Pulling a boat up the launch ramp

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AZ_Path
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Pulling a boat up the launch ramp

Postby AZ_Path » Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:21 pm

So last weekend I was able to get out to the lake for the first time with the new boat. The Pathfinder has been a great tow vehicle so far and the only thing I was really curious about was how well I'd be able to get up the launch ramp. Back in '08 when I was buying the Path, I read around quite a bit and most people said that 2WD was sufficient, just take it nice and slow.

So last Sunday I was able to test it out for the first time and I did have traction issues. I took it as slow as I could, but the tires just wouldn't keep from slipping. I did have four of the passengers in the boat still and I was about to have them move to the bow which I think would have taken care of the problem, but two guys nearby saw I was having trouble and came over. They pushed on the back of the Path and that was enough to keep from slipping and we drove up the ramp.

I posted a message on the boat forum asking other people what they do and several suggested that I use 1st gear. I wasn't sure if this would make any difference since my problem was not that the tranny was shifting. Last night I drove around the neighborhood and did a test. I wanted to see if the throttle response in manual mode 1st gear was any different than being in Drive. From a stop I shifted over to manual mode and down shifted to 1st. Then I pressed the gas several different times, slowly and intermediately. I then switched back over to Drive and did the same thing. In doing so I was not able to tell any difference in the throttle response. 1st gear manual mode seemed to be just as responsive as Drive. Obviously it would not up shift to 2nd, but that was not my issue when I was on the launch ramp at the lake.

So after this test, it seems to me that being in 1st won't do anything to resolve my traction issues as the throttle response doesn't appear to be any different. Does this jive with anyone elses experience? I think I'm just going to have to have a couple of passengers move to the bow or get in the Path with me in the future. What do you all think?


skinny2
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Postby skinny2 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:00 pm

Start with the main factor when it comes to traction: Tires.

What type of tires are you running and how much tread?

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oreogaborio
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Postby oreogaborio » Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:35 pm

Agreed... Tires & maybe tire pressure :?:

NVRDONE
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Postby NVRDONE » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:10 pm

I pull a 19' cuddy that weighs 4200# on the trailer and I have no problems pulling up a ramp. I've got Yokohama geolanders that still have about half the tread. I don't leave anyone in the boat when pulling out. 4wd does help on a slimy ramp

jman9895
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Postby jman9895 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:10 am

go 4wd next time, if you're still having issues try airing down the tires a bit too, give you some more surface contact between the tires and the ramp...

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NmexMAX
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Postby NmexMAX » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:30 am

jman9895 wrote:go 4wd next time, if you're still having issues try airing down the tires a bit too, give you some more surface contact between the tires and the ramp...
But according to his sig, he's 4x2.

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:53 pm

skinny2 wrote:Start with the main factor when it comes to traction: Tires.

What type of tires are you running and how much tread?
OEM General Grabber's. They are nearing replacement, but still have tread left. See below.

Can anyone confirm my test regarding the tranny?

Image

skinny2
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Postby skinny2 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:02 pm

1st gear works as you described and there's no difference between locking it in 1st manually besides the fact it won't upshift. I'm not sure why they would recommend that....it really doesn't make any sense.

Well worn tires (those are even looking dry rotted even) certainly won't perform well. Since you need tires anyway, I'd probably start there.

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:47 am

Just as a follow up for anyone else who might be in the same boat as me (pun intended :-)), we were out this past weekend and I moved my passengers up to the bow and that was enough to make the difference. No tire spin at all this time.


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