You’ve been looking to purchase a new boat for a while now and finally decided it’s time. You’ve done all the research and know exactly which boat is right for you and your family. You’re ready to come in and sign the paperwork to make the boat yours.
Your family is all very excited and ready for the upcoming boating season with the new boat. You know this boat is perfect, the last concern you have is whether your vehicle can tow the boat or not.
How Much Weight Can My Vehicle Tow?
Considering every vehicle is different, it’s hard to give an exact answer to this question. However, there are ways to figure out how much weight can be towed behind every vehicle. Vehicles are only equipped to tow a certain amount of weight.
This is typically indicated by the towing capacity. Understanding the towing capacity of your vehicle will lead you in the right direction. Typically, you can find this information in numerous different spots.
One way to figure this out is to check out the owner’s manual of your vehicle. You can also search for this information as long as you know your vehicle’s exact model and make.
Another way to figure out this information is not quite as simple. You can calculate the towing capacity using other information. First, let’s go over some terms that you’ll need to know to get to the bottom of your vehicle’s towing capacity.
The first term that is useful to understand is GVWR. This is the gross vehicle weight rating. This is the total amount of weight that can be safely in the vehicle. This number accounts for the passengers, fuel, cargo, and tongue weight of anything you pull behind the vehicle.
You can find the GVWR of your vehicle in the owner’s manual or in the driver’s side door panel. Trailers have their own GVWR. This information is typically indicated on the tongue of the trailer. You’ll need to know both weight ratings to figure out the total towing capacity.
This acronym refers to the gross combined weight rating of both the vehicle and the trailer. This is the combined weight rating of both the vehicle and the trailer. This total weight can be used to figure out the towing capacity of the boat.
Next, you’ll need to know the total weight of your current vehicle. This is the dry weight of the vehicle with the added weight of any passengers, fuel, and anything else you have in the vehicle. Knowing this weight will lead you to the towing capacity of your vehicle.
With this information, you are able to figure out the towing capacity of your particular vehicle. The towing capacity of your vehicle is the GCWR with the Curb Weight subtracted. This number will give you the towing capacity of your vehicle.
Now that you have an idea of how much weight your vehicle can tow, you’ll need to figure out how much your boat and trailer weigh.
What is the Weight of My Boat and Trailer?
Figuring out how much your boat and trailer weigh is important to know if your vehicle can safely tow it. You’ll need to figure out how much your boat and trailer weigh separately to come to a conclusion.
First, you’ll need to find the dry weight of the boat. This is the weight of the boat when it leaves the factory. It includes all the furniture and features that are on the boat when it arrives at a dealership. It does not include any fuel or gear that you may put on the boat.
The dry weight of a boat is that it does not always include the weight of the motor. Always double-check that the weight of the motor is included. If it is not included, be sure to find the weight of the motor and include that in the overall weight of the boat.
When calculating the total weight of the boat, you’ll want to account for the motor, fuel, and gear that is in the boat. Add this weight to the dry weight of the boat to get the total weight of the boat.
The actual weight of the trailer isn’t always indicated on the trailer. Typically, this is indicated by the GVWR. As stated earlier in the article, the GVWR is the gross vehicle weight rating which is the total amount of weight the trailer can carry.
This is the maximum weight that the trailer and boat will total. You can use this information to compare it to the towing capacity of your vehicle. This will allow you to determine whether your vehicle can safely tow the boat or not.
Don’t Haul Over the Towing Capacity
After calculating your towing capacity and the total weight of the boat and trailer, you should have a pretty good idea of whether you can tow your boat or not. It is important that you don’t exceed the towing capacity because it could lead to several safety problems.
Not only will it cause safety issues for you and any passengers, but it could also put others on the road in danger. This is because of different situations that could arise and put many people in an unsafe situation.
A Swaying Trailer
A trailer that is too heavy for a vehicle can cause the trailer and vehicle to sway. Swaying can be extremely dangerous as the driver has no control over the situation. This could lead to a very bad accident and should always be avoided.
Inability to Stop
Another problem caused by hauling a trailer that is too heavy for your vehicle is the inability to stop. If a trailer is too heavy, the vehicle will struggle to stop it in a timely manner. This could lead to an accident or damage to the vehicle if it were to occur.
Launching the Boat
When a trailer is too heavy for a vehicle, launching the boat can become dangerous. If there is a steep launch, you risk the weight of the boat over-powering the brakes of the vehicle, pulling the vehicle into the water.
This also becomes problematic when picking a boat up from the launch. You risk not being able to pull the boat out of the water if it’s too heavy for the vehicle towing it. Both of these situations can cause significant damage to the vehicle.
Damages and Costly Repairs
When you pull a trailer that is too heavy for the vehicle, you risk damaging the vehicle. Whether it be steering, brakes, speed control, or something else, you can cause a great deal of damage to your vehicle.
For these reasons, you should never overload a vehicle with too much weight on the trailer. It can cause unsafe situations for many people. Along with costly damage to the vehicle, it’s not worth risking it. Never haul a trailer that is too heavy for your vehicle.
Tow Your Boat Anywhere
After doing your own research, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether your vehicle can tow your boat or not. Making sure it’s safe to tow your boat is important for many reasons and will help to keep everyone on the road safe.
If your vehicle is equipped with the towing capacity to safely tow your boat, you’re ready for every adventure. It’s time to get on the road and head to your next lake to explore with your friends and family. Enjoy all the adventures on your boat no matter where you are boating.
If you have any further questions about whether your vehicle can tow your boat, be sure to contact Action Water Sports. We’re here to help!