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Towing Vehicle

Discussion in 'Smaller Boats' started by GBGraham, Nov 29, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    42 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Greece Epidavros
    Apologies for bombarding the forum with posts but as a newbie I am quite hungry to amass knowledge and understanding of the 260 from you experienced guys.
    I do realise that most of the contributors on this site are from the US of A, also I know my American cousins love there big engine'd vehicles.
    In the UK we work the opposite and tend to go for smaller engine'd vehicles and probably tow according to the vehicles plated weight.
    The question I am asking you towing experts, what are your thoughts to how I will go on with towing?
    I have a BMW X3 which is plated at a train weight of 2400kgs (5300lbs). My twin axle'd trailer weighs 500kgs (1100lbs)
    Cheers for replies in anticipation.
     


  2. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,234 posts, 260 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Towing is a factor of vehicle weight, load and speed. I have long realized that similar vehicles are rated much lower in the US than in Europe. The difference is that in the US it is legal to tow at posted highway speeds which is mostly 70 MPH in our Interstate highways while in Europe they hold towing vehicles to around 55 MPH. That makes a huge difference in proper and safe handling. There is also a marketing campaign by truck manufacturers with the implication that trucks are necessary for towing anything beyond 3,500 lbs. While it is true that truck chasis, large engines and sturdy transmissions are better suited for towing it is also true that many family vehicles are quite adequate at towing up to 5,000 lbs. Vehicle suspensions tend to be softer in the US accounting for lower tongue weights but a weight distribution hitch can help that. The weight of the towed load should not exceed 90% of the weight of the towing vehicle. Another factor to consider is vehicles transmission; todays family vehicles use multi speed automatic transmission with one or two overdrive gears for fuel economy. This tall gearing can place undue wear on the transmissions when towing heavy loads. There are some vehicles that bear similar towing specs in both sides of the Atlantic and those are usually under 2,000 lbs usually indicating their chasis components cannot sustain the stress imposed by the loads. Towing in the mountains imposes a an additional set of factors. Check the engines as also in Europe there are many vehicles equipped with diesel engines and transmission configurations which are better suited for towing. The BMW X3 is a nice vehicle so make sure yours can handle the load safely and that it is not overburdened in pulling power and capacity. Last keep your tow weigh under the towing specs for your area as in the unfortunate case of a an accident your insurance company may deny a claim if those towing specs are exceeded.
     


  3. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    42 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Greece Epidavros
    Hi, thank you for your informative reply. Can I just query the 90% quote please, is this a US legal issue or a rule of thumb because this puts the X3 towing weight well below it's specified towing weight?
     


  4. DayDreamer41

    DayDreamer41

    Joined Oct 29, 2016
    588 posts, 198 likes
    Hunter 41 DS
    Un Michigan Port Huron
    Well you vehicle weight 1900 kg's and the trailer is 500 kg's so anything you put on the trailer will put you over your rated / plated load capacity. As for the vehicle I believe it depends on what model X3 you have
     


  5. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    42 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Greece Epidavros
    Sorry for been a bit thick or am I just plain old missing something. The handbook says max towing weight 2400kgs (5300lbs). Trailer 500kgs (1100lbs) H260 1360 kgs (3000lbs) so my thinking is 500+1360= 1960kgs being towed is 440kgs (970lbs) under max towing weight? Kerb weight 2365kgs(5215lbs) 90% of = 2130kgs (4700lbs)
    I do realise this is not the best vehicle but it did come before any thought of a trailer sailor entered my head. It will also only be doing a few miles between our holiday home and slip. We are in Greece and the police around here are nonexistent and I doubt they would care anyway.
     


  6. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    3,846 posts, 1,014 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Sumter, SC Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    Don’t forget the weight of the water as you’re pulling the boat out. My unit converter says 907 kg (2000 lbs.) You can pump the water out before pulling the boat but keep in mind that you must keep it in mind.
     


  7. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    600 posts, 128 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Wichita, Kansas Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Seems there is a need to get terms clear. Perhaps this will help.

    The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), or gross vehicle mass (GVM) is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer including the vehicle's chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo but excluding that of any trailers.

    The gross combined weight rating or gross combination weight rating (GCWR), also referred to as the gross combination mass (GCM), gross train weight (GTW), or maximum authorized mass (MAM), is the maximum allowable combined mass of a road vehicle, the passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle, plus the mass of the trailer and cargo in the trailer.[1][2] This rating is set by the vehicle manufacturer.

    Curb weight (American English) or kerb weight (British English) is the total weight of a vehicle with standard equipment, all necessary operating consumables such as motor oil, transmission oil, coolant, air conditioning refrigerant, and sometimes a full tank of fuel, while not loaded with either passengers or cargo.
     


  8. DayDreamer41

    DayDreamer41

    Joined Oct 29, 2016
    588 posts, 198 likes
    Hunter 41 DS
    Un Michigan Port Huron
    It was my understanding that the GCWR of the X3 in question is indeed 2400 kg's and hence the plated designation, to be honest I don't know anything about the laws or rules in jolly ole.
     


  9. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,861 posts, 364 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    The boat dry weight is 3000 lbs. and the trailer, I lost count of that but depending the year of the trailer could weigh as much as 1500 lbs (current owners please advise what the Magic Tilt trailer plate indicates as to weight of trailer alone). Then you need to add for the mast, rigging, sails, outboard motor, safety gear, electronics and all other personal gear as well. Then you will know the estimated weight.

    As Kermit says the boat can weigh as much as 5000 lbs with the water ballast in. To simplify that leave the water ballast tank open as well as the air vent both under the last step into the cabin open so the water can drain from the tank before pulling out of the ramp altogether. I am not sure about your vehicle.

    Can you advise front wheel drive, size or hp of engine, are you towing locally only or you planning trips with the boat and so on to include mountains, hills and so forth?
     


  10. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    42 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Greece Epidavros
    Thanks again for a response. The vehicle is a BMW X3 4WD 184hp diesel. The trailer is labelled 500kgs (1100lbs) The towing will only be done locally and hopefully only a couple of times a year. I feel sure the boat will come out with the ballast valve open and will cope with the extra weight draining off before coming off the slip
     


  11. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    4,052 posts, 451 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    Diesels usually have a good amount of torque. I'd be more concerned about stopping. Does the trailer have brakes?
     


  12. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,861 posts, 364 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    Generally the trailer came with surge brakes on one axle. Take a photo of the the trailer tongue and post it here. In addition follow the brake lines back to the trailer and see if they go to one or both axles and let us know. I would not tend to think you have elecetric brakes on the axle for brakes. I was involved with that design of the trailer and suggested only surge brakes.
     


  13. DayDreamer41

    DayDreamer41

    Joined Oct 29, 2016
    588 posts, 198 likes
    Hunter 41 DS
    Un Michigan Port Huron
    According to BMW's web site the X3 is rated for a total of 1360 kg's (3000#) towing capacity so no I would say that your vehicle is not rated to tow your 26' boat and trailer, doesn't mean it wouldn't its just not rated for it.
     


  14. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    42 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Greece Epidavros
    I have no other idea of how to explain how I'm interpreting the figures. It is a braked trailer and it does say towing load
     


  15. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    4,052 posts, 451 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    Wheelbase has a lot to do with how it handles. The longer the better. Personally, when it's all said and done I think you can pull your Hunter with the Bimmer. I towed my 26S with a 2WD 4.0l Aerostar
     


  16. Rick Webb

    Rick Webb

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    2,558 posts, 37 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
    The X3 will pull it just fine. The test will be if the trailer pushes the car too much whilst turning and if it will have adequate brakes to stop the whole contraption. If you are going slow enough 60-80K not going far I'd say you'll be fine. Just take it real easy until you get a feel for how it handles. Might even be a good idea to drive a bit with the trailer empty to get used to that. When over there I have always been amazed at the large caravans behind the what seemed small to me cars.
     


  17. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    600 posts, 128 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Wichita, Kansas Cheney KS (Wichita)
    upload_2017-11-29_14-40-19.jpeg

    Don't want to be this guy! :laugh:
     


  18. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    4,052 posts, 451 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    "caravan"? Are you from across the pond Rick? I love the Ft Walton area. I did some work for Boeing on Eglin AFB a while back. We've been vacationing in Destin every few years since.
     


  19. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    42 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Greece Epidavros
    Thank you all, great feedback, much appreciated
    I'll try not to be, may feel like it though . . . Thank you all for great feedback, much appreciated
     


  20. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    450 posts, 78 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Huntsville, AL Guntersville, AL
    Based on the numbers you are fine. Like others said if you have limited towing experience go slow and be a grandma.
     



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