advice on towing

A forum for discussing issues relating to trailers and towing MacGregor sailboats.

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impinnacr
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advice on towing

Post by impinnacr » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:07 pm

Well, my beloved tow vehicle which was a Ford Bronco is dead and jobs, and paycuts what they are, I can't really afford to go buy another vehicle right now. I do have a 92 ford ranger with the 3.0 liter V6. I am towing a 1988 mac 26D. I wanted some advice as to whether anyone believes this is a safe bet. I checked it out with Uhaul, and the local Ford dealer and they all seem to think its no big deal so what is your opinion?

impinnacr
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Re: advice on towing

Post by impinnacr » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:37 pm

one more thing. its a 2WD vehicle.

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Québec 1
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Re: advice on towing

Post by Québec 1 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:45 pm

I have towed my 26M with my 94 Buick leSabre for thousands of miles. I have Cargo tires and surge breaks ans bearing buddies on the trailer and had my own towing package installed on the Buick which has a front wheel drive 3800 V6 which include Cargo coils, super shocks,transmission cooler and type 3 hitch. With out these improvements I could not haul my 26M with my Buick. Now I can haul it comfortably with 4 passengers at a steady 55mph on the highway. My Buick weighs about the same as the boat which is a good point.
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Last edited by Québec 1 on Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sumner
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Re: advice on towing

Post by Sumner » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:50 pm

Is it an auto or manual? If it is an auto I'd put on a cooler even if it has one in the radiator. If it has overdrive I wouldn't tow in OD except for possibly flat or slightly down hill conditions. I'd put a temp gauge on the transmission also if it is an auto. If it gets over 240 pull over and let it cool down. Don't lug it on the hills, shift down even if you have to slow considerably. Tow at a max of 55-60, especially if the trailer is a single axle with no brakes.

Also you don't say how far you are towing or the terrain. I would tow with it observing the above,

Sum

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impinnacr
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Re: advice on towing

Post by impinnacr » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:36 am

Thanks for the advice Sumner. It is an automatic. I will watch the temp and am planning on looking into getting a transmission oil cooler installed. Also, I tow pretty much on the flat with some sl hills. You have a good point about not towing in OD too. My tow distance averages about 80 miles. The mac trailer is an old single axle with surge brakes.
Thanks,
Chris

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opie
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Re: advice on towing

Post by opie » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:09 am

I have doubts about using the Ranger for a Mac tow vehicle. One, the Ford Ranger (I have one btw) is designed to be light in the back when unloaded so that it can take a payload. I think you may spin a tire on the ramp. Two, the 3.0 liter V6 is a bit small. I use a 4.0 liter Jeep Cherokee and believe me, I am on the very edge of capability with a 4.0 liter judging from the heat and smells I observe each time I tow. (Been doing it 5 years on the Jeep so far, but in the relative flat piedmont of NC) And third, even though passenger 2wd vehicles have done it well from reading above, I think 4WD is a must for some ramps.

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Sumner
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Re: advice on towing

Post by Sumner » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:40 am

impinnacr wrote:........... I will watch the temp and am planning on looking into getting a transmission oil cooler installed.............
When I'm talking about the temp, besides the water temp on the motor buy a transmission temperature gauge. It could save you a very expensive repair. I have one in the street rod and I'm going to install one in the Suburban.

They aren't easy to install. If you haven't changed the filter in the transmission in some time consider doing that. When they drop the pan to change the filter then a bung can be put into the side of the pan and the sending unit for the temp gauge can screw into that. Also at the same time have them put in a bung in the pan with a plug, so you can change the fluid without dropping the pan if that is the case with your vehicle.

Good luck and just don't rush things with the 3 liter,

Sum

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bubba
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Re: advice on towing

Post by bubba » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:32 pm

We bought a new tow Van E350 last month and I used our std hitch stinger from our old 1/2 ton pickup which had no drop to the hitch ball and we fishtalled badly going down the road untill I bought a hitch stinger with a 5 1/2 inch drop and it settled down. I am thinking I may need to get another stinger one of the adjustable types to find the optimum trailering ball height off the ground. Anyone had this problem ?

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The Mutt
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Re: advice on towing

Post by The Mutt » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:21 pm

Being partial to the old body style Range Rover and knowing the short comings of Pommy motors first hand we went a different route, we purchased a 1988 Range Rover, ripped out the V8 engine, automatic gear box and coil suspension, purchased on old Landrover that already had the desired Isuzu diesel truck motor and matching gearbox installed (the same engine and gearbox are used in the Australian army Land Rovers including the 6WD Perentie), did the appropriate surgery into the Rangie, bought a small truck air suspension kit from one of our suppliers and fitted that, next we sourced and fitted a suitable turbo and high flow intercooler.

The final result is a fulltime 4WD with a reliable truck motor that is usually found in 8 ton Pantec trucks, a military spec manual gearbox, and adjustable suspension up to 12 inches.

Maximum speed on the highway without towing 115Km per hr, maximum speed while towing 110Km per hr, noise levels while idling or at highway speeds make it hard to have a conversation, :? we are currently fitting an acoustic rocker cover and bus sound blanket everywhere.

Comfort of ride :) , ease of towing and launching our Mac "Imagine" brilliant, couldn't have asked for better. Would I do it again ... YES total cost doing the work ourselves, no more than AU$8K, I was quoted AU$20 - 25K labour to fit the motor and gearbox with me supplying everything, and you thought Pirates ran the Country or worked the high Seas!

I hope I haven't bored you, I thought you might be interested in hearing about the direction we took to get a competent tow vehicle.

Glenn

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DaveB
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Re: advice on towing

Post by DaveB » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:04 pm

Like the old saying goes...What ever cranks your Tractor! :)
Dave
The Mutt wrote:Being partial to the old body style Range Rover and knowing the short comings of Pommy motors first hand we went a different route, we purchased a 1988 Range Rover, ripped out the V8 engine, automatic gear box and coil suspension, purchased on old Landrover that already had the desired Isuzu diesel truck motor and matching gearbox installed (the same engine and gearbox are used in the Australian army Land Rovers including the 6WD Perentie), did the appropriate surgery into the Rangie, bought a small truck air suspension kit from one of our suppliers and fitted that, next we sourced and fitted a suitable turbo and high flow intercooler.

The final result is a fulltime 4WD with a reliable truck motor that is usually found in 8 ton Pantec trucks, a military spec manual gearbox, and adjustable suspension up to 12 inches.

Maximum speed on the highway without towing 115Km per hr, maximum speed while towing 110Km per hr, noise levels while idling or at highway speeds make it hard to have a conversation, :? we are currently fitting an acoustic rocker cover and bus sound blanket everywhere.

Comfort of ride :) , ease of towing and launching our Mac "Imagine" brilliant, couldn't have asked for better. Would I do it again ... YES total cost doing the work ourselves, no more than AU$8K, I was quoted AU$20 - 25K labour to fit the motor and gearbox with me supplying everything, and you thought Pirates ran the Country or worked the high Seas!

I hope I haven't bored you, I thought you might be interested in hearing about the direction we took to get a competent tow vehicle.

Glenn

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Re: advice on towing

Post by Boblee » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:39 pm

Yeah well after using the Hi lux to tow for thousands of k's (20+) illegally but doing it easily with the 3 litre turbo deisel decided to change it over so bought a Toyota Dyna light truck, took the refrigerated body off it and put a lower one with two doors a side and barn doors on the back cost $6000 for truck and $1000 for the body but still have refrigerated back and sold the Hilux for $17000.
It has a 4.1 diesel motor and geared to run best at 80k's but will do 110k's this suits me as there is plenty of grunt down low for pulling up a ramp and with dual rear wheels plenty of traction if loaded, it gets 6k's to the litre at 80ks (15mpg?) and thats exactly the speed I like to drive at (towing) on good roads but it will sit on 90 no worries.
At least this way I can strip the weight out of the boat and load it on the truck with a 4 ton capacity, not needed for short trips but for us it certainly gives peace of mind and is an absolute dream to drive for the wife or myself even in traffic.
Note the 12' dinghy with motor and all attached on the trailer fits inside the back locked, which is very handy in some of our northern areas.
If anyone thinks their boat/trailer is under 2 ton without gear I suggest they get it weighed you may be surprised I always am at the actual weight rather than the theoretical weight.

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Ivan Awfulitch
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Re: advice on towing

Post by Ivan Awfulitch » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:57 pm

We tow our 2002 26X with a 2004 3.0 liter Ranger with an automatic. We don't put many miles on it, some years less than 5 miles. Haven't had any problems, and we did pull it from St. Louis to Akron Ohio when we first bought it and really had to watch the speed, as it was easy to hit 60-70 mph. Unless you're on the highway on mostly flat terrain we did turn off the overdrive as there was just enough weight for it to shift frequently with the overdrive on. The truck pulls the boat very easily and there's never been a problem with heat. Ours has the XLT package, and is rated at 3500 lb. towing.

I do recommend that you always motor and dump the ballast before pulling it out of the water as the truck does strain to pull it out, but the wheels do not spin. Plus, I didn't like the way the trailer and trailer tires looked with the extra weight. :evil:

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Re: advice on towing

Post by bartmac » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:33 pm

The light truck path is probably the one for us...Ford Transit 2.4 turbo diesel long wheelbase,fitted with all the fruit IE traction control,stability control ABS and for a small 4 cylinder turbo a ton of grunt....so much so you see the idiots who just have to overtake coming and running out of puff
Economical and like I said no hill is a problem....worried about the ramp without our slide on camper....wheelspin

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Re: advice on towing

Post by fishheadbarandgrill » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:56 pm

I have a 2007 26M. I use a 1994 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0. I had no issues towing from the NC-VA boarder to Charleston, SC. Truck handled 55-60 mph on both I-95 and US hwys with no issues in OD on flat terrain. no swaying or tugging. I was pleased.

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Re: advice on towing

Post by Boblee » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:59 am

Ivan
At 3500lb's you will be well overloaded pulling the mac not sure if the x is lighter but I think with even the bare minimum of gear the M's are very close to the trailer rating of 1905 kg's or 4200lb's.
At 2270 kg ( 5004 lbs) ours is nearly 400kg (881 lb's) over but likely more when clothes and bedding etc is added the truck has a towing capacity of 6170 lbs and the springs etc are rated at 5500 lb's but the trailer isn't legally due to brake specs.
Our hilux with a towing capacity (legal here) of 1800 kg (3968) was way over even before the vehicle was loaded but did the job easily if not legally.
Personally I think the trailers should be rated at, at least 2500-3000kg or 5500-6600lb's but the that would bugger the argument about towing with the family car especially here where the ratings are far lower.

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