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Author Topic:   Whaler towing inquiry
PhilipG posted 06-12-2001 09:34 AM ET (US)   Profile for PhilipG   Send Email to PhilipG  
Hi. We are looking at purchasing a Ventura, 1950 lbs (without motor, fuel, incidentals). Our Volvo XC wagon is rated to tow 3300 lbs. max. Other than the ramp, the towing would be absolutely flat and for short distances. Am I right to suspect that we out of the ballpark once the trailer weight is added (I have no clue as to how much the trailers weigh)? Any advice appreciated, thanks in advance.
Ventura16 posted 06-12-2001 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
I don't know which Ventura model you are looking at, but it sounds like you will probably exceed your factory tow-rating with the loaded boat you described...figure another 400 lbs. for motor, 300 or so for fuel and probably 700-1000 lbs. for the trailer. You also need to factor in the weight of driver, passengers, and misc. items.

However, Trailer Boats magazine recently had an interesting article where they theorized that all towed loads are not created equally. In other words, towing a boat with it's low center of gravity and pointed bow section is a lot easier on a vehicle than towing a slab-sided travel trailer. If you are close to the tow rating of your vehicle but are really only going to tow short distances, this may give you the margin you need. Also, if the XC wagon is 4wd that will help you significantly on launch ramps.

The only real answer is to weigh the rig yhou are looking at and then make a decision.


dgp posted 06-12-2001 10:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Volvo requires trailer brakes on all towing applications that will add to your Gross Weight Rating. But since you are not dealing with hills and only going short distances you'll probably be OK.
triblet posted 06-12-2001 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A rig (like that Ventura) that's going weigh
3000+ pounds is legally required to have
trailer brakes in most states.


lpaton posted 06-12-2001 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for lpaton  Send Email to lpaton     
For your info
I had my trailer weighed last week as I was on my way to have brakes installed. Tandem keel roller trailer 920#. Figure 1000# once brakes installed.
In my province brakes required once gross trailer weight exceeds 2900#.
gf posted 06-12-2001 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for gf  Send Email to gf     

A Ventura 18 might be doable, the Ventura 20 will be a real stretch. In either case you will want a trailer with brakes.

Is your Cross Country wagon a '98-2000 or the new 2001 model? I own a 1990 Volvo 740 Turbo wagon (160 HP) and a 1997 Volvo 850 T-5 wagon (222 HP). I used to tow a 16.5' Sunbird Neptune center console with a towed weight of 2500 pounds.

The older, rear wheel drive Volvos are much better tow vehicles than the newer 850/V70 models. They all have enough power to get a 3000 pound load under way but the slightly larger 700/900 series wagons tow the load much better down the road.

With the newer Cross Country be sure to get the Volvo hitch and don't go with a UHaul or Draw-Tite substitute. The OEM hitch is a little cleaner instalation although it is pricier.

PhilipG posted 06-12-2001 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for PhilipG  Send Email to PhilipG     
Many thanks for taking the time to respond. Your advice was excellent. The Volvo is a '98 XC ... if the actual weight is close to towing capacity, I think I'll risk a Volvo hitch and give it a try, with a buddy's truck in reserve should things go wrong. We will be doing little more than dropping the boat in the water for the season anyway, and pulling it later. Our next vehicle is going to have to be a bit more robust, it looks like.


GAwhale posted 06-12-2001 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for GAwhale  Send Email to GAwhale     
A rear wheel drive vehicle will always be better for towing than front wheel drive. Having an axle between the two rear wheels will be more stable than independent rear suspension.

My Aluminum Magic Tilt trailer for my Montauk weighs 330 pounds. Of course the hull only weighs 950 pounds.

eolson posted 06-14-2001 06:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for eolson  Send Email to eolson     
...and a 4-wheel drive vehicle will always be my choice for pulling a boat up a slippery ramp! The XC is all-wheel-drive, not front, so that should work well.

I've gone from a Honda Civic (FWD) to a Jeep Cherokee 4x4 to pull my whaler. Although I miss the excellent Honda fuel economy, I feel about 900% more confident on the road and at the ramp. The right tow vehicle makes all the difference in the world!

Good luck,
Gainesville, FL

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