Towing a 320 sundancer

Discussion in 'Trailering' started by Mike sandor, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    79
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    Twin 496. Bravo 3
    2018 3500 Chevy, Loadmaster trailer
    Raymarine Axiom, Quantum 2
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    been throwing around the idea of buying a 3500 chevy duelley to pull this boat.
    The specs state that in order to pull close to 19000 lbs, you need a fifth wheel hitch and a goosneck trailer. If that is so, then most folks are probably not legal. Hell, when looking for a shipper, when asked what he would use, he said a 3500 duelley. I am thinking the first stop at the weight station and you would be pulled off the road. Am I missing something here?
     
  2. 2000SR380

    2000SR380 Member

    451
    Feb 17, 2014
    Emeryville, CA
    2005 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer, Express Cruiser
    Two 5.0L Gas Mercruiser V8, B3 Outdrives
    Hey Mike this will be a tricky one for the forum because laws vary state to state. Both BoatUS and AAA have very good guides as to what is legal in each state. I used a company called "Mercury Permits" out of Tyler TX for my permits. They have been super helpful. We 'downsized' to a 2005 280 SUNDANCER. I had similar questions and got lots of answers. In the end, we had to get an oversize permit because of the width. We are within 6" of MAX hight. We are also surprisingly close to the max length allowed in CA for a combo of truck and trailer. Our tow vehicle is a 2017 4x4 2500 HD Silverado, Extended cab with the 8ft Bed. It is spec'd to tow 14,500 lbs. The boat is on a standard three axle trailer with electric over hydraulic disc brakes, set on Maximum on the in-dash controller. I would not like to tow this set up with anything less than what is described above. In CA even with a Class A license, a standard trailer is only suppose to weigh 10,000lbs and a 5th wheel allows you to go to 15,000lbs. Sea Ray says my boat's dry weight is 8,500lbs, and our trailer is maybe 1500lbs. My best guess is I am pushing into the 11k range fully loaded. I am not required to cross the scales. We have the oversize Permits, so 'da da'. A 320 is a lot of boat. Challenges are going to be braking, and wind, long steep downhill runs, and the countless schmo's who will try to merge between your truck and the boat. Permits are cheap!
     
  3. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    79
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    Twin 496. Bravo 3
    2018 3500 Chevy, Loadmaster trailer
    Raymarine Axiom, Quantum 2
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    Apreciate your reply. Personally, I am comfortable with the prospect of towing this boat and trailer assuming the equipment is rated and legal. I understand that I will need over width and height permits. My need to tow is limited to the initial relocation of the boat from Missouri to Wisconsin and then the ocasional haul out for maintaince and winter storage. If it was just the relocation, I would choose to higher that out, but that does not address other needs.
     
  4. 2000SR380

    2000SR380 Member

    451
    Feb 17, 2014
    Emeryville, CA
    2005 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer, Express Cruiser
    Two 5.0L Gas Mercruiser V8, B3 Outdrives
    Aside from the legality issue, I do not think you would have any trouble with a 3500 Chevy tow vehicle. We were able to get a one time tow permit for our initial tow and then a yearly Permit once we had all the titles in order. Most likely Wisconsin has the same thing and it may be cheaper to just get the Permits for the few times you plan to tow. I am not sure what the spec'd tow weight would be with a 3500 'Duelley'. Looks like they MAX at about 23000. I know I looked at GVR and GVWR (and a bunch of initials) trying to be sure if a nice officer looked inside my door, he would see the numbers he needed to see. I suspect nobody will ever look, and so far no officer has given us a second glance. But I am 58 and own my house. I can not afford to have the insurance company 'side step' me, on some technicality, if (God Forbid) something ever goes wrong. It is not me I am worried about. I towed race cars all over the state. I am a "full-boat" ASE Master Tech with 16-years of driving all sorts of cars, every day, wrenching for a Chevrolet Dealer. I am from Wisconsin originally. My Dad and Uncle made sure I knew how to drive in ice and snow (and back down a ramp at the lake) when I was 17 years old. I am a high performance driving instructor for the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) in CA. I can say, with some authority, there are a whole lot of really bad drivers out there, and we have to share the road with them. CYA. Make your boating days about boating, Sundowners, bringing up fish, and towing happy kids around in tubes.
     
  5. Sundancer

    Sundancer Active Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    Prosser, WA
    30 year old CLASSIC 300 DA, towed almost anywhere behind the Duramax Duallie Crew Cab.
    16 cyl, 700 cu. in./Alpha I's
    I tow an 89 300 DA on an UPGRADED bumper hitch behind my 04 Chevy crew cab dually . I did a couple of trips over the scales and the truck with me in it and half a tank was around 7,400 lbs,. Boat and trailer was right out of winter storage so there was no water on board and the fuel tanks were around 1/4 (of 140 gallons total). The boat and trailer weighed 12,800 and there was an additional 1,100 lbs on the hitch for a total of 13,900 lbs. Of course, the Sea Ray weight shows 9,999 lbs empty but who knows how accurate that is. I know newer boats seem to be much heavier. I've been towing this for 10 years now and the only scary time was a quick unexpected turn on slightly wet pavement where I almost jack knifed the truck and trailer. Aside from that, it tows really well. I've towed all over Washington and Idaho. We tow to the San Juan's every summer and spend a lot of time at the lakes in Northern Idaho. The truck is very capable and I have electric trailer brakes. I sling the boat into salt water because the trailer is home made and I don't think it's sufficiently protected or built for salt water use. It's a triple axle trailer and aside from eating the front tires (I seem to sacrifice one a year to the trailer gods no matter how new they are!) it's not been that much different from towing a 240 DA other than the Over Sized load signs we have to put on at the launch before we leave. The flexibility to go anywhere is definitely worth it!
     
  6. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    I don't know what you have but the 8,500# dry weight is for base engine combination.(single 496 w/B3) I've got the twin 5.0 w/B3's on a steel tri-axle and am over 13,000#.
     
  7. 2000SR380

    2000SR380 Member

    451
    Feb 17, 2014
    Emeryville, CA
    2005 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer, Express Cruiser
    Two 5.0L Gas Mercruiser V8, B3 Outdrives
    Thanks Woody :0)
    This is much better information. My 11,000lbs weight is just a guess. Also, your numbers and 'Sundancer's' seem to be in agreement. I have the (x2) 5.0L B3 set up in our "new" 2005 280DA as well, so I am probably heavier than I think. Mike was toying with towing a 320DA, which would spec at 14,150lbs with the Standard 2x300-hp 350Mag B3's. Add trailer and equipment, so he is definitely going to want to pay attention to the towing capacity of any truck he looks at as well as be sure on the Wisconsin trailing rules.
     
    Mike sandor likes this.
  8. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    Enjoy that 280DA, it's a great boat. Once Mike gets his boat up near the lake there won't be much attention paid to it when he moves it around. Lots of good size boats on the roads. My 420DA is on 2 lane state HWY 13 a couple times a year.
     
  9. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    79
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    Twin 496. Bravo 3
    2018 3500 Chevy, Loadmaster trailer
    Raymarine Axiom, Quantum 2
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    So, I pulled the pin on a 2018 3500 dually. The class v hitch is rated for 20000 lbs. trailer and boat will come in under that. With the weight of the truck, curb weight
    at 8070 lbs, I am going to be very close to the 26000 lb max allowed before needing a cdl. Waiting on the overall weight of the trailer before I start studing for the cdl.
     
  10. SCORPIO

    SCORPIO Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 7, 2008
    Delaware
    1989 300 DA
    Twin 5.7 Merc Alpha I
    I tow the same boat as Sundancer an 89 300DA. I tow it with a 2011 Ford F250 CC 4x4 single axle Powerstroke with a Reese Titan receiver hitch on a 2017 Venture triple axle aluminum trailer. I also use Mercury Permits and with my BoatUS discount, its a simple process to get permits. I went across the scales with the truck, all my gear, the boat, trailer, a half load of fuel on boat and truck and no water or sewage and my brother in law in the cab. Total weight was just around 22,000 lbs. My truck is rated for 23,500. I'm towing in relatively flat terrain but had no issues with pulling it or stopping it. I have hydraulic disc brakes on all three axles. Proper tongue weight is essential to a smooth tow. Get a tongue weight scale or one of the new draw bars with a built in scale and you will be able to set up your boat and not be guessing.
     
  11. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Mike I'm not sure I understand the entire need here. Do you have your own storage facility? if so, then it makes a little sense. A new 3500 will be well over $65,000 and how much for a trailer? $5-8,000. That would pay for a lot of haul outs and annual storage fees. Not to mention the hassle. What about insurance while off the water and in tow? How far will you tow it for storage?

    Shawn
     
  12. 2000SR380

    2000SR380 Member

    451
    Feb 17, 2014
    Emeryville, CA
    2005 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer, Express Cruiser
    Two 5.0L Gas Mercruiser V8, B3 Outdrives
    I do not think you will regret your choice in trucks. Maybe you could do it with less, but we are supposed to be having fun with our boats, not white knuckling it down the interstate.
    "2018 3500 dually"! That thing must be a beast :0)
     
  13. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    79
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    Twin 496. Bravo 3
    2018 3500 Chevy, Loadmaster trailer
    Raymarine Axiom, Quantum 2
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    With my recient purchase of the 2007 320, it pushed me over the edge to buy this truck. I have other needs for this towing capacity so it will work out fine. We were a bit surprised how nice this truck drives. I expected a ruff, bumpy ride with no load but it is very acceptable. The locking rear end and duallys have a differant feel in corners. Very impressed on how quite it is in the cab. My first diesel, my goodness this thing has some balls. Over 900 ft lb of torque.
    Regarding a cdl, I am learning that there is one hell uv a gray area. I called the Wisconsin dmv. They told me that under 26000 lbs, don't worry. When i pressed them for written confirmation, they told me to call the State patrol as they would be the one ticketing me. I called the State patrol and they said I should be fine. I told them I need to be 100% clear and legal. They said they would check on it and call back. An hour later, they called and confirmed that it is not what you are towing that matters, it is the combined GVWR of the truck and what is being towed. If that number is over 26000 lbs, you MUST have a cdl. So, my truck is rated at 12500 lbs, boat trailer at 22000. No question, I need a cdl.
    I did tell them that this is for personal use, no monitary gain.
    By the way, my actual weight loaded is just a bit over 25000lbs. Again, the GVWR trumps the actual weight. So, I asked the nice officer if I could ask a question. Say the wife and I went out for dinner, each had one beer, and get stopped for a trafic violation. The officer smells beer on my breath and I blow under the legal limit. Will I get a ticket for dui? He says no. I then ask, if I tow my boat and I am under the 26000 lbs threshold, will I get ticketed for being over weight, even though I am not. He said yes! The reason being is that I could be. Damn, I gotta go study for my cdl.
     
  14. 2000SR380

    2000SR380 Member

    451
    Feb 17, 2014
    Emeryville, CA
    2005 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer, Express Cruiser
    Two 5.0L Gas Mercruiser V8, B3 Outdrives
    LOL, You know I completely believe this story. The law is pretty fuzzy in CA as well. Basically, if you look reasonable, drive reasonable, and conduct yourself with reasonable decorum, it is unlikely anyone will ever bother you about oversize restrictions. We got the permits anyway. And I may upgrade my license as well. Permits are cheap, and I do not like relying on luck. I am more a "Pray to God, but row for shore" type of guy.
    I think you did right stretching for the new truck. They are still pretty proud of used ones and the price is surprisingly close for a five year old truck with 50K miles. You do not even save much in insurance, and registration. The 3/4 ton HD Silverado 4x4 was tough for us too, could not quite justify the 3500, but (as you mentioned) the ride is pretty good. It is comfortable to drive unloaded, and it was what we needed to tow the boat we wanted.
     
  15. atrick

    atrick Member

    117
    Mar 4, 2017
    Penna
    1995 searay 290 Sundancer
    1990 21 maxum
    Twin 4.3 mercrusers with alpha one drives
    305 chevy with a alpha one drive
    You need to watch your blood alcohol amount. In Pa its .08 for everyone unless you got a CDL then its .04 for us all the time in any vehicle.
     
  16. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    97 270 Sundancer
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    8.2 Mercs,
    7.4 BII
    260hp Alpha 1
    A couple of points to add to this thread.

    Well built trailers, particularly tri-ax, are heavier than generally being discussed in this thread. I have a well built Magic-Tilt aluminum I-beam salt water grade trailer that can likely accommodate your 320 and it weighs over 3k.

    The CDL fear of a ticket is likely overblown as it is rare in recreational trailering (boating, horse, RV, off-roading, etc.) that cops bother non-commercial vehicles unless they are causing issues.

    Liability is the big issue, after the tragic accident your outfit will be inspected by everyone from the cops, DOT state and Fed, PI's and attorneys. That is when the sh!t hits the fan

    MM
     
  17. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    Food for thought...

    I've read through the WI CDL requirements. Exceptions are made, including for recreational vehicles. Considering that, and that your actual gross combined weight is under 26,000# anyway I've gotta question the need for a CDL.

    It's very clear that an exceptions are made for recreational use rigs towing a fifth wheel trailer that even exceeds 26,000#. I don't see towing 'your' boat would be any different.

    I can see in commercial use where the 'you could' might fit, you might be hauling variable cargo and weights on any given day. Should that 'you could' be applied to the guy who has a 1ton dually daily driver and never tows just because his truck has a combined gross weight rating of 30,000#.

    I think I would get to a scale and document truck weight, loaded trailer weight, combined weight. Axle it too to see how you're loading up your truck. If you verify weight and carry that 'proof' along with the fact this is recreational I'd just go with it and skip the CDL hassle.

    October 2016

    Wisconsin Commercial Driver’s Manual
    Wisconsin General CDL Information
    Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL) are required to operate vehicles that: Weigh over 26,000 pounds as determined by the highest of the following weights: manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), manufacturer’s Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) when the towed unit has a GVWR, registered weight or actual gross weight over 10,000 pounds
    »
    actual gross weight
    »
    registered weight

    Exempt

    Recreational vehicle operators
    (owned or leased
    motor home, fifth wheel mobile home or touring mobile
    home, provided it isn’t longer than 45 feet) not engaged
    in commercial activity are not required to hold a CDL
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  18. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    79
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    Twin 496. Bravo 3
    2018 3500 Chevy, Loadmaster trailer
    Raymarine Axiom, Quantum 2
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    You hit it right on the head.
    this is why I kept pushing for clear answers. The first State Patrol originally said exactly what you did regarding rv. I looked up the rv definition at the dmv and it's only focus is on camper type vehicles, rigid walls attached to the frame of the trailer. Even if we fit into this catagory, the 45' limit would screw me. He even stated that you could brobably argue that fact if you ever got ticketed. His second call to me confirmed that even he was unclear and needed to go to his supervisor. Regardless, he pointed the the GVWR of both the truck and trailer. I agree that if you are driving responsible, correct equipment, not for higher, you probably are fine. Just my luck, the first weight station I stop at as I will need oversize permits for this load, they could pull my off the road for no cdl. That would be enjoyable, somewhere in Missouri,
    ticketed and pulled off the road, looking for someone to tug my new boat to Wisconsin, all the time listening to the wife telling me "I told you so". Not to mention the unthinkable of an accident, the legal system would have a field day with me.
     
  19. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    WI Statute 348.01(d)

    Definitions

    “Vehicle for recreational use" includes a bicycle, moped, motor bicycle, motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, utility terrain vehicle, snowmobile, boat, as defined in s. 30.50 (2), sailboard, as defined in s. 30.50 (11), personal watercraft, or electric personal assistive mobility device, but does not include an automobile, motor truck, motor home, play vehicle, or in-line skates.

    WI Statute 30.50((2)

    Definitions 

    “Boat" or “vessel" means every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, except a seaplane on the water and a fishing raft.

    Mike are you saying your loaded trailer length is over 45'?
     
  20. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    79
    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    Twin 496. Bravo 3
    2018 3500 Chevy, Loadmaster trailer
    Raymarine Axiom, Quantum 2
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    Length of my trailer is 36'. The gentleman I spoke to at the State Patrol office interpited it as 45' for both. Plus, he referanced statute 340.01 (48r) “Recreational vehicle" means a vehicle that is designed to be towed upon a highway by a motor vehicle, that is equipped and used, or intended to be used, primarily for temporary or recreational human habitation, that has walls of rigid construction, and that does not exceed 45 feet in length.
    Regardless, I think it is worth my while to make another trip to the State patrol office. Thanks for the addition information, I will keep you posted!
     

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