Trucks & Trailers - Bigger boat then you could tow?

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View Full Version : Bigger boat then you could tow?


bunger79
03-06-2011, 04:18 PM
Ok, I see on here all the time the question of can I tow it. I made the mistake of listening to the manufator about the weight of the boat. :bashhh: 3 years later I upgraded my tow vehicle to something that I could tow with without having white knuckels. Just wondering how many of you out there made the same mistake as me?

Chad


two-rocks
03-06-2011, 04:27 PM
I bought a Ford F350 diesel. Although I've owned other tow vehicles, so I knew.

That mistake will never go away, people don't listen.

The Nancy D
03-06-2011, 05:14 PM
I have an 04 expedition with the tow package and a rig that probably weighs about 50% of the max. I would say it works well, but I have never towed with it. Prior to now I have used a Volvo V70 and it did great. The rig was over the limit of the car, but I was also towing it about two miles each way over very friendly ground. Low-or even mid-tide wasn't an option this way...it was perfect conditions or not at all. Hence, why i got the truck.

The moral of the story is that I think you can tow more with less than these boards would seem to suggest. That said, it is really nice not having to worry about it.


Bigger Hammer
03-06-2011, 05:26 PM
People probably wonder why I recommend weighing their rigs so often.
Did the same thing, early 90's.
The rear end on the Suburban we had didn't last through the first summer with the new boat.

Hullin
03-06-2011, 05:30 PM
I tow a 29 Sea Vee up and down the east coast with a 2008 F250 crew cab. Truck weighs 7800 lbs empty and the boat/trailer etc.. weigh about 9000 lbs. I have the V10 which is a beast of an engine. I wouldnt tow with a lesser vehicle, towing more with less is fine until you have to stop quick or make an emergency manoeuver to avoid some clown who doesnt know how to drive. I drive approximately 50,000miles/year and tow approximately 10,000. You are asking for trouble if you tow more with less. A good rule of thumb is dont tow more than 80% of your vehicle rating. You max it out or exceed it and you take away your margin of error at the time you most need it. It just isnt worth the risk of someone getting injured.

t500hps
03-06-2011, 06:07 PM
Had a 3/4 Suburban and a 31 ft cigarette boat, then bought a 38 footer cigarette boat. 5 weeks later bought a Dually. I was a sweaty mess after towing 30 miles to the ramp with that Suburban.


(but it was late summer and I knew I would be shopping for a new truck)

jhendric
03-07-2011, 04:40 PM
I'm on my third tow vehicle as I keep upgrading boats then tow vehicles.... Presently have an f350 diesel with which I tow 8000 pounds..I'm fat dumb and happy now... But would have saved tens of thousands if inhad bought the f350 when I started.

Reel 007
03-07-2011, 05:06 PM
Real life experience, i am at the launch ramp Shelter Island San Diego, there is a couple of guys trying to recover a 28' Bayliner flybridge with a Toyota tundra and it not happening, struck up a conversation with one of the guy, turn out they had just bought the boat (new) and had asked the dealer about the truck's ability to tow the boat, the dealer assured them that the truck would do fine and it did, it got the boat to the water and launch it, Shelter Island is a very forgiving ramp, had they tried to launch at one of our steeper ramp I would bet truck and boat would be in the water.
I got a tow rope and help them out, bottom line is if the dealer think your tow vehicle is going to stop you from buying his boat he may be less than truthful.
Tow vehicles are one of those cases in life where "more is better".

805gregg
03-07-2011, 06:08 PM
I bought the big truck first, then the boat.

Geauxkart
03-08-2011, 04:09 AM
I bought the big truck first, then the boat.
X2

dadriva
03-08-2011, 05:48 AM
I'm a REAL IDIOT.......!!!

I believed the manufacturers published weights and towed a 23 contender from Maryland where I bought it to Ohio with a 1999 Toyota Tacoma... WOW what an experience, although it never felt unsafe, the truck was definitely strained and overheated after a loooonng uphill after a tunnel. We stopped (after the tunnel) and let her idle for a bit and she was good to go for the rest of the trip. We also took down the eisenglass while stopped and I think that helped a lot. I had a lot to learn as this was my first boat after a several year hiatus from boating.

2 months later I bought a 5.7 Tundra which towed the Contender great but then I realized I had a lot more tow capability for a larger boat

So I bought the Donzi in April 2009 in Maryland (oddly it was Maryland again) and towed it back to Ohio and it was a white knuckle ride. It never felt unsafe but the potential was certainly there.

4 months later I bought a 2008 F250 diesel and have stopped the idiot train (for now anyways!!!:rofl:)

t500hps
03-08-2011, 05:54 AM
I'm a REAL IDIOT.......!!!

I believed the manufacturers published weights and towed a 23 contender from Maryland where I bought it to Ohio with a 1999 Toyota Tacoma... WOW what an experience, although it never felt unsafe, the truck was definitely strained and overheated after a loooonng uphill after a tunnel. We stopped (after the tunnel) and let her idle for a bit and she was good to go for the rest of the trip. We also took down the eisenglass while stopped and I think that helped a lot. I had a lot to learn as this was my first boat after a several year hiatus from boating.

2 months later I bought a 5.7 Tundra which towed the Contender great but then I realized I had a lot more tow capability for a larger boat

So I bought the Donzi in April 2009 in Maryland (oddly it was Maryland again) and towed it back to Ohio and it was a white knuckle ride. It never felt unsafe but the potential was certainly there.

4 months later I bought a 2008 F250 diesel and have stopped the idiot train (for now anyways!!!:rofl:)


You haven't stopped that train, for today your just riding in the engine instead of the caboose. Your next trip could put you in the back again!!! :)

(I'm currently towing a 21ft CC with a diesel dually that is even equiped with airbags. I recently downsized boats significantly and figured I'd keep the truck cause I'm likely to go big again one day)

luketrot
03-08-2011, 05:56 AM
Bought a 28' Hydra-Sports 200 miles away from home and reluctantly used my Expedition to tow it back. Seller told me he had towed it with his sons F150. When I showed up the sons F150 was actually a Diesel F250..... I'm guessing our SUV was at least 3000lbs beyond it's limit. We did 45mph on the highway and stopped at almost every rest-stop along the way. Not only was the SUV dwarfed by the boat but the boat was also technically a "Wide Load" and we didn't have permits. Surprisingly we made it home without incident. After a few trips to the local marina and a scare going down a steep hill I bought an F350 Dually. Still haven't bought wide load permits.

LI32
03-08-2011, 06:37 AM
A lot of the issues aren't just weight - its the wheelbases of the truck and load that matter too, and the big trucks have much longer wheelbases. A 6,000 lb 23' boat is tougher and more white knuckle of a tow than a 6,000 lb machine on a 15' long flatbed trailer.

Southern Charm
03-08-2011, 07:25 AM
Does anyone tow with a Durango with a Hemi in it? I am going to start keeping my 26'CC at my house for the winter so I will be towing 2 times a year. Any feedback would be great. The rigs weight is around 7500lbs.

KarlP
03-08-2011, 07:47 AM
Wheelbase does matter, but you can get midsize crew-cab trucks that are longer than regular cab 3500 trucks.

Longer provides a more comfortable towing experience when going forward.

Shorter is SOOOO much easier when backing up. Have you ever tried to backup one of those 15' long flatbed trailers with a truck with a 14' wheelbase? Ever see someone back a jetski trailer down the ramp with a crew-cab pickup or extended cargo van? Either is an exercise in frustration for the driver and a comedy show for those not in line behind them.

Some vehicles are certainly undersized for their trailers and a quick upgrade is in order, but I think a lot of towing nerves are a result of poor trailer setup or unrealistic expectations.

Trailer setup is often ignored or done incorrectly. A lot of people also insist on 10%+ tongue weight on a boat trailer despite the manufacturers specifying 5%. You need that much on a utility trailer and maybe even more on a camper, but its just not necessary with a boat trailer where the axle is so far back on the trailer. The heavy tongue weights make the tow vehicle bounce more. A boat trailer shouldn't sway from side to side as you tow it. If it does you have a balance/alignment problem with the trailer. Your braking distances will be a bit longer when towing, but you shouldn't feel like the trailer is going to push you through intersections. If it does you need to adjust or upgrade your trailer brakes. (You do have trailer brakes, right?)

I notice a lot of people equate downshifting with 'struggling'. Shifting out of overdrive for every hill when towing has never bothered me. Maybe its because I started out towing as an ignorant teenager towing with a Corolla. Since the base model didn't even HAVE an overdrive back then I didn't come up with the crazy idea that shifting out of overdrive was going to hurt the car. Add four teenagers a mid-90s Corolla, fill the trunk with boating/tubing/lunch stuff, hook up a 13' Whaler and you're up to a whopping 4000lb combo being pulled by a 1.8L gas engine. It wanted to be in 3rd for every hill, so I got used to hitting the button on the side of the shifter to disable overdrive before every hill. IME, putting the engine in its powerband before the computer decides it needs more power is easier on both the vehicle and the driver. Contrary to urban legend, shifting an automatic manually does not hurt it. That's why the automakers provide a gear selector!

woodytoo
03-08-2011, 08:00 AM
In my boat policy it states that if my tow vehicle is not rated for the combined weight, they won't pay if I get in an accident. That will make you think twice before venturing out into traffic with to small a tow vehicle.

boydski
03-08-2011, 08:18 AM
When I traded in my previous boat for the 26' Seahawk Offshore, I knew that the dry weight of the boat and trailer would be right at the maximum rated towing capacity for my 1/2 ton Chevy pickup. The pickup with 4.10 gears and airbags was rated for a maximum towing capacity of 8700 lbs.

The scaled weight of the boat on the trailer was 8000 lbs plus at least 700 lbs of tongue weight that put it right at the limit. I towed the boat this way for about one month while a looked for a new truck, but the shorter wheelbase of the truck made this tow very uncomfortable and the engine and transmission were really getting the crap beat out of them.

I traded that truck in on a long wheel base Cummins Diesel and it tows like a dream now. No more white knuckle trips down the interstate!

Two weeks after I traded in the Chevy for the Dodge, the dealer told me that a customer had notice an odd sound coming from my old truck. They pulled the rear differential cover off and the gears fell apart onto the floor. I always thought it would be the transmission that died on the Chevy, but it turned out to be the 4.10 gears in the rear end.

YMMV,

mcastles
03-09-2011, 04:57 PM
interesting discussion since I am currently in this situation with an 05 Expedition (no tow package) and a 6500 lb boat/trailer. From the GCWR, 11500 lb, I am way over capacity when towing this boat, especially in the northeast where there are many hills, small roads and sharp turns. I am pondering a 3/4 ton diesel, since staying in the 1/2 ton frame still puts me at the upper end of the GCWR and I would prefer to be around the 80% or less of max. Simply relying on tow capacity number is very misleading, since ultimately you have to stop the combined weight.

I know the diesel is probably over kill for 6500 lbs, but for me better safe than sorry since it only takes one situation to result in a disaster.

any thoughts?

Flot
03-09-2011, 05:24 PM
Does anyone tow with a Durango with a Hemi in it? I am going to start keeping my 26'CC at my house for the winter so I will be towing 2 times a year. Any feedback would be great. The rigs weight is around 7500lbs.

Yes, tows my 23' just fine with the exception of miserable (seriously) gas mileage. Note my thread about not being able to get up the ramp in 2wd but that's based on a lot of things.

Power-wise the Durango/Hemi is great - best if you have the high gear ratio - brakes are pretty good but lost my trailer brakes one trip and that was a bad surprise. Make sure your trailer brakes are in good shape and you should be ok for a reasonable tow.

805gregg
03-09-2011, 05:38 PM
It's more the tail wagging the dog, if the truck's not big enough, the boat tends to move the truck instead of the reverse.

quakah
03-09-2011, 05:40 PM
I bought the big truck first, then the boat.

:thumbsup:

t500hps
03-09-2011, 05:43 PM
It's more the tail wagging the dog, if the truck's not big enough, the boat tends to move the truck instead of the reverse.

You hear this expression often but if you've ever experienced it you'll do everything you can to not be in that situation again.

luketrot
03-10-2011, 08:26 AM
You hear this expression often but if you've ever experienced it you'll do everything you can to not be in that situation again.

+1

This is why I stopped towing with my Expedition and bought a F350 Dually...

aero993
03-10-2011, 08:51 AM
When I first got my Hydra Sports 2500cc I towed it with my 4x4 01 Tahoe. It could do, but it really wasn't pleasent. On big hills, the most the Tahoe would do floored is 30mph. I started looking for a 02-03 diesel Excursion 4x4. Now hill are no longer a problem. The price of diesel is now my main concern.

bunger79
03-10-2011, 02:28 PM
I am so glad I can show my wife I am not the only one that did this. Went from the armada to the dodge ram 3500 dually night and day.

Aero993 diesel is my concern also don't understand it. Hopefully something changes.

Chad



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