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How fast do you tow?

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  • How fast do you tow?

    So, how fast do you guys go while towing? The speed limit, under, or over? The speed limit in CA while towing is 55mph. I'd say about 85% of the time I go 55, but sometimes I go 60ish. What speed do you feel comfortable and safe at?

    By the way, I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota Quadcab 4x2 with the 4.7L pulling a 20' Bayliner Capri right around 3500lbs with all my crap in it.
    Spicoli for president - Mr. Hand for V-P


  • #2
    Re: How fast do you tow?

    I pull a SeaRay 18.5' or a 16' Lund behind a GMC 3/4 ton 4x4 with a 6.0L. The usual tow speed is 110 to 120 kph (about 70 to 75 mph).

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    • #3
      Re: How fast do you tow?

      There's no special speed limits for vehicles with trailers here in Alberta, so I do the regular 110 km/h (69 MPH) speed limit on divided highways. On undivided highways the limit is usually 100 km/h (63 MPH), but I usually go a little faster to avoid gathering too big of a following. Lots of people here like to do 120-130 km/h, and they get frustrated and try to make unsafe passes when they get stuck behind people who have the audacity to do the speed limit. 110 km/h is usually fast enough for them to keep their cool and wait their turn though.

      I don't understand the lower limits for trailers. Having large speed differentials on highways is unsafe. When I visited California I found the 55 MPH trailer limit scary. I would be cruising along with traffic at 70-75 MPH and a truck or RV would seem to appear out of nowhere and I would pass them like they were standing still. Traffic was light when I was driving there so it wasn't too bad, but it must get crazy when traffic picks up. During peak traffic hours here a truck doing 110 km/h passing an RV doing 105 km/h might back up 15 cars before pulling back into the right lane. It would be much worse if the truck was doing 55 MPH (88 km/h) and the RV was doing 52 MPH (83 km/h).

      BTW - My boat is a 14.5 ft runabout (~1600 lb) that I tow with a Saturn SL2.

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      • #4
        Re: How fast do you tow?

        df909,
        iam with you,i pull mine at 55 or 60
        (which is the tow speed here in ohio)

        woosterken
        woosterken
        '74 MFG gypsy
        '95 F150 4X4

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        • #5
          Re: How fast do you tow?

          80/20

          whatever speed puts 20% of traffic passing me and 80% getting passed by me.... usually makes a confortable trip without tickets

          interstate limit here is 70 so 78 mph works well
          Kevin

          But, where are the reevets?
          1981 Wellcraft V-20 CC Fisherman (FREE BOAT)
          1989 Wellcraft Monte Carlo 28(Build thread here)
          1992 Hotsports Jet'n'Cat Yam 701 WR3 drivetrain "SS George Washington"
          90's Yamaha WRIII and a pair of 95 Kawasaki ZXI-900's
          Fresh clean cheap oil is better then old dirty expensive oil any day
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: How fast do you tow?

            I usually stay a bit under the speed limit, whatever that happens to be where I am at the time. My max limit, no matter where I am, is 60 mph.

            Special circumstances such as rain or heavy traffic, will cause me to back off even more. My van is rated to tow up to 6,300 pounds, but my boat/trailer only weighs about 2,000, so I have a pretty big safety margin in general. Even so, that rating assumes trailer brakes and anti-sway devices, so caution seems to be the better way to go.

            My biggest concern is braking and my van does very well with that. I've had to do panic stops with the boat behind me, and have had no problems, mostly because I am constantly adjusting interval, as people cut in front of me. In heavy traffic, that is hard to do, but just slowing down will usually keep me within a "zone" that enables me to stop easily. The anti-lock braking system also helps quite a bit with controllability.

            Next on the list is tire and/or bearing failures. I've had both occur and the trailer has remained very controllable on each occasion. I had a massive and premature bearing failure on one axle end last Saturday night, while traveling at 60 mph and the trailer did fine. The tire was wobbling all over the place, but it didn't come off and I was able to let off the gas, slow down and get to the shoulder.

            Some moron (me ), forgot to put the outer washer on. before the nut, while replacing the bearings about 6 months ago! I have the axle nuts that don't have the "castle" portion - there is a castle cap that goes over them and the cotter key goes through that. Unfortunately, if you don't put the washer in, the nut tightens down onto the axle too much and the cap fits too far away from the cotter key hole in the axle, to properly prevent the nut from moving. Sooooooooooooo ...... mine did move and the hub moved outward just a little bit, which was enough for the tire to wobble imperceptibly and destroy the bearings, over time.

            Note to self: When you see a little bit of grease on the inside of one of the trailer wheel hubs and the seal is pretty new, ask yourself why!!!!! It just might be the tip that the hub has moved outward, just enough to let the seal get sloppy and sling grease!



            Please don't PM me on advice issues - let's keep that in the forums, so that everyone can benefit. Please note that I do not email PDFs, etc. I have a bandwidth limited aircard for internet access. My avatar does not mean I have any offical link to iboats. I just like it!

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: How fast do you tow?

              Originally posted by df909 View Post
              So, how fast do you guys go while towing? The speed limit, under, or over? The speed limit in CA while towing is 55mph. I'd say about 85% of the time I go 55, but sometimes I go 60ish. What speed do you feel comfortable and safe at?

              By the way, I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota Quadcab 4x2 with the 4.7L pulling a 20' Bayliner Capri right around 3500lbs with all my crap in it.
              If I see him coming up the rear I'll do 57ish, and when I'm alone 63 mph, It seems to work good for me here in CA. Just keep an eye on your mirrors.
              In the long run, Using OEM parts may just cost you less money!

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: How fast do you tow?

                Originally posted by smokeonthewater View Post
                80/20

                whatever speed puts 20% of traffic passing me and 80% getting passed by me.... usually makes a confortable trip without tickets

                interstate limit here is 70 so 78 mph works well
                That's my rule of thumb when my boat isn't behind me. With the boat, I'd have to downshift to 4th gear to maintain that speed and the fuel economy and noise (4500 RPM in 4th at 120 km/h) penalties of going that fast just aren't worth it.

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: How fast do you tow?

                  Towing anything, boat or otherwise, is not about how fast you can go. It's about how fast can you safely STOP.......

                  And remember, any vehicle's stopping ability will change depending on several factors: brake condition, heat, cold, road conditions, driver mentality, etc. In other words, don't let the right foot do the thinking for you
                  ><(((>

                  "I think it's time I move on like a rolling stone
                  'cause I've got all the broken dreams I can buy
                  Time to sell the ones I stole"
                  (Poison)

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: How fast do you tow?

                    I tow with a pretty big truck these days, and the boat has brakes, so i just make myself comfortable. I'd say 75 on the interstate...but my speedo isn't exactly correct, so it's hard to say.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: How fast do you tow?

                      Illinois tow laws are 55mph, but no one follows them. If you do, you'll get some nasty looks by drivers for going too slow. Personally, I try to go no faster than 65mph.

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: How fast do you tow?

                        Originally posted by Subliminal View Post
                        I tow with a pretty big truck these days, and the boat has brakes, so i just make myself comfortable. I'd say 75 on the interstate...but my speedo isn't exactly correct, so it's hard to say.
                        Really? When did they offer that option and on what model?

                        <JK>

                        To the OP, there really isn't a hard and fast "limit" , or rather if there is one it changes from road to road. I'd guess that Smoke's advice is pretty close although my percentages might vary
                        Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: How fast do you tow?

                          I usually keep it around 60. I have no trouble safely going faster than that, but that seems to be the speed at which my GMC pickemup is happiest with the barge behind. Less searching.
                          Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
                          21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

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                          • #14
                            Re: How fast do you tow?

                            As Titanium48 pointed out, we don't have special speed limits for trailers in western Canada (not sure about B.C.) It used to be that people drove 10 km over the limit but now the norm is closer to 20 km over the limit. Driving much slower than that just disrupts the traffic flow and can cause deadly accidents.

                            The RCMP does not seem to have a quota system for giving tickets. And unless a driver does something obviously stupid or dangerous, they let the traffic move along. Of course, having well maintained equipment is the key; one does not want wheels falling off at higher speeds.

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: How fast do you tow?

                              i drive trucks in cali and i do 61 during the day, 65 at night. towing the boat only gets up to about 50-55 because of the park speed limits and i tow mostly local. otherwise in nevada you can legally tow up to 70 on the highways.
                              Samuel Adams. Always A Good Decision.
                              1987 5.0 OMC capri 1950CX bowrider, 3 bow 6 ft. Westland bimini
                              sigpic

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