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View Full Version : 2002 X-Star and Towing Basics


a0788735
03-08-2011, 01:17 AM
I'm looking to purchase a vehicle capable of comfortably towing a 2002 X-Star distances up to 250 miles... I'd also be carrying family (baby and kid stuff), dog, etc. Think long weekend family lake trips.

1. What types of weight are we talking about for a 2002 X-Star? I'm finding conflicting information on the web. I'm assuming I also have to add the weight of the trailer, gas, etc. What about weights of single and tandem axle trailers?

2. What type of towing capacity do I need? I'm confused by all the weight ratings, hitch classes, etc. Do I just make sure my total weight from question 1 is less than the vehicle's towing ratings? Do I need to think about other factors like tongue weight? Do I want some 'buffer' between actual boat weight and vehicle rating?

3. Am I talking a full-size SUV (Expedition), a mid-size SUV (Explorer) or could I get away with a large crossover (Chevy Traverse)?

4. Do I need to consider wheel-base of the vehicle?

5. Does single axle versus tandem axle trailer make a difference?

When not trailering, this would be my primary commuter vehicle, so I'd prefer something more gas efficient than a full-size SUV... Only I don't know how practical this really is.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

G-Star
03-08-2011, 01:28 AM
'02 X-Star brochure lists the boat @ 3050 lbs, SA trailer @ 1050 lbs, and TA trailer @ 1250 lbs. Safe to add another 250 lbs for fuel, oil, transmission fluid, etc. Then gear on top of that. So, about 4500 - 5000 lbs depending how many beers you have tucked away in the cooler ;)

Yes, your tow rating needs to be more than the total weight of the boat, trailer, etc. And your vehicle needs to be able to support the tongue weight, typically 10% of the total boat and trailer weight. In this case, you'd need a class 3 or greater.

Full size SUV would be a good choice IMO. Anything smaller than that would work pretty hard once loaded up with family, etc. on the highway and hills.

Wheelbase isn't terribly important, but longer is nicer at highway speeds. Shorter is nicer for backing up :)

Tandem axle trailer is much nicer at highway speeds for stability, single axle is much nicer for backing up :)

Hopefully this helps!

mccobmd
03-08-2011, 09:24 AM
I have the 06 X1 which is the same boat. You will need something rated for minimum 4500lbs which would be stretched to the max. 6000 would be adequate. From my research the volkswagen toureg with the diesel will likely get the best mileage towing. The traverse with towing package and class III hitch will do fine and be decent on the gas mileage. Almost any of the V6 midsize SUV's will do fine as they are all rated around 6000 with the towing package. Stay away from anything with a capacity of less than 6000lbs. I tow with a Nissan Armada but I have a 4 mile commute. I have pulled my boat with a GMC Acadia with no problems.

willyt
03-08-2011, 11:06 AM
wow... just looked at specs for that diesel touareg... 406lbs of torque? yummy.

I would normally say i would stay away from the V6's for towing long distances, but the engine specs arent too far off my 07 tahoe.

alot of those would be great questions if you were towing a 45/55/80/265, but the 02 star is a pretty small boat, and wont tax your tow vehicle like those would.

pmkkdx
03-08-2011, 12:08 PM
I agree with what others above posted. We have an '04 X2, which is the same as the '02 XStar and '06 X1, on a tandem axle trailer, tips the scales about 4500 lbs with fuel and normal loaded gear. Minimum towing capacity of 5000 lbs IMO should be sufficient with a class 3 hitch and proper braking set up.

scott023
03-08-2011, 12:36 PM
I would stay away from the crossover route if I was you. A 4500lb boat is more than enough to justify a mid or full size SUV.

sand2snow22
03-08-2011, 01:53 PM
I would agree with Scott, I just spent a few days in a Traverse. It could barely tow my kids around.....

thatsmrmastercraft
03-08-2011, 02:07 PM
Especially important if you choose something less than full size, but still worthwhile on a full size tow vehicle is to ensure that the vehicle has a trailer tow package. Usually a cheap addition when new which provides a heavy duty transmission cooler and an engine oil cooler. Also inexpensive and worthwhile is quality brake material. Changing pads on all four corners is cheap insurance that you can stop when you need to. Any brakes will stop the first time, but if a second panic stop in needed while the brakes are still hot, the cheap pads will often times not perform to one's liking.

mccobmd
03-08-2011, 02:35 PM
I would stay away from the crossover route if I was you. A 4500lb boat is more than enough to justify a mid or full size SUV.

With midsize I was really referring to the Nissan pathfinder, Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner or FJ. As was said above the specs on these V6's is not very different from some V8's. The boat is small comparatively. The one's I listed have tow package available which includes tow/haul mode switch to make the transmission more amenable. In my town we have a Nissan Dealer and so I know the most about those. New Ford Explorer is nice. Would agree with staying away from the crossover's. If the nearest dealership weren't 90 miles I probably would have looked at the Toureg harder. Midsize SUV's get better mileage than my Armada by about 8 miles to the gallon highway. Same mileage towing because they require a higher RPM than my V8. It's almost mutually exclusive to have something that has power to tow and gets good mileage unless it is a diesel.

brucemac
03-08-2011, 02:42 PM
i would tend to lean with the bigger is better crowd, but understand there are trade-offs. especially if you think there's any chance of upgrading to a larger boat down the road. if you went mid-sized on the tow rig, you'd likely have to sell and start over.

Jerseydave
03-08-2011, 06:44 PM
Chevy Tahoe is rated @ 21 mpg highway solo. Plenty of power and very solid for towing your size boat.
Longer wheelbase is always better in any tow vehicle.
Single axle trailer for that boat would be fine, just make sure the tires are in good shape with the correct air pressure. (but I prefer dual axle trailers myself....they track better at highway speeds)

Shooter McKevin
03-08-2011, 08:24 PM
+1 for Tahoe/Yukon.

I have a Yukon and I couldn't survive with less room / towing capability. A long weekend camping trip for us (2 kids + dog) involves a truck and boat FULL of supplies. Probably 1000lbs of people and stuff just in the truck. I also have a V8 Grand Cherokee and it tows the boat (Prostar, tandem trailer) great for a day trip and gets better gas mileage than the Yukon, but we run out of room and rear springs really fast when trying to load it up with stuff.

fstaslp
03-08-2011, 08:50 PM
I used a v8 Dakota in a previous like for towing a 22' cobalt. It did ok, but the springs didn't like it.

I just got an 07 Expedition and I cannot wait to hitch up to the boat. It ought to pull the mastercraft in style. Not to mention the IRS makes the ride about as good as any SUV i have ever been in.

nmcjr
03-08-2011, 09:27 PM
I would use a full size SUV at a minimum. I don't like to be too close to the rated towing capacity, especially for long trips and trips with hills etc. because it starts feeling like the "tail is wagging the dog".

2RLAKE
03-08-2011, 09:38 PM
how about a nice H1 Hummer? that should work just fine!

a0788735
03-08-2011, 10:30 PM
I used a v8 Dakota in a previous like for towing a 22' cobalt. It did ok, but the springs didn't like it.

I just got an 07 Expedition and I cannot wait to hitch up to the boat. It ought to pull the mastercraft in style. Not to mention the IRS makes the ride about as good as any SUV i have ever been in.

Actually, I'm leaning toward a 07 Expedition. Regarding the 07 and later Expeditions, most (all?) seem to have hitches... However, some specifically have the trailer towing package.

Am I correct in the assumption that the presence of a hitch does not necessarily mean the vehicle has the trailer tow package? Do I need the optional package, or would any of the Expeditions with a factory installed hitch suffice?

Thrall
03-08-2011, 10:33 PM
This will be a 1500hd vs diesel thread before long!

fstaslp
03-08-2011, 10:56 PM
I dont know for sure. Mine had it. If you put the VIN in here you can get the window sticker and it should tell you most of the options.

Put your vin in after the "=".
http://services.forddirect.fordvehicles.com/inventory/WindowSticker.pdf?vin=1FMFK16558LA76512




Also if you look in the driver door seal there is a category called AXEL. Mine is a "16" which is the 3.73 ratio. This is the torquier option.

mccobmd
03-08-2011, 11:13 PM
The towing package includes axel above, transmission cooler and switch to change gear ratio. The presence of a hitch doesn't mean it has the increased capability

nmcjr
03-08-2011, 11:59 PM
The towing package includes axel above, transmission cooler and switch to change gear ratio. The presence of a hitch doesn't mean it has the increased capability

Right, and to add to this, you will want to make sure it has the towing package.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
03-09-2011, 01:12 AM
Some jargon from Ford
2007 Expeditions equipped with the heavy-duty trailer tow package are prepped and readied for towing at the factory. The package includes a heavy-duty V-5 rated Class IV trailer hitch with weight distribution capability, heavy-duty radiator, heavy-duty auxiliary transmission fluid cooler, hitch mounted 4 and 7-pin trailer electrics connector and factory prewiring for a electronic trailer brake controller module. The brake controller wiring harness is located under the dash on the driver’s side for easy installment of the brake controller module. Additionally, the Expedition is powered by with the 5.4 liter Triton V8 engine, rated at 300 hp (220 kW) and 365 lbfft (495 Nm) of torque. When properly equipped with the heavy-duty trailer tow package the SUV can tow up to 9,100 lbs (4,130 kg).

ironj32
03-09-2011, 09:04 AM
I towed my 2000 XStar (same specs as yours) for 3.5 years with Jeep Grand Cherokee (v8). It had no problem with power or anything, but at highway speeds you start to feel a little unsafe...you could definitely feel it was back there, and braking kinda made me feel uneasy. The second part of this last season I upgraded to a 2004 Avalance, and it's like night and day. You don't notice it back there, there are no issues with breaking, nor power.

I absolutely love the Avalanche. You get the benefits of a truck bed to throw your wet stuff in, you have the cabin room of a Tahoe (minus the third row seat), you can put all your extra parts (spare prop, prop puller, jumper cables, ratchet straps, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc) in the side bed tool boxes, AND you can put the rear wall down when needed to fit nearly anything you want in it (you can put a roll of carpet in there and stretch it from the windshield all the way back to the tailgate or even further).

Bottom line is that I would definitely go with at least a half ton.

Good luck!