Towing question for a newbie

Questions about towing your boat or boats that can be towed.

Towing question for a newbie

Postby Supertaz » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:52 pm

I'm a new owner of a 2009 Regal 1900 and this is my first boat ever....

I have to buy a SUV to tow it and I'm not sure what I really need !

The boat is 3100 lbs and the trailer is 900 lbs for a weight of 4000 lbs appox.

I'll use this truck on a daily basis for my job so I'm looking for something that is not too hard on gas + the fact that I'm in Quebec (Canada) and the gas is not cheap :evil:

The SUV that I was looking for are 2008/2009 model , V6, AWD:

Toyota RAV4 (hp = 269, torque = 246)
Mitsubishi Outlander (hp = 220, torque =204)
Ford Escape (hp = 200, torque = 193)
Hyundai Santa Fe (hp = 242, torque = 226)

but I realized that they have a towing capacity of 3500 lbs or so as per the manufacturer. Since I know almost ZERO on trailer and towing capacity, I wonder if a need a SUV that is rated >4000 lbs or I'm fine with my choices ???

I think I'll need a Class III hitch , correct ?

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Re: Towing question for a newbie

Postby On Holiday » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:42 pm

I would go with something bigger than a the vehicles listed. You said the weights are approx. can you go to any public scale and get an exact weight? Remember that the towing capacity of a vehicle includes what you are dragging back there (boat stuff, boat gas etc. PLUS what you have inside the vehicle i.e. people, luggage etc.) Not looking at towing capacities and keeping in the same lineup as you mentioned, I would look at a Toy 4-Runner, Ford Exploder, Chevy Trailblazer.

You mentioned that you are a new boat owner with a 1900, I bet in a few years you will upgrade to a bigger boat and thus needing more towing capacity. You may want to think about getting a TV that will take care of any 2' itis you may have.

I had an 18'er being towed by a 2003 F150 and didn't really know it was back there but now I have a Regal 2400 and I do know it is back there. My next truck will be a diesel but this one has less than 50k.
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Re: Towing question for a newbie

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Keep in mind that most of the time you can never approach the actual limits as set by the max tow rating. You have to take into account the GCWR which is much more important than the tow rating. I owned a RAV4 and towed a large jetski, and when the car and jetski were loaded down, you knew that it was back there, especially when the road was bumpy or larger hills. Granted it was only a 4 cyl, but then the ski loaded as only about 1200 lbs too with the trailer. Also most boat manufactures are very conservative when giving boat weights. Each is hand made and the weights are given dry (no fluids at all). Start loading up those and then all the stuff in the boat and trailer and the numbers can quickly climb.

For example, the 2008 Escape V6 has a GCWR of 7080. So if you say that it will weigh around 3300-3500lbs empty and dry, there is your 3500 tow rating. Now you load it with fuel, put yourself and the passengers in it, and any cargo, and you can quickly get to 4000-4500 lbs and your max tow rating would be down to 3000-2580 range.

While I have overloaded my large SUV's, and they "work" fine towing, it would make me nervous. The largest issue is the liability angle. If you were to ever get into a wreck while towing and seriously hurt or kill someone, and were overloaded, it would be a field day for the lawyers.

I would have to agree that you really should look at the next class up size wise. Another feature that your really going to want is 4x4 or AWD for when you try to pull everything up the wet slippery boat ramp.
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Towing question for a newbie

Postby RLWSNOOK » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:13 pm

I know this might be a bit late... But Ford is coming out with the 2011 Explorer which is suppose to get 17 city and 25 Highway. Plus it can tow up to 5,000

If only they didn't change the front end I'd buy it in a second... Still might be your best bet.

ps I think they have a picture towing a regal...
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Re: Towing question for a newbie

Postby mikee » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:00 am

Supertaz wrote: The boat is 3100 lbs and the trailer is 900 lbs for a weight of 4000 lbs appox.

I think your best bet is to look at a vehicle capable of 5000 lbs. The boat and trailer will weigh over 4000 lbs when it fuel and gear are added. How far, how often, and the roads will determine what size engine you'll need. Short trips with no steep hills; a V6 will do it. Long trips with many hills to climb; you may want a small V8. If choosing a smaller engined vehicle, then realize that going up steep grades you'll be in a lower gear. Let it downshift and climb the hill at a slower speed.
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Re: Towing question for a newbie

Postby Supertaz » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:57 pm

Thank you guys !!
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Re: Towing question for a newbie

Postby steve & dot » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:22 pm

I know this is a very old post but thought I'd add for future reference.

We actually haven't picked up our new-to-us 1900 yet, will be towing it for the first time in April. Have a 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser with a 4.0 V6. We towed our sailboat with it: boat, trailer and gear weighed 3900#. In and out of the boat ramp, no problem. Wheel base is a bit short but has a 5000# tow rating. That's why we ended up with the FJ in the first place- wanted decent gas mileage as a daily driver but needed modest towing capacity for the sailboat. Its been good but I wouldn't chance it without trailer brakes. With my previous F250 supercab, I didn't even know the boat was back there, but the fuel was killing me. Anything bigger than the 1900 would have meant a bigger tow vehicle for sure.
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Re: Towing question for a newbie

Postby cbsmith » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:13 pm

My 1900 on a galvanized single axle trailer with all my boating gear, full fuel, etc is about 4500lbs according to the CAT scale.

I wouldn't go less than a 5000lb towing capacity, which puts you into a full size SUV or pickup truck.
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