Towing a 240DA for the first time

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by FiremistSLK, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. FiremistSLK

    FiremistSLK Member

    71
    Feb 18, 2012
    Rhode Island - USA
    240 Dancer (1997)
    Merc 5.7L, carborated, 250 HP, Alpha Drive
    I recently purchased a 1997 240DA. I need to tow it home to RI from central NJ, about 250 miles. The boat is on a newer trailer (2001 tandem axle w/disc brakes). I plan to rent a pick-up truck to do this. Enterprise has an F-150 available for about $75/day including mileage. I figure gas and tolls to be another $200 or so. Boat haulers I checked with (3 of them) all want $900 to do the move! My question, is an F-150 big enough to haul it about 250 miles up rt. 95? I plan to travel early in the morning at 2 AM (no traffic that time of night) and cross the Hudson over the TZB. Traveling at 55 mph all the way. Any thoughts on my plan?? Is it sound? I have never towed this big of a boat any distance before. What can I expect to encounter? Any suggestions to keep me safe? Thanks in advance..... JOHN
     
  2. Maggieiscrazy

    Maggieiscrazy Member

    113
    Oct 14, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    240 Sundancer
    5.0. Bravo III
    I pull my 240da with my f150 ecoboost 250-350 miles at 65-75mph often. It pulls very easily. Make sure your trailer bearings are in good condition with fresh grease. I even carry an extra hub In case a bearing fails. Also make sure your tires are in good condition and you have a good spare. Make sure your brakes are in good working order.
     
  3. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    pittsburgh
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    That truck should have no problem handling that. I tow my 250 with a 2013 Ram 1500 Hemi. Hardly know it's there. Granted the Hemi is more powerful than the 5.4 (not sure about the ecoboost) but it isn't that big of a difference. I think mine is rated to 8600lbs (I have the 3.55s and 6 speed auto). My boat and trailer together are about 8000lbs. (with steel tri-axle trailer). The furthest I have towed mine is about 75 miles but either way you should be fine.

    And note what was mentioned above about the bearings, tires, and brakes. I will add to that by saying make sure all of your lights are working too.
     
  4. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    Past:
    1999 Sundancer 340
    7.4L Gassers
    2AM run? I'm not sure that's necessary...but if you're a night owl, sure why not! Traffic shouldn't be too much trouble for a 100% street-legal rig. The wide-load guys are more likely to want to make those midnight runs.

    I think the question about the F-150 being enough truck is moot for your situation. Enterprise doesn't allow towing with their 1/2 ton rigs. You'll have to get a 3/4 ton. And there may be a "towing surcharge". You'll want to call them and ask. You'll also want to make sure your current auto policy is updated to cover your rental for the trip. I'm certain the advertised Enterprise rates do not include insurance.

    You'll still save money over having a hauler do it...but maybe not as much as you originally thought you would.
     
  5. AndersonAcres

    AndersonAcres Member GOLD Sponsor

    725
    Oct 30, 2006
    Iowa
    Tires. They may look fine. They sit around for long periods slowly degrading. Especially so if they're stored with sun shining on them. A good jack capable of jacking the trailer up is essential. My bet is you'll lose at least one tire. If you have to leave the boat to get another tire (you lose 2 or more tires), will the boat & trailer be secure sitting on the roadside in an area that is likely heavily populated?
     
  6. GCHOG

    GCHOG Member GOLD Sponsor

    94
    Mar 25, 2016
    Bass River, Viking Marina, South Jersey
    2006 Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
    6.2 Bravo III
    I towed my 245 WE for years to LI from South Jersey. Up the turnpike, across GW bridge, out to the LIE early in the morning with a long bed F-150. It was right at the max capacity for towing and sometimes a handful if traffic got heavy. Bought an F-250 with towing package and was much happier. Purchased my present 260 DA in Springfield Ma. 3 years ago, went up and towed it back to South Jersey. Gotta tell ya , it was no picnic coming down 95 on a Saturday morning. Like Eric said , make sure the trailer is in good shape, ie; tires, beariings, etc. I carry a floor jack , complete tool set, xtra hub, (greased up), 2 spare tires, everything I need to do roadside repairs.
    If you can , rent a F-250 or similar 2500. You'll be much better off. And take your time. You might think you can stop quickly, but you really can't. Leave yourself plenty of room.
    Good luck, and take it easy,,,
     
  7. Stingrayaxe

    Stingrayaxe Member

    91
    Oct 29, 2015
    Crystal Lake
    2009 SeaRay 205 Sport
    2008 GMC Envoy
    5.0 Merc Alpha 1
    Tow rating for a 2016 F150 vary from 5000 - 10,400 lbs. All the advice above is good but its going to come down to how much your towed weight is and how the truck is equipt. Good luck and congratulations on the new boat.
     
  8. Espos4

    Espos4 Active Member

    384
    Jan 1, 2017
    Long Island NY
    2007 240 Sundeck
    350 MAG Bravo 3 W/DTS
    If you were ever stuck on I-95 in NY NJ or Connecticut, you'd understand why!
     
    M Prod and b_arrington like this.
  9. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 8212, 741 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    I was about to post a correction to your post to specify Enterprise TRUCK over the regular car rental outfits. Fortunately, I googled it first. The Enterprise Truck website specifically mentions towing on the 3/4 ton and above trucks, but doesn't on the half ton.

    I rented a 3/4 ton last fall. I think a half ton can do it, but a 3/4 will do it better.
     
  10. FiremistSLK

    FiremistSLK Member

    71
    Feb 18, 2012
    Rhode Island - USA
    240 Dancer (1997)
    Merc 5.7L, carborated, 250 HP, Alpha Drive
    I just called Enterprise Truck Rental. Thank you for the info about them. They have a 3/4 PU special for $39.99 day unlimited miles, 3 day minimum. Tow charge is $20/day plus damage waver. All in will be about $250 for the truck. Gas and tolls are extra of course. The trailer is being evaluated by the marina mechanic for the trip (lights, brakes, tires, etc.) and bearings are being repacked. With the trip being 250 each way, I'm guessing $200 for gas and tolls. Good guess? Is this about right? What will the 3/4 ton get for milage when towing the 240? OR.... I can have it shipped (towed here on my trailer) for $600.... Thoughts?
     
  11. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    pittsburgh
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    Well towing my 250 with my 1500 Hemi I get about 9 MPG. I get about 16 empty. Considering an F250 (gas powered) will probably get 12-13 empty I would say to expect no more than about 7 or so MPG towing.
     
  12. aerobat77

    aerobat77 Member

    354
    Aug 12, 2014
    germany
    2006 240 DA Sundancer
    5.0 MPI / Bravo III
    in europe we tow 24footers with way smaller cars than a f150 and it works fine . a f150 is for european streets a VERY big car . i tow my 240 sundancer with a 2016 ford ranger and it has no problems with it . that said a ranger is in regards to dimensions and horsepower smaller than a f150 - but very big for german streets .

    congrats for your new boat !!!
     
  13. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    Past:
    1999 Sundancer 340
    7.4L Gassers
    I'd pay to have a pro do it if your savings is only at $150 +/-. I wouldn't even give it a second thought (and I rather enjoy towing, personally)...
     
  14. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    +1
     
  15. randmhall

    randmhall Member SILVER Sponsor

    217
    Apr 18, 2009
    Grand Lake of the Cherokees, Oklahoma
    2006 Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
    350 Mag Bravo 3
    You don't say if the F250 rental is gas or diesel. But I get 13-15 mpg while towing my boat. A gas truck will probably get a little lower, but my previous truck was a F250 with the gas v10. It got 10-12 mpg This is running the interstate at 65mph 250 miles isn't that far, unless you are on 2 lane country roads. 4 hours each way, plus a stop. That is just a 1 day rental.
     
  16. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 8212, 741 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    He won't know until he signs the paper at the counter. This was told to me by a CSR member, but I didn't believe it until they handed me keys to a gasser when I had a diesel reserved a month before.

    Didn't matter in the end. They gave me an F250 4-door with 40 miles on it. It pulled the 280 just fine and the mileage wasn't that bad.
     
  17. Maggieiscrazy

    Maggieiscrazy Member

    113
    Oct 14, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    240 Sundancer
    5.0. Bravo III
    If he’s worried about mpg’s in a truck. He’s going to have fun putting $300 worth of gas in his boat for a day cruise.
     
    SloBurn likes this.
  18. M Prod

    M Prod Active Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    416
    Oct 6, 2017
    North Vancouver, BC
    2005 Sundancer 340
    Aquapro Dinghy w/ Honda 8hp
    Kohler 5KW Genny
    Raymarine Electronics
    8.1 Horizons /V Drives
    If it were me, I'd just have it shipped. You're not going to save that much $$ doing it yourself, and you save yourself the (IMO BIG) headache (and time) of this whole move. Having done the tri-state NJ to CT and back drive many times, I'd avoid that pain in the arse trip any chance I'd get ...2am or not.
     
  19. FiremistSLK

    FiremistSLK Member

    71
    Feb 18, 2012
    Rhode Island - USA
    240 Dancer (1997)
    Merc 5.7L, carborated, 250 HP, Alpha Drive
    My daughter lived in RI when I lived in NJ, so I have done the NJ/RI shuffle up 95 alot too. Not a bad trip if there are no accidents. OK ...... Here's the final cost to go get it myself.... Enterprise Rental of a 2018, F250 gas truck including all fees for towing, insurance, taxes and unlimited miles is $123!! I figure 13mpg average, 500 miles round trip at $2.75/gal is $110. Tolls will be about $30 for a grand total of $263. For that price, I have to do it. I reserved the truck today. Thanks all for your input. I'll be going to get it next week, so stay tuned for my trip report. JOHN
     
  20. FiremistSLK

    FiremistSLK Member

    71
    Feb 18, 2012
    Rhode Island - USA
    240 Dancer (1997)
    Merc 5.7L, carborated, 250 HP, Alpha Drive
    Maggie... I wasn't worried about putting gas in the truck for the reason you implied. I asked the MPG question as a comparison to help me make the decision to have the boat delivered or go get it myself.
     

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