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Old 04-15-2002, 02:03 AM
GotTheFever's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Conifer, CO
My Boats: 1993, Fountain, 32' Fever
Posts: 115

I was in a similar situation. When we got our 32' Fever, we had a 1/2 ton with a 350. I added the largest transmission cooler I could find, swapped the rear end for a 4.10 posi, and added adjustable Rancho shocks. It would pull short distances ok, but at about 55 mph, the boat would take over. I even had the boat push me through a wet intersection. On one trip, the transmission gave up, spitting burnt transmission fluid all over the place. I turned right around and bought a 1 ton dooley. Looking back on it, I should have gone with the dooley in the 1st place. Pulling that much weight with a 1/2 ton was dangerous, and more that the equipment was ever designed for. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 04-15-2002, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Gorham, Maine
Posts: 862

I'm in the same situation my Tahoe is rated for 7600 lbs. New boat is 6500 + 2000 trailer + possible 500 lbs. of fuel and gear Total of 9000 lbs. If i can't find a place to keep it at the lake it's about a 85 mile trip (non highway) Should I try it or is this just crazy?

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Old 04-15-2002, 01:14 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
My Boats: 24 Skater
Posts: 495
Default 1/2 Ton

It's the 1/2 Ton Z71 I would be more concerned with getting away from than the 350. That is just a safety issue. As far as going from a 350 to a diesel, don't forget about the many other larger displacement gasoline options out there, i.e. 7.4L/454, and the new 496. Either of those motors in a 3/4 or 1 ton truck will pull your boat effortlessly, (especially the Allison equipped 496).
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Old 04-15-2002, 01:30 PM
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Location: Fort Myers, Florida
My Boats: 24 Skater
Posts: 495
Default KN-my .02

Avoid a disaster and get a bigger truck. I see bad things happening with an overloaded short wheelbased SUV of yours in a panic situation. It seems that it would only be a matter of time in a frequent 85 mile non-highway trip before you need to make a quick maneuver to avoid a collision or an abstruction in the road. That would be the time you wished you had heavier suspension, brakes, longer wheelbase, etc....

I am assuming non-highway means two-lane type road with all kinds of speed limits, intersections, driveways, curves, etc.

Another thing nobody seems to remember is the load rating on their tires. Most of these 1/2 ton trucks and SUV's have a passenger car type tires with a heavier load rating that are not rated to carry the kind of weight people are putting on them. The sidewalls get extremely flimsy with all of the weight, and it can make sudden moves at the wheel very interesting.

Next time you are getting tires, take a look at replacements for a Tahoe, then take a look at replacements for a 3/4 or 1 ton truck.
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Old 04-15-2002, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Indy, St. Louis, LOTO
My Boats: 85 Formula 302
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I tow with a '96 1500 suburban with a vortec 350. Pull about 10,000lbs, total weight of rig is 16,300 lbs. Brakes are the weak link. Upgraded mine, still not great. Also put on air bags and run load range E tires. Pull mostly interstate and 4 lane highway. Flat accross IN and IL, hilly in MO. It does okay if you don't expect too much. I don't run the A/C in the hills. Pulled it back from the East Coast through mountains in PA, and never had to slow below 40mph. (Was passing the rigs too.) Is this too much for the truck, and am I reducing its life? Yes. But I did not want to live with a Big Block when not pulling, and could not justify an Excursion at the time.

Would I rather have a diesel Excursion? Yes, and am starting to look for a used one with high miles. Not because the suburban does a poor job of handeling the load, but the boss wants A/C in the summer. And when Momma aint happy....

I would not do it with a Tahoe. Remember, the truck's most important job is NOT pulling the load; it's controlling and stopping the load. Consider what you'll have to spend for a longer truck (both dollars and life style) and see how much boat slip that will buy. You may be better off keeping the Tahoe (a nice truck to drive around town) and keeping your boat on the lake. You might even boat more often if you can just scoot down the marina in the convertable instead of trailering the boat to the ramp.

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