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Old 05-02-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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Towing a boat

Hey guys! Im new to this forum & also just purchased my first jeep. I traded in my 09 silverado, and bought a 2011 jeep wrangler sport. So far love it, no regrets!
My question is, im thinking of purchasing a 99 18ft lund fisherman. My jeep has a max towing @ 2000 lbs, the boat i want weighs in around 2500 lbs...with no brake system
i know the jeep will tow the boat, but what is your take on the stopping???
What do u also think on getting in and out of a boat launch??
Any feed back would be great!! Thanks!!

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Old 05-02-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
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You're obviously over the rated limit. What else is there to know?

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Old 05-02-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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No kidding!!??
I have heared of other people pulling more than there max weight, was just looking for there input on it, see what there experience has said
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
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That boat is a little over board of what im looking @..lol
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:31 PM   #6
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The max tow rating is placed on a vehicle by the manufacturer for a reason! Its your jeep, if you want to exceed the max rating and risk your safety and risk damaging the vehicle its your call!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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I am in a similar situation as you. I will soon be in the market for a JKU, but the tow limit is 3500 properly equipped. Well, my Jayco 19H camper is ~3400 lbs dry(probably 4000 lbs loaded). Even though the JKU is probably ok towing the camper, I will keep my Durango as a tow vehicle. Kind of sucks that the tow capacity is so low.

You probably don't want to go over the tow rating, since it is more of a liability issue if you get in an accident. Just my $0.02.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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It will probably tow it just fine for short distance towing in low or no wind conditions.
BUT if you get into ANY accident, your fault or not, your insurance will NOT COVER ANY DAMAGE to your boat or Jeep.
And you may get SUED for any injury or damages to the other persons or vehicle even if it is the other vehicle/persons' fault.
Because you should not have endangered EVERYONE on the road around you when you were exceeding the tow rating of your vehicle.

The 2dr JK just has too short of a wheel base to safely tow much weight.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 71K5 View Post
It will probably tow it just fine.
BUT if you get into ANY accident, your fault or not, your insurance will NOT COVER ANY DAMAGE to your boat or Jeep.
And you may get SUED for any injury or damages to the other persons or vehicle even if it is the other vehicle/persons' fault.
Because you should not have endangered EVERYONE on the road around you when you were exceeding the tow rating of your vehicle.

The 2dr JK just has too short of a wheel base to safely tow much weight.
I agree that you shouldn't do it insofar as it increases your liability.

However, I do believe the statement that your insurance company won't cover you is only a popular misconception and false. Insurance covers you for doing all sorts of stupid things and getting into an accident--driving without seatbelts, falling asleep at the wheel, surfing the net on your iPhone, overinflated tires, improperly maintained parts, etc. That's what insurance is for.

Now, it WILL increase your liability. So if you get into an accident that relates to stopping distance and get sued, it will be much harder for the insurer to defend you since your negligence is going to be more obvious. And that means you're in trouble if you reach the limits of your policy. It will also be harder for you to get insurance in the future.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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ugg.. I'm in the same boat. pun intended

I am buying a 20Ft. Robalo CC and the total weight will be about 4,000 LBS on a single axle trailer with brakes. I am keeping the boat at my house and the launch is about 2 miles from there. I'll literally only be driving at the most another few miles if I want to launch elsewhere.

My concern is liability and pulling the boat out of the water at the launch.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:14 PM   #11
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If I were to tow it I would want to make sure the trailer had brakes. With the short wheelbase of the Jeep you would be all over the place and out of control with a sudden stop.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fza2001
ugg.. I'm in the same boat. pun intended

I am buying a 20Ft. Robalo CC and the total weight will be about 4,000 LBS on a single axle trailer with brakes. I am keeping the boat at my house and the launch is about 2 miles from there. I'll literally only be driving at the most another few miles if I want to launch elsewhere.

My concern is liability and pulling the boat out of the water at the launch.
Liability is something you can't avoid. As for pulling it up the launch you can use 4low and you'll have no trouble. I only tow a 1300 lb boat and still use 4 low to be easier on the clutch
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:38 PM   #13
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Here is the scenario. I live 1.3 miles from the launch. the whole route is all quiet back roads. I can drive 10 MPH the whole way if need be.

The other launch is 8 miles away.. same thing.. slow flat back roads on Cape Cod. No traffic, slow going.

I'm concerned and don't really "Want" to do it, but I don't really have an alternative this season. The ramps aren't steep, and I will NEVER drive on the highway or over 25-30 MPH for that matter. and the trailer has brakes.

yes it's over the GTC. . yes it's not advised... but I think I'm in a pretty reasonable scenario where I'm not endangering others by taking this thing on heavily trafficked roads or the highway. Nor do I think the 3 minute drive to the ramp on flat roads will strain the frame of vehicle.

If it doesn't feel "right" and it's dangerous, then I'll just stop and find another alternative.. I can always cough up the money and put it in a valet rack.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:40 PM   #14
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get a smaller boat and all will be fine.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #15
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Thanks a lot for the feed back guys... But I'm kind of n agreement with FZA.. If it doesn't feel right Go to plan B.. They put max speed of 55 mph on a doughnut , but people still go 70!.. Obviously probably not good but??.. Im guessing there's some leeway on the weight just to cover someone's ass! Im also only going about 4 miles through town for the most part to the lake... Otherwise if I was going For some distance I would probably take wife's traverse , that will tow it no Problem Worst case.. If u c a jeep towing a boat that looks out of control.. Get the HELL OUT OF THE WAY!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:45 PM   #16
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Strain the frame? Are jeeps really this feeble? I was planning on towing 1-3k lbs this summer with my 2 door, ugh.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:31 AM   #17
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You really do have some leeway with this tow rating. Especially on the 2 door. I would be comfortable with an extra 500 pounds in back. I watched that video posted above and I won't lie about it making me squint and squirm. I was just waiting for that boat to drop off the lip of the end of that ramp. Ha! Ya see. I read too many of these threads for my own good!
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:13 PM   #18
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So I did some sleuthing and talked to some people today. I asked the questions:

"what determines towing capacity?"

is it a transmission cooler, powertrain, axle ratio, frame, rear end, differential, etc?

what is the difference between a V6 Cherokee with 5,000 GTC and a V6 JK with 3500 Lb TC?

of course the dealerships were completely stumped, and after lengthy conversations we realized that it's not powertrain at all.. the "Towing package" on the Wranglers is just sway bars and electric brakes.

so we came to the conclusion that it's strictly safety at high speeds because of the high gravity and narrow wheel base. It is obviously not safe to tow a big load at high speeds with a JK on the highway.. totally reasonable.

But here's another contradiction that stumped us... IN the UK, the JK's that are diesel inline 4's are rated for 5,000 LB capacity (2200KG). The obvious difference is more torque with the diesel engine, but it still doesn't make sense because they are the same dimensions.. still unstable at high speeds.. and I can't imagine that an I4 diesel is substantially more powerful than a 3.8 V6 with 4.10 axles.

Applying all of this to my situation, I'm not too concerned with towing a 4,000 lb boat 1.3 miles at 15 MPH and dropping it in and pulling it out of water.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:39 PM   #19
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The SAE's Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J2807 spells out in precise terms a procedure for determining two important ratings: the maximum permissible gross combination weight (GCWR) for a tow vehicle and its trailer and the maximum permissible trailer weight rating (TWR).

There are five engineering characteristics that strongly influence any tow vehicle's performance:
The engine's power and torque characteristics.
The powertrain's cooling capacity.
The durability of the powertrain and chassis.
Handling characteristics during cornering and braking
maneuvers.
The structural characteristics of the vehicle's hitch attachment area.

Read more: Tow Ratings Finally Pass the Sniff Test - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) - Automobile Magazine

Having hauled grossly over weight before (not with my jeep, with a Neon), I had sway problems over 65 mph, and not enough braking power for quick stops.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:49 PM   #20
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I tow this to the lake, granted it's not that far and I don't get above 45.
If you do it, make sure you have plenty of room to stop
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:27 AM   #21
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GIXXERPHIL....im assuming thats about an 18 ft fiberglass boat??
so your @ about 2500lbs??
Do you have a stick or automatic??
Do you have any troubles @ all in the Launch itself??
Have you ever pulled it down the highway, or atleast on a long haul??
This is basically, the exact scenerio i would be in...ALL INFO YOU CAN GIVE WOULD BE GREAT!!!!THANKS!
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #22
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Update

So I've been towing my 20 Ft. Robalo around all summer with my JK. I don't take it on the highway.

The Jeep pulls the 4000 LB load like nothing. No problems whatsoever at steep slick ramps. Trailer has brakes, so stopping power isn't an issue.

I actually keep it in 2WD the whole time because it turns much better.

It's a little heavy on the rear end, but it does just fine getting to and from the boat ramp. Farthest I really go is 10 miles on uncrowded, windy Cape Cod roads.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:44 PM   #23
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Thanks for the update on the 4000 lb boat. My 19'6" ski boat and trailer will be in that same range. I've been towing it for years with a Jeep Cherokee sport (NOT grand cherokee). Ive really had no problems towing it with my Cherokee, but Honestly I'm thinking the JKU will be a better tow vehicle. Actually has a longer wheelbase and more power. But I haven't had it out yet...

I added disc brakes to the trailer when I bought it several years ago and that does make a HUGE difference in the safety factor IMHO.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #24
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First of all, I would never recommend, in an open forum, to exceed the limits set forth by Jeep. With that said, towing a boat down back roads on a dry calm day at 45mph is very different than going 70 on a crowded highway in a storm. The towing limits for the short wheel base were designed to encompass the latter.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:30 PM   #25
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I've pulled my uncles 22 footer in my jku with max towing package a few times to the lake for him, it's a little on the heavy side, but since I have a stick and a lot of practice towing it wasn't a problem at all. If it were min I'd probably have a tandem axle with trailer breaks just to be on the safe side. It's not however, and I've had no issues at all.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:12 PM   #26
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First of all, I would never recommend, in an open forum, to exceed the limits set forth by Jeep.
I totally agree! I wouldn't suggest to anyone what they can or should do. For one reason because I do not know their experience or capability level. I do appreciate shared experience though, so here's mine on tandem axles...

My father and father-in-law have the exact same boat except one is sitting on a single axle trailer and one on a double axle. I can't say for sure all the reasons and factors why, but the single axle was much more stable at highway speeds. If the double axle starts swaying the torque from the double axles trying to get back in a straight line would create a resonance of sway that was very hard to stop. It is very disconcerting. I've never personally had a sway problem with a single axle trailer and find them far easier to deal with. After almost 20 years of boat towing I'll always choose a single axle if I can. There are definitely pros to double axle trailers, but they don't out weigh the cons for me, also I just haven't personally found the better sway control reason to be true.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:24 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by bohunter1 View Post
Hey guys! Im new to this forum & also just purchased my first jeep. I traded in my 09 silverado, and bought a 2011 jeep wrangler sport. So far love it, no regrets!
My question is, im thinking of purchasing a 99 18ft lund fisherman. My jeep has a max towing @ 2000 lbs, the boat i want weighs in around 2500 lbs...with no brake system
i know the jeep will tow the boat, but what is your take on the stopping???
What do u also think on getting in and out of a boat launch??
Any feed back would be great!! Thanks!!
I don't know what all the hoop a la is about do's and do not's, but I used to tow a 4 Winns 19' with a little Toyota T-100. It looked funny as hell since the boat was 2 times the size, but it worked like a champ. I traveled very far distances as well with no trailer brakes.

You will know right away if it will or will not work. Give it a try?

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Old 07-19-2012, 07:46 PM   #28
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I'm going to throw in my 2 cents. I bought a Cobalt 200 at the beginning of the month with the plan of getting a slip at the local marina. My boat and trailer easily weigh 5000+lbs. I knew this going in but didn't want to compromise this time around and bought, in my opinion, the best 20ft runabout you can get.

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We used my '12 JKUR, with lift and 35s, to tow the boat exactly two times before realizing that I must get a different tow vehicle, let me explain.

My JK has plenty of power, stops fine with the surge brakes, and handles the weight fine. So you're asking yourself "what's the problem then?". Well, there is one steep hill on the way to the marina where it will downshift into 2nd and will easily hold 40mph but the temp gauge jumps from half way to 3/4 during this 1/4 mile hill climb. The commute to the lake is all back roads with the highest speed reached being 45.

So in my waiting for a slip to become available at the desired marina, I went and bought a better tow vehicle to temporarily relieve the JK.

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It's an '01 Chevy Suburban 2wd with 5.3L, 3.73, & tow package. I picked it up for $3K and feel it was a great investment. Now back to that hill. The Suburban in tow/haul mode will not downshift out of third and requires full throttle to keep the same 40mph. But I can manually shift it into second, let the RPMs jump to 4K, and it will do much better.

Power comparison between the 3.6 (285 HP) & the 5.3 (also 285 HP), the JK "feels" like it has more power but has to rev to get it.

Braking comparison, they both stop the load fine. The Suburban feels like it may have warped front rotors but either one gets the job done.

Towing comparison, I recommend finding a cheap beater to tow anything more than 3500lbs and a large SUV or truck does great.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:05 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by bohunter1 View Post
Hey guys! Im new to this forum & also just purchased my first jeep. I traded in my 09 silverado, and bought a 2011 jeep wrangler sport. So far love it, no regrets!
My question is, im thinking of purchasing a 99 18ft lund fisherman. My jeep has a max towing @ 2000 lbs, the boat i want weighs in around 2500 lbs...with no brake system
i know the jeep will tow the boat, but what is your take on the stopping???
What do u also think on getting in and out of a boat launch??
Any feed back would be great!! Thanks!!

Is that weight the boat or boat + trailer?

I'm assuming you got a 2 door? 4 doors with 3.21 gears are also only rated at 2000 lbs towing. Reason I ask is there's a big difference in safety between the 2, with the longer wheelbase of the 4 door you may be OK since with different gears the tow rating is 3500 for that vehicle so the only thing you'd be lacking would be power on hills.

Be careful with brakes on a trailer if you're overweight, most boat trailers have surge brakes. I towed a 7000 lb boat/trailer behind a 1994 1/2 ton pickup and it was too much for it both in the power dept and tongue weight. Since it caused the rear to sag this ended up causing the surge brakes to activate even when I wasn't braking, just hitting bumps in the road. If I knew then what I know now I'd have put Timbren rubber springs or air bags to keep the ride level but I ended up getting a bigger truck.

These days I have a GMC 2500HD Diesel which can tow 13,500 lbs, let's hope I never need to tow more than that.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:30 AM   #30
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...
But here's another contradiction that stumped us... IN the UK, the JK's that are diesel inline 4's are rated for 5,000 LB capacity (2200KG). The obvious difference is more torque with the diesel engine, but it still doesn't make sense because they are the same dimensions.. still unstable at high speeds.. and I can't imagine that an I4 diesel is substantially more powerful than a 3.8 V6 with 4.10 axles...
When it comes to towing torque is more important than HP, especially low end torque and you can't beat a diesel. The UK 2.8L Diesel has 410 lbs of torque compared to the 260 of the Pentastar and 237 for the 3.8, that's a very big difference even though it has less HP than the Pentastar. Gas engines also make their max torque at higher RPMs, not where you want to be when towing. Diesel engines make there max torque much lower in the RPM range which is perfect for towing. Having towed large trailers behind both a gas pickup truck and a diesel pickup truck it's very easy to understand the difference in tow ratings.

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