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Hi Everyone. I am interested in your opinion on towing a 22' boat with a 2011 RRSS. We live in Colorado and will be taking our new boat (a Chaparral 224 Sunesta) to our place in the mountains (Shadow Mountain Lake / Grand Lake). The issue I am concerned about is the wear on the transmission (and brakes), as going over Berthoud pass not only contains many hairpin turns but also has a rise in elevation from 5280 ft to 11,300 ft and then back down to 8500 ft. Both the boat and RR dealership have said no worries (with obvious motivations) but a couple of friends of mine have said I would be crazy, unless I intend to sell the RR while still under warranty (my previous RRSS was a 2006 that we kept out of warranty <and was a mistake $$$>). Also curious as to how the RRSS tows as this will be the first time I will have towed with one. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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211 Posts
Nice boat! You've got absolutely NOTHING to worry about with your RRS. I towed my 20' Yamaha bowrider (twin 135) over 1000 miles this summer in my 12 year old Discovery II (uhm... 180 hp...) and that thing was a BEAST. It's also got a 4 speed which is possibly worse than the lack of power haha.

In any event, I've been looking at getting a 23'-26' Checkmate, Caravelle, Nordic, or similar pretty soon (sold the Yamaha last week) and that's one of the reasons I sold my mustang to get the RRS.

Your only issue would be the altitude (must be nice up there though, do you have any pictures??) But I mean you've got some serious power in that thing, so you don't even have to contemplate it. Just hitch her up and go.

That setup probably weighs 3500lbs.. maybe 4300-4800lbs with a trailer / fully fueled etc- which is still significantly lower than the tow ratings. Turns won't be the problem, and neither will the climb (alas 6 speeds are wonderful) however coming down the pass might heat up your brakes a bit since surge brakes on boat trailers suck and you can't pump up the gain on them like a horse trailer or something. Your RRS will automatically downshift to transfer some load off the brakes and through the driveline (which is easily up to the task) - so you've got nothing to worry about.

These things have a significant advantage over most SUVs in this weight/power range in that they have independent AND auto-leveling suspension, which is such a huge factor when towing that I can't even describe it. That's one reason my Disco was such a beast towing the yamaha; the chassis was always sitting perfectly, which makes everything else (including braking) much MUCH safer.
 

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2013-2015 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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I'm interesting in hearing other members thoughts as well... as I actually just purchased my first RR (Full size SC -- pick it up this weekend). One of the main reasons I went with the RR (aside from luxury and styling) is I needed a daily drive that could also occasionally tow my boat (Sea Ray 250SLX - 26'). I've heard a lot of great things about towing with the Rover, and decided to get the SC for the extra power and better breaks. My boat is in storage until April, so I won't get any first hand experience until then, but look forward to hearing more from other members here.
 

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2016-2018 Range Rover Sport
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906 Posts
My parents have a Chris Craft Launch 22

Haven't towed with the Rover yet but it weighs in at just over 4000.

Dual wheel with brakes.

Can't wait to tow it but I need some nice weather to install my towing electrics.

Isn't there a picture thread for this somewhere?
 

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Your only issue would be the altitude (must be nice up there though, do you have any pictures??) But I mean you've got some serious power in that thing, so you don't even have to contemplate it. Just hitch her up and go.
Did not tow anything, but last year on the elevated areas on the way to Created Butte from Denver, Gunnison vicinity, on the elevated areas, felt that the RRS was "short of breath" at some points. Able to punch it through the elevated areas, but the performance was less. Then again I've got a 06, and your '11 has more power, might have been other factors also like my air filter and MAF was not clean.
 

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2019-2021 Range Rover Sport
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I've been towing boats and campers for 15 yrs now. We sold our boat a couple of years ago, but replaced it with a travel trailer. The boat was a Mastercraft X-Star, that weighed in at 4300 lbs w/ trailer. Our travel trailer loaded for camping is over 5000 lbs.

We had a '07 Escalade (403 hp / 6spd) for the boat, and the RRS (375 hp / 6 spd) for the TT. We live in Tahoe, so we are always going over Donner Summit (8k el.) to do anything.

The RRS pulls as lively as the Caddy, even though the TT is heavier. Some of the grades require some downshifting, but there has been no overheating whatsoever. The Caddy would get hot on the climbs (temp gauge), but the RRS gauge never moved on the same hills.

As for wear and tear, we put about 15k miles on the Caddy in towing, and the only thing that I noticed was some additional "slop" in the driveline over time. We put 50k total before getting the RRS.

We've put 14k on the RRS so far, and about 2.5k has been while towing. I've not noticed any affects from one camping season.

There is one negative about the RRS. It has a very short wheelbase (108"), and this means less stability in certain situations. Boats have most their mass over the trailer axles, so what I'm saying here is more about other types of towables.

A trailer that has a large "sail", or has "distributed mass" over the length of the trailer, can push the tow vehicle around when its windy, or if you make quick lane changes (or other turns). There is a pendulum effect which is exagerated with a short wheel base. This is when the vehicle twists back and forth (left-right) while going forward. This is dealt with using sway control bars or weight-distribution hitches. These help, but sudden movements can be fatal.

You won't have too much to worry about with most boats.


Esc_Boat.JPG RRS_TT.JPG
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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I've been towing boats and campers for 15 yrs now. We sold our boat a couple of years ago, but replaced it with a travel trailer. The boat was a Mastercraft X-Star, that weighed in at 4300 lbs w/ trailer. Our travel trailer loaded for camping is over 5000 lbs.

We had a '07 Escalade (403 hp / 6spd) for the boat, and the RRS (375 hp / 6 spd) for the TT. We live in Tahoe, so we are always going over Donner Summit (8k el.) to do anything.

The RRS pulls as lively as the Caddy, even though the TT is heavier. Some of the grades require some downshifting, but there has been no overheating whatsoever. The Caddy would get hot on the climbs (temp gauge), but the RRS gauge never moved on the same hills.

As for wear and tear, we put about 15k miles on the Caddy in towing, and the only thing that I noticed was some additional "slop" in the driveline over time. We put 50k total before getting the RRS.

We've put 14k on the RRS so far, and about 2.5k has been while towing. I've not noticed any affects from one camping season.

There is one negative about the RRS. It has a very short wheelbase (108"), and this means less stability in certain situations. Boats have most their mass over the trailer axles, so what I'm saying here is more about other types of towables.

A trailer that has a large "sail", or has "distributed mass" over the length of the trailer, can push the tow vehicle around when its windy, or if you make quick lane changes (or other turns). There is a pendulum effect which is exagerated with a short wheel base. This is when the vehicle twists back and forth (left-right) while going forward. This is dealt with using sway control bars or weight-distribution hitches. These help, but sudden movements can be fatal.

You won't have too much to worry about with most boats.


View attachment 8354 View attachment 8355
That's really interesting about the tahoe and overheating - my friends older ones (she had two) would do the same thing in the summer while towing her two-horse trailer with a fairly small thoroughbred (they're not that heavy) - we'd have to turn the AC off and everything, no fun!

Then again I've managed to get an F350 (the 6.0 diesel) to overheat climbing hills going through the Cumberland Gap on our way to Kentucky. Granted that was a 36' 4-horse with living quarters and a mid-tack (full, all 4 horses) plus hay and water. Still, we were below the tow rating for that truck. It pisses me off when engineers don't do their jobs and stress-test vehicles like that. I was literally climbing the hill, fully locked-up clutch fan (sounded like a jet engine) with AC off and pedal to the floor, watching my speed decrease and my temp increase... made it to the crest just before I got near the red zone, and was crawling at ~10mph.

..granted that was a helluva hill. :)

But still, if you're an engineer... tack on the max weight, tow it in the worst conditions and temps a consumer might find, and see if it works. It's obvious some manufacturers don't do that.

Land Rover is very serious about their ratings, I've loaded mine up pretty good and taken it on 1000-mile road trips with the boat (so my total mileage is actually closer to 2k towing, I forgot this beach trip) in 100-deg heat and that little 180hp Disco was perfect.

Wheelbase is a good thing to mention though, since I believe my Disco is a bit longer. I'm pretty sure the RRS is one of the shortest wheelbase vehicles with a tow rating like this - the Touareg might be around the same dimensions though (same rating).
 

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Hm so now I'm the one that needs this thread..

What do you all think about a 27' Checkmate w/ the RRS?
 
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