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3 min read

Is Your Vehicle Ready to Tow a Boat?

By Bill DeBoer on Apr 7, 2015 4:00:00 AM

Spring is here, and with it, the promise of warmer temperatures ahead. As we look forward to warm breezes and fun in the sun, the Skylands Boat Show, which takes place April 10-12, 2015, will be gracing us with some terrific selections in the newly remodeled Skylands Stadium Event Center. They will be spotlighting high performance speed boats, inflatables, pontoons, power boats and jet skis. This is a “don’t miss” opportunity where you can connect with local dealers and get a great buy.

After you’ve picked out that perfect new boat at the show, or even if you already have one, you may wonder, “Is my vehicle ready to tow a boat?” There’s a lot more involved than just installing a hitch. Here are some things you need to know about towing safety before heading out to the lake.


Know How Much You Can Tow

Whether you are towing a boat or jet skis, getting these safely where you’re going depends on your vehicle having the power to tow the weight. When preparing your vehicle for safe towing, create a vehicle checklist for towing a boat and add this item to the top of the list. Here’s how to figure out whether your vehicle has what it takes:

  • You’ll find the number of pounds you can safely tow listed in your owner’s manual under the vehicle’s towing capacity, or sometimes this information is found on the driver’s door post.
  • Next, add the weight of your trailer, plus the weight of your boat or recreational water craft, plus the estimated weight of everything you put into that boat, such as life vests, baggage and fuel.
  • Compare this total with your vehicle’s towing capacity. If the number is well under capacity, your vehicle has enough power to safely tow the weight.

Fill Up on All Fluids

It’s important to check all the fluids in your vehicle to prepare your car or truck for towing this summer, not just the oil and gas. Check the fluids in your radiator and windshield wiper reservoir, as well as transmission fluid.

Add Air and Rotate Tires

When towing extra weight, it’s vital to have even pressure in your tires. Uneven pressure can cause poor distribution of weight and result in loss of control on the road. Ensure all tires have the proper air pressure and get your tires rotated if the wear appears uneven. Be sure you check the trailer’s tires as well.


Check All Brakes

If you are keeping up a vehicle checklist for towing a boat, make sure you add this item to check each time you tow. You may have up to three sets of brakes so you’ll want to ensure you check each set including: your vehicle’s brakes, your emergency brake and your trailer’s brakes if you have them. Additionally, while towing your boat, make it easy on your vehicle’s brakes by down shifting into a lower gear when you drive downhill.

Test Your Trailer Lights

Before you leave your driveway, check to ensure your trailer’s tail lights are functioning properly. The safety of your vehicle, as well as the safety of others, depends on these working properly.

Taking these simple safeguards will help make certain your fun in the sun isn’t hampered with expensive repairs or accidents.

If you are looking for auto service and repair in Hamburg to help you get your vehicle ready for boat towing, contact us. DeBoer’s Auto is ready to help.

Schedule Now!

Bill DeBoer

Written by Bill DeBoer

William J. DeBoer (Bill Jr.) is Co-owner and Vice President at DeBoer’s Auto. As the company’s General Manager, Bill has been responsible for bringing innovations in daily operations to the full-service, high-tech auto repair facility for 20+ years. Passionate about computers from an early age, Bill’s interest in technology gravitated to cars while he was in college. By obtaining a Certificate in Automotive Technology followed by a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State, Bill was able to fuse his interests into a car technology specialization and join the family business shortly thereafter.