How much truck and motor to haul?

Boat trailers and trailering

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greyrfox
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How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by greyrfox » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:11 pm

I was wondering if any out there can give me some pointers? How much truck and motor would you need to haul, launch, and retrieve 7500 lbs of boat and trailer? I have a 3/4 ton Suburban with a 454 motor and rear end that was custom built to haul a trailer with Ferrari cars to race tracks in the western half of the US. It is 4x4. Would this be enough to pull this off or should I consider stepping up to a one ton or bigger?

Thanks for any input you can give.
Rick

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Lowka53
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by Lowka53 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:22 pm

8) I would think it would the motor sure is big enough and it is a 4x4 i would put it in low 4x4 to pull the boat and trailer out. you said you have pulled a trailer and cars with it. how did it do then. did it feel weak? my one ton i had was only a 396 but had duelies but no 4/4 and managed to pull some pretty heavy weight but it was a work truck for a landscaping business :roll:
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by slug » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:56 am

Just to put things in some sort of perspective, we haul our Titan (5500 lbs.) on a custom trailer (1100 lbs ) with a Ford Ranger 4 litre 4 x 4. No problem launching but obviously we don't use overdrive on the highway.
Think you'll be fine.

Doug

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kens
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by kens » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:11 pm

it is not the engine that determines tow capacity as much as the brakes and wheelbase.
A truck with long wheelbase has greater tow capacity than a short one.
A truck with heavier brakes has greater tow capacity.

You need to read the CGVW numbers. That is the combined gross vehicle weight. the weight of the truck plus the trailer + the load.
I have a 3/4 ton pickup and have towed 7000lbs RV. But it does have trailer brakes.

Towing is not about the engine & gears that gets you uphill, but rather, it is about the brakes that can stop you on the downhill side. and a long wheelbase allows better steering control when the brakes are applied hard.
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by ttownshaw » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:41 pm

Well Stated KenS.
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Paul Kinneberg
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by Paul Kinneberg » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:16 pm

I totally agree with Ken's assessment and would add that it also depends where you live and how often you plan to go. For instance I never had an issue pulling our 27' fifth wheel with our F250 until we moved to Colorado and started going up and more concerning down mountains :oops:

Also if I were just going to launch and retrieve at the beginning and end of the season I would probably not be as concerned as if I was going every week end.

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Lowka53
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by Lowka53 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:59 pm

8) from what i was reading he has tow vechical already set up to pull trailer I was assuming that it would already have what is required in that line also no location is given so had to give general idea engine do make a difference and gear ratio if you have two small of either you will not be effectively able to pull the load. I worked for years pulling 48 ton loads through every condition you could be thrown at me. and grew up driving in the Rockies over roads you don't want to even think of driving. :roll: one other thought is where the trailer is connected to tow vechical. I it is a fifth wheel type trailer it will be more balanced on what you are using to tow it with if it is receiver type and if tongue weight is right should be ok if bumper tow set up you can tow less weight. my thoughts take or leave it.
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by Mr Hot Rod » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:16 pm

To add to what's posted above, many factors including engine, transmission, rear axle ratio, 2WD or 4WD and wheelbase determine vehicle towing capacity.

As an eample, we've pulled some numbers for a 2003 Suburban from the 2003 Towing Guide.
  • Image
There's more info in this article :
When in doubt about your vehicle's towing capacity, consult the manufacturer’s towing guide (available at the dealership) or the vehicle
owner’s manual to be certain.

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kens
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by kens » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:36 pm

Paul,
Where does that chart show differences of CrewCab, ExtendedCab, and LongBed?? and all the iterations thereof?
The truck mfr's data is much more detailed in this regard.

Looking at mfr's data, wheelbase is a major factor.
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by Mr Hot Rod » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:44 pm

Ken,

Click on the first link (2003 Towing Guide) in my post to see the MFG data. The wheelbase codes don't apply in our example.

We went through the payload/towing process last summer before we picked up our new tow rig. Running a truck camper and towing a boat trailer can easily max out your truck.

Gayle didn't say anything about having to upgrade my tow vehicle after I built one of their boats :P :lol:

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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by raymacke » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:29 pm

My True Grit on the trailer usually weighs in about 8400 pounds (varies depending on amount of fuel and water on board) and I tow it with a 2009 Ford F150 Supercab 2wd truck. The truck has a 5.4L V8 and is rated for 9800 lbs and I have about 600 lbs on the tongue. All things considered handles the weight fairly well. We have made some long runs including over 440 miles one way to The Gathering. I do have hydraulic brakes on both axles. I have once had to do a full panic stop at 55 mph and although it took longer than I would have liked it was very controlled with no tendency to jackknife. The antilock brakes on the truck probably helped with that but failed to prevent the need for change of underwear.

I will confess I added a set of air bag springs. Although the maximum tongue rating for the truck is 1000 lbs the 600 lbs made it squat enough the headlights were badly misaimed. With the air bags I can level things out and as an added benefit provide a much nicer ride.

Steep ramps can be a little concerning. It is not unusual to be slowly dragged down the ramp if try to stop midway. Having all four wheels locked and still creeping towards the water sometimes creates a very high pucker factor. But once the boat gets about a 25% in the water things are once again under total control. It has never been a real problem but sure gets your attention. With that in mind you would think I could not pull it out and back up the ramp but it is rarely any trouble. I can't mess around and have to come out strong but as long as I get a little speed up before the boat is totally out of the water I don't have a problem. Retrieving it is a lot less exciting that launching.
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by greyrfox » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:37 pm

Wonderful info from you guys, Thanks.

Raymacke- Yeah I was hoping to avoid the "pucker factor", LOL.

Mr Hot Rod- Awesome chart you sent. It helped alot to settle my fears/.

Lowka 53 & Paul Kinneberg- I am in the Northwest in Washington State. My main waterway will be the Columbia River. Usually no more than 50 miles of towing and less than 10 most times one way. No mountain roads to speak of except if I decide to go up to the reservoirs by Lake Merwin but the slopes are very tame. I did not tow the cars but I did tow a small dozer and no sweat at all. Very stable. I am guessing it would be fine too.

Kens- I'll be building the trailer and I am thinking of triple axles with brakes. Do you think dual axle is ample or should I go with 3? Going through all the trouble this far it seems silly to skimp on the trailer.

Everybody else thank you so much for your input. I keep you all posted of my progress. Gotta build the extra garage to do this project in. After I mow the yard my wife says.....

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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by slug » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:50 am

Greyrfox; Personally I'd go for the dual since it is adequate for the load and would be much easier to back around corners than the triple. I built my trailer for the Titan ( See my posts in the trailer section I think ) and used a combination of info gained from taking loads of pics and measurements from factory models and the Glen-L plans. Also had all the parts galvanized ...quite reasonable really. The sliding tongue braking system works well ( if you remember to lock it out when backing up :lol: .)
Doug

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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by jeffh » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:18 pm

In addition to brakes, you need to make sure you have a transmission cooler. With that kind of weight, your tires and proper inflation of them are also very important on both the tow vehicle and the trailer. A weight distributing hitch may also be useful.
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Re: How much truck and motor to haul?

Post by raymacke » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:23 pm

That brings up an interesting question. Although very common on campers, I personally have never seen a weight distributing hitch on a boat trailer. I have often wondered about it use as it would seem to offer a benefit in some situations. My thought was it might not be workable because of the odd/extreme angles of the truck in relation to the trailer that are sometimes incurred on ramps. Anyone have any experience with these on a boat trailer?
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