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4LO or 4HI at a boat ramp?

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by louscrw, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Feb 15, 2017 at 7:29 AM
    #1
    louscrw

    louscrw [OP] all jacked up on Mt. Dew

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    ** precursor: Remember, the only stupid question is the one not asked, please refrain from flaming me for stupidity** :anonymous:

    A little back story. I've been towing boats a long time, and never had / needed 4WD. Well, last summer I brought the boat to Gatlinburg and was asking locals where the best boat ramps were that were convenient to the lake house I was renting. The same ramp got referred by everyone, with the caveat of "your truck is 4WD, right?" I went to check it out, and man, that thing was long and steep, much more so than I was used to. Needless to say, I found another one that was a little more in line with my experience.

    About a month or so later, I checked out another lake for the first time about an hour from my house. I launch the boat, and as I'm pulling the empty trailer out of the water, my tires start slipping a little. No big deal, I just babied it out.

    So, in the span of 1 month, I had two separate occasions where I was thinking "man, 4WD would be nice" where I had never thought that in the past.

    Well, I traded in my 2015 2WD CM for a 2017 4WD CM last month, so I'll never have to think about it again. That leads me to my question:

    In a situation where 4WD is needed (or at least would make it easier) at a boat ramp, which would be better to use, 4LO or 4HI?
     
  2. Feb 15, 2017 at 8:09 AM
    #2
    jberry813

    jberry813 The Mad Scientist Staff Member

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    Depends on how steep and how heavy the boat is really. With 4lo you are geared super high. So chances of spinning the tires on non-paved ramp is higher.
    Generally speaking, if you can do it in 4Hi, do it. Drop to low when you need the gearing.
     
    ColoradoTJ, dcsleeper408 and T-Rex266 like this.
  3. Feb 15, 2017 at 8:29 AM
    #3
    bsktball55

    bsktball55 New Member

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    I used to have a '91 4Runner that had a 4 cylinder in it. I would pull our waverunners with it. I would use 4 low to pull up the ramp because it was severely lacking in power. With the Tundra you shouldn't need 4low unless you were really in a mess.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2017 at 9:13 AM
    #4
    040Tundra

    040Tundra Teddy 2013-2019

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    A little of this and a little of that.
    That's not a stupid question! It's actually a good one, IMO. I would emphasize putting your truck into 4Hi before you need it. Sometime it takes a little rolling to get 4WD to engage and if you're already stuck or spinning, you could be screwed.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2017 at 9:20 AM
    #5
    14tundra

    14tundra On Wisconsin!

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    insert boat launch fails here! we have all kinds here, guys that could do it blind-folded with beer in hand and others who couldn't put boat on a trailer for $1,000,000 cash-no time limit!
     
    htw_hawaii and 040Tundra like this.
  6. Feb 15, 2017 at 10:23 AM
    #6
    louscrw

    louscrw [OP] all jacked up on Mt. Dew

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    Thanks for the responses fellas. And thank you to whichever staff member changed my thread title to something more specific @Sean266 @csuviper @Bob

    yeah, I need to start recording some of the incompetence and stupidity I encounter on a weekly basis at the ramp.
     
    Bob likes this.
  7. Feb 15, 2017 at 10:40 AM
    #7
    Bprose

    Bprose Old member

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    Funniest one I've seen is a family w a brand new boat was standing waist deep in the water holding the boat steady while dad was trying to back the trailer under the boat. Took him a little while.

    There were about 6-8 of us waiting to pull our boats out and everyone just watched, no one got pissed off. It was just too funny of a show.
     
    NewImprovedRon and Black Wolf like this.
  8. Feb 15, 2017 at 10:48 AM
    #8
    Stumpjumper

    Stumpjumper New Member

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    I would stick with 4hi unless you have not used lo for a while. On my Tacoma I use lo and the rear locker just to activate them from time to time even if they are not needed. Personally I have never had to use 4wd on a boat ramp since owning trucks with LS rears. That said most of the ramps I use are not that steep.
     
  9. Feb 15, 2017 at 5:19 PM
    #9
    Ericsopa

    Ericsopa Old man and the sea

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    2 only :D
     
  10. Feb 15, 2017 at 5:48 PM
    #10
    Whitelightning

    Whitelightning New Member

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    I always click over to 4 hi before i back down. I put it back in 2wd once the drain plug is out and the straps are going back on it. FYI our boat is super heacy 23ft cobalt with a 5.7 Volvo penta.... heavy sucker but an amazing machine
     
  11. Feb 16, 2017 at 6:00 AM
    #11
    bsktball55

    bsktball55 New Member

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    I would be careful doing that depending on the ramp. Some ramps are very high traction with large groves cut in them very rough concrete, in that case, you shouldn't need 4wd at all, but if you have to do some maneuvering to get the boat backed in and you stick it in 4wd on that high traction ramp, you could cause some major issues. I've used some tight ramps before that require almost a 90 degree turn to back it down.
     
  12. Feb 16, 2017 at 6:16 AM
    #12
    Theyfzman

    Theyfzman New Member

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    like they all said 4hi should all you need and once you get it out switch it back to 2wd before you start doing any sharp turning on dry asphalt they don't really like being in 4wd and being on dry land turning
     
  13. Feb 16, 2017 at 6:55 AM
    #13
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra The Ocho

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    Alright I have another one for ya's....

    Do you guys drive your boat onto your trailer or walk it on by pulling it?

    I have a jet boat and it's kind of tough to steer at low speeds, so I always stop at the dock, then "walk it" onto the trailer by pulling it, hook up the winch, and crank it the rest of the way.
     
  14. Feb 16, 2017 at 6:58 AM
    #14
    040Tundra

    040Tundra Teddy 2013-2019

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    A little of this and a little of that.
    We back down the ramp and drive the boat onto the trailer. Not that hard with a propeller. However, with the jet motor you have no steering without getting into the throttle so once we had to walk it onto the trailer when there was 50 mile an hour cross winds. That was fun!
     
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  15. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:02 AM
    #15
    louscrw

    louscrw [OP] all jacked up on Mt. Dew

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    what @TruckinIt said. It is easy with a prop, jet propulsion boats would be difficult because of the steering, or lack there of, at low speeds.

    My wife and kids get in the boat, I back it down the ramp, tap the brakes, and my wife backs it off and waits for me while I park. She then pulls up to the dock and I jump on. When we leave, I jump off at the dock, and she backs away until I back down the ramp, she drives it on the trailer, I hook the cable and winch it tight, then pull it out of water with wife and kids still in boat. It is a very smooth operation and minimizes the time I blocking others from using the ramp.
     
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  16. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:32 AM
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    Bprose

    Bprose Old member

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    I do it exactly as described by louscrw.
     
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  17. Feb 16, 2017 at 9:46 AM
    #17
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra The Ocho

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    The jet makes it tough. I dock the boat, get the truck while she waits, back the truck, walk it on, winch it up, pull away. It doesn't take much longer but ties the dock up if someone else needs to do the same thing we do. If others don't need the dock they use the other side of the ramp and it doesn't effect them.
     
  18. Feb 16, 2017 at 10:12 AM
    #18
    louscrw

    louscrw [OP] all jacked up on Mt. Dew

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    yeah, my buddy has a Yamaha AR230, and steering that thing takes some getting used to. He walks his onto the trailer as well.
     
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  19. Feb 16, 2017 at 11:18 AM
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    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra The Ocho

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    That makes me feel better. Haha
     
  20. Feb 16, 2017 at 11:22 AM
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    Over the LINE

    Over the LINE New Member

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    8' long bunk guides ("drunk boards" down here) go a long way to helping drive boats with minimal slow speed steerage onto trailers.
     
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