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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2012 3.7L V6 Jeep and a Grade 1 after-market hitch. Although the Jeep does not have the tow package, it does have a tow/haul switch that eases the strain on the transmission when towing.

Both the hitch and the vehicle are approved for a max of 2000 lbs gross tongue weight.

Does anyone have any experience towing boats with a vehicle engine this size? I am looking at buying a bass boat in the next year (want an 18 foot and around 100-150 hp engine) and want to make sure that I am narrowing my search to boats that won't tear the engine up.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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river & muskie angler, dayhiker
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i have the same engine in my Liberty. I tow a lot smaller boat, maybe 1500 lbs and it pulls fine. also my jeep with stock everything is rated to tow 5000lbs.
 

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2000 lbs is a significant amount of weight but I think you should be fine. I try to stay away from towing the maximum amount my truck can handle but short distances and properly towing procedures will keep your transmission in good health. When I'm maxed out around 10,000 lbs I even put it in 4 wheel drive to take a little strain off the transmission. Ask them at the boat dealer to let you test drive the load before you buy if it is possible. Your engine should be fine, it's the brakes and transmission I would worry most about. Or go rent a uhaul trailer for 18.95 and ask how much it weighs, load up the rest of the weight evenly and see how the vehicle handles it. I don't know much about smaller vehicles but I tow a dump trailer with an f150 every day of the week.
 

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You have a class 1 hitch if it's rated for 2K. Sounds like the vehicle can run a class 2 or 3. Get a better hitch a 18' rig is going to be closer to 3K total package weight. I'd start with a class 3, they have 2 X 2 openings and accept bike racks, hitch hauls, etc.

Here's a link to better understand them.

http://www.etrailer.com/faq-hitchclasses.aspx
good information as well
 

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I also have the 3.7L V6, and pull a 16' 2" boat with a 250lb 40HP 4-stroke.


It does fine...

My boat is 520 lbs with no engine mounted.

Wonder how much more a 18' bass boat + 150 would weigh?

FYI - The jeep was also packed in this shot, on my way for a vacation.
Normally with an empty Jeep, the rear end is higher.
It did however, come with the tow package from the factory.
 

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2 min 30 sec from Hoover
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If you are talking about a wrangler I believe your max tow capacity is only 2000 lbs unless you have 3.73 rear end option. If you do have the 3.73 rear you'll still be pushing the limits of your rig. It's not so much the engine size (it can handle the load) it's the frame configuartion and the braking system when loaded. The ratings also take into account suspension components.

Here's a good discussion link for towing with the Wrangler.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/confused-on-tow-capacity-139183.html
 

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I've towed 25 foot mobile homes with a 4cyl but truck frame/suspension and hitch must be rated for the load to be safe.;)

You could tow most anything with a motorcycle but try stopping it, and it's a** would be dragging the ground.:D

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OK, it's a Liberty. Forget the hitch, what does the owner's manual say is your max towing weight?? You can upgrade the hitch if needed, but don't push too close to what the manual says is max weight.
 

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Don't forget that tow ratings have the qualifier "when properly equipped". Properly equipped almost always means a weight distributing hitch. A complete distribution set-up is expensive but in my opinion well worth the investment.
 

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That's it! You'll get it goin' no problem, it's the coming to a stop that will be the issue!!
I believe it would have 4 wheel disc brakes which would be functionally identical or better than other vehicles rated for twice the weight or more. My opinion is you will never know till you try. Weight distribution and the way the trailer axles are set up. I know i build them for a living. I have pulled loads that were loaded wrong that pushed me all over the road in a truck rated for 3 times the load. Boats generally haul fairly well i dont think you would have a problem but getting it out of the lake in the summer....thats another story.
 

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I saw an S-10 pulling a 5th wheel RV this morning. Your combo is way safer than that!

I have a Chevy astro with 4.3 v6, and rwd. I pull a large popup camper with electric brakes (probably 3,000 lbs loaded) with the van loaded it pulls it fine, but I wouldn't want to pull much more. Trailer brakes are important particularly with a smaller tow vehicle.

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the info. The Liberty is approved for 2,000 GTW. My hitch is approved for up to 3,500. From what I am reading above, the key is the vehicle. It does have a tow/haul switch, which should take some of the pressure off the engine/transmission.

Most of the towing I will be doing will be within 60 miles of my house or closer.

When I start looking, I am going to try and find boats with trailers that have their own braking system. I will also look into a weight distribution hitch. I also talked to my mechanic and see if there is anything he can install to keep the transmission cool.

Thanks for the replies.
 
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