Smaller SUV - Towing

The reason you don’t see WDHs used with boat towing is because the trailer tongue hitch weight is well within the guidelines of the 10%-12% of gross towed weight.

You’ll also notice the majority of boaters with boats weighing in excess of 2000 lbs are driving heavy vehicles.

Most boats (including cabin cruisers) have the engines (heaviest component) either on the stern or are located amidships.

These truck/trailer combos are also equipped with brake controllers (Same ones used as those towing travel trailers).

Those heavy duty trucks (Dualies) that tow up to mid-sized cruisers use a WDH such as the Equal-i-zer or a Hensley which stop sway BEFORE it begins and as such do not need an accompanying sway bar.

Boat design does not have the same wind drag characteristics as a travel trailer.

Other WDHs need sway bars as they don’t prevent sway from the start. This is by design.

I use a Reese WDH with a sway bar when I tow my travel trailer, but if I decided to upgrade the set up I have I would go for the more expensive (and much better designed) Equal-i-zer. The Hensley runs about $3-4k.

Like the rv’ers say, when it comes to a tow vehicle,"bigger IS better’.

Look at the GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook – it’s got a good size third row (easy to get into) and is rated for towing up to 4500. That’s the best I’ve found for the crossover category of SUVs (unless you go with an Audi Q7 or Mecedes GL450). The Mazda CX9 is also a great option for a crossover SUV with an accessible third row, but it’s maximum towing capacity is 3500. That would probably be adequate for your small boat, but you’d run into issues if you ever upsize your boat…

Get a Diesel. You will get better mileage and be able to tow anything.

If you can find one. Most diesels are in the largest pickups or SUVs. You won’t save money with one of those. One exception is the Jeep Grand Cherokee. But it’s not very economical. You get 18 city and 23 highway MPG, which is about the same as a Pilot, Highlander, or minivan. And they run on regular gasoline, which is about 40-cents per gallon cheaper than diesel in MD.

If they made a small SUV that was diesel. I get better gas mileage in my 6 cylinder 4runner then the LARGE SUV diesels.