, even exploding when destroyed, posing a danger to the player if they are pulling a trailer that is in bad condition. This danger is very likely to happen in certain missions: Benson Burner!, Operation Z! and Grand Theft Auto!, all of which require the player to tow a car across town.
GTA San Andreas
GTA San Andreas is the first game after GTA 2 to reintroduce the ability to pull loads. The game mechanics of attaching to and pulling a trailer is roughly the same as in GTA 2, but trailers may decouple from a vehicle using a specific command or if physical force (i.e. jackknifing, dislodging due to rough terrains or jumps, excessive speed, etc.) is subjected to the trailer. However, there is no single button to detach the trailers. There is a glitch in the PS2 version where taking a picture of the attachment will detach the trailers but the glitch is fixed in subsequent versions.
- The Tow Truck, which employs an adjustable boom at the back to pull any large vehicle.
- The Tractor, which uses an adjustable tow hitch to pull smaller hauls or large vehicles.
- The Utility Van and Baggage, which feature a stationary tow hitch to pull smaller hauls.
The trailers themselves consist of a more varied range of items, some of which are not available unless they are spawned using a third-party trainer. In total, GTA San Andreas features eight types of trailers: Four semi-trailers and four specialized trailers.
All trailers in general are capable of exploding entirely if severely damaged or flipped over, but specialized trailers have several other peculiarities, including functional headlights and taillights that light up at night or in a dark location, and the ability to emit smoke if sufficiently damaged (Including those that would never burn, much less explode). This is because all trailers are classified as vehicles, although they are defined with a different classification to other road vehicles.
Truck trailers are prominently used in the Trucking side missions.
GTA Chinatown Wars
The ability to tow trailers returns in GTA V, with mechanics almost identical to those in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Any semi with a hitch in the back can be reversed into most trailers, which will then automatically attach themselves. The player can unhook the trailer at any time, even while moving, which can offer a performance boost if needed or aid a getaway if executed properly. On highways, most often outside of Los Santos, semi trucks hauling various forms of cargo can be seen in traffic. Beyond commercial hauling, the Tow Truck returns, with the ability to move vehicles. Pick-up trucks have the ability to tow small to mid-size trailers. Sadler and Bison pick-ups are equipped with a tow hitch. Some trailers present in the game are boat trailers and a portable electricity generator. If a boat trailer with a boat is reversed into water, the boat starts to float and becomes usable.
List of trailers
|Container||A container trailer.|
|Tanker||A tanker trailer for liquid loads. Not to be confused with a Tanker truck (Early Ray Larabie design).|
|Transporter||A flat bed trailer. With the Transporter, the player has the ability to place any car on the trailer using single, unmarked cranes located in each district of the city; likewise, vehicles on trailers can be unloaded using the same cranes. When a gang car is placed on the truck, its gang markings disappears for as long as it is on the trailer.|
GTA San Andreas
|Articulated Trailer||A trailer designed to carry solid loads. The trailer is available in three forms, two fully covered (|
|Tanker Trailer||A fuel tank trailer bearing Xoomer livery. Tanker trucks always uses these trailers. Spawn with a cheat.|
|Farm Trailer||A cultivator intended to be pulled by a Tractor, complete with functional chisels that move as the Farm Trailer is in motion. The Farm Trailer can be found at a farm in Tierra Robada near the Bait Shop, although no Tractors can be found in the desert. It is also found at the Blueberry Acres farm near Blueberry in Red County. It can also be found at the East side of the farm buildings across the water, West of Palomino Creek|
|Utility Trailer||A black utility trailer intended for the Utility Van. The trailer is not normally available in game, and can only be spawned using a third-party trainer or car spawner. The reason for its lack of availability in-game is unknown. If the trailer is spawned at night, connected to the Utility Van, then turned on its side or upsidedown a headlight can be seen .|
|Tug Stairs||A mobile staircase commonly found in airports, intended for the Baggage and ideal for access into an AT-400 where a permanent platform is not available. Its high center of gravity may often lead it to topple over during high speed cornering. It is classed as a vehicle as a Heat Seeking Rocket Launcher can lock onto it and if shot at enough it will explode like an ordinary car.|
|Baggage Box||A luggage box commonly found in airports, and intended for the Baggage. Available open (|
|Boat trailer||Pulled by Sadlers and Bisons. They usually spawn with boats on board. The player can back the trailer into water and use the boat. This can commonly be found in Sandy Shores and the Grand Senora Desert. Any boat detached from this trailer cannot be reattached again.|
|Utility trailer||Spawn frequently being towed by Sadlers and Bisons. Carries objects that can fall out if the trailer is flipped or hit with enough force.|
|Generator trailer||Pulled by Sadlers and Bisons. The generator trailer is used to supply electricity in remote areas, but is useless in actual gameplay.|
|Artic trailer||Standard variation with a rectangular design, similar to GTA San Andreas trailers. Also bears companies, such Up-n-Atom Burger, Cluckin' Bell, and Pißwasser.|
|Container trailer||An unmarked shipping container that always comes a bit oxided.|
|Extended container trailer||An unmarked shipping container on an elongated trailer.|
|Car trailer||Sometimes spawn with cars on board. These cars are locked, as there's usually not enough space to open a door. However, it is possible to get into these cars. They are tied down, so the only way for them to be drivable is if the truck is flipped on a hill. The rear door on the trailer can be opened if the character jumps in on the side and walks toward the rear of the trailer. Once opened, the hatch can not be closed.|
|Tanker trailer||Used to carry gasoline. Can explode if shot enough times, potentially bearing danger to a player hauling it. Shooting a hole in the tank makes it leak of gas which can be ignited by shooting. These trailers can often be found when driving in Paleto Bay and are most commonly found in orange with the Ron Gasoline logo on it. A camouflaged variant is used by the military, used for aviation supply.|
|Flatbed trailer||Flat trailers found empty. Log trailers and curtainside trailers are variants of flatbed trailers.|
|Log trailer||Flat trailer with logs stacked on it. Usually found in Paleto Bay and the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness.|
|Curtainside trailer||Covered flatbed with tarp side walls.|
|Sand rake||A trailer that can attach onto the Fieldmaster and is used to groom and clean beaches. These lack wheels.|
While 12 different trailers are normally seen in the game, there are Special trailers, which only appears in some missions and cannot be found anywhere.
|Fame or Shame Trailer||An Artic trailer which is marked with the talent show name. Only appears in the mission of the same name, pulled by a Phantom.|
|Big boat trailer||A trailer that haul large boats, along with the pick-up variant. Once appears in the mission Father/Son, carrying the Michael's Marquis.|
|Super flatbed trailer||A special variation of the flatbed trailer, which has longer and wider body structure, small lights and 3 double axles. Appears in missions where vehicles are carried to heist setups. In the mission Minisub, a camouflage variant is used.|
|Super flatbed trailer XL||A longer variant of the previous one. Only is seen in the mission Sidetracked, to carry the train and a freight flat trailer.|
- In Online, other players can ride on top of certain trailer types. This can be used to transport more than two people while driving a semi, but low structures, and crashing can sometimes knock players off while on the trailers.
- In the beta version of GTA San Andreas, there used to be a shorter, green colored 'artict3' trailer. The name of this trailer in gta3.img is 'rdtraint', suggesting that this trailer is used to be pulled by a Roadtrain.
- Known pickup trucks that can tow small-midsized trailers in GTA V are the Bobcat, Bison, and Sadler.