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TOPIC: Boat height on road

Boat height on road 30 May 2014 04:36 #1

  • Bdivine
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We are not "newbies", we are "preemies"!

I am between accepted offer and survey on a 246 Discovery. Boat is currently on a lift, but I will keep it on a trailer. My question is: how high is the top of the boat from the pavement to the top of the hardtop. I realize this depends on the trailer as well as the boat. It will be on a new Continental #A2458B trailer. My guess is about twelve feet, but I have some clearance issues with large overhanging oak limbs on my street, so I need an accurate figure. Can anyone help?

Also, I will have to upgrade upgrade my tow vehicle, as my 4-Runner has 5,000# weight limit, and the boat/trailer combo will be about 7,500# dry. We have researched possibilities, considering cost (No on Infiniti, Lexus, etc.), weight limit specs and advice of a trusted auto mechanic, and have narrowed it down to two: Tahoe/Yukon and Expedition. We do not want something as big as the Suburban, nor do we want a pickup tuck. Mechanic vetoed the Durango for maintenance/service issues, and the Armada for cost of repairs.

And one more issue: the trailer dealer says with with the Tahoe/Yukon we should not need a weight distribution hitch, sway control and in-vehcle brake controller (I used these towing an RV. many years ago, behind an Olds Toronado).

We would appreciate your thoughts!

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 04:44 #2

  • kjs
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Welcome on board!

Are you sure with your weight numbers? I would have guessed that a 246 with fuel and gear on board gets closer to 9000#. I'm sure one of the 246 owners will chime in soon.

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Jürgen
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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 07:24 #3

  • 706jim
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Boat 6800# dry. Trailer 1800#

Add some gas and some junk and you're easily at 9000# +.

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2007 Discovery 246
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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 08:22 #4

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Welcome aboard !

I'm pulling my new to me 2452 with my suburban, you will need trailer brakes ... Without trailer brakes don't leave the yard.

A proper equipped Tahoe with the 5.3l engine and correct hitch you will be fine.

I don't like fords but there are people out there such as my dad talk up fords.

The Durango v8 has the power but never will a Chrysler or dodge product live at my home ever again.

After loaded on the trailer is the time to make the measurement pavement to very top of whatever is the highest point.

I had to take down our basketball pole and net, my new to me boat would not make it.

I wish you well in all your endeavors.

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Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

'86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !
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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 08:31 #5

  • gjackson
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I never went down the trailering route. I thought about it seriously, looked at many boats, and already have 2 Tahoes (older and newer).

The best advice I saw on this topic was, if you are approaching 10,000 pounds, rent a U-Haul truck. $19.99 to $29.99 per day. They absorb the considerable wear and tear and most importantly, they cover the insurance. This is cheap compared to the cost of owning, insuring and maintaining a tow vehicle.

As I said, I didn't go down this path but the advice seemed to make a lot of sense and may be worth thinking about.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 12:52 #6

  • richardson
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Can't help you on the height question. On the trailering - most boat trailers use surge brakes as electrics and water don't mix well. So no controllers. Also most weight distribution systems will not work with surge brake systems as they inhibit the necessary movement of the master cylinder.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 14:09 #7

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richardson wrote: Can't help you on the height question. On the trailering - most boat trailers use surge brakes as electrics and water don't mix well. So no controllers. Also most weight distribution systems will not work with surge brake systems as they inhibit the necessary movement of the master cylinder.

Ditto on this.
Also if you keep the proper tongue weight it will track well.
I pull my boat with a Yukon with the towing ratio's and it does a great job.

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My mistake, your fault
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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 14:51 #8

  • Scary
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Your going to have to measure the overall height if you need exact measurements, also trees grow . An equalizing hitch is a good option and can be done with surge brakes. There are surge brake equalizing hitch's on the market. My opinion is that a Tahoe, Expedition are a little light for towing a surge brake 9000lb load. Flat ground rural roads maybe ok. Pulling this much weight is the easy part, stopping and controlling 9000lb in a emergency is the issue. I think you would be better off with a 3/4 ton Suburban or Excursion. I pulled a 28' Cierra Sunbridge for 10 years which was to be around 9000lb but in reality came in at 13,800lb wet and ready to cruise. Remember your tongue weight will be around 900lb !0%. there is nothing so scary as being pushed through a red light at an intersection , or having the trailer start to sway from lane to lane as you try to stop on a steep downhill. Also wet ramps can get dicy. I've been pulled down more than one.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 15:42 #9

  • check737
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What did you have for breaking 2wheels or all wheels.
On my tandem trailer I have 4 wheel disc brakes( 225X15 tires) and they have more breaking power than the truck.

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My mistake, your fault
The only high maintenance accessory on a boat should come in a bikini
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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 16:31 #10

  • Alaskanmutt
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As for the Expedition here at work we are not allowed to tow the steel trailers with more than one atv on them, apparently they burn the transmissions out of them.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 16:40 #11

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Drum brakes, at that time disk brakes weren't available for 8 lug hubs. No doubt disks would have been better. The tongue weight is still a issue for control with a short wheelbase. I would check vehicle specs for tongue weight capacity. I know there have been improvements is tow ratings since the late 90's. I tried towing my 28 with my sons 5.7 Tahoe from Marysville to Lake Orville, maybe 30 miles with significant climb into the lake. I ended up buying him a new transmission , scaring him have to death on the downhill into Orville and getting drug 100' down the ramp. My 3/4 diesel vapor locked in Marysville and we couldn't restart it, so we hooked the Tahoe up to 13,800 lb in 105 deg heat. Not a smart thing to do. Did fine on the flat.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 17:02 #12

  • SwampNut
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You are definitely going to be around 9k pounds. I found my 2455 to be a real beast to tow with a half ton truck the one time I did it. I owned a 3/4 ton diesel, but it was in the shop and I borrowed a half ton gasser, that sucked.

If you're going to be running at the limits of a tow vehicle, I very strongly recommend upgrading to electric brakes. There are waterproof electrics, or you can do an electric over hydraulic which has an electric pump on the tongue pressurizing the existing hydraulic brakes. Either type makes braking so much more controllable, and you can always use the manual brake switch to stop a sway.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 17:33 #13

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Height is going to be around 12'6"...
harborviewmarine.com/D246.html
Your boat alone is going be close to 7500lbs possibly more, 9000lbs total weight, maybe even more.
9000lbs max towing capacity for a brand new Expedition with HD tow package...truck will struggle, won't last too long!
Why not look for a 3/4T diesel crew cab B)

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 18:12 #14

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I have to chime in here because I hate to see people make big mistakes when it comes to towing. Towing a trailer can be very safe if done correctly and set up correctly it can also be deadly if not done so. I personally tow Horses, my bayliner 2655 and a 35' travel trailer currently. I have towed stuff regularly for over 20 yrs and this is my findings and beliefs take them for what they are worth. I towed both the horses and the travel trailer with a Yukon xl. It had the 5.3 and 3.73s in the rear end and I can tell you I would not pull the boat and trailer with that truck without some sort of sway control.( this would require and electric over Hydraulic breaking system) The Tahoe and Yukon both have very soft suspension to make them ride nicer. Mine did have the air system to help with a heavier load and I went with heavier ply tires to also help stabilize them.. I did pull the ultralite trailer from Buffalo to Gettysburg last summer and the truck didn't make it back pulling the load. The transmission failed part way home on a hot day. It was just overheating and could not pull it through the hills. With the long wheelbase and the sway control the trailer traveled nice enough to tolerate but the power was just not there. That trailer weighs about 8000# loaded as a reference point for you. It was much lighter than that on the trip as the tanks were all dry.
In an unrelated event 2 yrs ago I was pulling a feather lite stock trailer loaded with 40 80lb bags of sakrete home the load was not quite far enough over the tire of the trailer creating a tongue light condition. I knew it and was traveling at 50 in a 65mph zone when I hit a bump. It took all of my years and experience pulling to know how to and actually take the actions needed to get that trailer back under control. If you do the math the load was not that heavy but it was no set up right. I can guarantee you that the only reason I was able to savi it was I had electric brakes and the know how to stop the sway. If it were surge brakes it would likely not have ended well.
I can elaborate further but I will give my opinion of what I would do or not do and if you want me to elaborate I certainly will. I would only consider towing that boat and trailer set up with your vehicle choices if it were over a very short distance and at low speeds 30-40mph and on flat ground and only after I have set it up precisely with measured tongue weights and true boat trailer weight. Even then by what I am seeing of the specs that set up might do fine but would likely still be illegal if you were ever stopped by a trooper with scales. I know people do it all the time and that is certainly their choice but I cringe at the site of suv's pulling loads they were never designed to pull. Also be very careful about salesmen telling you oh that will be fine. It is way to often I have seen friends not listen to my advice only to turn around a year or 2 later looking for another vehicle. It is great when everything goes just fine but when it goes a little wrong you will quickly wish you had made a different decision.
I hope I was of some help and as I said I will certainly give as much information as you may need to make a safe and lasting decision.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 18:33 #15

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this would require and electric over Hydraulic breaking system


There are many sway control and weight distribution systems that work with surge brakes.

But I agree with everything else, towing with a too-small vehicle is just not fun, aside from all the danger. I forgot to mention before that Enterprise rents Dodge Ram 2500 diesels. They say "no towing," but they all do have a receiver.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 20:22 #16

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Carlos, I had rented one of these and asked the girl at the counter. She said towing a trailer would not be OK but pulling one wasn't excluded..... In short, they know that you rent these things to tow heavy stuff. Why else would one rent a big truck.

One of the biggest issues I see with towing such a heavy load with most of the modern SUVs (not all) is that they are designed to feel like cars and suspension is far to soft. With the "prescribed" tongue weight in North America (the specs trailers are designed to) that makes them dangerous weapons. Sure, they make it up every hill but have trouble with braking especially with no or poor trailer brakes and no sway control.

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Jürgen
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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 20:30 #17

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You are correct Swampnut I phrased it wrong and I am aware there are weight distribution systems that work with surge breaks. I really meant to say that it would be the preferred way of going should they ultimately decide to take such a risk. So I stand corrected.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 21:24 #18

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Carlos, I had rented one of these and asked the girl at the counter. She said towing a trailer would not be OK but pulling one wasn't excluded..... In short, they know that you rent these things to tow heavy stuff. Why else would one rent a big truck.

My rental contract always said no towing. I ignored that, obviously, but it could cause legal issues. I have full coverage for rentals through Amex and they said it doesn't matter, it's covered, as long as I wasn't in the commission of a crime like a DUI. U-Haul only allows towing their own trailers, that's in the contract too. In some areas they put a lock in the receiver if you rent a truck without a trailer. Home Depot rents HD trucks and the person at the counter said he didn't know anything about towing with them.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 21:43 #19

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There's no restriction at HD but they are more expensive for longer rentals. They actually want the trucks back as fast as possible as they rent them so you can bring more of their stuff home. Our local one only has one truck to rent.

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Jürgen
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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 22:45 #20

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Thanks to all of you who replied to my inquiry. Your responses were very helpful. Based on your wise counsel, and our unwillingness to buy a 3/4 ton tow vehicle, we have decided to pass on this boat in the interest of economy and safety.

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Boat height on road 30 May 2014 22:55 #21

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Sorry that we have blown your bubble but most of us have been there before. Boats on trailers have a pretty high center of gravity compared to RV's and even worse regular trailers which makes it even more tricky if the tow vehicle isn't up to snuff.
I wanted to have an economic vehicle which I got and that limited my towing capacity to a 17.5ft boat (<<3500lbs). Just didn't want to drive around with a gas guzzler for 15kmi/a just to use it 20 days a year (at best, 500mi?). We are really happy with the small boat as it gets us onto the water and is a lot cheaper to maintain.

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Jürgen
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Boat height on road 12 Jun 2014 02:14 #22

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Bought a 246 last year in Ontario and had it shipped to Newfoundland.

Trailer was a wright trailer - 10400 T
www.wrightboattrailers.com/Wrightboattrailers/specs

Had it weighed on a scale in Quebec and it came in on the trailer at 7800 lbs. Half water and fuel onboard. Admiral managed to have about 100lbs of shopping (furniture) onboard as well.

It sits on the trailer at 12'6". That clears the light when lowered and air horn that sits on top of the hardtop. Modified the boat shed with a 13 foot high door and lots of room.

I Tow with a 2007 5.3 crewcab silverado and no have no problems. She sits high at 12'6" so you will notice in high cross winds and careful for those low hanging wires and trees.

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