Towing capacity


#1

I have a 94’ Toyota pick up with the straight4 22RE EFI engine. The towing capacity according to the owners manual is 3500 lbs. I would like to tow my boat which (including the trailer)weighs about 3700 lbs. My question is how are these capacities calculated. Do they take in to consideration things like hills or pulling a boat out of the water. I figure if my truck can pull 3500 lbs over the continental divide or through the streets of San Francisco then it should be fine pulling my boat between Washington DC and Annapolis MD (about a 30 minute drive on flat roads.) Also if pulling the boat up a ramp and out of the water is the only part that will put too much strain on my engine/tranny then I can have the boat put on the trailer with a crane. Please enlighten me.


#2

If the towing capacity of your vehicle is 3,500 pounds, and your boat and trailer weighs 3,700 pounds, you need a bigger truck. You are CRAZY if you exceed the rated towing capacity of your truck. The trailer and boat will take over in an emergency situation, and you will have NO control of the situation.

Stop thinking you can exceed the towing limits. It’s not very smart.


#3

Usually the manual will say a couple of different numbers. My brother and I were doing some tow work a few weeks ago with his Mercury Mariner Hybrid. They state that it tows 1000 lbs, upon further examination of the manual’s towing section it said do not tow more than 5,000 (I’m rounding up because I don’t remember).

I would double check with the manual because it may be the same thing for your truck. Also they do have transmission coolers for towing which is something you maybe interested in.

-Sam


#4

I would say 3500 pounds towing capacity was pretty optimistic for that 4cyl truck…I suspect it is a 5-speed tranny, which will work better than the older 4-speeds, but the moment of truth will be starting up that boat ramp. Your clutch will have its work cut out for it…And you will FOR SURE want decent trailer brakes that work properly. You will never get it into 5th gear towing that load…


#5

If you can at this date, check to see what the difference between the truck equipped for your stated towing capacity and one with more, if available. You might find that the only difference are items like a bigger radiator and a lower rear axle ratio. You can then decide if you want to change these things.


#6

Realize that the 3500 lbs is a rating based off your hitch type. If its your bumper that is where your limit is coming from. To be on the safer side maybe get a frame mounted hitch with stabilization. You cannot load your pickup with stuff and then expect to tow the 3500lbs+ also. I would highly suggest using trailer brakes also if you exceed the rating. They much safer.

There is a huge liability factor built into the US-spec towing numbers. A good example is us-spec Subaru’s are rated at 2700lbs typically. However in Europe it approaches 5000lbs for the same design vehicle even with a smaller engine.


#7

You obviously don’t have much experience towing.


#8

Does your trailer have brakes? Electric or inertia?

I wouldn’t worry about the extra 200lbs. If you have 4wd use 4wd-low when pulling the boat up the ramp to reduce ware on you clutch or tranny if automatic.

Just remember not to turn sharp, or at all, while in 4wd on pavement:)


#9

Not sure how you came to that conclusion. Actually, I have substantial experience towing with Ford Rangers, which are similar in size to the Toyota referenced in the original post, and the Rangers with which I towed were powered by both 4-cylinder (including the turbo-diesel, remember them?) and 6-cylinder engines.

The trailers I pulled were always a bit heavier than the Rangers were rated to tow, which is EXACTLY why I recommend not exceeding the rated capacity, and why I will never do it again.

I know all to well that nasty feeling you get when you realize the trailer is taking control of the vehicle, and there is little you can do about it. It’s pretty scary, it happens very quickly, and it can lead to disaster.


#10

[quote]Usually the manual will say a couple of different numbers. My brother and I were doing some tow work a few weeks ago with his Mercury Mariner Hybrid. They state that it tows 1000 lbs, upon further examination of the manual’s towing section it said do not tow more than 5,000 (I’m rounding up because I don’t remember). [/quore]

5000 lbs??? I seriously doubt it.


#11

Is that 3700# based on added-up sticker weights, or was that actually weighed? Many times manufacturers list the bare-bones weight, to make it appear lighter so more people think they can tow it. When in reality, it could weigh considerably more. Id have the boat and trailer, loaded up with full gas tanks and everything you would normally take with you, taken to a scale to get more of an accurate weight of what youll be towing. Get the total trailer weight, as well as the tongue weight. You might be surprised. Then see what you need to safely tow it. Also remember that manufacturer tow ratings are also usually bare bones, they usually only count a truck with no options and one 150# driver and thats it. Anything else added to that detracts from your tow rating.