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Towing a SAN 230

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  • Towing a SAN 230

    anybody towing a SAN 230 with a GMC Canyon or Colorado? I'm looking at purchasing a Canyon but want to make sure it can tow the 230 a couple of times per year.

    A full-size truck will not fit in my garage and the Canyon has a 7000lbs towing capacity.

  • #2
    You will be right at the max towing. You are going to get a lot of answers here, but what it comes down to is stopping that much weight. Personally, if it wasn't a long way and not highway speeds - you may be fine. I would not feel comfortable towing a 230 at highway speeds with a smaller truck.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the insight. I know there will be a lot of opinions out these. I understand that it's not ideal, but I'm hoping to hear from those with experience towing with the Canyon or Colorado. I'm only going to be doing it a few times per year, about 1 hour drive. I know the truck is rated to handle the weight, I'm just looking for those who have actually experienced it.

      Does anyone know the actual approx weight of a 2018 SAN 230 on a trailer with fuel, etc...
      Last edited by Klipper; 6 days ago.

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      • #4
        Typically dry weight add plus/minus 2k and that’ll put you pretty close.


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        • #5
          I would say knowing the dry weight on that 230 boat....that the boat/trailer with fuel and the other misc people have, will be right at 7000lbs. (dry weight does not include any fluids, tower, accessories, gear, etc and there is a significant difference like stated above by WakeBC on the published "dry weight"....and actual weight). Only real way to know exactly, is too weight it once you have it ready to go. A tandem trailer with duel wheel surge brakes is going to weigh between 1300-1500lbs.

          Can it be done with the Colorado....yes. Since you wont be towing a lot, if you drive carefully and don't run over 60mph you should be fine as safety really comes down to the driver. The boat/trailer is going to be significantly bigger/heavier than that truck so you run risk of losing control if it were to start swaying at highway speeds and "tapping" brakes with a trailer that only has surge can make the situation worse if it happens to be swaying sideways when you do that (Typically you speed UP a little to come out of a sway if its due to unbalanced load, then stop to fix the issue). If you have electric over hydraulic brakes on the trailer, it will be much better since when you brake on the truck, it also engages brakes on the trailer....and any kind of launch ramp that has a steeper angle to it is going to be really hairy in reverse since you lose ALL trailer braking in reverse with surge brakes....not to mention the EOH also gives you much better stopping power/control when driving around since surge will only give you so much.
          IMO, EOH brakes are an awesome upgrade to any boat trailer.

          Make sure when you pick up your receiver and ball....that you look at the ratings since the majority are only rated for 5k lbs. You can buy a solid shank receiver that is rated up too 12-16k (I got mine at Harbor Freight and with 2" drop/rise its rated at 16k)....The 2" ball I have is rated at 12k...you can also find this stuff on Amazon. Also, be aware that no matter what the tow rating is on the truck (the Colorado and most others)....technically as well as in the owners manual (and probably you can find a sticker on the bottom of the truck hitch), anything over 5k lbs requires a distribution hitch. There are some available for boat trailers with folding tongue now too.

          BTW....I am speaking from first hand experience as my current 24ft boat/trailer is heavier than your combo (7500 combined...perhaps a bit higher when I had lead in the boat). DRY weight on my boat is 4,600lbs and my tandem trailer is 1500...my boat has 72gal fuel tank that I top off after every outing, I have 3 batteries and few other things that others may not that add up too a little more weight) For last 2 1/2 years I used a 2016 Chevy 1500 crew cab 4x4, 5.3 engine with tow package and 3.42 gears so it was "tow rated" at 11k lbs. Boat/trailer weighs more than that truck, however, I never felt unsafe on the highway or backroads, but I always drove reasonably and carefully and mostly it was local towing except a couple 3hr trips during summer where I go to Lake Norris, TN. I also never felt like I was unable to stop quick when driving (tandem Boatmate trailer with surge brakes only), and the surge brakes definately helped stop the truck....with NO brakes I am sure it would have felt differently. HOWEVER...there were a few times when launching the boat and reversing down a steeper boat ramp that I did not feel comfortable since you lose ALL trailer braking and are relying solely on the truck to stop the boat. Most ramps I felt fine with (I always put my truck in 4x4 when backing down)....but after one hairy experience at a steeper ramp early this summer when weight of the boat/trailer was making it very difficult to stop the truck backing down.... I have avoided the steeper ones for that reason. I have no wish to join some of the other iditos on u-tube that ended up in the water, lol. I planned to add EOH to my trailer this winter...but just picked up a 2019 Ram truck that feels a lot better to me reversing down the ramp, its actually better all the way around but that is certainly not the only reason I got the truck tho I did make sure to get the 3.92 gears, etc. My rating now is 11,340 towing and 1840 payload.

          Just to put it out there....I will mention this. What you do is totally your decision and I am telling you for information, not to judge or to say you cannot do it. IF there was ever an accident and either the cops or your insurance company finds that you are over your ratings (and I am referencing the GVRW, not the tow ratings since that totally changes things), then not only are you open to lawsuit for "negligence"....but insurance companies have a clause in all their policies that say they do not have to pay if you are not driving/towing legally. For instance....on the Chevy truck I mentioned above, even tho my "tow rating" was over 11k, the GVRW was just over 15k. That meant that once I calculated the truck weight (plus all fluids, people in truck, gear, etc), PLUS the trailer, boat and all gear...I was not legally allowed to exceed that limit. On my combo once I calculated everything with the truck, it left me a MAX of 7,800lbs for boat/trailer which obviously was cutting it pretty close legally speaking. You may already know all this, just wanted to mention it since many people dont know how the GVRW effects things. I know I did not until a couple years ago.

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          • #6



            [HOWEVER...there were a few times when launching the boat and reversing down a steeper boat ramp that I did not feel comfortable since you lose ALL trailer braking and are relying solely on the truck to stop the boat. Most ramps I felt fine with (I always put my truck in 4x4 when backing down)....but after one hairy experience at a steeper ramp early this summer when weight of the boat/trailer was making it very difficult to stop the truck backing down.... I have avoided the steeper ones for that reason. I have no wish to join some of the other iditos on u-tube that ended up in the water, lol.]


            I find this interesting. Personally, I hate towing and don't think I'm all that great at launching/retrieving the boat but I do like to boat and since our boat stays in the lake for all of our short season I only have to tow about 200 miles/year and some of that is trailer without the boat. When I launch though, I'm usually not backing up much more than walking speed. I find it hard to believe that any vehicle that can tow the boat cannot stop it on any ramp while backing down at that speed but again my experience is very limited. I have a 2010 Ford F150 and my 2007 SV211 supposedly weighs about 3,500# dry so I've always figured about 6,000# max (likely less) with trailer and gear--well below what I think would be legal but still not very comfortable for me. I've just never thought about not being able to stop everything backing down the ramp. That just seems crazy to me but I believe you. Now you've given me something else to worry about. I've used 4x4 on the ramp but not always. I've done it sometimes "just in case" but usually don't and don't think I've ever really needed it at the only only ramp I've ever used. Not sure how this helps backing down (do you think it does?) but when I've done it it was because I thought it might help me pull the boat out. Good call on checking ratings of ball and hitch. Before I had my current boat I did have another and did not give much thought about those numbers until I actually looked one day and realized I was probably over the limit. I did fix that. I also realize I probably should have a WDH to be completely safe and legal but have not gone there yet because it is very close and my towing is limited.

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            • #7
              I would think a 230 would be pretty dicey with a Colorado. If you do, a weight distributing hitch would be a good idea, but if the trailer has a swing tongue, you might be SOL on that one. I used to drag around a couple of 20 DDs with my zr2 S10, and while I'm sure the Colorado is more capable, it's still a light quarter ton truck.

              Sent from my G3423 using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                Steep ramps can be super sketch. We’ve slid down ours a good 8 or so feet, good thing it levels out at the bottom. Oh and we’ve got a 3500...


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wake.BC View Post
                  Steep ramps can be super sketch. We’ve slid down ours a good 8 or so feet, good thing it levels out at the bottom. Oh and we’ve got a 3500...


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                  That is super interesting. I would assume that you need the boat to push you out as well. I have never been on a ramp that slippery or steep to slide back so I never considered this issue. I would think once the stern started pushing water that the tow vehicle would begin to gain traction??

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                  • #10
                    IF your boat and trailer weigh more than your truck, you've got the wrong truck

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by distinguishedmotorsports View Post
                      IF your boat and trailer weigh more than your truck, you've got the wrong truck
                      Curb weight of a 2500HD is around 6500-7000 lbs....
                      A loaded G23 on a trailer will be around 7500 lbs if not more so your statement is wrong.

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                      • #12
                        My '08 230 on the trailer with a little bit of junk in it, and ~20 gal of fuel was 6200#. Boatmate trailer and 18" wheels/tires, no spare.
                        2008 230 TE-ZR6
                        1999 Pro Air Python-sold and moved away :-(

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by max 1.6 View Post

                          Curb weight of a 2500HD is around 6500-7000 lbs....
                          A loaded G23 on a trailer will be around 7500 lbs if not more so your statement is wrong.

                          ....with a grain of salt. 3/4 tons are fine towing a 230 or g23.

                          but you shouldnt be trying to tow 7000lbs with a 4,500lb truck.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by srock View Post

                            That is super interesting. I would assume that you need the boat to push you out as well. I have never been on a ramp that slippery or steep to slide back so I never considered this issue. I would think once the stern started pushing water that the tow vehicle would begin to gain traction??
                            Getting out isn’t to bad just a slow ride up the hill. This ramp is absolute garbage, the paved part is falling apart so you gotta go in the compact sand next to it and hard sand is a wee bit slippery. With all of that it’s probably a good 150ft of super steep and then at the last 30 you gotta go to the side off the concrete. Once the boat is in the water of course you stop. Our boat is also really heavy, with lead we are most likely over 9k. Usually we use the private club ramp which is a little better.

                            Whenever we go to the big city ramps I’m in heaven.


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                            • #15
                              Probably doesn’t look as steep in the pictures. Water is higher here too.
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