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Towing tips for SUVs

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Comments

  • cabennetcabennet Posts: 2
    I have purchased a used pop-up trailer. I currently have a 99 Windstar that is rated for 2000 lbs. It has no towing package. The trailer has a dry weight of 1640 lbs. I am thinking of trading up to a larger capacity tow vehicle. One salesman is trying to get me into a loaded 04 Explorer (not sure of towing capacity). I am looking at a Honda Pilot as well. I'd like a little better fuel economy than an Explorer. Any suggestions or tips?
  • cabennetcabennet Posts: 2
    I have purchased a used pop-up trailer. I currently have a 99 Windstar that is rated for 2000 lbs. It has no towing package. The trailer has a dry weight of 1640 lbs. I am thinking of trading up to a larger capacity tow vehicle. One salesman is trying to get me into a loaded 04 Explorer (not sure of towing capacity). I am looking at a Honda Pilot as well. I'd like a little better fuel economy than an Explorer. Any suggestions or tips?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I would say the Pilot or the Explorer would both tow that trailer with ease. So get whichever you like better as a daily driver.

    -mike
  • I have never owned an SUV. I would like to purchase a new vehicle that can tow up to 6000, maybe even 7000 pounds, and also ride well. Which SUVs should I be test driving, and which trims/option packages do I need?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    First what do you plan on towing, and what weight? What terrain? etc. We can then go from there as to what to suggest for you.

    -mike
  • lbotrlbotr Posts: 3
    For me I am towing a 17ft fish and ski, probably no more than 3500 to 4000 lbs., for lake concrete ramps, pretty flat terrain, occassional longer trips with boat when we take it with a camper. I was thinking about buying a vehicle to use just for that. then another for daily driving. If the vehicle was a used truck what kind? and what if an suv? What if either were newer, and used as a primary vehicle? Thanks,
  • britt22britt22 Posts: 17
    Help -
    I am currently considering purchasing an '07 Jeep Unlimited 4x4 with tow package for a tow capacity of 3,500 lbs.

    We would be towing a boat/trailer dry of 2,000 lb.s

    First question - I really would like this Jeep to be manual, but my husband says we are nuts to tow with a manual. He definitely wants it to be an automatic. I am curious to know what other more "seasoned" towers would say - stick with an automatic only? Or, are there any benefits to towing with a manual?

    Second question - the sales person said a manual would give you more "torque" for towing - is this true?

    And last, anyone have input or opinion to the '07 Jeep Unlimited for towing - good or bad??

    Thanks for any and all input on any of the above questions - I am all ears.
  • britt22britt22 Posts: 17
    ALSO totally meant to ask pro's vs. con's of a manual vs. automatic on a boat ramp getting boat in and out.

    Better to stick with automatic??? or, manual ????

    Again - I am all ears to opinions, experiences, recommendations, etc, etc...... ???

    ASAP if at all possible. Looking to buy/order an '07 Jeep Unlimited very, very soon here. Just don't know which to choose - if either?? Thanks!!!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Automatics are much better for towing, especially boat ramps. On the manuals you will slip the clutch more and generally aren't good for towing.

    The next question is how heavy will the trailer be as towed. (Fuel in the boat, coolers, gear, etc) and how much gear will go in the vehicle itself? The Wrangler is a good vehicle, but not a good tow vehicle though. I'd want to only tow about 75% of whatever the max towing is. So if the max is 3500 you are looking at around 2500 as your max useable towing at 75% of the rated level.

    I'd look at something different if towing was what I was planning for the vehicle. How often and how far will also effect how good the Jeep would be for your application. Is it 5-10 miles to the lake? or is it 250 miles to the lake? etc.

    -mike
  • britt22britt22 Posts: 17
    Thanks Mike - your input and time is MUCH appreciated.

    We are actually looking to tow a Seadoo Sportster which total package (boat & trailer) weights 2,000 lb.'s dry.

    Most driving would be close to home, but there would be occasional distant driving to further lakes here in Washington state - thus, some uphill grades.

    Based on what you wrote, and what I have read else where (same rule of thumb of 75% max. towing) it sounds like we should be fine with the tow package put on - and knowing we might have to take it slow on the uphill grades.

    And, it sounds like you definitely recommend staying with an automatic. Bummer for me, but good for my husband.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,009
    My sailing buddy tows a 20' Ranger with a manual F150 - just a few trips a year (the boat lives in a slip for most of the summer), and it also weights in at 2,000 pounds (boat and trailer).

    He hates the manual at the boat ramp and wishes he had gotten the automatic.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yup for that application the Jeep with the AT will do you fine as long as you get the tow package. Sportster is great, my buddy just traded in his 15' speedster w/215hp supercharged engine for the 20' speedster with twin 215hp supercharged engines. Great boats!

    -mike
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I use canoes for that, and they ride on top of the minivan.


    Steve, how well does your canoe pull a wakeboarder? I just hate to be polluting the lake if I don't have to. ;)

    I know, it's old and all but you sent me here.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,009
    Wakeboarders don't need speed, they just need a steep wave. So, maybe with a strong tandem team. ...

    Have I got the deal for you:

    Banshee Riverboards

    No boat, no gas, but lots of towing. :shades:

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    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Don't worry you probably get better milage than I do with my boat :)

    image
  • 5213252132 Posts: 62
    You could tow something with a GM as long as it doesn't break down(which it usually does)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    As much as I hate to say it, Toyota has now trumped even a 2500 series Suburban/Yukon XL. IIRC the new Sequoia will tow 10,000lbs. Looks like Nissan, GM, Ford all need to step it up on their re-designs.

    -mike
  • jniecejniece Posts: 1
    I know that they say it will only tow 8,000 pounds, will it tow a 11,000 lb three axle boat trailer from Minnesota to Florida once a year? What could I do to make it work? If not, what will tow it?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It will likely tow it.

    However, your insurance carrier for the boat, will not cover you in the event of an accident. They clearly state in most boat policies that they will only cover your boat in an trailer accident if the tow vehicle is rated from the manufacturer to tow it.

    I have this issue with my armada right now, my triple axle baja performance boat trailer is about 10,500-11,000 and I'm rated at 9100lbs.

    So from a practical point, yes you can tow it.

    From a legal standpoint, nope.

    :(

    -mike
  • I just bought a new 22 foot boat that weighs in at 4800lbs. I know, a Honda Pilot isn't the best for towing, especially over 3500lbs. I have the tow package that says I can go up to 4500lbs and have the 4WD version. If I'm only towing the boat on 35 MPH roads and for a limited time (5 miles at the most), do you think I'm ok? I take the boat out 3-4 times a year...I want to avoid damage to the transmission and want to make sure that the thing will actually pull the boat out of the water...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    How steep are those 5 miles of roads? How steep is the ramp? What does Honda's owner's manual say you need in terms of equipment to safetly tow 4500lbs (weight distributing hitch?) and lastly what does your insurance policy for the boat say about tow vehicle ratings? You wouldn't want to get in an accident and have them deny the claim due to over-weight limit towing.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • The ramps are average with few hills after that. I've heard that the towing capacity is determined by the legal department more than the engineering team...thoughts?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,009
    There's a reason for towing limits, and I don't think it necessarily begins in legal instead of engineering.

    Utility Trailers are Dangerous

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  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Depending on the vehicle that is doing the towing, a lot of limits are set in the legal department. For instance I tow with my Armada a 10,000-11,000lb performance boat trailer. It's rated for 9,100lbs w/weight distributing hitch. It tows it fine and w/o issue, however, legally it's well over the limit.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • moms4x4moms4x4 Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Jeep Cherokee 4X4, with a 4.0 V6 and automatic transmission. I have a 23 1/2 foot Coachman camper trailer. The empty hitch wt. is 550, empty axle wt. is 3150, and the total gross axle wt is 5320. I am trying to find out if my Jeep can handle the load or not. Thanks
  • clumzyclumzy Posts: 1
    I have a toyota 4runner 2002 sport edition. Currently i am towing a 1400lb boat. the problem is how should i be towing it. i have a pwr button and overdrive button. i will be taking a 4 hour trip with the boat and am not trusty with the towning. what should i do before i take the trip and how should i be towing the 4 runner correctly? thanks
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,651
    This is probably to late to help you for your trip. But, a 1,400 lb boat is basically a non issue for a 4Runner. Tow in O/D and drive at sane speeds and you'll be fine. If you tow up steep grades you may want to lock out o/d to keep the trans from shifting in and out of o/d.
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