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blackmax135

Front wheel drive towing?

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Ive looked around and haven't seen any topics about this but I might have just looked over it.

Anyways I just bought a FWD gmc acadia with the towing package.  It is only front wheel drive.  My boat weighs around 2500#s loaded and the max capacity of the vehicle is around 6000#s

I wanted to know if anyone has had problems towing with a front wheel drive vehicle.  I hate to get to the boat ramp and not be able to get back up it.

 

Thanks

I'm glad to be back with you guy!!!

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I don't think i have ever heard that question asked before and i have no experience with that but i would think front wheel drive would be better on ramps than rear wheel as you would have more weight over the drive wheels.

I am sure others with actual experience will chime in eventually though....

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Front wheel drive is pretty poor on steep slick ramps. You may find it difficult sometimes, but only one way to find out for sure. 

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If the ramp is pretty steep and wet you may have some slippage issues but aside from that as long as the ramp is dry you'll be fine.  A lot of people put sandbags into the back of their smaller rear wheel drive trucks in the winter to compensate for the lack of weight. You could always add a few sandbags to the back of your SUV if you're really worried about it. The only time I would really be concerned in your case would be on a steep ramp. 

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The issue you may run into is the weight of the trailer pushing the rear down which takes weight off the front. With less weight on the drive tires there is less traction.

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You are not factoring the tongue weight which is on the rear wheels, and that makes the rear axle the pivot point of a see saw.  The weight pushing down on the car at the rear bumper takes weight off the front end.

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Maybe try it the first few times with a couple of wheel chocks in case you run  into trouble going back up that steep ramp.

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The tongue weight for that set up should not be enough to offset the weight of the engine over the drive wheels. If the ramp is wet you may get some wheel spin depending on the tires and incline of the ramp. If you go slowly it should be fine. I see minivans towing good sized boats at the ramp and they seem to be fine. I am assuming your vehicle has a good size 6 cylinder so weight and horsepower should be fine. You said it came with a towing package which would indicate a solid balanced weight dispersing hitch, better brakes, probably some sort of traction control, and a transmission cooler. That vehicle probably has a strong solid truck frame so all and all I believe you would be fine. As said earlier, If you are worried, the first time take some wheel chocks and some extra guys who can help push if truly needed and maybe a buddy with an extra truck to pull you up the ramp if necessary, though I doubt the extra precaution will be needed.

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I hired a saltwater guide once who showed up with a 20' center console towed by a V6 Honda Passport. Now I have a 17' fish and ski and claimed I needed a Silverado 5.3L 4WD to tow it. I asked him how the Honda handled the boat and he said just fine and he'd been doing it for years. 

But it was a very good ramp that he probably uses all the time. He probably only tows a few miles each time and takes it really easy on his tow rig. I don't think it would do well on long tows or on tough ramps. But at 2500 lbs you should be just fine. But the transmission is the major concern. You can buy a cooler kit for most vehicles.

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Only advice I can give is put your SUV in low gear when pulling the boat out of the water. This will help with wheel spinning, but I think you will be fine. The weight at the tongue won't take too much weight off your front axle. 

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3 hours ago, Big Easy Bassin' said:

Only advice I can give is put your SUV in low gear when pulling the boat out of the water. This will help with wheel spinning, but I think you will be fine. 

I'm pretty sure that vehicles with automatic transmissions start out in 1st (low) gear and won't try to shift up when you're pulling a boat out of the water and up the ramp....  :-)

I've seen some rear-wheel-drive pickups get stuck at boat ramps, but haven't seen a front-wheel-drive van or SUV stuck yet (although there aren't a whole lot of folks towing boats with them compared to trucks.  I tow my boat with a Subaru Forester.).  I don't know the condition of the ramps you'll be using, but I don't think I'd be too worried about it, myself.  Launch at busier ramps the first few times so if you do find you have a problem, there will be other folks around to help you out.

Tight lines,

Bob

 

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Backing up won't be a problem, if any it would be pulling out. Based on the specs you shouldn't have any problem unless the launch is super slick. My suv is rear wheel drive (can switch to 4) rarely do. The launch I use is pretty steep with a big drop off when the river is low. Never had a problem with 2 wheels submerged. I've also seen heavier rigs towed with front wheel vehicles get in and out. Just be careful. 

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I have a Ford Escape Titanium with the 4 cylinder 2.0 EccoBoost motor.  It has the factory tow package which is rated by Ford at 3500 lbs.  My rig pushes the spec at over 3300.  My Escape is not the all wheel drive model and only drives the right front wheel.  I have had no problems launching or retrieving as long as i don't stab the throttle when pulling the boat out.  If I do, it will burn a bit.  I can also select 2nd gear manually in the 6 speed auto and that gives more steady power.

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On 6/13/2016 at 3:04 AM, Ray K said:

I have a Ford Escape Titanium with the 4 cylinder 2.0 EccoBoost motor.  It has the factory tow package which is rated by Ford at 3500 lbs.  My rig pushes the spec at over 3300.  My Escape is not the all wheel drive model and only drives the right front wheel.  I have had no problems launching or retrieving as long as i don't stab the throttle when pulling the boat out.  If I do, it will burn a bit.  I can also select 2nd gear manually in the 6 speed auto and that gives more steady power.

Have you pulled it up any really steep ramps? 

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2 hours ago, blackmax135 said:

Have you pulled it up any really steep ramps? 

Yes, kind of.  Had it in down in the Ft. Meyers area (Pine Island) and the ramp we use is fairly steep.  Had to pull the boat out in the rain so, it was wet too.  I had to use second gear and be tender with the throttle but, no problem at all.  I'm sure that on a very steep ramp with slippery surface I might have a problem but, I haven't been to one yet.

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You should be fine. Your rig shouldn't be heavy enough to take too much weight off the front wheels. If you do run into an issue, just get a few people to sit on your hood and you should be just fine. 

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On 6/29/2016 at 6:52 PM, Ray K said:

Yes, kind of.  Had it in down in the Ft. Meyers area (Pine Island) and the ramp we use is fairly steep.  Had to pull the boat out in the rain so, it was wet too.  I had to use second gear and be tender with the throttle but, no problem at all.  I'm sure that on a very steep ramp with slippery surface I might have a problem but, I haven't been to one yet.

 

On 6/30/2016 at 8:39 AM, WIGuide said:

You should be fine. Your rig shouldn't be heavy enough to take too much weight off the front wheels. If you do run into an issue, just get a few people to sit on your hood and you should be just fine. 

Sweet!!! Thanks Guys

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On 6/13/2016 at 2:04 AM, Ray K said:

I have a Ford Escape Titanium with the 4 cylinder 2.0 EccoBoost motor.  It has the factory tow package which is rated by Ford at 3500 lbs.  My rig pushes the spec at over 3300.  My Escape is not the all wheel drive model and only drives the right front wheel.  I have had no problems launching or retrieving as long as i don't stab the throttle when pulling the boat out.  If I do, it will burn a bit.  I can also select 2nd gear manually in the 6 speed auto and that gives more steady power.

I have several thousand miles towing a 2,800 lb. boat behind a '14 Escape (mine is AWD),

It works just fine.

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On Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 7:39 AM, WIGuide said:

You should be fine. Your rig shouldn't be heavy enough to take too much weight off the front wheels. If you do run into an issue, just get a few people to sit on your hood and you should be just fine.

Just don't run over them should they fall off. (Murphy's law)

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2 minutes ago, Ratherbfishing said:

Just don't run over them should they fall off. (Murphy's law)

Eh, what are a few limbs or even lives lost as long as the boat is safe ;) 

 

for that one guy who reads previous line the wrong way.....sarcasm...clearly sarcasm.

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You are maxing out the gvwr, but with care it should be ok, however that transmission is a weak link on that vehicle. Be sure to change the fluid regularly, and possibly add an auxiliary cooler if the towing package doesn't already have it.

the plus on ramps is that the drive wheels are more likely to be on dry ground vs rear wheel drive.

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