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Towing Vehicle

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

  1. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    3,846 posts, 1,014 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Sumter, SC Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    Now we’re grandma bashing? Where’s a Police Bot when we need him?
     


  2. Rick Webb

    Rick Webb

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    2,558 posts, 37 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
    No, but I am married to one. She has funny names for all sorts of stuff.
     


  3. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,861 posts, 364 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    As a dealer, I would insist teaching how my customers to drive slowly first to become acclimated. The advice of driving like a grandma first is the best advice to go slow. Then go to a big parking lot and do some sharp turns being careful not to hit anything like with the mast sticking out the back. Also learn how to back up using cones not cars in the event you might hit a rubber or plastic cone during the learning curve.
     


  4. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,234 posts, 260 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    There is no legal requirement, just common sense to preserve safe vehicle handling. It obviously has to do with speed so at lower speeds (undetermined) 100% would be fine.
     


  5. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,234 posts, 260 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    A point has been brought up and that is the added load imposed when pulling a boat out of the water in a ramp. The resistance of the water, the steepness of the ramp and the final draining of the water ballast tank is sure to add to the towed load. So reserve a margin of towing capacity for the pull out.
     


  6. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    3,846 posts, 1,014 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Sumter, SC Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    I guess it’s not really grandma-bashing after all.
     


  7. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,861 posts, 364 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    At least she can drive fast but doubt those green frog legs can hop that fast but rather some good eating after being gagged I mean gigged and cooked.
     


  8. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    4,052 posts, 451 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    everyone remembers the little old lady from Pasadena!
     


  9. Drew13440

    Drew13440

    Joined May 6, 2004
    165 posts, 10 likes
    - -
    US Potomac
    Lots of good advice here, as usual. I think it is OK to ask a little too much from a towing vehicle, once in a while. OP has said he'll tow a few local miles a few times a year. It'll be fine. Enjoy the boat!
     


  10. Daveinet

    Daveinet

    Joined Sep 20, 2014
    749 posts, 90 likes
    Rob Legg RL24
    US Chain O'Lakes
    Almost but not completely. The biggest issue with handling will be how close rear axle is to the trailer ball. I tow with a new Jeep Cherokee. Best handling tow vehicle I have ever used. Where you get into trouble is when your tow vehicle has a lot of overhang. Then the weight of the trailer has leverage over the rear axle stability. This will induce sway and will be difficult to control.
    BTY: I also like having a vehicle with low range. Being able to move slowly with extra torque provided by low range just makes things much easier. For the most part, you don't need to step on the gas to pull the boat up the ramp, just let off the brake.
     


  11. CloudDiver

    CloudDiver

    Joined Sep 8, 2014
    2,439 posts, 303 likes
    Catalina 22 Swing Keel
    US San Diego San Diego
    @GBGraham , you have a diesel vehicle which gives you a torque advantage. For a comparison, I drive one of the big trucks Americans love so much, a 5.3L V8 (gas/petrol) Chevy Silverado. While I have over 100 more HP than your X3 does, I only have about 40 more lb/ft of torque. Your X3 will do just fine for your application. For your reference, and the FYI of all others, here is UK based Caravan tow review article for the BMW X3 that lists everything in KG; (trying to compare apples to apples)
    https://www.practicalcaravan.com/reviews/tow-car/42768-bmw-x3
     


  12. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    42 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Greece Epidavros
    Thank you for the link, CloudDiver. A reassuring article for me
     


  13. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,106 posts, 448 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    All you gotta do is buy a honkin big 350 long bed diesel and you can drive however you want. What are they gonna do?
     


  14. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,106 posts, 448 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Not necessarily true. The old 250 was a short wheelbase, and when the trailer wanted to wallow, the truck would get pulled around. With the long wheelbase 350, it rides like a dream, and the 350 has an 8' box so the ball is a good 2' further back. The only downside to a long wheelbase is the argument you get from the locals when you take up 2 spots at Wallymart. But then again, it's something like a Civic against an urban assault vehicle. What r they gonna do....
     


  15. Daveinet

    Daveinet

    Joined Sep 20, 2014
    749 posts, 90 likes
    Rob Legg RL24
    US Chain O'Lakes
    Maybe look at wheelbase vs distance from axle to ball as a ratio. We are still talking about leverage. That is as long as there is enough weight on the rear axle. My Jeep probably has a shorter wheelbase than your 250, but tows well because the trailer hitch is only about a foot behind the rear axle.
     


  16. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,106 posts, 448 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Dave, go back and reread the post please.
     


  17. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,234 posts, 260 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Not rated for the US version but in Europe his 4WD version with the diesel engine is rated for 5,300#. The rating systems differ with ours taking into consideration higher road speeds, higher liability and product warranty concerns.
     


  18. MaxinCalgary

    MaxinCalgary

    Joined Apr 8, 2013
    136 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 260
    CN Nanaimo
    For road trip a 3/4 ton truck is great .
    For ramp launch I have used my 2010 Jeep Liberty . Tow package and rated for 5000lbs.
    On a ramp in 4 WD . this thing pulls better than anything.
    The curb weight on the Jeep is 4200lbs. It handles the rig with ease , I just think the brakes would be the weak link . But in the relatively flat UK . You should be fine. Land Rover defenders tow much heavier rigs in the UK .
     


  19. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    42 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Greece Epidavros
    Thank you for clearing this issue up. I thought I was coming from a different planet with this . . . . and my X3 was built on your side of the pond !!
     


  20. Maine Sail

    Maine Sail Moderator

    Joined Feb 6, 1998
    10,430 posts, 354 likes
    Canadian Sailcraft 36T
    US Casco Bay, ME
    My dad has an X3 xDrive35i (6 cylinder twin turbo) and he regularly tows a 20' Car-Mate fully enclosed dual axle car hauling trailer most often with one of his antique Porsche 356's inside it.. His X3 has towed this trailer/car combination back and forth between his home in Oro Valley, Arizona to his home in Freeport, ME at least five times now.

    I was extremely skeptical at first, when he got rid of the F250 and he went to one daily driver/towing vehicle, but after driving his X3 cross country, with the enclosed trailer and a 356 inside it, I was quite impressed with it's capabilities. You barely know the trailer is even there unless it's pretty windy.

    Some observations and thoughts:
    • In heavy wind his huge trailer can really toss the X3 around but this is a huge boxy trailer. It is a bit worse than his old F250 Super Duty but nowhere near as much as I would have assumed.
    • Do not use "auto-mode" on the transmission or it will continually "hunt" for gearing. Use manual shift mode. On the highway he runs it in manual 6th gear not 7th. (his is a 7 speed auto)
    • On secondary roads he usually maxes in 5th gear
    • When towing he always manually shifts the transmission to prevent gear hunting.
    • Do change transmission fluid regularly, last time I asked he has done it 5X (after each cross country trip) in 40k miles
    • DO USE electric trailer brakes
    • DO USE mirror extensions
    • DO USE a load leveler/anti-sway hitch system
    • DO DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY and always give yourself plenty of time to stop
     



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