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Discussion Starter #1
Oh yeah, stupid newbie trying to tow a 7000lb boat and trailer.

I have a 1996 Bronco XLT 5.8L 351w. It has the transmission cooler.
I have to tow a 255 cobalt boat (25 and a half feet plus trailer) about 200 miles. Can I do it. I read up and the literature suggests the bronco can tow up to 7500 pounds. The trailer requires a 2 5/8 ball.

Follow the links to my current hitch. How many pounds is this rated to? It looks like a 3/8 plate runs through the bumper and bolts to the frame.

Thoughts?

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/1442/dscn0259v.jpg
http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/1578/dscn0258e.jpg
http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/1077/dscn0257p.jpg

PS Rust makes it stronger, right?
 

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You are gonna need a frame mounted hitch for starters. And a weight distributing hitch would next best idea.
 

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that sounds like a terrible idea... I tow alot of stuff all over the southeast, but I use a powerstroke diesel for it. Your biggest issue will be the fact that the bronco just isn't big enough to handle it. It can probably pull it, but your 8.8 rear end isn't up to snuff, plus the truck is just physically too small to stop or turn a load that size easily.

Can it be done? yeah, it might not even break the truck, but should you do it??? well, I guess that's up to you.

Better get a weighted tag, some states are worse than others about that, but if your tag doesn't cover enough weight for your boat plus your truck then it is time for a HUGE ticket, and the DOT will make you park it right there on the side of the road.

Don't even consider it with a bumper hitch, and even a stock frame hitch would be a stretch for that. If you do not have trailer brakes then you will certainly wreck, no question about it, unless you go 25mph the whole time. Without trailer brakes you're trying to stop 7,500lbs + 4,500 lbs with about 10 square inches of rubber on the road. Bare minimum you will need a frame hitch and trailer brakes, even then it's gonna be a real scary ride.

not trying to be negative, but I think you should consider other options. You can pick up a used F-250 pretty cheap, if the boat is yours and you will haul it from time to time maybe you should consider that. If the boat isn't yours then just let the owner figure out another way to do it. I hauled 120 pressure treated 1x10 deck boards with my bronco on a 1,500lb trailer when my truck was down, I had a hard time with that and it squatted my suspension waaay down. I don't know what that weighed but I'm certain it was no where near what your boat weighs...
 

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that sounds like a terrible idea... I tow alot of stuff all over the southeast, but I use a powerstroke diesel for it. Your biggest issue will be the fact that the bronco just isn't big enough to handle it. It can probably pull it, but your 8.8 rear end isn't up to snuff, plus the truck is just physically too small to stop or turn a load that size easily.

Can it be done? yeah, it might not even break the truck, but should you do it??? well, I guess that's up to you.

Better get a weighted tag, some states are worse than others about that, but if your tag doesn't cover enough weight for your boat plus your truck then it is time for a HUGE ticket, and the DOT will make you park it right there on the side of the road.

Don't even consider it with a bumper hitch, and even a stock frame hitch would be a stretch for that. If you do not have trailer brakes then you will certainly wreck, no question about it, unless you go 25mph the whole time. Without trailer brakes you're trying to stop 7,500lbs + 4,500 lbs with about 10 square inches of rubber on the road. Bare minimum you will need a frame hitch and trailer brakes, even then it's gonna be a real scary ride.

not trying to be negative, but I think you should consider other options. You can pick up a used F-250 pretty cheap, if the boat is yours and you will haul it from time to time maybe you should consider that. If the boat isn't yours then just let the owner figure out another way to do it. I hauled 120 pressure treated 1x10 deck boards with my bronco on a 1,500lb trailer when my truck was down, I had a hard time with that and it squatted my suspension waaay down. I don't know what that weighed but I'm certain it was no where near what your boat weighs...
Good advice. Find another vehicle. Dually would be best.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks

I appreciate the information.
Sounds like the only thing holding me back is intelligence.
Am I correct in the 7500lb tow capacity?
 

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A cobalt 255 shouldn't be that heavy, even with the trailer.

Does it have a swim platform? Have you measure the boat? Most manufactures now, who sell boats with a swim platform as standard include that in the overall length. If that's the case the boat is actually about 23ft, and should be about 5500 with trailer.
 

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I hauled my 23 foot car trailer with a ton off tree on it yesterday, and it wasnt the best.
I should have used the 1 ton but i was in a hurry. It worked fine, but it was squattin a bit.
with the short wheel base of the bronco, it will be squirrly as hell. Specialllly wouldnt do it, as others said,
with a bumper hitch.

EDIT: stopping will be a bitchhh. My trailer brakes arent wired yet, and i couldnt stop to save my life going down some hills.
Stunk something fierce.
A 3/4 ton would be perfect though as mentioned below.
 

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:popc1:I would worry about the short wheel base and stopping the object. It's going to be light in the steering and heavy on the push when you stop. I wouldn't advise. I dont think you need a dually but a 3/4 ton truck would be a good idea.
 

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While i dont think I would want to do it all the time, The guys are a little dramatic. I hauled a 6000 lbs tracter on a 1500 lbs. trailier without trailer brakes. It was about 300 miles. The only scarey part was brakes. But I have 38" tires. So my brakes are over stressed. One thing to consider is how big the hills are on your route. If you take it eazy, should be OK. I do have a frame mounted hitch. One good thing about the Bronco is the short distance from axle to hitch. It makes it less likly to sway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
no swim step. Its an older cobalt, before they started doing the 23 to 25 up sell on swim step.
The trailer is a two axle trailer with brakes.
I'm concerned about the brakes a little bit. I live at 6000 feet (tahoe) and will be going down the hill (to about sea level).

Hitch recommendations?
 

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I appreciate the information.
Sounds like the only thing holding me back is intelligence.
Am I correct in the 7500lb tow capacity?
You can do limited class IV (I believe) with the proper hitch, plus all the tow package stuff I had bought (dual front shocks, extra capacity radiator, tow package yada yada), I show the 351/E4OD as 7000 max tow weight. Just the bumper mount as I recall you can't go beyond around 4k.

Is that downhill a lot of incline with switchbacks? and pushy californians?
 

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Kitteh Commandaar!
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You can do 7000 lbs or little more with the correct setup, and being very, very cautious...

In my towing experience, I towed a bronco with another bronco on a dolly, weighted in at around 10-11klbs...stoping short wasn't happening, but gearing down on the hills and keeping your distance from people in front of you works best. If you can, take the back roads, dont drive faster than you have to, and just use common sense.

KC
 

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There is nothing wrong with the engine, tranny or axles for a load like that, its just the short wheel base. You could do it and probably be Ok if you take it slow, and preferably use a weight distributing hitch. The trailer is going to want to push the truck around on the turns, and you won't have as much weight on the front axle so its possible you could completley loose control. You wouldn't want to be on the brakes while going around a corner since its possible you could lock the front tires up and then you'll be off the side of the cliff. I'd do it myself, but I probably wouldn't be above 35 mph untill I got down the mountain. And in the turns take it way slower then you think you'd need.
Be careful, there is no easy road out of Tahoe when taking a rig like that.
 

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Oh yeah, stupid newbie trying to tow a 7000lb boat and trailer.

I have a 1996 Bronco XLT 5.8L 351w. It has the transmission cooler.
I have to tow a 255 cobalt boat (25 and a half feet plus trailer) about 200 miles. Can I do it. I read up and the literature suggests the bronco can tow up to 7500 pounds. The trailer requires a 2 5/8 ball.

Follow the links to my current hitch. How many pounds is this rated to? It looks like a 3/8 plate runs through the bumper and bolts to the frame.

Thoughts?

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/1442/dscn0259v.jpg
http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/1578/dscn0258e.jpg
http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/1077/dscn0257p.jpg

PS Rust makes it stronger, right?
Holy smoke!!!

I've towed a 23' boat to Lake Shasta and Lake Tahoe. But only with a good running engine, lot's of cooling, good brakes (including trailer brakes) and under control.

I believe a Class IV frame mounted hitch is mandatory, even required by law, for that weight. A bumper mounted hitch is asking for a memorable vacation... :shocked

See this link: Hitches and Towing 101
 

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Holy smoke!!!

I've towed a 23' boat to Lake Shasta and Lake Tahoe. But only with a good running engine, lot's of cooling, good brakes (including trailer brakes) and under control.

I believe a Class IV frame mounted hitch is mandatory, even required by law, for that weight. A bumper mounted hitch is asking for a memorable vacation... :shocked

See this link: Hitches and Towing 101
i want to see that home video please...:popc1:
 

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The bronco will pull it just fine. A longer wheel base truck will tow it much more smoothly. A fast stop will get your heart racing or a big bang. The class 3 or better is a must... trailer brakes are a must. You might end up killing someone.
 

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for the OP if you do this and should come to Florida, make sure too place your screenname on the outsides of your back windows, so I can know to stay away and avoid your truck ;)


why risk this, your boat and other persons safety on the public roads?
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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:stupidx ___ No on the bumper hitch, yes on trailer brakes, yes on a bigger truck.

I tow with both my Bronco & my F250 Super Duty. Both work for what I usually tow, but the Super Duty is far more stable with the same trailer. It's a night & day difference with far less load than you're describing. It doesn't seem to notice trailers that make me work pretty hard with the Bronco. For very heavy loads I only use the big truck.

Even with trailer brakes, you have to allow extra stopping room. Sometimes stupid little cars with no clue cut in front of you during a stop, & burn up that extra distance. It happened enough while hauling a Bronco to Oregon, that I started to think they were out to get me. Even if you're careful, you have no control over what they do. Having a bigger tow vehicle increases your margin when the unexpected happens.

So my "vote" is for getting something bigger with trailer brakes, especially coming down from Tahoe. Run in lower gears so you don't use the brakes much unless you need to stop. Leave the overdrive off while towing to help keep the tranny from overheating.
 
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