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Ok, here's my story. I have a 1994 19.5 Celebrity 200 Status open bow I/O 4.3LX. The dry weight of the boat is 2950lbs. Add 40gal for fuel (another 300lbs) gear (200lbs) and the tandem 21ft trailer with surge brakes (1,200est???) and I am well over the 3,500lb towing capacity for my FX45 at 4,650.

I just purchased the FX45 thinking if I put a class 3 hitch on it, will be fine. But the more and more I read I don't want to break anything or worse hurt someone because I can’t stop and am over the capacity. So I have a few questions:

1) Are there any ways/mods I can do to beef the car up to handle the extra 1,000lbs?

2) The surge brakes don’t work (will need to get them fixed for sure)

3) If I use the FX to tow, should I go with the Curt hitch for $150 or buy the OEM? What’s the difference?

4) I'm not sure how much the trailer weighs or the tongue weight. Tried looking it up online but no answers. It’s a tandem trailer made by classic. 21ft in length (see pic)


I have an old Tahoe (probably worth about 3G's) that I still have but am debating on selling depending on the choice to tow or not with the FX. Wife doesn't want 3 cars.....doesn’t really want the boat either :) So if I'm going to spend around the same $$ getting the FX "supped up" to tow the boat (tranny cooler, OEM Hitch, wiring harness, weight dist. hitch, and fix the surge brakes) I should just keep the truck as a tow vehicle.

Here's the final question......I just need the FX to be able to tow the boat from the shed to the launch ramp and back; about 2 miles. If this is all I use the FX for will it be ok with just the class 3 Curt hitch? Should I spend the extra $$$ and get the OEM?

Any info on this would be much helpful. Thanks!!!! -Ryan
 

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The tow rating in vehicles is determined based on a lot of factors such as engine size, transmission, wheelbase length, tire rating, wheel types, etc. I would not advise going over the towing rate mainly because it is a unibody. I have an xterra (body on frame) and even though my truck is rated at 5,000 lbs, I try not to get over 4,500.

Would anything happen to your truck, probably not, but in case of an accident insurance may not cover simply because you went over the max rating limit. If it is only to drive it 2 miles each way, then I suggest renting a Home Depot truck, uhaul or something for that. Don't risk it and more importantly don't put others in danger.


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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. Do you have any experience towing with the FX?

I understand the safety concern but I'm not 100% sure on the total weight of the boat and trailer so I might be slightly under 4,000lbs.
 

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I tow quite frequently with my FX45, but not a boat. I would be worried about about pulling the boat out of the water and up the ramp. I don't know how much load the weakest drive line piece can take. It might be fine, but in my experience trailers end up weighing a lot more than people expect.

As for the tongue weight, it will change based on the position of the boat and what gear is wherein the boat.

I don't have any suggestions to increase towing capacity.
 

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So hey, I'm new to this forum so hopefully i'm not frustrating anyone by asking the following questions. But before i do i've got some backstory. First, I own an 03 fx45 with the tow package. i have personally used the fx45 to tow a few different things as follows; 1. a 10' x 5' trailer loaded up to about 1500lbs or so. 2. 1991 palomino pop-up camper fully loaded weighing ~1800 lbs.
1st question: If i purchase a 2015 forest river Rockwood 282txr pop-up camper with 2 quads on the front weighing ~4000 fully loaded should i be worried about the 500lb disparate weight difference from max tow.
2nd question: What simple modifications <$1000 (If any) can i make to the SUV to improve handling with the camper.
3rd question: How can i go about changing out the 4 pin plug to a 7 pin (For brakes) and how much should it cost me.

I've towed the palomino pop-up over 700 miles with the FX and it handled better than my dad's 2001 ford F-150 Lariat and regardless of if it's "Recommended" or not i plan on raising the ride height by about 2" to allow for a bit more rugged terrain. i've also looked into buying a weight distribution hitch to help compensate handling and potentially increase the safe load capacity of the OEM hitch reciever. I've read through a few other forums about lift kits and didn't get any spirited info about the most ideal methods of accomplishing this task so i'd like a little bit more enthusiasm towards these applications. Anything helps but if you have negative opinions about my goals please try to keep them to a minimum.
 

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1: I would not recommend towing a 4K trailer with the FX45. A weight distributing hitch would help for sure, but structurally, the FX just isn't built for that kind of work. That trailer empty would be borderline for more than local duty, adding two quads and gear would be too much (probably over the 4K number). I believe the factory towing limit sets a top speed of 45MPH and disallows top gear. The FX does a great job towing, you don't notice that the structural components are overloaded until things break - which may be when you try to avoid an accident. Keep in mind that this is really a car that has been made taller, not a BOF SUV that has been made shorter.

2: Transmission oil cooler (w/ thermostat), sway control device, trailer brake controller. Higher tire pressure based on tire mfg weight and pressure specs.

3: When you have the brake controller installed, whoever does the install should run the wires to the back and install the 7 pin connector. The last time I bought a Tekonsha brake controller it was ~$150 for the controller and a few hundred for the install kit + install.

A question is, how much do you like your FX and are you willing to kill it? What if someone gets damaged during the process?
 

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I have a 2007 FX35 that I use for towing my 602 Campion boat with tandem axle trailer that has surge brakes. I bought the boat about 600 miles away with mountain ranges between where I bought it and home. The total weight of the boat and trailer is likely 4500 lbs which is above the 3500 towing capacity recommendation but my FX35 towed the boat with ease. The only exception was on the very steep inclines where I had to keep the speed up to at least 60 mph to prevent the car from bogging down.

What I needed to be very careful of was not the incline so much as the decline. With that much weight behind the vehicle, it was important to take the downhill egress at a slower pace so that the trailer wasn't trying to push the car down the hill, especially where there were curves in the road. That can be very dangerous as you can lose control of your vehicle very quickly.

I took the risk of driving it that far in those kind of conditions but wouldn't recommend doing it all of the time. When I got the boat home, I now only tow the boat a few blocks to where it gets launched. The launch ramp is quite steep but the FX35 has no troubled pulling the boat out of the water and up the hill. I use the manual shift to keep it in the lower gears.

If towing on a straight road/highway, this vehicle can handle the higher load from my experience, as long as the trailer has working surge brakes and the tongue weight is reasonably balanced. There is plenty of power and these vehicles have a factory transmission cooler already installed in them according to my local Infinity dealership.

In my opinion, the FX35 can handle higher than 3500 lbs towing capacity but of course you are doing so at your own risk. Your insurance company may not be too supportive if you get into an accident while towing over the recommended rating.

My two cents...
 
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