Trailering my new 190 Sport - Should I upgrade tow bar?

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by dburne, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. dburne

    dburne New Member

    590
    Jun 8, 2012
    Nashville TN
    2013 Sea Ray 190 Sport
    4.3 MPI Mercruiser Alpha One
    Hey gang - so the wife and I should be taking delivery of our new 2013 model 190 Sport here in the next couple of weeks. For the last two years, we have been trailering a 1990 180 BR with our Explorer Sport Trac ( 2010 model), 2WD, and it has handled it without really breaking a sweat. The new 190 Sport lists dry weight of 2600 lbs, however with trailer it shows it dry as like 3600 lbs.

    The truck is rated for like 5000 lbs, however with a class II towbar it states 3500 lbs. With a Class III it states 5000 lbs.
    I am thinking maybe I should take the truck in somewhere and have a Class III towbar installed? I am assuming that is something that can be done. Or maybe I should just wait and see how it does with the boat, and not worry with it much as I imagine weights between this old 180 BR and the new 190 Sport are probably fairly close to each other?

    Just curious what others might think?
    Thanks for any tips!
     
  2. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    if it were me i would have a class III hitch installed on the tow vehicle and be done with it.....no need to tempt fate....why risk damage or loss of your new boat when you can spend a few hundred $ and install a hitch you know will be adequate?.....

    cliff
     
  3. jitts3

    jitts3 New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Monroe Twp. NJ & Fon Du Lac, WI
    1973 SRV 240 and 1978 SRV 200
    73" 307 CID Chevy OMC Stringer, electric shift. 78" 350 Mercruiser
    The big thing you must worry about is the tongue weight. With a light truck it is easy to overload the tongue weight and have your headlights looking for airplanes. That may seem funny but that messes up your steering control. The tongue weight can be adjusted by repositioning the boat on the trailer or moving the trailer axle forward or back depending on what you need.
    I don't see the need to jump up to a class III. Not unless you were gonna get something bigger than the boat in the near future. But even there you would find Explorer is a bit small for that.
    I tow for a living. I drive a tractor trailer 48 states. Also with personal vehicles. 2 boats, a 30 ft camper and 24 ft motorhome that tows everything. It's not the power of the engine that matters. Most will brag about their engines. Diesels v Gasoline. Towing a load of any type , the most important thing is the ability to stop and the ability to handle the load at reasonable speeds.
    Will the new trailer have brakes? If not it should.
     
  4. dburne

    dburne New Member

    590
    Jun 8, 2012
    Nashville TN
    2013 Sea Ray 190 Sport
    4.3 MPI Mercruiser Alpha One
    Thanks guys I really appreciate the feedback. Jitts, yes the new trailer has disc surge brakes and I am really looking forward to that, as the old boat/trailer did not. I am thinking I will probably just leave it as is for now, I will be hauling it around for about 70 miles after I pick it up and hopefully will get a good feel for it. Will be a few more weeks before am able to launch it in the water anyway...
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  5. Newman

    Newman New Member

    370
    Jun 20, 2013
    Ohio
    1986 Seville
    Mercruiser 170
    I know that they way things are tested for their ratings that you should be fine with the Class II but I hate maxing anything out. If it were me I would upgrade to the Class III and forget about it. I bought mine at a junk yard (truck wrecked in the front) for $50. I got new bolts and bolted it up. jitts3 is a professional and I'm just an ole farm boy so take it for what you will.

    Oh, and congrats on the new boat!
     
  6. dburne

    dburne New Member

    590
    Jun 8, 2012
    Nashville TN
    2013 Sea Ray 190 Sport
    4.3 MPI Mercruiser Alpha One
    Lol, me too Newman.

    I might check into the cost, would I need to take it to the Ford dealer, or somewhere like say U-Haul?
    Thanks for the congrats, we are so excited!
     
  7. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    jitts3, i respect that you are a professional at towing since you do it for a living and in your personal life, but i must say i am surprised at your suggestion that the OP not upgrade to a Class III hitch knowing he will likely be exceeding the maximum load of 3,500 lbs the Class II hitch is rated to handle.....with a dry weight of 3,600 lbs and an additional 500 lbs or more for fuel and gear his rig will be around 4,000 lbs......when i read posts like this on the forum i pay particular attention to replies from listers that have real world experience in the subject matter, especially if their experience level can qualify them as a 'professional' such as yourself....

    i am not saying you gave the wrong advise since you are much more qualified on this subject than i, just surprised that a professional tower would recommend maxing out and possibly exceeding the rated tow capacity of towing equipment.....

    nothing hostile intended here, just want to be sure the readers of this post have enough info to make the proper decision for their particular circumstance.....i am a little paranoid when it comes to saftey matters like this so maybe i am not being realistic.....

    cliff
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  8. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Aside from trailering boats for a living, I'm also a life-long trailer boater. Like Cliff mentioned, your "real" or "wet" towing weight is going to be somehwere in the 4,000 - 4,300 lb range. Truth is, it'd probably would be fine for 95% of the time. But we don't (shouldn't) prepare for the 95% - we need to be ready for the 5%. It just not worth it to risk lives and property for a hundred bucks or so (if you do it yourself). I've put many hitches on vehicles and it's usually only an hour or two job. Sometimes 30 minutes. Local garages, U-Haul, Ford Dealer - take your pick, they can all do it.
     
  9. jitts3

    jitts3 New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Monroe Twp. NJ & Fon Du Lac, WI
    1973 SRV 240 and 1978 SRV 200
    73" 307 CID Chevy OMC Stringer, electric shift. 78" 350 Mercruiser
    That's cool. I can understand the criticism. I'll explain my logic. The way a hitch receiver (the part in the tow vehicle) is made on a class III is also designed for a weight distribution hitch. (The part that slides into the reciever). That's where the big weight handling comes from. But since he is using a surge brake he CANNOT use weight distribution devices. Also since he IS using a trailer brake the boat stops itself. So there is little stress on the hitch there. There is far more stress stopping than excellerating. So with those two functions out of the way the one thing that nobody except me added to this is tongue weight. That is the biggest stress for his settup. That adds a twisting action to the reciever just like if it were a weight distribution settup. To overload the tongue weigh could twist the reciever straight off the truck when and if he goes over a vicious bump in his travels. That's why I said to verify that.
    I should have been more clear. That's ok. You have to remember a few things. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. I hope the OP doesn't take offense to this but it is only a Ford Explorer. Unibody construction = properly bent sheet metal. There is no real frame. So you are gonna hook a 5,000 lb hitch to that and expect to pull it with a vehicle ridiculously undersized.
    My point here is the truck, not the hitch is the weakest link. In my opinion. He is fine with a class II, providedhe has functioning trailer brakes AND DOES NOT EXCEDE THE TONGUE WEIGHT. I hope to clarify that the hitch will never see the full 3,600 lbs with that settup.
    The rule is in most states. If the trailer weighs more than 1/3 of the tow vehicles weight, it is required to have brakes. It's a good rule if you ask me.
    I hope that clears it up.
     
  10. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    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
    You should replace the hitch with one rated for what you plan to tow. Your truck has the proper weight rating but the hitch does not, are you willing to risk your family and new boat over a couple hundred bucks? What about liability? If the hitch breaks and the boat gets loose into oncoming traffic do you want to live with the consequences? The hitch has 4 main elements, engineering. material, weld strength, and fastener strength, the manufacturer has taken all that into account and decided they were comfortable with liability at 3500 pounds.

    Hitches and associated parts need to be watched closely. One of my pet peeves is big box stores selling 2 5/16th hitch balls rated for 4000 pounds. In the real world what trailer would a manufacturer put a 2 5/16th coupler on a trailer that would only have a 4000 pound weight rating? Maybe they make it for towing empty trailers. LOL FYI my steel 2 5/16th hitch ball rated for 22,000 pounds was $90 and they are not sold at big box stores. The [point is look carefully at all your hitch parts.

    If your 3500 pound hitch was in this accident would it hold?

    [​IMG]

    MM
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  11. jitts3

    jitts3 New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Monroe Twp. NJ & Fon Du Lac, WI
    1973 SRV 240 and 1978 SRV 200
    73" 307 CID Chevy OMC Stringer, electric shift. 78" 350 Mercruiser
    This is the hitch settup I run pulling my 30' camper on my trucks. I SWEAR BY THEM. However not available for surge brakes or boat trailers without an A frame.

    http://www.equalizerhitch.com/
     
  12. jitts3

    jitts3 New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Monroe Twp. NJ & Fon Du Lac, WI
    1973 SRV 240 and 1978 SRV 200
    73" 307 CID Chevy OMC Stringer, electric shift. 78" 350 Mercruiser
    Cool picture. Proves my point. 1/2 ton truck pulling a heavy boat with NO WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION = POOR STEERING CONTROL. Also bad braking. If most of a vehicles stopping power is in the front. How can tbat stop when most of the weight is in the back and weight is REMOVED from the front?
    Very good point on big box stores. They will sell anything.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000VSSZZ8

    you know somebody will tow something with that.
     
  13. jitts3

    jitts3 New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Monroe Twp. NJ & Fon Du Lac, WI
    1973 SRV 240 and 1978 SRV 200
    73" 307 CID Chevy OMC Stringer, electric shift. 78" 350 Mercruiser
    I took this out of my drivers side window in 2010 in Florida while towing my 30' camper with my 75 Ford F250. He had no weight distribution.

    [​IMG]

    But I saw the same Toyota Tundra pull the space shuttle....


    http://youtu.be/9huNSUY6s_4

    Note in the prep you see them airing the tires DOWN. This adds traction (think wrinkle wall slicks) but why not. There only going at 3 mph... but wait, there's more...


    http://youtu.be/3weSO1I5hrE

    Note the tongue weight. About 200 lbs of the drawbar. The trailer holds itself up.

    Point is there is a difference between pulling and towing.
     
  14. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Jitts - I totally agree with your points about "weakest link". However, a class II receiver is also only a 1-1/4" bar/tube, where a class III is a 2".
     
  15. jitts3

    jitts3 New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Monroe Twp. NJ & Fon Du Lac, WI
    1973 SRV 240 and 1978 SRV 200
    73" 307 CID Chevy OMC Stringer, electric shift. 78" 350 Mercruiser
    Correct. They have weight ratings stamped on them too. He should check those also.
    Bare this in mind too. He already subjected the hitch to more stress than he will with the new boat. The old one he ran with no trailer brakes. The hitch saw all the stress then, yet they were within design limits.

    There are so many things to think of here. I just bring up a few. Look at some of these draw bars they make. To tow my car trailer in its current for with my motorhome, I need a 9" rise. Think of the leverage the trailer has on the reciever compared to a straight draw bar. But you should see the reciever I built for the motorhome. It's massive. And the frame extentions I built replacing the weak original ones are stronger than the factory Ford frame.

    With that being said I am a fan of over building things. The OP wanted opinions. I gave them. People questioned them. And that's a good thing because I answered them with facts to back them up. Hopefully gave people points to concider. Piece of mind however is a tough one to get. Believe me I think about the 4 grade 8 bolts holding my trailer hitch to my Chevy's frame as I hit some of these bumps. And I'm the one who put them in....
     
  16. dburne

    dburne New Member

    590
    Jun 8, 2012
    Nashville TN
    2013 Sea Ray 190 Sport
    4.3 MPI Mercruiser Alpha One
    Well I will give an update on where I am on this:

    First, I went to U-Haul, they examined and told me they could not do the job , and I would probably have to have a Ford dealer do it. So I then proceeded to my local Ford Dealer, and had them look it up. They can do it , however it is 1,000 for the parts, and 300 for labor - gulp.

    I guess I can look around here for hitch folks and see if there is a garage maybe that can do it cheaper, I don't mind upgrading to a class III but 1300 bucks yikes.

    I have talked to some that say for peace of mind I should just do it, and others have said I will probably have no trouble at all with my current setup... decisions, decisions... lol.
     
  17. dburne

    dburne New Member

    590
    Jun 8, 2012
    Nashville TN
    2013 Sea Ray 190 Sport
    4.3 MPI Mercruiser Alpha One
    Well I have called two other truck hitch shops in the area, they are telling me the same thing , apparently only available from Ford...
    Think I am going to see how she handles it with what I have after I pick it up, drive it around some and get a feel for it. If I get nervous, I may bite the bullet and spend the bucks.
     
  18. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Well, it's going to "feel" fine. It's not like you're going to notice anything from where you sit. I'm not oblivious to the fact that there is a margin of error built into these things, but there's a reason the engineers (who did the designing and stress testing) rated it the way they did. It's the "safe" limit. Anything above that, and you're increasing your risk more and more as you go higher and higher. What would happen if you got in an accident and something broke free? I'm not an insurance expert but I can imagine that the other person's lawyer would have a field day with you. Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is often clouded by emotions and money.

    here: http://www.curtmfg.com/HitchLookup/...yle=4-Door,+Fits+beneath+OE+1.25+In.+receiver
     
  19. dburne

    dburne New Member

    590
    Jun 8, 2012
    Nashville TN
    2013 Sea Ray 190 Sport
    4.3 MPI Mercruiser Alpha One
    I appreciate the info!
    The hitch guy I spoke with handles the Curt hitches, he looked it up and said they did not offer one for the 2010 Explorer Sport Trac. He said they only offered one for up to a 2006 model Sport Trac.
    I had another shop tell me the same...

    I suppose I could spend the money and let Ford do it...
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  20. dburne

    dburne New Member

    590
    Jun 8, 2012
    Nashville TN
    2013 Sea Ray 190 Sport
    4.3 MPI Mercruiser Alpha One
    Ok so before I bought the boat, I was checking all the weight out. Spec Sheet shows a dry weight of 2600 lbs. I then found a weight listed, loaded on the trailer, of 3600 lbs...

    So in my excitement I downloaded the 190 Sport manual , figured I would read up on the boat, and in the actual manual it lists a dry weight of 5,593 lbs!
    What the heck is going on here, reckon that has to be a typo??
     

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