Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat Gently Down the Road
By: Quinn Bryner
September 16, 2011 11:00 am ET
It’s that time of year again when recreational boaters are preparing to haul out and winterize their boats. When towing your boat back to its hibernation destination, don’t leave the fate of your vessel up to chance. When it comes to choosing the right vehicle to lug your boat, no two vehicles are created equal.
Don’t know which is best? No fear, we’ve got you covered! Experienced boaters across the Northeast depend on GMC’s Professional Grade trucks or sport utility vehicles when it comes to carrying their precious cargo back from the Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania state parks, or other boat docking locations. We know that when you are towing a heavy load, you want to be confident that your vehicle is up to the task and can handle more than the added weight of your boat and trailer.
Before hitching up, it is important to calculate the combined weight of a boat and trailer. For example, a 24-foot-long deck boat may weigh 4,150 pounds, but when paired with the trailer its weight will probably exceed 5,500 pounds. Even with the added weight the total is still within the limits of a light-duty full-size pickup truck like the Sierra 1500, which can tow up to 10,700 pounds, depending on the model.
Comparatively, full-size heavy-duty pickups, such as GMC’s 2011 2500HD and 3500HD, are capable of towing up to 13,000 and 17,000 pounds, respectively, using a ball hitch. They can tow even heavier loads such as campers or trailers when equipped with a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch.
When ready to hitch up, it helps to have a rearview camera system, which is available on Sierras and Yukons. This feature makes aligning the truck’s hitch with a boat trailer easy. The rearview camera system projects images onto the rearview mirror display or onto the optional in-dash navigation screen.
These and other factory-installed safety features and purposeful technologies undergo extensive real-world testing before going into production.
“For towing capability we test our vehicles under maximum load conditions and under extreme conditions, like Death Valley when it’s 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and up and down long, steep grades like Interstate 70 in Colorado up the Eisenhower Pass,” says Jim Mikulec, a lead development engineer for full-size trucks at GM. “We go to extremes so that our customers can tow their boats with confidence.”