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Old 07 August 2004, 02:26   #1
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Trailers - How much do they weigh?

A bit of a problem here ...

I need to buy a launch vehicle for an 8.5mtr RIB and I want to make sure that tow "all up" weights are OK.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is at the top of my list but I have to wait until next year for the 2005 model, which will have the facilities that I am looking for. My wife, on the other hand was keen on the Jeep but has recently seen the Volvo XC90. I have test driven both cars (2004 Jeep, of course) and they seem fine on normal roads.

My problem is that the XC90 does not have a low ratio gear option so, in spite of developing more torque than a Discovery and a bit less than the Jeep, it can only tow 2.25 kg, whereas the Jeep (and Disco) can tow 3.5kg.
All are auto boxes.

I'm confused!

I estimate that the boat + fuel, gear and a person on board will weigh approx 1.55 Tonnes.

Does anyone know the weight of the trailers themselves?
Is the Volvo likely to be up to the job of launching?

I intend to leave the boat on its trailer in a marina and just use the car for launching, rather than towing.

Thank you for your thoughts!

Chris.
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Old 07 August 2004, 02:56   #2
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Hi Chris.
I know my last twin axle trailer for mt 7.2m Ribeye was approx 500kg.
I think that my current new Rapide twin axle is approx the same.

Most trailers on the ID plate gives you the unladen weight.

I currently use my Disco and yes, low range is the best option to have on a slipway. Even with the torque your clutch will take a bit of a hammering on a steep slipway. I tow the rib about 3 miles once a month for a service and that is all. I am toying with the option of having an old 90LR (3500kg towing cap!) just for that purpose and a small run around, as my wife has a people carrier so we never use the disco as a family car.
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Old 07 August 2004, 02:59   #3
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Towing Weights

Chris,

The law changed a few years ago so that you must be legally able to tow the maximum capacity of the trailer irrespective of its actual weight. So, even if you are towing an empty trailer, if its plated maximum weight is greater then the maximum permissble for the tow vehicle you are technically illegal.

I don't know of anyone who's been prosecuted for this and I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there who do it without a problem!

Andy Beach
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Old 07 August 2004, 03:59   #4
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Not man enough for the job...

Chris,

XC90 is a good car but wont be man enough for the job for an 8.5m RIB and trailer. Its a darn big rig and you need as big a vehicle as poss. Go for the Grand Cherokee. A friend uses one to tow his 8.5m Ocean and has in the last year dragged it to Switzerland and Scotland with no bother!

HTH,

Alan
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Old 07 August 2004, 06:04   #5
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Chris, my 2 axle trailer for my 8.5mtr weighs 640kgs.

You will need low ratio if the going gets a bit sticky. A torque converter can only cope with a certain speed difference bewteen its input and output. Under normal circumstances this limit is not reached, but it can be if the vehicle is bogged, eg. it has sunk in sand. Much the same way as a clutch can only take a certain amount.

The in/out speed difference, which causes the converter to stall, is caused by the load on the output being too great. This allows the engine to speed up the input without the output turning. The low ratio will lower the load on the output of the converter and it will prevent the problem.

With a clutch it's the other way. The clutch slows the engine until it stalls. Or the clutch fries .

It is easy to get stuck in soft, dry sand, the slightest wheel spin and you'll go down. Also, the sand will constantly form a wedge in front of the tyre and you have to climb this. Very much like never getting over the hump when your boat is about to plane. It saps a lot of power.

I hope this clarifies things a bit for you.
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Old 07 August 2004, 06:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Murray
I intend to leave the boat on its trailer in a marina and just use the car for launching, rather than towing. Chris.
Hey Chris,

If you really are not going to tow the rib on the road, have you thought about finding a boat yard with a rack? Most will take boats upto 8.5m.

Cheers.
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Old 07 August 2004, 07:20   #7
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Thanks Guys for your replies.

It seems fairly conclusive then that the Volvo is unlikely to be an appropriate choice.

So I shall have to get the Jeep then! That's a bit of luck!

My daughter will be pleased - She thinks that the Jeep is really "cool"

Thanks again for your input.

Regards,

Chris.
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Old 07 August 2004, 09:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Murray
Thanks Guys for your replies.

It seems fairly conclusive then that the Volvo is unlikely to be an appropriate choice.


Regards,

Chris.
Understatement of the year!!! At least the Jeep is a proper offroader - the Volvo is an estate car!!!

Talking of Volvo estate cars I witnessed an amusing recovery incident a while ago - a chap with an old volvo estate was recovering his heavy fishing boat single handed - the tide was right out so he drove off the end of the slip onto the sand until his cars back wheels were almost submerged - pulled his boat onto the trailer and drove off as casual as can be.

Minutes later 2 blokes with a Merc ML 4x4 thing came to launch a smaller speedboat - they performed exactly the same stunt and managed to get their 4x4 stuck in the sand - they thought it would be a good idea to spin the wheels!!! They had to get a tractor to pull them out - damaging their stupid screw in recovery eye in the process!
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Old 08 August 2004, 11:17   #9
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Anyone have a list of typical loaded tow-weights for a 5.85m-6m RIBs? Curious how much lighter a RIB is on the trailer compared to a similar length Boston Whaler or similar hard-sided CC.

I'm surprised the the Jeep is so popular in the UK, I had heard that the Discovery was more affordable than the Grand Cheroke in the UK. Here in the states a Disco is about $10k US more than a Grand.
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Old 08 August 2004, 13:54   #10
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It kinda was like that when jeeps were mostly petrol engined. It changed a bit when the diesel was introduced but these early vehicles used a 5 cyl version of the VM diesel engine and they were not too good, nor was the auto transmission. Since the Mercedes diesel and transmission was introduced, the Jeep is a new animal.
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