If you are one of the more than 100 million Americans that participate in boating, you will have to pull your boat at one time or the other. Some motorists believe that to tow, you need to have a truck, but that is not always the case. There are so many other cars that you can use to tow your boat.
Is a Tahoe one of the vehicles you can use to tow a boat?
Can A Tahoe Pull A Boat?
Yes. A Chevrolet Tahoe can pull a boat as long as the weight of the boat and its trailer does not exceed the towing capacity of the Tahoe. Most boats weight between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds and a Tahoe can tow at least 7,700 pounds.
When fitted with the Max Trailering System and the most powerful engine, a Tahoe can tow up to 8,500 pounds. Read on to learn more on how to tow a boat with a Tahoe.
What is the Chevy Tahoe Tow Capacity?
A Chevy Tahoe can pull between 7,700 pounds and 8,500 pounds, depending on the trim and the presence of the Max Trailering package. If you have the package, you will tow more than if your Tahoe doesn’t have the package.
The Max Trailering package is available for all trims of the Chevy Tahoe. Chevy also has a package for its trucks to make them tow more and tow better. The suite of features in the package differs from one model to the next, but there are some features that are common among the vehicles.
Automatic locking rear differential is part of the package. This feature allows the rear wheels of the Tahoe to turn at the same time even when the traction is different. When engaged, this feature makes it easier for the driver to maintain control when pulling a heavy load.
Another features common in the package is the trailering suspension package that ensures you enjoy a steady drive when pulling a load by reducing the strain on the suspension. Further, you get an enhanced cooling radiator that reduces the stress on the engine through better engine cooling.
The Tahoe also has better shock tuning to ensure that the weight of the boat and its trailer do not jar the Tahoe. The heavy duty rear springs on your Tahoe ensures that your vehicle is strong even when towing at maximum capacity. Its rear axle is also strong to ensure the SUV has more pulling power.
An integrated trailer brake controller comes as part of the package to help you stop faster when you are driving on the highway. This is a great safety feature that is mandatory in some states. If your Tahoe has a Max Trailering package, you will get the necessary trailering equipment such as a tow hitch to help you get started with towing.
What if your Tahoe doesn’t have a trailering package?
You will tow less without the Max Trailering package. However, the Tahoe was still designed to tow, and you will have no problem fitting an aftermarket tow hitch, wiring harness, and trailer hitch controller.
How Much Can You Tow With a Tahoe?
Although a Tahoe is rated to tow between 7,700 and 8,500 pounds, depending on the configuration, you may not tow a boat as heavy as 8,500 pounds.
As a rule of thumb, you should never exceed the Tahoe’s gross weight, which is about 7,400 pounds. The gross vehicle weight rating, GVWR, is the maximum weight the Tahoe can handle. This weight rating includes the curb weight of the vehicle, the cargo in it, the passengers, the fluids, and the attached trailer’s tongue weight.
If your Tahoe is carrying eight passengers and each of these passengers has a suitcase in the cargo area, then you limit the size and weight of the boat you can pull. If you want to tow a large boat, say one that is 6,000 pounds, you need to reduce the cargo and the number of passengers in the Tahoe.
You should never exceed the gross weight of the vehicle as doing so may damage the axle. The axle is strong, but only enough to handle the recommended weight.
Again, your Tahoe becomes more challenging to control when you exceed the gross weight. Be on the safe side and consider how much cargo and how many passengers you bring.
A Tahoe has a curb weight of about 5,500 pounds (some trims are heavier and others lighter). If the gross weight of the Tahoe is 7,400 pounds, it means the cargo, the passengers and the tongue weight of the boat and its trailer should not exceed 1,900 pounds.
Which Boats Can a Tahoe Pull?
There are boats that weigh as low as 400 pounds and some that weigh as much as 14,000 pounds. However, most boats weigh between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds, and they fall within what a Tahoe can pull. Below are the weights of various boats that a Tahoe can pull:
Aluminum fishing boats are about 400 pounds heavy without an engine. The heaviest of these boats are still less than 1,000 pounds even with the engine. These boats may have a flat bottom, modified V or deep V – those with a deep V have a larger hull and a bigger engine.
Bowrider boats weigh about 3,200 pounds. These are boats engineered for shot cruises, and they have a console where you steer them from. They are available in different lengths with the most popular boats being 21 feet in length.
A bowrider features a fiberglass construction, which makes it heavier than an aluminum boat. However, the fiberglass also makes it stronger to withstand rough conditions at sea.
Cuddy Cabin boats are bigger than bowriders, but smaller than cabin cruisers. They offer you a large area to sleep and eat from. These boats weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, which falls within what a Tahoe can handle. Most of these boats are between 20 and 30 feet in length.
Deck boats weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds and have a length of between 20 and 30 feet. They are designed for day cruises. They have plenty of deck space, allowing you to bring your whole family onboard. If you love pontoon boats for their space, you have these boats as they offer the same space too.
Fiberglass fishing boats are heavier and stronger than aluminum fishing boats. Most of these boats weigh between 1,500 and 2,500 pounds, but the weight can shoot up to 5,000 pound if you consider the engine and the boat trailer.
Pontoon boats are about 2,200 pounds, but can be up to 5,000 pounds with an engine and a trailer. They are ideal when you need a large deck to bring all family members onboard and have so much fun.
Sailboats less than 20 feet long are also towable with a Tahoe. Because these boats do not have an engine, they are very light with most being less than 1,000 pounds. These days sailboats feature either wood or fiberglass construction with wood being lighter.
Sailboats longer than 20 feet, but less than 30 feet may weigh between 4,000 and 8,000 pounds. The largest boats in this range may not be towable with a Tahoe. When you consider the weight of the trailer and the gear you may have inside the boat, you will find that it is not towable. But you can tow the smaller ones in that range.
Skiffs weigh less than 1,000 pounds and are less than 20 feet long. These are boats that ride on shallow waters. They are easy to tow as most may not have engines, therefore, lowering their weight. If yours doesn’t have an engine, it will be very light, but you will have to carry a pole to steer it over the water.
Wake boats are also towable with a Tahoe. These boats are about 20 feet long and with a weight of between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds. When in the water, they create wakes on which the wakesurfer or wakeboarder can ride.
A Tahoe will pull most of the boats above, but you still need to consider the weight of the trailer, the gear you bring in your boat, and the cargo you have in the Tahoe. With the necessary towing equipment, you will find it easier to tow a boat.
Before you press that Chevy Tahoe tow button, you need to consider the waters you will tow your boat to. Do you need to get a little into the water to pull out your boat? Will the 18-inch wheels of the Tahoe accommodate pulling the boat out of the water?
If the condition at the Marina does not allow your Tahoe to pull out your boat, you can have a vehicle with bigger wheels pull out the boat, and you can then tow it from there.
Modern Tahoe and Suburbans offer a suite of comfort and luxury features that keep you entertained all way. You also get better towing features to keep you safe on the road.