GMC LIFE

HOW TO SAFELY TRAILER YOUR BOAT

HOW TO SAFELY TRAILER YOUR BOAT

Choosing a tow vehicle that can safely handle your boat or watercraft makes all the difference.

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Trailering a boat involves more than coupling the trailer to your vehicle – it also requires choosing the right vehicle for the task in the first place.

Not all vehicles are built for trailer towing. Keep in mind your trailering needs and basic practicality when choosing a vehicle. You need a vehicle that can meet your daily needs and also be sturdy enough to tow your watercraft when you are ready to play.

For instance, if the combined weight of the boat and trailer you intend to pull is in excess of 6,000 pounds, you cannot pull the load with a truck rated to pull only 5,000 pounds.

Generally speaking, you can choose a GMC truck, crossover or SUV that meets your needs exactly. For instance, if your boat is in the 6,000-pound range and the trailer is another 1,500 pounds, a properly equipped Sierra 1500 model would be appropriate for your needs. The 1500 series has a maximum conventional trailering capability of 12,100 pounds. On the other hand, if the combined weight of the boat and trailer is significantly larger, you will need to consider something from a heavier-duty model line, such as the GMC Sierra 3500HD, which offers a maximum gooseneck trailer weight rating of 35,500 pounds, maximum fifth-wheel trailer rating of 32,000 pounds and a maximum conventional trailer rating of 20,000 pounds.

Once you have chosen the GMC vehicle that meets your boat trailering needs, follow these steps to be sure you tow your boat safely and efficiently:

  • Never exceed the trailer weight rating of the GMC vehicle you are using, and pay close attention to such details as tongue weight and combination weight ratings
  • Before backing the boat trailer down a launch ramp, disconnect your trailer wiring, especially if your trailer uses incandescent bulbs for lighting. Doing so reduces the chance of breaking a light if cold water touches a warm bulb. Remember to reconnect your wiring once you’re out of the water again and ensure your lamps function as normal before heading out on the road
  • When loading the boat onto the trailer, distribute the weight properly. Winch the boat forward as far as it can go on the trailer, but make sure the trailer bunks or rollers are evenly supporting the weight
  • Before heading out on the road, secure the boat to the trailer with boat straps
  • Adjust the mirrors properly, and install extended side-view mirrors, if needed
  • Make sure the lights are working properly on your boat trailer
  • Ensure that tires are properly inflated and in good condition
  • Remember that you are pulling a great deal of additional weight, and slow down your driving speed to allow for proper braking distances. Never exceed the speed rating of the tires on either the tow vehicle or trailer.
  • Use the proper hitch for the trailer you are pulling

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