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Towing with a '96 Camry

I have a 4-cylinder Camry, 1996.

I am interested in buying a small sailboat with trailer. The boat with rigging weighs about 310 pounds. With trailer, the whole package should weigh-in at about 500-650 pounds. (I don’t know what Class I trailers weigh).

What do you think about pulling this with my Camry? I’m thinking a maximum speed at 65 mph on the interstate and babying it up hills.

I never wanted to trailer anything, but I now have this sailing bug and live in SE Idaho. There are a number of lakes and reservoirs 20 - 100 miles from my home.

Thank you for any information that you can provide.

Eric Limbach

Pocatello, ID

PS (I get my fill of back-country driving in pick-ups and SUVs in my workweek in company vehicles and have no interest in or $ to own one personally)

I assume so since there is a hitch…see web site for trailer hitch available for your car…

The owner’s manual for your Camry should list a towing capacity, assuming it can tow.

Also check the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for the car.

You don’t want to exceed the capacity of the brakes to stop the car.

No Problem…

I have a boat of that exact size too that I have trailered several hundred miles to regattas. Many others in attendance had done the same w/o problems with fwd cars of your size. They have so little wind resistance, you barely know they are there at higher speeds. The problem may arise if you pack too Much additional gear in the trunk and rear seat. Handling and total load capacity may then be compromised.

BTW, I have a JY15, What are you looking for ? I’ve had two of them over 20 years and would recommend it highly for durable racing and pleasure day sailing. It tows with little effort and is the size you are looking for with total towing weight of about 5oo lbs. The Dart 18 catamaran we raced too is faster, lighter, easier still to tow than a monohull and easier to rig with a boom less rig, by two adults than a Hobie. But it is “w i d e” and demands big lakes to fully appreciate. You can tow small cats with the smallest of cars.

I see the attitude that “you don’t even know it is there” demonstrated by many citizens that tow. Why is it that it must be shown that your vehicle is so strong that it can be driven like it is not towing something? well it is and don’t forget it.

I guess you failed to read my comment in it’s entirety. Maximum vehicle capacity is most important and causes handling problems as approached. That “you don’t know it’s there” reflex a positive handling aspect of small boat towing due to their light weight and less wind resistance than a comparable utility trailer. Please don’t take it out of context. Drivers ahould always remember they are towing…even when the vehicle doesn’t. OP was concerned about vehicle capability, not driver responsibility while towing. That’s a different question.

No I read what you wrote in it’s entireity, I was pointing out how the “knucklehead” comes out in many drivers when towing, they don’t slow down one bit, it seems they must prove that their vehicle is not affected by the load they are pulling.

Diverging from exactly what an OP is asking too a “and watch for this also” issue is one of the trademarks of CarTalk, and very much allowed if prior behaviour is any indication.

Automatic transmission?? Better install an aftermarket oil cooler…Be careful how you use the overdrive…

Thanks for the advice, Dagosa -

I have ended up with a Lido 14. It trailers quite easily and has not proven to be a problem for my 4-banger, automatic transmission '96 Camry, and driving over a number of smaller mountain passes (summits) here in Eastern Idaho. I just drive it E-Z.

It’s now getting cold here, with our first snows in the high country, so I’ve just packed up my boat for the season and will anxiously await spring '11. But I’ve just whetted my appetite and look for more time on the water!

Thanks for your informed advise.
Eric Limbach

you should probably look into adding a transmission cooler