Vehicle for Towing a 1992 290 Sun Dancer

Discussion in 'Trailering' started by Boater8, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. Boater8

    Boater8 New Member

    12
    Feb 15, 2018
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    290 Sundancer - 1992 - Lake Powell Slip - Tow Vehicle 2004 Ford Excursion with 6.0
    Twin 4.3LX Mercruisers
    Good Evening All,

    We are brand new members of Club Searay and it is an amazing forum, I have been a boat owner for 30+ plus years, and just keep on learning.

    Would like to get some advise on a potential vehicle purchase.

    We just purchased a 1992 / 290 Sundancer, Twin 4.3's, 3.0kw generator, etc. on a Metal Craft 2-axle trailer with electric brakes.

    We live in Salt Lake City, Utah and the boat will be kept at Lake Powell in a slip. Just signed the paperwork for Bull Frog marina.

    My initial thoughts are to not worry about buying a tow vehicle and rent a 3/4 ton pickup (Ram 2500) from Enterprise Trucks for the one time ride down, and then again for the fall trip back up for storage.

    My wife on the other hand would like to have an suv for the family, and is thinking about a 08 - 12 Ford Expedition or possibly a Suburban.

    While there are a lot mountains here, the trip from Salt Lake to Lake Powell via the back roads and small towns is a pretty mild tow and fairly flat.

    The question is, would the 08' - 12' Expedition, with most rated at a 9000 - 9200 lbs towing capacity be in range for this boat.

    Dealer purchase spec sheet shows the boat at a net weight of 5,800 lbs.

    Thank you for your time.

    Sincerley,

    Boater8 Pat and Carol :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  2. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    My dock neighbor pulled his 290 with a Ram 2500. That boat was a beast to tow from what I heard/saw. If it were my money to spend I'd rent the 2500 vs using an SUV.

    I'd estimate that the pucker factor will be 62.8% lower with the truck, minimum.
     
  3. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Whether SUV or truck, you want a 3/4 ton. Especially if it's an older model. You're going to be right around 10,000lbs, loaded up. My '99 260DA was right there around 10,000lbs. It's dry weight was 400lbs heavier than yours... but you're looking at the dry weight for your boat with a single 454. The twin V6's are more than going to make up for that 400lbs difference between them and the single 7.4. The stability, bigger brakes, rear diff, etc... are very much worth it as compared to the smaller 1/2 ton models. It's not about the power to get going - it's about being able to stop well and do an "emergency" swerve under control.

    Do you have any other optional equipment/items to add in?
     
  4. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    I trailered a 1992 290 for 5 years. It is 11,500 lbs load including the triple axle trailer. Do not skimp on tow vehicle it is a big tow. Glad to see electric brakes, make sure they are working. I towed with a Chevy duramax diesel.
    One more thing, at 9' beam you are over the 8'6" limit for towing without a permit. I towed without one locally, but their are legal / Insurance implications.
    IMG_0089.jpg
     
  5. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    I think you will want a 3/4 ton vehicle. The grade also causes stress if your pull vehicle becomes a pushed vehicle. If you already had a vehicle then I could see spending money on items to increase the capacity and make it work but since you are shopping my advice is to go with 3/4 ton.

    As far as the enterprise renting... I think they specifically exclude towing so read carefully. If you need a heavy duty tow vehicle uhaul can work but most of those are 2wd so you can have an issue on a slick ramp.
     
  6. CNYBoater

    CNYBoater Member

    135
    Aug 14, 2017
    1994 200 Overnighter, Single Axle Easy Load'r Galvanized Trailer, 2009 Chevy Trailblazer
    Single 1994 Mercury Black Max V135 O/B
    I looked at my owners manual for weight limits when I was looking at my last boat purchase. When I was looking at the towing capacity of my SUV with a class II hitch I was a bit deceived. The towing capacity in the manual was significantly higher than the factory installed hitch's placard. In addition to that, the factory hitch is only class II when a weight distribution rig is used. Towing capacity is the limited to the weakest link in the system so my trip home (70 miles) with the new to me boat with my SUV was a bit of a nerve fraying experience. I'm more comfortable with it now, and improved the rear suspension components, but wish I had surge brakes on the trailer.
     
  7. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    I'm not going to get into the argument about which truck is best. Being the resident CSR Cheapskate, I'd suggest you go with your idea of renting a truck from Enterprise, or Budget or Hertz.

    Why drop big dollars for a heavy duty 3/4 ton SUV that you likely will only use a couple of times a year for towing. Buy mama a nice 1/2 ton SUV that she can tool around in and rent your tow vehicle. The light duty SUV will get better fuel economy, be cheaper to buy and insure, and easier to drive.

    I used to have a 330 Sundancer that I towed across the Cascade Mountains a couple of times and rented a truck from Budget: 3/4 Ton F350 Powerstroke. Ran about $150 per day and worked like a champ.
     
    sdarc likes this.
  8. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    Enterprise Truck specifically rents tow vehicles. Late models with low miles. Nice vehicles.

    When I looked into it, U-Haul only allowed the towing of their own trailers.
     
  9. 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
    I agree with Gofirstclass.......the heavy duty tow vehicle will be large and have a very stiff suspension and likely a large turning radius....these things will cause driving that vehicle on a daily basis less than ideal...the stiff suspension will cause a more harsh ride and the size of the vehicle and large turning radius will make it difficult to maneuver in tight spots and hard to get in and out of typical parking spaces if other vehicles are parked close by.....plus the fuel economy will suck.....

    I would rent a suitable tow vehicle the few times a year it is needed.....

    I used to own a Silverado 2500 crew cab 4x4 truck....loved the truck but it was not a pratical daily driver in a city environment....

    cliff
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  10. Larry Sturm

    Larry Sturm Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    106
    Mar 26, 2017
    Chiefland, Florida
    2003 SeaRay 420 Sundancer
    2003 SeaRay 320 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA8.3-M3
    Mercruiser 350MPI
    I have a Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel 4 wheel drive. Works great for towing and launching my 290. Personally that’s the only type of vehicle I would pull a boat with..
     
    SloBurn likes this.
  11. Boater8

    Boater8 New Member

    12
    Feb 15, 2018
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    290 Sundancer - 1992 - Lake Powell Slip - Tow Vehicle 2004 Ford Excursion with 6.0
    Twin 4.3LX Mercruisers
    Folks,

    I cannot thank you enough for all the input.

    Here are the answers to your questions:

    Espos4 - The ramp at Lake Powell is in good shape, a HUGE ramp, but no issues with algae or slime.


    "Stee6043" - I agree based on all the replies in the group - the rental 2500 is the way to go!!!


    "Lazy Daze" - The 290 is pretty fully equipped (Twin 6's / TV's / Build in A/C / Generator / Full Canvas / 3 batteries / Etc.) It all add's up for sure.

    "Quint4" - The 290 is a large boat - That was my reason to ask for advice. While the trip from Salt Lake City to Lake Powell can be done via the backroads - we are still starting at 4600 Ft above Sea Level, and there are some hefty climbs to head south.

    Also, thanks for the heads up on the 9' beam - Don't need to have an issue on the road :)

    "NotHerDecision" - I will need to check with Enterprise, but by the way the site reads, trailer towing is ok - but need to be sure. Current pricing here in Utah is 59.00 per day.

    "CNYBoater" - The trailer does have electric brakes, and the previous owner just put all new tires on it as well. As several have stated - getting it stopped is the most importanat thing.

    "Gofirstclass" - Agreee 100% on the cost of buying another large truck for a couple of trips. She really wants an Expedition, we have owned a couple over the years and have had good success.

    I am thinking that we would use the Expedition to commute back and forth can load it up with grandkids and all the stuff, AND, if I needed to yank the 290 out of the water, I am sure the Expedition would be fine to tow it up the ramp to the work area if need be.

    *** Also enjoy all your posts :) :)

    "RollerCoastr" - Thanks for the info on Enterprise. I am convinced that is the way to go.

    "CliffA" - Agreed - Thank you for the info!!!

    "LarrySturm" - Larry Thanks for hte info!!!!


    Thank you all so much for taking the time, and the rental is the way to go. Again, we are planning on an Expedition, it should work fine for a quick in and out.

    Truly a great group - Thank you so much!!!!

    Pat and Carol

    The Ramp at Lake Powell:

    bull frog ramp.JPG
     
    bobeast and RollerCoastr like this.
  12. SloBurn

    SloBurn Member

    777
    May 30, 2013
    Greenwood Lake, NY
    1994 270 Sundancer. 7.4L Merc. Tow with a 2006 Dodge RAM Hemi
    340 HP Merc 454 c.i.
    "I have a Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel 4 wheel drive. Works great for towing and launching my 290. Personally that’s the only type of vehicle I would pull a boat with.."

    I just bought the same truck to pull my 270 Dancer, pick it up tomorrow!
     
  13. 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
    Could I just ask what Sea Ray boats have you towed and or weighed on a scale?

    MM
     
  14. 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
    Boater8,

    You have gotten some great advice here from members who have successfully navigated what you wish to do. The dry weight in Sea Ray specs is without any options, the smallest engine, and "dry", including no batteries etc.

    My 270 on a Tri-axle trailer in over 11K.

    Good luck, MM
     
  15. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    I don't think it was a general question requiring a new thread.
     
  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
    Mitch is right. The advice you gave concerning the weight is way off the base so many of us with real experience with the age vessel the OP asked about know it to be, as evidenced by several posts here. That was why I asked.

    MM
     
  17. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    In the meantime, a thread about true weight could very useful for both wet-slip and trailer boaters. Factory dry-weight is such a poor starting point for estimates. My 280 was weighed on a hoist almost 30% heavier than the factory "dry" figure.
     
  18. 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
    the 'dry weight' as stated earlier assumes the smallest engines available and does not include a generator if equipped.....

    - gasoline weighs 6.3 lbs. per gallon so multiply that times the total capacity of the fuel tanks
    - water weighs 8.3 lbs. per gallon so multiply that times the total capacity of the fresh water tank and water heater
    - then you have the holding tank for the head system....not sure an exact weight per gallon when it is full of 'stuff' but as a start you could use the weight of water times the total capacity of the holding tank...
    - then you have other fluids such as engine oil and transmission fluid......I would think an average of around 10 - 20 lbs. would be about right for gas engines with V drive or straight drive transmissions
    - you have to consider all the 'stuff' that is permanently left on board (bedding, electronics, food, drink, clothing, decorations, etc.) as well as the 'stuff' you bring aboard for whatever time you stay on the boat
    - there is also the weight of the canvas installed

    as you can see the weight of a cruiser can be significantly higher than the published 'dry weight' which is important to consider when choosing a trailer and tow vehicle.....

    cliff
     
  19. Espos4

    Espos4 Active Member

    559
    Jan 1, 2017
    Long Island NY
    2007 240 Sundeck
    350 MAG Bravo 3 W/DTS
    Thanks for the thorough clarification Cliff. As usual you are a voice of reason. (No sarcasm, just a true statement)

    I'll do my part to keep the info as accurate as possible here and delete my original post.
     
  20. 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
    awwww.....now you're gonna make me blush......;)....

    cliff
     

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