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Old 04-22-2019, 08:24 AM   #1
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Trailer and Hitch to tow a small boat

I have never towed anything with my vehicle, so I know nothing about this subject.

I would like to purchase a trailer hitch and small trailer for a 12 ft. Light weight Boat With a 30 HP engine. I will only use it a couple times per year to pull the boat out of the water for the Winter, and then back in at the beginning of the season.

The trailer and boat will then sit in an open yard for the offseason. Itís an open, dirt lot, so I will have a cover made for the boat.

Distance from the ocean to the storage lot is a 45 min drive.

Vehicle is a 2012 Kia Sorrento (SUV).

I have found some used trailers on line, but would prefer to buy new as I plan on having it for 20 plus years.

Any recommendations for a good hitch system and trailer for this particular application would be appreciated.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:00 AM   #2
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The first thing to do is find out how much your exact vehicle can tow with the options it does or does not have. The owners manual or dealer should be able to tell you. Then you should try and estimate the towed weight. This is OFTEN underestimated, so if you're even remotely close to your car's tow limit, I suggest getting the whole rig weighed. (Truck weigh station, local scrap yard, etc.)



There are a number of manufacturers of add-on hitches. Reese, U-Haul, etc., or even a factory hitch. You have to decide do you want to install it yourself or have someone else do it?


Ken
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:28 AM   #3
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I have installed 2 Drawtite hitches and they both fit perfectly and the instructions were right on the money.
Figure about 30 minutes to install one.
You will also have to buy a wire harness, again no biggie to install.
U-Haul will also install a hitch.

I use etrailer.com for just about anything trailer related. Check them out they ship that day.

You can find plenty of good used trailers on your local Craigs list.

When I had a small trailer for my RIB, I added two of those plastic orange marker sticks that they use on snowplows because I could not see the trailer when driving as it was hidden from view.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:51 AM   #4
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We've been kicking that idea around as well.

Leaning towards a utility trailer (for hauling yard waste, lumber, plywood, etc) that can double duty with simple modifications as a boat trailer. We have a rigid dingy, so that'll make it easier.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:00 PM   #5
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A quick search says that the Kia Sorrento is rated to tow between 2000-5000 pounds depending on your particular options and equipment. That's a big range.

A 12' boat isn't very specific either. Worst case, a heavy 12' boat with a bigger motor and a good trailer could weigh more than 2000 lbs, but a lightweight rowing dinghy could weigh much less.

Would need more information to make useful suggestions.

In general, I've installed both Reese and U-haul hitches and they are typically easily bolted on with factory holes and provided bolts.

Wiring can be anywhere from extremely simple to complicated depending on your vehicle's accommodations (or lack there of) for wiring. On a Toyota I did, it had a plug by the spare tire that by ordering a special adapter, I could just plug stuff in and mount a trailer light plug. Most vehicles need a trailer adapter to be wired in and then the plug for it.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:11 PM   #6
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The 2011 Trailer Life guide shows a Kia Sorrento with a 3.5 L V6has a tow rating of 3,500 lbs. Your boat, motor and trailer will probably weigh about 1,000 lbs.


So buy a trailer hitch unless your rig came with one. eTrailer is a good source. Or go to U-Haul. They have contractors that will install one for you.


At 1,000 lbs you probably don't need brakes. The TV weighs at least 3 times more than the trailer and 2 x is my cutoff point for brakes.


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Old 04-22-2019, 01:12 PM   #7
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A 12 ft boat, motor, and trailer is less than 1000 pounds
A class 1 or 2 hitch will work. Specially built for your vehicle.
Reese
Draw Tite
Curt
UHaul
...And many more
$150 tops. Shop online
Utube videos for installation instructions
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:44 PM   #8
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If you're boating in salt water consider a galvanized trailer so you don't have rust problems.


I bought an EZ-Loader for our Boston Whaler. It was a bit long so I took it to a custom welding shop and had them shorten the trailer and drill new holes to mount the rear bunks and for the tail lights/license plate hanger.


They charged around a hundred bucks as I recall, but it was worth it. The boat/trailer tows like a dream and the boat loads with no problems.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayM View Post
We've been kicking that idea around as well.

Leaning towards a utility trailer (for hauling yard waste, lumber, plywood, etc) that can double duty with simple modifications as a boat trailer. We have a rigid dingy, so that'll make it easier.
Murray,

You just gave me a great idea. I have a ubuilt trailer with fixed plywood sides and front and back plywood pieces that slide out of steel channel for loading/dumping. I'll cut new front and rear slides that are shaped like a cradle for my sailing Minto.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:22 PM   #10
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I have purchased hitches from eTrailer.com in the past, and have been happy with both the hitches and the price!


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Old 04-22-2019, 05:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
The 2011 Trailer Life guide shows a Kia Sorrento with a 3.5 L V6has a tow rating of 3,500 lbs. Your boat, motor and trailer will probably weigh about 1,000 lbs.David
Thanks for the input everyone, very helpful.

I was thinking of buying one on line and assembling it myself but figured I will just bite the bullet and get a nicer one pre assembled.

Galvanized: Copy, will do.

David, thanks for that. Didnít even know there was such a thing as a Trailer Guide. I have the V6, and your other comments about weight are dead on.

Iíll keep looking at the options out there because I donít need it until Later in the year. I will post some pics of the end result.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:50 PM   #12
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I would go to a u-haul or RV repair place and get then to quote the installation of the hitch. They do that sort of thing all the time.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Murray,

You just gave me a great idea. I have a ubuilt trailer with fixed plywood sides and front and back plywood pieces that slide out of steel channel for loading/dumping. I'll cut new front and rear slides that are shaped like a cradle for my sailing Minto.
A 50 gallon gratuity in diesel, if we ever meet, will suffice
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:02 PM   #14
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Another option is to rent a truck from Home Depot for 2 hours in the spring and the fall. Evidence of towing may reduce the resale value of your vehicle
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:02 PM   #15
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Another option is to rent a truck from Home Depot for 2 hours in the spring and the fall. Evidence of towing may reduce the resale value of your vehicle
I tried that. Home Depot policy is to disable the tow hitch by welding a bolt thru the pin hole.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:17 PM   #16
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Could also increase the resale value by putting the U in SUV that is so often absent.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:39 PM   #17
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I second getting a hitch assembly from E-trailer! I’ve used them before and have ordered a 3500lb hitch kit that I installed on my Equinox.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:21 PM   #18
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A friend of mine gave me this utility trailer as he was finished w it.
Not the least bit marine but like in the old drag racing days "run what ya brung".

I show it w the 12' outboard boat/row boat I recently acquired. I plan on using it w other small boats too. Canoes, kayaks ect.

One of my canoes is 18' so I lengthened the tongue quite a bit. So rather than having a long car towing a little trailer I'll have a short car towing a long (sorta) trailer. Much easier to back too.

The aft extension is to facilitate loading and launching w the trailer quite far from the water's edge. Doing is probably more difficult than thinking about though.

I took one leaf out of the springs as I never carry a big load w it. Should be much less shaking on the road.

Need to finish the wiring (easy) and fit roller bunks. Thinking of very small tires inflated minimally.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:41 PM   #19
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Know before you tow. Assuming your profile is accurate.

1500 + GVWR requires brakes in CA

Lighting laws vary depending on width


And in that state I believe the right lane is the only lane at lowered max speed.

Here are the California Towing Laws You Need To Know Before You Tow

CA can get nasty about towing trailers. Don't ask me how I know as I don't want to remember.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:41 PM   #20
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To all the recommendations of E-trailer https://www.etrailer.com I add a hearty second.

For trailer-launching in salt water, an aluminum chassis is worth the extra cost, if you plan to keep the rig for any length of time. Springs and axles are not available in aluminum, though, so galvanized is the way to go, being sure to place an isolating pad between dissimilar metals.
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