Tow Vehicle for a 240 Sundeck.

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by charlg, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. charlg

    charlg New Member

    745
    Jan 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    2000 280 Sun Sport
    / Raymarine C80 w/ Radar / Sirius weather
    / SH GX5000S VHF
    Twin 350 Mags / B1's
    / Corsa exhaust
    I bought the boat late last season and did not tow that much. This year, I plan on towing the boat a lot! I have a 2005 Suburban Z71, and I'm not sure if I should move up to a 3/4 ton Suburban (we have seven kids, so a pickup is not an option). The Z71 has a tranmission cooler, but is only rated at 7400 gvw. The boat dry is 4600lbs, the trailer is about 1500lbs, and I see that everyone says to add another 1000lbs for extras. That's right at the limit. The 3/4 ton would move it up to 8400 gvw. With the big car sales around the corner, I'm not sure what the right move is. I would appreciate comments.
     
  2. wish2fish

    wish2fish Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Locust Creek, Ohio River mm 433
    2003 220BR
    5.0 MPI
    I had a 2001 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 1500 to pull my boat and it did fine until I a fully loaded, 90 degrees in July and hilly terrain. I decided it wasn't worth the trouble any longer and upgraded to a GMC Crew Cab 2500. Not only are they made to pull better they are made to stop better. Piece of mind at any price!
     
  3. MarysPool

    MarysPool New Member

    33
    Oct 4, 2006
    St. Louis, Mo.
    2006 250SLX
    350 Mag w/Bravo III
    My want to check out the latest "trailer boats magazine" (feb). Just came this week in the mail. They actually have a run-off between the 2007 gmc denali XL and ford expedition for trailering. They use a 240 Sundancer in the test. They provide a lot of specs. Anyway, I would think the Denali would be very similiar to your Z71. May want to check it out.
     
  4. SearayPaul

    SearayPaul Member SILVER Sponsor

    875
    Oct 11, 2006
    Simpsonville, South Carolina
    34 Downeaster
    Cummins 5.9 480hp
    I used to tow a lot with a 3/4 ton 1997 Suburban. I am sure they have improved them since I had mine.... I have towed with the 1/2 and 3/4 ton versions and I perfer the 3/4 ton.

    Before I made any decisions I would take the boat to the truck stop and scale it. This is cheap and would give you your actual weight. You might be surprised at the actual weight. Dry weight plus fuel, water, and stuff can be substanial. Stuff includes all those things that you just have to have onboard with seven kids.

    Those tow ratings also assume very little wt in the Suburban so you have to subtract off the kids and what ever else you have in that truck from the tow capacity.

    When you get a 3/4 ton truck you get a stiffer suspension, transmission cooler, and possibly a different gear ratio. That 4:10 ratio will up your tow ratiing and lower your gas mileage. The suspension is a big help controlling your load. My money is for the upgrade in this case as Chevy in my opinion tends to over rate the tow ratings.

    That said Chuck1 tows his Sundeck with a Durango
     
  5. avguy

    avguy New Member

    715
    Dec 19, 2006
    East TN
    '05 240 Sundeck
    350 Mag
    Charlie.....I tow our '05 Sundeck with an '05 F-150 4x4. Truck is rated at about 9000lbs. 4700lbs dry weight for the boat, 1500lbs for the trailer, 65 gal of gas, 20 gal fresh water, anchors, grill, skis, tubes, food & beverages...you're there. Oh yeah, people riding in the vehicle count too.
    I think the Suburban will pull it but not sure how long. It's a lot of weight back there. My next truck will be an F-350. Scott
     
  6. STIHLBOLTS

    STIHLBOLTS New Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Panama City Beach Fl/ South Ga
    2004 - 220 Sundeck
    5.0L w/Bravo 3 Drive
    I would suggest nothing less than a 2500 Chevy HD pickup. If you have the spare cash, go for a diesel. If not the 6.0 gas and 4:10 rear will serve you well. www.trailerboat.com has a nice chart on it for tow vehicles on line. I have seen too many accidents on the interstate because of under sized pickups pulling heavy loads they were not designed for. Don't become a statistic. :smt021
     
  7. Sea Ray 300

    Sea Ray 300 Senior Sea Ray Enthusiast

    612
    Oct 12, 2006
    Scituate, MA
    2005 300 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0 liter with Bravo III drives.
    Charlie,
    For years, we trailered a 22' Sea Ray up until around 1993 with a 1/2 ton Ford conversion van, and no doubt it was at the limits of it's towing ability. Actually pulling it was not the problem, as we did it with care and foresight. Stopping is the issue. More than once we've been cut off on 128, and felt the adrenalin rush while we were trying to stop 8 to 10,000 pounds. For peace of mind, we got a slip, and never looked back. So, if you are sure you want to tow, big brakes on the tow vehicle, and well serviced and maintained brakes on the trailer are a necessity. Also, install flush kits in the trailer brakes, as they are inexpensive and well worth it.
    We had drums on the trailer, but now discs are available.
     
  8. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One
    Yes the Durango with the Hemi and high rear gear works great :thumbsup: It pulls the mountains up here great.

    I just can't get my wife to go for that 1 ton, 4 wheel drive, dually, crew/king four door cab, diesel I've had my eye on :lol:
     
  9. Searay Jim

    Searay Jim New Member

    271
    Oct 3, 2006
    DFW
    240 Sundeck
    540cid w/BIII
    From my experience.... :grin:

    I towed ours with a 2000 Expedition with the 5.4 and tow package with LS. I modified mine slightly with exhaust, tune, shift kit and some suspension goodies like upgraded after-market anti-sway bar, shocks etc. It did an unexpected great job! Without getting into the details of why, at one time I ran it up to almost 95 MPH and was solid as a rock.

    However, the Expedition weighed close to 6000# ready to drive and the boat weighed anywhere from 7200# to 7600# depending on fuel/water and gear. While it drove very well, great power etc., even stopped well when the brakes on both axles were working well, it was a fatiguing drive on long trips only because you can't fool physics. The boat out-weighed the truck by1500# or more and that makes a difference. A long wheel-base will be much better also.

    I got an Excursion 3 years ago and now the truck outweighs the boat by about the same margin. Road trips are much more relaxing. Power etc. are obviously not an issue so comfort and peace of mind are the icing.

    You really should get the boat weighed. When I had mine weighed, I didn't have a spare or the extra battery it does now and it was dry with only a few gallons of gas and had no gear at all. It weighed right at 7000#. The typical tandem axle trailer weighed 1650#. Add the spare and battery alone and that's 100#. Add 65 gallons of fuel, 20 gallons of water, gear etc. and I've estimated mine at about 7500#-7700#.

    Honestly, I'm not following GM really, but if you have a 1/2 ton Sub that's equipped to tow, I don't think it's worth an upgrade to a 3/4 ton Sub. There's just not enough difference. The Excursion was the only true heavy duty SUV and now, there isn't any HD SUV's in the market. But newer ones with better engineering are much better than in recent years.

    My take is, if it's a 1/2 ton, it should be a long wheel base at and of course appropriate towing equipment as a minimum or true 3/4 ton, again, equipped properly.

    Related, if you have a typical tandem axle trailer with 14" tires, keep at least 1 spare and take special care of the tires. Do the math; you're at or over max. capacity. Mine was a big block boat and the slightly heavier early model so I've probably got 200-300 extra lb's.

    The tires should be kept out of the direct sunlight/environment, inflated at least to the 50 psi max., better to go 5-10 psi over (See Goodyears RV tire guide and the industry recommendation to inflate 10 psi over max if driving over 60 MPH. It's due to heat build-up) and if it's sitting in one place for very long, rotate the wheels around 1/4 turn at least once a month so the oils in the rubber do not settle leaving a dry patch on top, which will be what separates on the road. I had 3 new Marathons do that last year, and I pin-pointed it to sitting in one place, outside the previous winter while the motor was being built and rigged. I just went up and rotated the wheels around 2 weeks ago and each tire was sticking to the concrete floor. These are brand new tires so they are nice and healthy.

    240's should not be put on tandem axle trailers with 14" wheels. It should be a triple axle or heavier, 5200# axles with 15" wheels so you can get a tire that's not over loaded. Lessons learned....
     
  10. BrentJones

    BrentJones Member

    405
    Oct 4, 2006
    Fenton/Lake Ozark, MO
    2005 240 Sundeck
    6.2L
    I had this same question when I first started towing. What I learned was that the more power and torque, the better. I would have liked to get a diesel, but we all know what that costs. I ended up purchasing a 97 GMC 3500 w/ the gas guzzling 454 for $5000. It did the job of pulling my 240SD loaded with no problem and it has come in very usefull landscaping my new home. I've since stopped trailering and keep it in a slip...the boat, not the truck. :wink:
     
  11. Larry&Leisa

    Larry&Leisa Active Member

    Oct 26, 2006
    Keystone Lake Oklahoma
    1999 330EC
    454's
    Chuck .... ya just got to let her drive each loaded and she won't want to go back ! :grin:

    I was trying to pull with an Explorer for a while as I didn't have more than a half mile to go generally. However after making one trip of a hundred miles I promptly went and got my new rig.

    I looked at 2500's but it really wasnt' much more money to move on up to the 3500. ( which also means we can pull a larger boat.. :wink: ) and I won't have anything but a diesel again either.
     
  12. BrentJones

    BrentJones Member

    405
    Oct 4, 2006
    Fenton/Lake Ozark, MO
    2005 240 Sundeck
    6.2L
    Is that a V8 Explorer that you used? I'm wandering if my V6 Explorer with the upgraded tow package would be able to tow my boat out of the water and very short distances if I ever needed to.
     
  13. lorenbennett

    lorenbennett New Member

    429
    Nov 17, 2006
    Ft. Mohave, Arizona
    Charlg

    Go over to the "new tow vehicle" thread in general discussion for an update on were we landed on a tow vehicle. :cool:
     
  14. Larry&Leisa

    Larry&Leisa Active Member

    Oct 26, 2006
    Keystone Lake Oklahoma
    1999 330EC
    454's
    Brent,
    It was an 8 cyl 4x4 with tow pkg. I did have a VERY steep ramp to pull out of tho too.
     
  15. charlg

    charlg New Member

    745
    Jan 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    2000 280 Sun Sport
    / Raymarine C80 w/ Radar / Sirius weather
    / SH GX5000S VHF
    Twin 350 Mags / B1's
    / Corsa exhaust
    All great advise....thanks. Although a pickup would offer the most tow capacity, It's not an option for me. I guess the key question is whether it's worth upgrading Suburbans for only an additional 1,000 or 2,000 (4:10) lbs gvw probably for about $10k more.
     
  16. SearayPaul

    SearayPaul Member SILVER Sponsor

    875
    Oct 11, 2006
    Simpsonville, South Carolina
    34 Downeaster
    Cummins 5.9 480hp
    Towing a lot has a lot of meanings and ultimately only you can determine what is a lot fo you.

    When I first read this post I felt like a pickup was not a good fit for your family needs. If you trade the Suburban you are going to get a huge hosing worse than a boats depreciation. I would be hard pressed to upgrade to a 3/4 ton with todays economics. Instead you might look for a 3/4 ton used Burb just for towing. You should be able to pick one up for a song in good condition as the used values have really plummetted.

    The other option is to talk to a powertrain EXPERT, and I am not one. Depending on your computers, transmission etc you could consider changing the rear end for a 4:10, and add an extra spring. Check the transmission as GM offered several trannies some of which were not worth much. I had one of those transmissions. I am not sure about your model year but some of them had bigger tires which affected the final gearing. Hard call.

    Finally brakes. You have got to be able to stop what you tow. Some model year brakes were questionable in the Chevy products. I would up grade the brakes on the truck and have working disc brakes on both trailer axles. I lost my brakes several times and that is ultimately what made me trade after two master cylinders, lines, and rear wheel seals that kept leaking on to the brakes. No brakes is no fun.

    Just my nickles worth Good luck
     

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