Trailer with Confidence
Choosing the right tow vehicle is a crucial step toward safe and efficient trailering. Trust your Sea Ray to a GMC.
There’s more to the trailering process than simply hitching up and hitting the road. Laying the groundwork correctly will help ensure your every outing is safe and enjoyable, and will guarantee you the most efficient trip possible. A major component of safe trailer towing is, naturally, choosing the right vehicle for the task. For instance, if the combined weight of your Sea Ray and your trailer is in excess of 6,000 pounds, you wouldn’t attempt your trip with a truck rated to pull only 5,000 pounds.
Not all vehicles are built for trailer towing, but you shouldn’t compromise on basic practicality, either. You need a vehicle that can meet your daily needs and also be sturdy enough to tow your boat to the launch when you’re itching to get out and play. GMC offers vehicles designed to handle the important job of escorting a Sea Ray and trailer by land. Generally speaking, the higher the number in a particular GMC series, the larger the towing capacity will be. For instance, if your boat is in the 6,000-pound range and the trailer is another 1,500 pounds, many Sierra 1500s would be appropriate, since the 1500 series has a maximum trailer weight rating of up to 12,000 pounds.1
On the other hand, if the total weight of the boat and trailer is significantly larger, you will need to consider something from a higher series number, such as the GMC Sierra 3500HD, which has a maximum conventional trailer weight rating of up to 19,600 pounds1 or up to 23,200 pounds1 using a fifth-wheel or gooseneck-style hitch. Once you’ve chosen the vehicle that meets your boat-trailering needs, follow these additional steps to ensure the best possible outcome: a great day on the water.
• Never exceed the trailer weight rating of the vehicle you are using, and make sure to pay close attention to details like tongue weight and combination weight. It pays to double-check your math.
• When loading your Sea Ray onto the trailer, distribute the weight properly. Winch the boat forward as far as it can go on the trailer, but make sure the trailer bunks or rollers are evenly supporting the weight.
• Before heading out on the road, secure the boat to the trailer with boat straps.
• Adjust the mirrors properly, and install extended side-view mirrors, if needed. You should be able to see around your boat for a clear view of the road behind and beside it.
• Make sure the lights are working properly on your boat trailer. Have a friend or family member watch while you test the brake and signal lamps.
• Ensure that tires are properly inflated and in good condition.
• Remember that you are pulling a great deal of additional weight, so decrease your driving speed to allow for proper braking distances. Avoid sudden changes in speed and signal with adequate warning, as both a courtesy to those around you and a safety precaution.
Up to the Task
One of the most important questions a boater can ask when looking to purchase a new tow vehicle is, “How much can I tow?” Several factors should come into consideration in determining the best vehicle for the job, including suspension, engine power, chassis strength and rigidity and available towing accessories.
Based on your needs, GMC offers three different model lines of the Sierra. To start, the Sierra 1500 is available in a wide selection of cab and bed sizes and has the ability to tow up to 12,000 pounds1 when properly equipped with the available 420-horsepower EcoTec3 6.2L VVT V-8 engine and the Max Trailering Package. If your towing needs are greater than what the Sierra 1500 offers, the Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD are available with the Duramax 6.6L V-8 Turbo Diesel engine and mated to an Allison® 6-speed automatic transmission—making them primed to handle big tows in style.
To learn more about the Sierra line of trucks, including the Sierra Denali, check out GMC.com.
1Maximum trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming a properly equipped base vehicle, plus driver. See dealer for details.