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Thread: Towing

  1. #1

    Default Towing

    I am looking into buying a 1999 Chaparral that weighs around 8,000 - 9,000 pounds with the tandem axel trailer. I have a 2012 GMC Sierra that has a max load of 11,000 pounds. I am going to go see the boat on Thursday night, and hook it up to my truck to see how it pulls. But wondering if anybody has any experience hauling that much weight with a 1/4 ton truck? I realise a 1/2 ton would be better, but I do not want to get a new truck. I would be hauling the boat from Pittsburgh to Erie and back. I will also be getting the trailer (brakes), and boat inspected before making an offer.

  2. #2
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    Don't know where your getting your tow rating from but.
    What engine?
    I used to tow from Pgh to Erie with a 1500 Silverado 5.3 and it didn't like it especially when hitting the hills on 79

    2012 GMC Canyon-1/4 ton
    2,400 to 5,500 lbs

    2012 GMC Sierra is a 1/2 ton (1500)
    4,400 to 9,300 lbs

    2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD
    9,300 to 10,200 lbs


    Any GM product i have ever had always tell you on the hitch that you need a WD hitch for anything over 5000lbs
    I'll bet that truck squats almost all the way down. Figure 5-7% tongue weight.

    Towing Capacity Chart | Vehicle Towing Capacity | GMC
    www.gmc.com/trailering-towing/towing-charts.
    Last edited by Thalasso; 06-23-2015 at 11:08 AM.

  3. #3
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    What is the dry weight of the boat, beam size, and weight of the trailer? Trailer weight will be on the PA registration (if PA). Twin engines? Both axles need brakes at that size.

    It depends if you want to trailer legally or illegally, and how many mountains you'll want to climb towing a boat. You need to find the Sierra's GCVW (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight) rating rather than Max load. I can almost guarantee you'll be over it, in which case you'll be illegal, especially if you're in an accident. If you were just towing in a flat state to drop the boat in at the start of the season and haul out a the end, you might think the Siera would work for you. To calculate, follow the formulae on the internet. Add the Sierra weight, plus dry weights of boat, trailer, passengers, coolers, gas, etc. The towing capacities are awfully deceptive. A Hummer has a lower towing capacity than a Suburban, but only because the Hummer weighs something like 500 lbs more, which means you have 500 less lbs left in GCVW. If you really want to get technical, there are axle weight limitations also, probably listed in the door jamb. If you are planning on doing a lot of towing, I'd think used 3/4 ton. I have a 3/4 ton with aux transmission cooler and the mountains of WV don't bother me. I believe there's some other limit at 10,000 lbs, so you might want to get it weighed. Take a heavy duty scale with you. Put it under the jack. My marina said tongue weight for my boat should be 300-400 lbs.

  4. #4
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    How big is the boat and the trailer should already have brakes on it if total weight is close to 9000?

  5. #5
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    9k will kill that GMC on any hill. I have a 24' Sea ray weighting in around 6400 loaded down including trailer and when I go to Raystown I am looking at 35-45 on the big hills. You can see the weight on my truck as well. I have an 04 2500 Ram with a 5.7

    Last edited by Traillblazer; 06-23-2015 at 10:21 PM.
    2005 Sea Ray Sundeck 240
    ~Living the dream at Raystown, Cheat, Deep Creek, Loyalhanna, Yough and the 3 Rivers~



  6. #6
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    These are great to help you out with tongue weight. I know a few people using these.

    https://www.airliftcompany.com/produ...adlifter-5000/
    2005 Sea Ray Sundeck 240
    ~Living the dream at Raystown, Cheat, Deep Creek, Loyalhanna, Yough and the 3 Rivers~

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by djsherman136 View Post
    I am looking into buying a 1999 Chaparral that weighs around 8,000 - 9,000 pounds with the tandem axel trailer. I have a 2012 GMC Sierra that has a max load of 11,000 pounds. I am going to go see the boat on Thursday night, and hook it up to my truck to see how it pulls. But wondering if anybody has any experience hauling that much weight with a 1/4 ton truck? I realise a 1/2 ton would be better, but I do not want to get a new truck. I would be hauling the boat from Pittsburgh to Erie and back. I will also be getting the trailer (brakes), and boat inspected before making an offer.
    Although I do a lot of towing mostly its light duty with one of my Jeeps but I stay way under my rated tow capacities. With that in mind you really should never get close to the max tow capacity for any setup (trailer, truck, etc.) and be conservative (example if truck is rated for 5500 lbs I would tow no more than around 4500 lbs). At the weight you are talking about losing breaking capability or control on the highway can be a big safety issue and something I wouldn't gamble with.

    This is probably not the answer you were looking for, but if it was me I would seriously look into trading up to a 1 ton diesel pickup as this is the type of rig designed to reliably/safely pull weight that you mention...I have driven the new Ford 6.7 powerstroke belonging to a buddy and I must say its quite an impressive motor from what the old diesels used to be (like 850+ ft lbs torque!).

    Good luck, be safe.
    2011 Ultra 300x - Green
    (300hp, Solas Performance 14/21 impeller, Eaton M92 TVS Supersharger)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWmNwDi9aJ4

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  8. #8
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Just to add my 2 cents...
    I have always factored in the cost of a tow vehicle before looking at any boat. I was going to look at a 1990 Sea Ray 290 Sundancer, but didn't even bother after realizing it would be way over the limitation of my Jeep Grand Cherokee. Unless they're practically giving the boat away for free, I'd pass on that Chap.
    '96 Rinker Festiva 212 Cuddy

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by djsherman136 View Post
    I am looking into buying a 1999 Chaparral that weighs around 8,000 - 9,000 pounds with the tandem axel trailer. I have a 2012 GMC Sierra that has a max load of 11,000 pounds. I am going to go see the boat on Thursday night, and hook it up to my truck to see how it pulls. But wondering if anybody has any experience hauling that much weight with a 1/4 ton truck? I realise a 1/2 ton would be better, but I do not want to get a new truck. I would be hauling the boat from Pittsburgh to Erie and back. I will also be getting the trailer (brakes), and boat inspected before making an offer.
    I dont know your engine setup or drivetrain (i.e. gear rato and whether you have a towing package), but if 11,000 is the rated towing capacity I would have no issue with that tow. A quick look at Sierra ratings and (assumng you dont have a Denali) their ratings seem very comfortable with an 8 to 9,000 lb tow. My F150 is rated to tow about 8500 lbs and does not blink at my tow which is about 5500 lbs. Maybe a little more detail about the truck rating ( A Sierra is not a 1/4 ton truck, I believe that it is a 1/2 ton truck).
    Dave

    2002 Rinker 212 Captiva
    2008 F-150 to tow it with

  10. #10

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    What is it, a signature 270? I think you answered your own question. The Sierra (which is a 1/2 ton btw) has a tow rating of 11k and you're under that. Those ratings are already conservative from the factory. Additionally, you're running from Pittsburgh to Erie, which is a flat run. If you were going to Raystown it would be a little different.

    Make sure you have a class 3 or 4 hitch to make use of your tow rating, put good ceramic pads and good rotors on the truck and go. You might find you want a load distributing hitch but you might not. If your truck is long, like an extended cab with an 8' bed you probably won't need it. I would also put on a temperature gauge for your transmission. I think to stay legal you technically need to pay PA for a class 4 registration, which is based on your GCVWR number which I'm guessing is close to 15,000 if your tow rating is 11,000.

  11. #11
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    Most boat trailers of this size use surge brakes. As I understand it, surge brakes do not work properly with weight distributing hitches, so be careful of your equipment setup. I would airbag the rear end of my truck rather than use a weight distribution hitch if I had surge brakes (as opposed to electric brakes). Just my opinion and I am sure that others on here are more informed than me about such things....
    Dave

    2002 Rinker 212 Captiva
    2008 F-150 to tow it with



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Transamconvert View Post
    What is it, a signature 270? I think you answered your own question. The Sierra (which is a 1/2 ton btw) has a tow rating of 11k and you're under that. Those ratings are already conservative from the factory. Additionally, you're running from Pittsburgh to Erie, which is a flat run. If you were going to Raystown it would be a little different.

    Make sure you have a class 3 or 4 hitch to make use of your tow rating, put good ceramic pads and good rotors on the truck and go. You might find you want a load distributing hitch but you might not. If your truck is long, like an extended cab with an 8' bed you probably won't need it. I would also put on a temperature gauge for your transmission. I think to stay legal you technically need to pay PA for a class 4 registration, which is based on your GCVWR number which I'm guessing is close to 15,000 if your tow rating is 11,000.

    2012 GMC Sierra is a 1/2 ton (1500)
    4,400 to 9,300 lbs

    There 3/4 ton doesn't have a 11000 lb tow rating
    from GM web page.

    Pittsburgh to Lake Erie is far from being a flat run. That 1500 is going to die on the hills

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 212 Captiva View Post
    Most boat trailers of this size use surge brakes. As I understand it, surge brakes do not work properly with weight distributing hitches, so be careful of your equipment setup. I would airbag the rear end of my truck rather than use a weight distribution hitch if I had surge brakes (as opposed to electric brakes). Just my opinion and I am sure that others on here are more informed than me about such things....
    False info. The Reese Rc hitches are made for surge brakes. The diff. between the regular WD hitch and one for surge brakes is the torsion bar setup. One is set up with chains and the one for surge brakes is set up so the torsion bar slides through a bracket. The hitch needs a pole adapter.





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