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Hello all! I'm in the market to purchase a boat and I want to get an idea of what size tow vehicle I would need to tow it safely. I currently have a 2015 F150 4WD with 3.73 gears and a 1740lb payload. GCWR is listed at 16200lbs, and 7000lbs for GVWR. Tow distance will be about 250 miles. Ideally I want to use this and not have to step up to a 3/4 ton. The boats I am looking at are in the 25-28 foot range (Nordic Rage, Nordic Heat, Nordic Lightning, Conquest Top Cat, Eliminator Fundeck, Howard Bullet 25/28). I am not sure what the exact total weights are on each of these boats/trailer but I would venture to guess between 6-8k lbs? Am I in over my head towing any of these with a 1/2 ton? Let me know. And to keep this thread interesting, post pics of your rigs if you have them, boating season is just around the corner!
 

sintax

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Hello all! I'm in the market to purchase a boat and I want to get an idea of what size tow vehicle I would need to tow it safely. I currently have a 2015 F150 4WD with 3.73 gears and a 1740lb payload. GCWR is listed at 16200lbs, and 7000lbs for GVWR. Tow distance will be about 250 miles. Ideally I want to use this and not have to step up to a 3/4 ton. The boats I am looking at are in the 25-28 foot range (Nordic Rage, Nordic Heat, Nordic Lightning, Conquest Top Cat, Eliminator Fundeck, Howard Bullet 25/28). I am not sure what the exact total weights are on each of these boats/trailer but I would venture to guess between 6-8k lbs? Am I in over my head towing any of these with a 1/2 ton? Let me know. And to keep this thread interesting, post pics of your rigs if you have them, boating season is just around the corner!
I have towed my brother in laws 28' Cheetah deck with his old 1/2 ton. Its doable, its NOT fun. You can feel the truck working hard, and the breaking SUCKS, and you can feel the boat pushing the truck around. 1/2 tons just are not meant for that sort of weight on a regular basis.

I think for me it would come down to how often i'd be towing. If its just once or twice a year doing that 250 mi, no big deal. If you intend on doing it often, i imagine that would get old quick.
 
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Ricks raft

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Pretty simple I think. What's the truck rated for towing? If you want it to last don't tow at 100%. I towed a Hallett 255 obwt with 2011 f150 did fine
 

Mandelon

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Try it once, and see how it goes. What engine is in your truck? I have a 2013 but it only has the 3.7. I tow a few tons with it and it does OK, but I can sure feel it when the trailer is full of concrete.
 

OldSchoolBoats

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For the size boats you are looking at, I would definitely step up to a 3/4 ton. The F150 won't have a problem towing them, it will just be working a lot harder.
 

Runs2rch

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Welcome to the site!

You will notices the sarcasm runs deep on here.

Towed a 27ft Hallett with twins with a half ton from LA to Vegas for years. Pulled Baker Grade just fine as well as the grade out of state line.
 

Jay Dub

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Hello all! I'm in the market to purchase a boat and I want to get an idea of what size tow vehicle I would need to tow it safely. I currently have a 2015 F150 4WD with 3.73 gears and a 1740lb payload. GCWR is listed at 16200lbs, and 7000lbs for GVWR. Tow distance will be about 250 miles. Ideally I want to use this and not have to step up to a 3/4 ton. The boats I am looking at are in the 25-28 foot range (Nordic Rage, Nordic Heat, Nordic Lightning, Conquest Top Cat, Eliminator Fundeck, Howard Bullet 25/28). I am not sure what the exact total weights are on each of these boats/trailer but I would venture to guess between 6-8k lbs? Am I in over my head towing any of these with a 1/2 ton? Let me know. And to keep this thread interesting, post pics of your rigs if you have them, boating season is just around the corner!
You will be towing appx 6000-6500 lbs in my opinion. You will be fine. Take it easy. Allow extra distances/etc and make sure your trailer brakes are working correctly. FWIW, I tow with a BMW X5 but my boat setup weighs less than you are considering.
 

HB2Havasu

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Your GVWR is fine for the boats you listed. With an F150 a lot will depend where your towing to/from. If your drive is mostly flat you shouldn't have any issues. If your pulling some major grade(s) your trucks engine/tranny and brakes will be working overtime. I am always on the side of 'You can't have too much truck" !!!

If your making that trip to the lake a lot, you might wanna consider storing your boat where your lake is. It's a lot cheaper than buying a new tow vehicle every few years!
 

bldrinker

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Welcome to RDP. If you have an 1/2ton you are incapable of towing anything larger than a radio flyer, but if you have a 3/4ton diesel you can pull a 20,000lb toy hauler and make statements like “I can’t even feel it back there”.

If you have a 1/2ton and go over the weight rating everyone looses their mind. But if it is a 3/4ton and go over the weight rating it’s no big deal.

8,000lb with a 1/2ton is possible. Without question.
But with all towing scenarios the idiot behind the wheel makes a big difference.
 
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McKay

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I pulled a Heat with a GMC Yukon Denali a lot of miles. Many, many times to Lake Powell from SLC and a couple to Havasu. Worked just fine and did not feel unsafe. BUT, I put Electric Over Hydraulics on the trailer after towing the first time to a local lake. Made a huge difference, I would not do it without. But towing it with my GMC 3/4 ton was better for sure all they way around except for comfort for the family.
 

bldrinker

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Towing isn’t the problem, it’s the stopping that will bite ya.

Flat land or through some hills?
I have never understood this. Trailers have brakes nowadays. Drive like you have something between your ears and it’s a non issues.

Matter of fact I have to take my truck out of tow haul when I go down hills because my truck downshifts and slows down to much.
 
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Hahahaha, sarcasm definitely runs deep here! The truck has the 5.0 and has a listed max trailer weight at 10,600. Of course thats Fords rating and it will be limited by payload. I’ve towed 7k with it and it did fine....so anything from an SUV to a Peterbuilt? I think the 3/4 ton will fit perfectly lol!
 

DanG

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I have a 2017 F150 4x4 with 3.5 Ecoboost and a 25' Shockwave Tremor and it tows it well. The Tremor comes in at 4300 pounds and I believe a Top Cat is 4800 pounds, so with trailer and gear, you should be in that 6k-8k pound estimate you gave, which the 1/2 ton should be able to handle. As stated, it does depend on how often and type of terrain (hills, etc.) you will be towing. I had a Chevy 2500 before the F150 and the big difference you notice is the stability in the wind, stopping power, etc. Oh and gas milliage, that Ecoboost sucks the fuel when towing and in the turbo often. My opinion is you would be fine with the F150 unless you are towing long distance often and or steep grades/winding roads.
 

outboard_256

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I towed at max weight for years. On big hills I would tuck in with the semi trucks and crest the hills at 30 mph (if I wanted to pass them my max was 35mph at full throttle). Downhills I would have to down shift and use 100% engine braking and reserve my real brakes for when needed. If I drove normal in high gear my brakes would start to fade pretty fast and be useless if I needed them. You are basically 100% focused while driving since you knew braking would take twice as long as normal. I wouldn't recommend it for the average driver but if you are a truck driver or have experience towing heavy loads you will know what to do.
 

Mandelon

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Just tow with common sense, leave lots of room to react and avoid panic stops. You should be fine.
 
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It would be towed 8-10 times a year from SoCal to Havasu. The steepest grade would be about 6% in the Cajon Pass. Everything else is mostly flat, but it can get pretty gusty in the valleys (70 mph+ gusts).
 

Jay Dub

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I pulled a Heat with a GMC Yukon Denali a lot of miles. Many, many times to Lake Powell from SLC and a couple to Havasu. Worked just fine and did not feel unsafe. BUT, I put Electric Over Hydraulics on the trailer after towing the first time to a local lake. Made a huge difference, I would not do it without. But towing it with my GMC 3/4 ton was better for sure all they way around except for comfort for the family.
good idea. If OP is sticking with the F150 adding EOH braking makes good sense.
 

lbhsbz

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I have never understood this. Trailers have brakes nowadays. Drive like you have something between your ears and it’s a non issues.

Matter of fact I have to take my truck out of tow haul when I go down hills because my truck downshifts and slows down to much.
This...a 2015 F150 uses almost 14" front brake rotor and the rears aren't much smaller. These are bigger than anything 3/4 ton prior to 2010.
 
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As long as none of these boats exceed 7k lbs I think I will be good. I just don’t know what the total weight would be with the boat, trailer, fuel, gear, etc. Getting over 8k I would definitely step up to the 3/4 ton. My next truck will be a 3/4 ton but I just want to ride the F150 out as long as I can.
 

bldrinker

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It would be towed 8-10 times a year from SoCal to Havasu. The steepest grade would be about 6% in the Cajon Pass. Everything else is mostly flat, but it can get pretty gusty in the valleys (70 mph+ gusts).
My ‘13 ram 1500 pulled a 7500lb travel trailer up cajon at 65-70mph with ease. Got it up to 80mph just to prove someone wrong once lol.

You should worry more about trans temp and crosswinds than go and whoa.
 

Bpracing1127

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What engine do you have?

towing 8k boat is a breeze for the 3.5 or 5.0. I wouldn’t hesitate.
I towed my dads 29nordic deck from time to time and it did just fine. I have a 2013 f150 eco boost
 

throttle

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Take the grades slow and easy, stay in the right lane

Might wanna try a new prop first.


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pronstar

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Biggest half-ton towing issue is tongue weight and rated payload capacity of the truck.

When you approach max towing/tongue weight, your payload capacity can really be limited.

Just use your head, know what you’re towing and hauling, and you’ll be fine.

It doesn’t sound like you’re really pushing the limits with what you’d like to tow.


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Desert Whaler

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I'll agree with most everyone above.
My boat is small and light, but I still try to have 'a little more truck' than I 'need'. Just makes for a more confident, safe towing experience.
That being said, if you do decide to use the F-150, you can do a few things that will 'help'. Proper rated tires for your truck and inflated to correct PSI helps a lot. Making SURE that your tongue weight of your trailer is correctly distributed (roughly 10% of the weight of the boat /trailer). There are weight-distributing hitches that some people swear by that aid in carrying the load. Some people like air-bags. Remote cab-mounted brake controllers can help on downhill grades. If your truck doesn't have a remote transmission fluid cooler, adding one can be beneficial. And keeping all important fluids topped-off with quality products will help. While none of these will replace the 'Mass' of a larger truck, they will certainly help make for a safer, more pleasurable towing experience.
I've seen 1/2 tons set-up nicely for 'heavy' towing that did well , and 3/4 -1-tons that were a mess and set-up totally incorrectly.
'Longevity' of the F-150 after heavy towing is another story, but that wasn't the question. Good luck and ask lots of questions.
 

DaveH

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i have a 27 hallet with twins i routinely tow with a 3/4 ton.....no sweat.

but one year i drove my cousins denali (half ton) with the 6.0 from vegas to Powell. if you haven't driven that before its a serious grade after Hurricane up to colorado city and what i would consider a "challenging" drive after that......lots of up/down and curves, single lane etc.

the truck with the 6.0 pulled fine...breaking left a little to be desired. but overall it surprised me how well it did when you consider the denalli was loaded up with people (that's the reason we tool it so as not to have to take multiple cars) and gear.

if your trailer brakes are regularly maintained you should be fine as long as you remember to take it somewhat easy.
 

rivermobster

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Hello all! I'm in the market to purchase a boat and I want to get an idea of what size tow vehicle I would need to tow it safely. I currently have a 2015 F150 4WD with 3.73 gears and a 1740lb payload. GCWR is listed at 16200lbs, and 7000lbs for GVWR. Tow distance will be about 250 miles. Ideally I want to use this and not have to step up to a 3/4 ton. The boats I am looking at are in the 25-28 foot range (Nordic Rage, Nordic Heat, Nordic Lightning, Conquest Top Cat, Eliminator Fundeck, Howard Bullet 25/28). I am not sure what the exact total weights are on each of these boats/trailer but I would venture to guess between 6-8k lbs? Am I in over my head towing any of these with a 1/2 ton? Let me know. And to keep this thread interesting, post pics of your rigs if you have them, boating season is just around the corner!
If you wanna get all picky and shit...

Put your truck on the scale, fully loaded with gas, gear and people, and subtract that amount from your GCWR. The result is what your truck is rated to tow. Easy easy.

But like others have said, you'll have to be 100% focused towing with a half ton. 30mph up a hill, getting blown all over on a windy day, is not my idea of fun!

I have a one ton crew cab long bed diesel. I don't slow down for hills, the wind has has a minimal effect, and I have around a 500 mile range towing.

Can you tow a 7k lb boat with your truck loaded with gas, gear and friends? Of course!

Will it be enjoyable? Probably not so much.


Cool nick btw. Welcome to the madness!
 
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Thanks for the responses. Sounds like the 1/2 ton can get it done but the 3/4 will be a more comfortable ride. A 3/4 ton will be in the works but for the time being I will see how the F150 will handle the load.
 

DarkHorseRacing

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Hello all! I'm in the market to purchase a boat and I want to get an idea of what size tow vehicle I would need to tow it safely. I currently have a 2015 F150 4WD with 3.73 gears and a 1740lb payload. GCWR is listed at 16200lbs, and 7000lbs for GVWR. Tow distance will be about 250 miles. Ideally I want to use this and not have to step up to a 3/4 ton. The boats I am looking at are in the 25-28 foot range (Nordic Rage, Nordic Heat, Nordic Lightning, Conquest Top Cat, Eliminator Fundeck, Howard Bullet 25/28). I am not sure what the exact total weights are on each of these boats/trailer but I would venture to guess between 6-8k lbs? Am I in over my head towing any of these with a 1/2 ton? Let me know. And to keep this thread interesting, post pics of your rigs if you have them, boating season is just around the corner!
Considering that GM killed the 3/4 ton platform for Suburbans and Yukons in like 2013, there are literally thousands of newer 1/2 ton Burbs and Yuk's towing large boats everywhere.

I have an old 2009 3/4 Yuk (4WD), but the tow rating isn't much higher than the newer 1/2 tons. As long as you get a good tow package most 1/2 tons can tow most boats under 28 feet. My dad tows a 30' Eagle pretty regularly with his 1/2 ton Yuk and it tows well, he has the big engine and the tow package.

Obviously the 3/4 ton and up offer much better towing capabilities, but that really depends on how much you tow and where you tow. They benefit on large grades, or with much larger loads. However, they also have a much higher safety factor (better brakes, etc) built in.
 

bilz

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I have never towed with an f150, but have many miles pulling with a Tundra all the way up to 10K. 6500 should be no big deal. Will you slow down on the hills, most likely, and you will need to watch the down hill. As stated before, just drive with something between the ears. In another thread, we all saw that F450
have a mishap that looked like speed was a factor. Just always check your equipment before and during your trip. Everyone towing should be doing this.
 

FROGMAN524

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Welcome to RDP. If you have an 1/2ton you are incapable of towing anything larger than a radio flyer, but if you have a 3/4ton diesel you can pull a 20,000lb toy hauler and make statements like “I can’t even feel it back there”.

If you have a 1/2ton and go over the weight rating everyone looses their mind. But if it is a 3/4ton and go over the weight rating it’s no big deal.

8,000lb with a 1/2ton is possible. Without question.
But with all towing scenarios the idiot behind the wheel makes a big difference.
Like this guy.



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pronstar

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Considering that GM killed the 3/4 ton platform for Suburbans and Yukons in like 2013, there are literally thousands of newer 1/2 ton Burbs and Yuk's towing large boats everywhere.

I have an old 2009 3/4 Yuk (4WD), but the tow rating isn't much higher than the newer 1/2 tons. As long as you get a good tow package most 1/2 tons can tow most boats under 28 feet. My dad tows a 30' Eagle pretty regularly with his 1/2 ton Yuk and it tows well, he has the big engine and the tow package.

Obviously the 3/4 ton and up offer much better towing capabilities, but that really depends on how much you tow and where you tow. They benefit on large grades, or with much larger loads. However, they also have a much higher safety factor (better brakes, etc) built in.
You could get a 3/4 ton Suburban all the way up thru 2020 thru their fleet program. But it was only offered with the 5.3 and tow rating is about the same as the regular models. GVWR is decent though.

They also offered a 1-ton model for government purchase only. I dunno what those specs are.

In all likelihood, these ‘Burbs were designed more for armored vehicle conversions, and less for towing.


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SKIDMARC

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Thanks for the responses. Sounds like the 1/2 ton can get it done but the 3/4 will be a more comfortable ride. A 3/4 ton will be in the works but for the time being I will see how the F150 will handle the load.

I would just add some helper bags. It will improve the ride in the truck.. I did that to my 1/2 ton towing my travel trailer and it helped allot. Not too expensing around 6-700 bucks. Also if your truck has a trailer brake system that also helps with stopping.
 

LargeOrangeFont

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If you wanna get all picky and shit...

Put your truck on the scale, fully loaded with gas, gear and people, and subtract that amount from your GCWR. The result is what your truck is rated to tow. Easy easy.

But like others have said, you'll have to be 100% focused towing with a half ton. 30mph up a hill, getting blown all over on a windy day, is not my idea of fun!

I have a one ton crew cab long bed diesel. I don't slow down for hills, the wind has has a minimal effect, and I have around a 500 mile range towing.

Can you tow a 7k lb boat with your truck loaded with gas, gear and friends? Of course!

Will it be enjoyable? Probably not so much.


Cool nick btw. Welcome to the madness!
With the weight he is describing the truck he has won't even have to slow down for Cajon.. it will just drop a couple gears and should maintain 60. Worst case add a rear sway bar and/or airbags. if a little more stability is needed.
 

Mike K

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Don’t forget ... spend an extra $100 and put some load air-bags on the rear ... it will make a huge difference with that F150.
 

LargeOrangeFont

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I would just add some helper bags. It will improve the ride in the truck.. I did that to my 1/2 ton towing my travel trailer and it helped allot. Not too expensing around 6-700 bucks. Also if your truck has a trailer brake system that also helps with stopping.
This helps a lot with a travel trailer or car hauler for sure. It depends on the boat, but most of the weight is so far back when towing a boat, the tongue weight is not as much, and the helper bags aren't as a dramatic of an improvement, but still helps.
 

LuckyStrike

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Not to derail the thread but what’s the deal with the Not for Hire/Private Coach stickers on these mini semi trucks? Is that a requirement to pass a weigh station?


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Yes


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Dirtbag

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We pull our 28 Shockwave Deck "probably heavier than all the boats you listed" With a Toyota Tundra 4x4. We put air bags in the back and it pulls it no problem. Back to Shockwave in Corona and out to Havasu easy as pie. While the Tundra doesnt have all the Bells and Whistles and the gas mileage is soso I wouldnt hesitate to buy another one. Absolutely Love this truck!

Its a limited. Has moonroof leather nav hands free and that about covers it!
 

PlanB

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Bumped up to a 3/4 ton truck after towing a 26' DCB with a 1/2 ton Suburban sketched me out a little. It towed the load fine, but with surge brakes on the trailer, if you had to stop quickly it pushed the vehicle. My first trailer with electric over hydraulic brakes was also a game changer. I would personally go for a bigger tow vehicle than you think you need.
 

Dennis-19

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If you don’t mind red lining the engine often, have less braking power, feeling the trailer behind you and a poorer quality ride keep what you got.

If not, you know what you need to do.
 
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