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Old 10-22-2018, 06:33 AM   #1
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Boat Towing - Ranger 31

I am considering purchasing a Ranger 31CB. Never towed a big boat like this...

I currently have a Ram 1500 ecodiesel, but plan on bumping up to a Ram 2500 with the Cummins.

Has anyone had experience towing East coast, Maine to Keys. I live in Baltimore, but certainly plan to tow this bad boy a few places.



Thanks,
Bob
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:05 AM   #2
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You might think about a 3500, maybe with dual wheels. That boat weighs 11,500 lbs dry, at least 13,000 with gear and fuel. Plus a triple axle trailer will get it to almost 15,000 lbs. A few models of 2500s can tow that but without much margin.


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Old 10-22-2018, 07:22 AM   #3
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Just check beam, height, and weight. We have a Grady 28, and the beam requires a special permit to tow. It's an annual permit as I recall, not a per-trip permit like for a truly oversize load. And I think a wide-load banner is required. I only did a cursory look at it and decided not to trailer it, so I'm going on recollection alone here.


Weight will probably only be a consideration for your trailer and tow rig, but I'll bet you are getting close to the limit. My truck's GVW tow capacity is 14,000, and once you factor in the weight of a trailer, it's a practical payload limit of around 10,000 lbs. And it makes for a very heavy tow. Your boat is probably right near that limit, so worth a careful check to be sure it all fits.


And last is height. My boat's air draft is 10' with antennas down. For trailering, add the water draft, plus the carrying height of the trailer, and you are probably getting close to 14'. It's not uncommon to encounter 14' bridge clearances, and of course lower in some cases.


It all might work out fine, but I'd suggest checking very carefully. You might also start to trigger per-state wide load rules.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:26 AM   #4
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If trying for mountains, any weather or highway speeds, you really don't want to be pushing up to max rated weight.

Yes a brilliant trailer helps, but if SHTF you want as big / long / heavy a TV as possible for maximum control.

It's the control & stopping, not whether you can pull it.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:16 AM   #5
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In addition to other's comments

Have you visited the TugNuts website to see if your question is asked and answered? Many RTs are towed out west with little difficulty. The best towing rig, trailer type, brake setup, lights and all sorts of minutiae should be found there. A Ram 3500 will tow 31,000 lbs.

I've towed an 11,000 lb boat/trailer combination with a 2500 series. No problem, but an RT 31 is pretty big. The 29 is easily towed and with same beam as RT 31.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:54 AM   #6
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I own currently a 2500 with the cummins. My advise, specially with boat and trailer total would be to upgrade to a 3500. It's not that the 2500 wouldn't be able to handle it - as it's rated to tow 17k. It's that I would want to have the dully - more rubber on the road and less likely you'll be being pushed by the trailer. I towed about 10-11k with the 2500 and felt over all it was about as much as I'd like to with that truck being single rear. Some of it boils down to personal preference and past experience.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:08 PM   #7
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I own currently a 2500 with the cummins. My advise, specially with boat and trailer total would be to upgrade to a 3500. It's not that the 2500 wouldn't be able to handle it - as it's rated to tow 17k. It's that I would want to have the dully - more rubber on the road and less likely you'll be being pushed by the trailer. I towed about 10-11k with the 2500 and felt over all it was about as much as I'd like to with that truck being single rear. Some of it boils down to personal preference and past experience.


Is the 17k rating with a ball or pintle hitch, or is that with a 5th wheel setup?
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:29 PM   #8
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Hitch

Straight from the hitch.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:39 PM   #9
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Straight from the hitch.


Thats impressive..
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the great information.

I have been frequenting Tugnuts, and it is a great site.

I am weighing all the options. I will probably take the boat down to the keys by trailer 1x per year, and the same north, to maine or LI sound. I'll also pull and launch it myself each year. So it is not that much towing. I like the idea of staying within the Ram 2500 catagory, but not if it is a safety risk. Fortunately I haven't purchased the boat yet, so I've got a little time.

Bob
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:38 PM   #11
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Well going much slower than normal will make all the difference safety wise.

Do-able if really that rare, but only if you have the self-discipline.

My comments above were based on the American insistence on maintaining normal highway speeds, no matter what.

In Europe the fact they can't is (partly) what allows for the much more generous ratings.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:24 PM   #12
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I used to move boats cross country for a living. Yes a 2500 may handle the job, but a 3500 dual rear wheel will do the job much better. Having the DRW will give you much more stability than SRWs. The 2500 may do fine but you will be much closer to the edge of safety. I used to tow with a 2500 and argued it was fine because I wanted it to be fine. Once I moved to a 1 ton DRW I realized how much better it was.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:55 PM   #13
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Will the trucks only function be to tow the Ranger, or will this be an everyday driver for you even when not towing the boat ?

I'd be inclined to go with the 2500 as it will be cheaper to purchase and feed.

With a little common sense you can mitigate the risks involved in getting close to the tow limit. Remember, tow ratings are for everyone. If its rated at 17k lbs, that means you could tow that amount up the rockies to denver. Driving the east coast is relatively flat. It sounds like you'll be doing 90% interstate driving, that's easier on a vehicle. I imagine it won't be in the heat of the summer that you're towing in Florida, that gives you a little more margin. If you're not the average chucklehead who's first time towing is a 2 ton truck with 15k pound boat, you have a little more safety margin. If the Chrysler legal department said you can tow 17k, you can probably safely tow 20k because they don't want law suits. I'm not advocating that, I'm just saying if they really thought the limit was 17,001, they wouldn't have put the limit at 17k.

Also the windage on a boat is considerably less than a large rectangular trailer. I was looking at an SUV once that had a different tow capacity ( higher ) if it was a boat vs anything else.

I'm sure many here will call me reckless and jump all over me, but limits are set for certain conditions and people. The further you are from those situations and people, the less applicable those limits are. If you have more common sense than the average person, and are towing in less severe conditions than the ratings were designed for, you should feel comfortable going closer to the tow capacity of the vehicle.
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:29 PM   #14
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While a 250 may be rated to tow 17k. Remember there are a couple of more things to consider.... Payload, 10% of the gross boat and trailer weight say 1500lbs.. you and passengers and all the cargo may exceed the gvwr... the reason most people choose a 3/4 ton over a 1 ton is to keep the GVWR under 10,000lbs. My SBCC diesel has a curb weight of about 8000 lbs I assume the Rams are about the same... with 1500 lbs of tongue weight, that puts you within 500 lbs of the GVWR.... while the truck can handle more if something bad should happen and you were over the GVWR your insurance company may not be so understanding.... If it were me towing something that large it would be a 1 ton and probably a goose neck type trailer..
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:35 PM   #15
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The truck will be my "back and forth" to work car, so it will only have other moderate use as a real truck. This is another reason for leaning toward the 2500.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:06 PM   #16
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I haven't towed as much as Comodave but I did tow my 330 Sundancer several times including a couple of trips across the Cascade Mountains.

If the truck was going to be my daily driver there's no way I would get one with duallies. They're a royal PITA to park anywhere in a parking lot, turn in a relatively short radius and just a pain to drive in traffic. Let's face it, you're probably going to be towing a handful of times a year. A DRW truck is better at doing that. But the other 350 days of the year you're going to be wishing you had a truck that wasn't such a PITA to drive.

If you were towing a much as Comodave did you probably would want a DRW truck. If not, I'd vote for a SRW truck and it definitely would be a 1-ton.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:18 AM   #17
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"Fortunately I haven't purchased the boat yet, so I've got a little time."


The brake system for the trailer should be researched too.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:03 AM   #18
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The truck will be my "back and forth" to work car, so it will only have other moderate use as a real truck. This is another reason for leaning toward the 2500.

Thanks for your input!
Get a single wheel 1 ton.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:48 AM   #19
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Get a single wheel 1 ton.
Yes - the dually we owned for more than 5 years was quite capable but really a pain many times.
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:55 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by rpelton View Post
Thanks for all of the great information.

I have been frequenting Tugnuts, and it is a great site.

I am weighing all the options. I will probably take the boat down to the keys by trailer 1x per year, and the same north, to maine or LI sound. I'll also pull and launch it myself each year. So it is not that much towing. I like the idea of staying within the Ram 2500 catagory, but not if it is a safety risk. Fortunately I haven't purchased the boat yet, so I've got a little time.

Bob
Unless you just want a bigger truck, why go through all the expense of a big truck for two tows a year? Just contract with a hotshot tow company for the annual move and save tens of thousands of $ís. And lots of hassle too.

If you just want a bigger truck though, then buy one......
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