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My truck has a tow capacity of 3500 pounds. My 17' boat and trailer, fully loaded with a full tank of gas and all the coolers and so on, comes in at 2750 pounds. It tows beautifully. But do I have to factor in pulling the boat up the launch ramp? It just seems it is going to weigh more (than 2750 pounds) because of gravity.

Answered on: 6/2005

MIKE: There are many factors to look at when determining the towing capacity of your vehicle. First you mention that your truck is rated for 3500 lbs. Is that rating just for the payoad or is it the "gross combined weight rating?" In other words, does that rating not only include the boat and equipment, or does it also include the gear in the vehicle and the passengers? You may want to look into that to see if you are exceeding the rating. Also, how is your truck equipped, does it have a "towing package" which may include a transmission cooler, 4 wheel drive, heavy-duty suspension, etc.... All of these things may factor into how the vehicle will tow the boat in various situations. If you are happy with the way it is towing in general, the short trip up the launch ramp should not be an issue (depending on the grade of the ramp). For longer trips, you may experience similar grades on the road for longer distances. If that is the case, you may want to upgrade your tow vehicle to give you a greater margin of weight capacity. GEORGE: Most ball mounts and hitches are designed to handle a temporary overweight of 40% and the reason you cited about pulling a boat up a ramp is the reason this is done. You are fine.

the Trailer Boat Expert: Mike and George