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Old 09-04-2007
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3.0 Towing Specific Question

I know it has been asked before, however, noone ever provides detailed specs on what they are towing and how they plan to do it. So after a little research it seems as though my truck should be capable of towing the boat I am looking at but wanted to get some opinions from others who have more experience.

My truck is a 98 3.0L auto 4x4 with 4.10 gears. According to the owners manual:
- Maximum GCWR 8,000 lbs.
- Maximum Trailer Weight 4,340 lbs.
- Maximum Trailer Frontal Area 50ft^2

Owners Manual

Hitch Receiver:
- Weight distributing hitch 6000 lbs. trailer / 750 lbs. tongue
- Weight carrying ball mount 3500 lbs. trailer / 350 lbs. tongue

The boat is a Mastercraft Maristar 200 SS. Links to the boat specs are below but here are a few of the important ones:
- Boat weight 3,350 lbs.
- Trailer weight 935/1100 lbs. (single/tandem axle)
- Overall length with trailer 22'6"
- Overall width with trailer 99"/100" (single/tandem axle)

http://www.mastercraft.com/index.php...oat=ms200ss.07

http://www.mastercraft.com/index.php...oat=ms200ss.07

The boat will not be towed long distances and it will only be towed in Florida where the terrain is relatively flat.

Thanks,

Marc
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Old 09-04-2007
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bump please
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Old 09-04-2007
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I think thats a lot of weight for the truck. I think the owners manual is crazy...8k #? Thats even tough for a full size truck!!!

I tow about 2-3K all the time...it's fine, no problems. I would say 4k is pushing it, but 5k is too much.
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Old 09-04-2007
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It would be a little over 4k with boat and trailer.

What improvements could be made to make it more manageable?
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Old 09-04-2007
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^^^Not being an A$$ but new motor.... I pull my 5500 pound boat with my 4.0 and that is all the weight I care to haul. I never tow it long trips, but if I did, I would be looking for a bigger truck. Or should I say, a bigger motor. I can't imagine pulling over 4K with a 3.0...
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrpro130
I think thats a lot of weight for the truck. I think the owners manual is crazy...8k #? Thats even tough for a full size truck!!!

I tow about 2-3K all the time...it's fine, no problems. I would say 4k is pushing it, but 5k is too much.

8K is the Gross combined vehicle weight, that is not what the ranger is rated to pull....
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Old 09-04-2007
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does seem like a lot of weight. trailer brakes would help but i still think that trailer and boat is too big for a ranger especially a 3.0. You gotta remember you're gonna have to have enough power and weight to pull it from the ramp....if its a little over 4000 pounds, it probably weighs more than the truck itself. I tow 2 seadoos off and on altogether about 2500 pounds including trailer. I wouldnt wanna tow a boat that long and heavy.
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Old 09-04-2007
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^^^The boat isn't too big for the ranger, the boat is too big for the motor.... :)
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greygooseranger
^^^The boat isn't too big for the ranger, the boat is too big for the motor.... :)
A little wind gust will throw the ranger around...trust me, it does it with my little 6x12 utility trailer
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcaronio
What improvements could be made to make it more manageable?
Finance a full size...
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrpro130
A little wind gust will throw the ranger around...trust me, it does it with my little 6x12 utility trailer
I tow my 5500 pound boat with my truck, with a larger motor, the ranger could handle the load in question fine....

EDIT: My old man pulls a 8000 pound travel trailer with his suburban, when the wind blows, the truck and trailer get thrown around, its just a fact of towing something....
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greygooseranger
^^^The boat isn't too big for the ranger, the boat is too big for the motor.... :)
There is more to a vehicle than just engine!!! There are other things like being stable (handling), and being able to STOP.
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Old 09-04-2007
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Thank you grey for the intellegent and most importantly relevant responses. According to the manufacturer the vehicle is rated to tow this amount. You are just saying it will be slow and painful to do so. Being that the truck is 4wd would pulling the boat up a ramp be a problem due to power or traction?

My truck has been paid off for a long time now, runs great, and only has 70k on it. I'm not going to buy another truck. If it is impossible to tow this boat I will just buy a smaller boat. I just wanted to know if it was possible for my truck to get the boat from my garage to the ramp and back and if there was anything I could do to improve the capability of my truck.

I have explorer leaf springs and plan on swapping over a explorer 8.8 with disk brakes and the same gear ratio (4.10) I have now. I will be using a weight distributing hitch and trailer brakes regardless of what boat I get.

As far as power, I know it is not a huge difference but my 3.0 is not stock. I have roller rockers, pulleys, cat back exhaust, and a xcal2 with a towing tune. I have no idea what gains that gives me.

So, is it possible?
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Old 09-04-2007
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^Sure it is.... I would make sure your trailer has brakes, and since you are changing rear ends, IMO it would be a good time to change gears. That being said, you should be fine pulling it short distances on flat or mostly flat surfaces. I would however STRONGLY suggest that you invest in a big trans cooler. Heat will kill any trans and it seems the Ranger trans runs hot anyway. I pulled my current boat with a S-10 blazer for 160,000 miles and had no trans issues after installing my heavy duty trans cooler....
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Old 09-04-2007
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why dont u go down to a boat yard and tell the salesman you wanna tow one around the lot for a few minutes to help you decide what youd rather buy?
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Old 09-04-2007
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that is a great idea and one that i had considered. the only problem i see is that i would not be able to test pulling it out of the water.
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Old 09-04-2007
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i would only use my truck for short trips around where i live. my brother has an f450 sd ps that we would use if we were going to make longer trips.
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Old 09-04-2007
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i say dont try it, but hell its not my truck so take a chance and pray to who ever you pray to it all works out
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Old 09-04-2007
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^^^ I would say then if you take the things that I said before into consideration, you will be ok. If you have to tow the boat any great length, the PSD is the way to go....
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_O113
i say dont try it, but hell its not my truck so take a chance and pray to who ever you pray to it all works out
i didn't start this thread to get into an argument or hear opinions that are not based on fact. i am interested in learning from other's personal experiences or information based on facts. why is it that you do not recommend towing a boat of this size?
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeda
There is more to a vehicle than just engine!!! There are other things like being stable (handling), and being able to STOP.
i know you are generally regarded as being a cave dweller or negative in nature, however, i would still like to hear any information you may have that lends to explaining why towing this boat with a properly set up weight distributing hitch, brake controller, and trailer brakes would not be stable or able to stop.
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny818
does seem like a lot of weight. trailer brakes would help but i still think that trailer and boat is too big for a ranger especially a 3.0. You gotta remember you're gonna have to have enough power and weight to pull it from the ramp....if its a little over 4000 pounds, it probably weighs more than the truck itself. I tow 2 seadoos off and on altogether about 2500 pounds including trailer. I wouldnt wanna tow a boat that long and heavy.
you say power and weight is required to pull a boat out of the water and up the ramp. how would you determine the amount of power and weight required to pull a certain weight boat up a ramp?
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcaronio
i know you are generally regarded as being a cave dweller or negative in nature, however, i would still like to hear any information you may have that lends to explaining why towing this boat with a properly set up weight distributing hitch, brake controller, and trailer brakes would not be stable or able to stop.
There is no reason it wouldn't stop, he is just being negative as you already seem to have noticed.

Oh, FYI.... You don't really need electric brakes, as long as the trailer has surge brakes, you will be ok. If it comes with electric ones though, all the better!
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcaronio
i know you are generally regarded as being a cave dweller or negative in nature, however, i would still like to hear any information you may have that lends to explaining why towing this boat with a properly set up weight distributing hitch, brake controller, and trailer brakes would not be stable or able to stop.
Check your PMs
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Old 09-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeda
Check your PMs
i understand that i am approaching the maximum recommended towing capacity given by the manufacturer. the maximum rating given by the manufacturer is not the point at which if you tow one more pound your truck will explode and burst into flames like an episode of the simpsons. it is the maximum amount of weight that you can tow safely without immediate and catastrophic failure of the stock components. that is why i am not exceeding the manufacturers specifications for towing and i am addressing the components that the manufacture states will be burdened with an "additional load".

- Larger transmission cooler
- Explorer axle
- Disk brakes, brake controller, and trailer brakes
- Explorer leaf springs
- Weight distributing hitch
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