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  1. #1

    How much power to tow

    Hey guys,
    I am looking to buy a small SUV to tow 1-2 jet skis. Any good ideas? I was looking at Jeep Wranglers?
    Any advice about torque/HP/4 or 6 cyl. is helpful.
    Last edited by acizzle; 09-01-2007 at 09:05 PM.


  2. #2
    I would have say that the Jeep would have plenty of power for you to tow.(6 cyl. would be the better option, bigger is better.) I pull two skis with a mini van from time to time (6 cyl.) and have no problem. Small S.U.V.'s with 6 cyl. and a towing package should get you by pretty easy. Hope this is what you were looking for......

  3. #3
    any suv should do it i'd think. I pull 2 skis with my grand am and/or sunbird. My uncle useto pull 2 polaris skis with a neon with no problem and my parents did it with a firebird. Im sure you'd be fine with any decision outside of a civic lol.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acizzle View Post
    Hey guys,
    I am looking to buy a small SUV to tow 1-2 jet skis. Any good ideas? I was looking at Jeep Wranglers?
    Any advice about torque/HP/4 or 6 cyl. is helpful.
    Unless you need the SUV aspect for something more than just towing the boat trailer, many cars have enough to pull a pair of PWC plus trailer, since the total weight is probably well under 2,000lbs, especially if the trailer is aluminum.

    I use a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. The Maxx has a longer wheelbase than the sedan Malibu (but is not longer overall). With the 205HP V6 running regular gasoline, it pulls a Triton aluminum trailer with two Polaris (SL650+SL900) just fine. Fuel economy while towing is actually quite good, and the long car wheelbase makes for stable towing at speed.

    Being a hatchback/wagon body style, the Maxx also has lots of room for "stuff" in the back, especially since the rear seats can both slide forward (just like front seats do), and can fold down flat for even more room. With the rear seats up, there is huge legroom in the back, and the standard moonroof over the rear seats makes it a fairly nice place to be. Overall, I think the Maxx is a very reasonable utility car.

    When I get to the launch ramp, I open the rear hatch, and have an unobstructed view of the trailer while reversing, and can easily talk to the people working around the trailer.

    Many cars, even when pulling a trailer, get better fuel economy than a taller/heavier vehicle like a SUV or truck. And of course, when you are not pulling the trailer, the fuel economy is also good.
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  5. #5

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    i only disagree with cars and unibody suvs ,

    when you slam the brakes the trailor doesnt wanna stop going and it will force the towing package forwards , and with the towing package only held on by sheetmetal , thats gonna be no good ,

    you want some frame rails , no im not telling you 2 go buy a f-350 but a s10 or ranger or a wrangler id think has frame rails ,

    trust me on this one you dont wanna jack knife becuase your useing a fwd car 2 do your towing ,

    iv have a 99 s10 its awesome for towing skis ,

  6. #6
    Resident "Noob" Sabu1984's Avatar
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    I have an 03 Jeep Wranger (6 Cylinder)... and tow my SLX around quite easily. Honeslty dont even know its theres..... Pull it out of the water no problemo...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 97sltx1050 View Post
    i only disagree with cars and unibody suvs , when you slam the brakes the trailor doesnt wanna stop going and it will force the towing package forwards , and with the towing package only held on by sheetmetal , thats gonna be no good...trust me on this one you dont wanna jack knife becuase your useing a fwd car 2 do your towing...
    I am not sure what you are suggesting here.

    Since many of us tow PWC trailers, and probably use a wide variety of vehicles to do that towing, this is of some interest. We all want to know we are doing things in a reasonably safe manner.

    Do you mean that during a hard/emergency (but non collision) stop the trailer hitch will crush or deform the unibody car structure, and that will then lead to the car rotating while still braking?

    If my car could generate 1G of braking force (which is a lot), that would mean maybe 2,000lbs of forward force on the hitch assembly from the loaded trailer weight (2 PWC+trailer). A decent hitch installation should be able to distribute that amount of force into the unibody without deforming it.

    A trailer brake system will reduce stopping distances, but even without one the car should hold together.

    Otherwise, a properly loaded (weight distributed evenly) FWD car and tongue weight balanced trailer shouldn't behave badly, even under hard braking. During hard braking, all vehicles have four wheel braking, regardless of which wheels the engine is driving.

    If the car or truck is only lightly loaded in the rear, then during hard braking the rear may lose grip and shift sideways. These days, many FWD cars are close to 50/50 weight distribution, much less nose heavy than the early FWD years.
    Combined with anti-lock brake systems to keep the rear tires turning, is jack-knifing a FWD only risk when towing?
    Is jack-knifing a real concern in general with our relatively light weight PWC trailers?

    Of course, a much heavier vehicle will usually be less affected by a given trailer than a lighter car.

    As long as the trailer loaded weight is something less than the load rating for your hitch class, and within the tow weight rating for that car, and that hitch has been properly installed, it shouldn't deform the car structure during normal towing and braking, including emergency braking, and the handling during heavy braking should be OK (maybe not stellar, but OK).

    All this presumes that car, tires and brakes are in good condition.

  8. #8

    Thanks

    Thanks, all! This is helpful info. I am currently pulling one SLTH with a 92 Camry V6. It does ok, but I can feel the strain on the engine. I am just looking to upgrade.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by acizzle View Post
    Thanks, all! This is helpful info. I am currently pulling one SLTH with a 92 Camry V6. It does ok, but I can feel the strain on the engine. I am just looking to upgrade.
    We used to have a '93 Camry V6. That is a nice engine! Even used it to tow from time to time. And I'll guess that it is reasonable on gas for a six, despite its age.

    If your Camry engine is still in good shape internally, it has enough power for light PWC towing. Sure, it won't be as quick as without the trailer, but any normal powered car does that.

    Your Camry when new was rated about 185HP. These days, lots of cars have at least that, if not more power, even with the "base" model engine, and often have much more low end torque than the '92 Camry V6 does/did. It is the torque at low-mid engine RPM that gets your trailer moving, don't focus too much on the peak HP ratings.

    Buy just as much car or truck as you need, and put the purchase and fuel consumption savings towards other things, like your PWC. Every fuel dollar that you don't put into your car, is available for your toys!

  10. #10

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    im just saying you want a beefy truck or suv frame or body 2 hook on 2 , over time the trunk is the first 2 rust on cars now adays ,

    not saying its not possible but i wouldnt do it , not with 2 diffently ,

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