Can A Chevy Tahoe Pull A Pontoon Boat?


Can A Chevy Tahoe Pull A Pontoon Boat?

You will need to pull your pontoon boat at some point, whether you are moving it into new waters, or you are taking it to the port, towing a boat is part of owning one. Your boat helps you create beautiful memories with friends and family, but you have to get it to the water first.

Can A Chevy Tahoe Pull A Pontoon Boat?

Yes. A Chevy Tahoe can pull a pontoon boat as long as the boat doesn’t exceed the towing capacity of the Tahoe. A pontoon boat weighs about 2,200 pounds while the Tahoe can tow at least 7,700 pounds with some towing as much as 8,600 pounds.

When towing a pontoon boat, you need to be ready with all the needed equipment and gear. Towing a pontoon boat is different from towing a V-hull boat as the boat is less aerodynamic. The boat experiences a lot of drag on the road when you are towing it, and you need to know the best way to tow it.

When you start towing a pontoon boat, you may need to lower the bimini top and remove the windshield to reduce the drag. Even though the Chevy Tahoe is a powerful boat, you need to ensure that you make the process as swift as possible.

How Do You Tow a Pontoon Boat with a Chevy Tahoe?

You need your vehicle to be in a good condition before you haul a pontoon boat. The SUV might be powerful, but without proper maintenance, the SUV may not haul as you need.

You need to check the towing capacity of your vehicle from the user manual. The towing capacity will advise the size and weight of the boat that you can tow. The weight of the boat you can tow will be dependent on the other cargo you have in your Chevy Tahoe and the passengers, and any other added accessories you may have on your Tahoe.

When you have the exact tow numbers of your Tahoe, you can use that to calculate the dry weight of the pontoon boat you can tow. When towing, you need to consider the safety of you and your family. The weight you tow will determine whether you can stop within 20 feet with your trailer loaded.

The stopping distance needs to be safe, whether you have brakes on your trailer or there are no brakes. If your trailer cannot stop within 20 feet, then you will be taking a risk by towing the boat. If you take that adventure and drive for a long distance, you will end up on unfamiliar roads and a short stopping distance comes in handy.

Whether your trailer has brakes or has no brakes, you should stop within 20 feet with the Tahoe driving at 20 mph. Unless the weight of the pontoon boat and the trailer exceed 4,000 pounds, you are not required to have trailer brakes. However, you can still have the brakes as they help you brake faster within a shorter distance.

The safest way to tow a pontoon boat with a Chevy Tahoe is to tow the boat when empty. This way, you do not have to worry about the extra weight that comes with boat cargo. As a rule of thumb, if the weight of the trailer and the boat weigh more than three-quarters of your truck, you will need to have trailer brakes installed.

What is the Average Weight of a Pontoon Boat and a Chevy Tahoe?

A pontoon boat weights about 2,200 pounds. When empty, any model of Chevrolet Tahoe can pull this boat. However, you have to add the weight of the trailer and any other gear you may have in the boat.

The Chevy Tahoe can tow between 7,700 and 8,600 pounds, depending on the trim, engine power and whether you have cargo and added accessories in your SUV.

Today, you can use apps to find the towing capacity of your vehicle. The app helps you calculate the heaviest load you can tow given the curb weight, the gross vehicle weight rating, and other weight ratings of your vehicle. You also need to consider the weight of the passengers and the cargo to get an accurate figure.

When calculating the maximum weight of the boat your SUV can tow, you need to consider the weight of the trailer. For a pontoon boat, you need to get a light, but sturdy trailer that allows you to carry your boat wherever you need.

Understanding The Terms Used When Towing a Boat

Once you understand the Chevy Tahoe tow specs, you will need to get ready for the tow. There are many factors that affect how smooth the tow will be, including whether you will get off road, where you are getting the boat from, and what else you need to carry. Although the Tahoe offers enough clearance to handle off-road driving, the clearance may not be enough to allow you to go back into the water.

Besides the clearance, you need to understand muscle power, which is the power you need to launch and tow away a boat. You will need more power for the largest pontoon boats and a smaller muscle power for the smaller pontoon boats.

The dry weight of the boat also matter. This is the weight of the pontoon without fuel and gear. To ensure that you do not overload your vehicle, you might need to consider all the gear, the fuel, and the accessories you need for your trip. These additional items can weigh hundreds of pounds.

Is Your Tahoe Ready to Tow a Pontoon Boat?

You should not overload your Tahoe as that might damage your transmission system. Damaged transmission systems are common, but you do not want the extra cost that comes with a damaged system.

The process of putting your boat in the water and then pulling it off is challenging. You need to ensure that your Tahoe has the power it needs. To ensure that your Tahoe is ready to pull a boat, you need to answer the following questions:

• Is the cooling system of your SUV in good enough condition to handle the added horsepower?

• Are your Tahoe brakes powerful enough to handle the extra weight of a boat trailer?

• Can your Tahoe’s suspension system and tires handle the tongue load?

• Can your vehicle handle trailer sway and emergency braking without losing control?

If you have not taken your car for maintenance, you may need to do so before you tow your boat. Through the maintenance, the mechanic will ensure that every system is functioning as it should to accommodate the heavy towing.

If you find yourself in an emergency, and you need to stop fast, not exceeding the GVWR will help you stop faster and in a smooth manner.

Understanding the Towing Weight Limits

The most obvious rating you will see on most vehicles is the towing capacity. However, there are so many other numbers that you will need to consider when you are determining the maximum weight you can tow.

The first is the curb weight of the vehicle. This is the total weight of your vehicle with fuel and fluids, but not passengers, gear, or cargo. Another rating is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, GVWR, which is the maximum weight of your vehicle, including the cargo, and any additions the Tahoe may have.

When calculating the towing capacity of the Tahoe from the GVWR, consider the tongue weight, which is between 10 and 15 percent of the total weight of the trailer and its contents. The tongue weight, and not the total weight of the trailer, should contribute to the GVWR of the Tahoe. Tahoes have a GVWR of about 7,400 pounds and a curb weight of about 5,300 pounds.

The Gross Combined Weight Rating, GCWR, refers to the maximum weight allowed for the trailer and the towing vehicle combined. If you have all these numbers, you can calculate how much weight you can tow behind your vehicle.

Unless you have so much cargo and so many passengers to bring to the trip, a Chevy Tahoe will tow a pontoon boat without any challenges.

Closing Thoughts

A Chevy Tahoe is a powerful SUV that you can take on the roughest of trips. The SUV allows you to tow up to 8,600 pounds. Considering that most pontoon boats are only 2,200 pounds, you may not have to worry whether your Tahoe will tow the boat.

If you want to tow a pontoon without any issues, you need to ensure that you do not bring so much cargo to the trip, and you also reduce the number of passengers you bring to the trip. Even then, you still need to do your calculations to ensure that you do not exceed the weight rating of the vehicle.

You can see the necessary numbers for your calculations in your vehicle’s user manual. Once you have the numbers from the manual and the estimated weight of the boat, the trailer, the passengers, and cargo, you can see whether it will be possible to bring a boat behind your Tahoe.

Kern Campbell

Kern is a life long boater who finds great happiness sitting at the helm of a boat running on the open water. When he's not running the boat, he's likely anchored up along the beach with his wife, kids and good friends enjoying a great day at the coast.

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