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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
I am looking at towing a 25' center console boat with my 2006 4x2 Commander that has the 5.7 Hemi. The boat with trailer, gas, and supplies will be around 6300 lbs. My plan is to only tow the boat from the storage yard to the boat ramps here in Seminole, FL which will be 5-10 miles round trip. Being new to towing I will only stay on local streets going no more that 30ish mph.

Over time, my plan is to tow the boat down to the keys but I'm sure I'll need additional mods for safety to accomplish that. (sway bars, electronic brakes, etc...)

My Commander is pretty much stock at this point, but I am looking at installing the Roadmaster Active suspension Leaf springs to help keep the Commander level under load. Is this recommended or should I use something else?

So is this doable with the Commander I have and will it be safe for towing and also for pulling out the boat at the boat ramps? What modifications do I need to safely tow this boat, or am I crazy and this is not recommended. The sales guy at the marina seems to think the Commander will not be able to tow the boat, but knowing the max rating is 6500 lbs I want to make this happen for buying a new full size truck is not an option right now.

Thanks in advance for any advise.
Jason
 

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Load leveling hitch

I don't tow much at all but some friends have big camper trailers and they have an insert that goes in the reciever and then there are 2 arms with adjusting chains that levels the tounge and tow vehicle. That may help.

Swanny
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies! Google search gave me the wrong information for max towing capacity! gotta love it

Yes, I have read a couple posts where people are hauling 25' camping trailers and sounds like it's working out well for them.

Are there any boaters out there towing a larger boat with their Commanders? Any problems pulling out on steep ramps? I know I will have to watch out for slimy, slippery ramps sense i only have 2 wheel drive. (should have paid the extra in '06 for the 4x4) Would love to hear from any boaters and their experiences.

thank,
 

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Thanks for the replies! Google search gave me the wrong information for max towing capacity! gotta love it

Yes, I have read a couple posts where people are hauling 25' camping trailers and sounds like it's working out well for them.

Are there any boaters out there towing a larger boat with their Commanders? Any problems pulling out on steep ramps? I know I will have to watch out for slimy, slippery ramps sense i only have 2 wheel drive. (should have paid the extra in '06 for the 4x4) Would love to hear from any boaters and their experiences.

thank,
I have a lot of experience towing boats of various sizes up to 26 feet. I lived in the FL Keys for 17 years at one point in my life, and I'm pretty familiar with most of the boat ramps down there. I have not towed any boats with my Commander as of yet - but I'm very confident I could if I had to - because I'm driving a 4x4. I do have a small 5x8 enclosed utility trailer loaded up with all my camping and fishing gear, that I tow around regularly.

Your issue is you are driving a 4x2.

It doesn't matter that you have a Hemi; You're issue isn't going to be lack of power - your issue is going to be lack of traction.

If you knew you were going to be towing a 25 foot boat, I have no idea why you didn't buy a 4x4.

Some of the ramps you might be o.k. on - but on the steeper ramps (which are more common in the keys) that 4x2 Commander isn't going to cut it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Big Blue for the information and unfortunately that is the reality of my current situation. It's just really hard to hear and swallow right now.
I bought the Commander new in '06 with no intentions of towing anything. Now 11 years later with wife and two kids we are ready to jump into boating, fishing, diving, sand bars, etc... but with the jeep paid off for many years now I really don't want to trade it in for a 4x4 full size truck; however, it is sounding like i'll have no choice!!!! :( ugghhhh which in turn means I won't be able to get my dream boat! (Sea Hunt Gamefish 25)
 

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Thanks Big Blue for the information and unfortunately that is the reality of my current situation. It's just really hard to hear and swallow right now.
I bought the Commander new in '06 with no intentions of towing anything. Now 11 years later with wife and two kids we are ready to jump into boating, fishing, diving, sand bars, etc... but with the jeep paid off for many years now I really don't want to trade it in for a 4x4 full size truck; however, it is sounding like i'll have no choice!!!! :( ugghhhh which in turn means I won't be able to get my dream boat! (Sea Hunt Gamefish 25)
wargenn66;

If I were in your situation, I'd sell or trade in your Commander for a 4x4 Commander with either the 4.7L or 5.7L V-8 with QT-II or QD-II.

I wouldn't want to tow a 25ft boat with a 3.7L V-6 QT-I Commander on a regular basis. It's not that a 3.7L V-6 QT-I Commander couldn't do it - but it would be working extremely hard and pushing the limits of that particular power-train in my opinion.

You should be able to trade into a 4x4 Commander with a minimum of expense.

I understand that this may not be the most convenient solution - but this is probably the best and most cost effective solution, if you are dead-set on towing a 25ft boat around.
 

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Just my opinion here...

You'll be fine.

I wouldn't run racing slicks in the rear or anything, but I've seen worse equipment pull more boat up steep, wet ramps than what you have in your XK. If anything, it'll be fun roasting the tires should it be necessary after a few brews and a day on the water. However, with proper driving, the 4x2 XK will easily pull that weight up a wet ramp.

I've put a boat in the water more times than everyone here combined. ;)

As for road towing? You're good with the proper class hitch. You can add a brake controller if you want added help in sticky driving situations, but that's up to you.
 

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Let me reinforce CommandingTheTrail, towing 6300# with whatever you use, make sure you have a brake controller and good, self adjusting electric brakes on the trailer.
 

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Just my opinion here...

You'll be fine.

I wouldn't run racing slicks in the rear or anything, but I've seen worse equipment pull more boat up steep, wet ramps than what you have in your XK. If anything, it'll be fun roasting the tires should it be necessary after a few brews and a day on the water. However, with proper driving, the 4x2 XK will easily pull that weight up a wet ramp.

I've put a boat in the water more times than everyone here combined. ;)

As for road towing? You're good with the proper class hitch. You can add a brake controller if you want added help in sticky driving situations, but that's up to you.
You're certainly entitled to your opinion CTT - but you are setting this man up for failure.

I'm not telling him what I think - I'm telling him what I know, based on personal, real-life experience.

I'm very familiar with the area he will be towing in, I lived there (in the Keys) for 17 years and did a lot of fishing and boating while I was there. Currently I live in Vero Beach, FL when I am CONUS.

Most of the boat ramps down there are fairly new and have been re-engineered with a pretty steep tow-grade to accommodate float-on trailers.

Once those rear tires get a little moisture on them - that's it, game over.

A 4x2 Commander (Hemi-powered or otherwise) won't cut it, trying to pull a 25ft boat out of the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your input. I appreciate it. This is giving me a lot to think about. However, this will be my first boat and I will baby the crap out of it and at this point would not trust my novice skills in unload/loading at a ramp with only two wheel drive. Big Blue is absolutely correct about the boat ramps here in the Tampa Bay area. I go frequently to watch the masses pull out on the weekends and it is very scary to watch. There is a facebook page that has floating vehicles from people not knowing what they are doing on ramps in this area and I don't plan on being featured on that page!!! LOL
 

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Yes, and in most states a brake controller is required with brakes on the trailer over a certain weight. I would think 6300# would trigger this requirement in most places.
 

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You're certainly entitled to your opinion CTT - but you are setting this man up for failure.

I'm not telling him what I think - I'm telling him what I know, based on personal, real-life experience.

I'm very familiar with the area he will be towing in, I lived there (in the Keys) for 17 years and did a lot of fishing and boating while I was there. Currently I live in Vero Beach, FL when I am CONUS.

Most of the boat ramps down there are fairly new and have been re-engineered with a pretty steep tow-grade to accommodate float-on trailers.

Once those rear tires get a little moisture on them - that's it, game over.

A 4x2 Commander (Hemi-powered or otherwise) won't cut it, trying to pull a 25ft boat out of the water.
Again, I am just stating my opinion. From my experience.

We're in the same boat (pardon the pun), as I've owned a home in the keys for years. I have multiple boats in various locations in the keys and in the northern burbs of Atlanta and if the XK is driven by someone with any experience behind the wheel, they will be okay. The 2x4 Hemi XK is more than capable of pulling that weight up a pretty steep tow grade. Even if the rear tires are under water.
 

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Again, I am just stating my opinion. From my experience.

We're in the same boat (pardon the pun), as I've owned a home in the keys for years. I have multiple boats in various locations in the keys and in the northern burbs of Atlanta and if the XK is driven by someone with any experience behind the wheel, they will be okay. The 2x4 Hemi XK is more than capable of pulling that weight up a pretty steep tow grade. Even if the rear tires are under water.
Well we can agree to disagree because I completely disagree with you.

I think it's unsafe to tow a 25 ft boat with a 4x2 anything.

I had an 18 ft Wellcraft CC and I could not pull it out of the water with a full-size 4x2 F150 pick-up truck with a CAP on it.

You own multiple boats in various locations?

How large are your boats and what vehicle do you use to tow them with?

You own a home in the Keys?

Which Key?
 

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Well we can agree to disagree because I completely disagree with you.

I think it's unsafe to tow a 25 ft boat with a 4x2 anything.

I had an 18 ft Wellcraft CC and I could not pull it out of the water with a full-size 4x2 F150 pick-up truck with a CAP on it.

You own multiple boats in various locations?

How large are your boats and what vehicle do you use to tow them with?

You own a home in the Keys?

Which Key?
Yes, I agree. We disagree for sure, ha! A Hemi XK isn't a 4x2 F-150 with no ass in the rear.

Big Pine

I use my XK and my 2500 when towing my boats. Both 4x4.

Supra SE is my heaviest boat and the XK pulls it around with ease. It is a 4x4, but if it were 4x2 it wouldn't have a problem either. He's not in a V6 2 wheel drive pickup or anything... He's in a Hemi XK that is more than capable if equipped properly. Again, in my humble opinion. :wink3:
 

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Yes, I agree. We disagree for sure, ha! A Hemi XK isn't a 4x2 F-150 with no ass in the rear.

Big Pine

I use my XK and my 2500 when towing my boats. Both 4x4.

Supra SE is my heaviest boat and the XK pulls it around with ease. It is a 4x4, but if it were 4x2 it wouldn't have a problem either. He's not in a V6 2 wheel drive pickup or anything... He's in a Hemi XK that is more than capable if equipped properly. Again, in my humble opinion. :wink3:
Equipped properly would make it a 4x4.

My F-150 was an 8 cylinder 5.0L 302 with a cap on it - not a 6 cylinder.

By your own admission, you are using two 4x4's to pull your boats around, which just reiterates my point.

Nobody with any significant amount of towing and boating experience would use a 4x2 to tow a 25 ft boat around.

The fact that wargenn66 is planning on towing this 25 ft boot around often, dictates that it's in his best interest - for safety and for piece of mind - to upgrade to a 4x4 XK.

If he took your advice and pulled his 25 ft boat around and had a mishap/accident pulling his boat out - because he listened to you and didn't have adequate traction - then what??

You can continue to debate this if you like - but you're giving advice to somebody that is unsafe and not consistent with established best towing practices.
 

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Thanks everyone for your input. I appreciate it. This is giving me a lot to think about. However, this will be my first boat and I will baby the crap out of it and at this point would not trust my novice skills in unload/loading at a ramp with only two wheel drive.
wargenn66; How did it work out for you? I'm getting ready to do something similar with a 23' CC, a little lighter than you, but I have a 4x4.
 
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