Issues trailering SPX210

Discussion in 'Trailering' started by dguisinger, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. dguisinger

    dguisinger New Member

    5
    Sep 23, 2017
    2017 SPX210
    Mercruiser
    Hey guys, I bought a 2017 SeaRay SPX 210 earlier this year. At the same time I bought a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder for towing this boat because I wanted something that wasn't a truck, and they advertised a 6,000lbs towing capacity which was a good match for this boat.

    I've been having issues when I cross 60-mph on the highway pretty much since the day i picked the boat up. I can only describe it as to how I feel it, since I'm looking forward, not backwards. Looking forward, my vehicle seems to be staying aligned in the road.

    It feels like the boat is oscillating forward and backward (from the mirror, I can't see side to side sway, but maybe it is sway?). If I try to accelerate past, the oscillation gets worse and pretty much won't let the vehicle get any faster than 65mph, while at the same time my RPMs are staying low in the 2000rpm range, so it's not an engine performance issue.

    After reading the Nissan trailering guide, it appears they want a weight distribution system on any trailer over 5,000lbs.... I don't have an exact weight on mine, but I would estimate 3300lbs for the boat, 400lbs of fuel, 100lbs of gear, and 1200lbs of trailer takes me right up to that 5,000lb limit without weight distribution. However when I look at weight distribution systems, the location of where the pole tongue adapter has to be installed is right where the bow stop is installed, so I feel like this is a dead end.

    Any good suggestions on how I can rule out problems or solve this that aren't going to cost me thousands of dollars? My SeaRay dealer wants $150 just to measure tongue weight (shouldn't they already know this, they sold it to me 5 months ago), check the axles and do a highway test. Is this a sway issue, a weight distribution issue, a wheel alignment / axle issue, etc?

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. 66pony

    66pony Member

    546
    Oct 2, 2008
    Minnesota
    280 Sundancer 2008, GTX LTDiS (tender)
    496/BIII, Rotax 1503
    Ask a friend to tow it and see how it acts. That will give you the answer to what is the issue. May be just a weight distribution issue. Also would take dealership to task and ask them what kind of customer service they want to provide.
     
  3. wyrman

    wyrman Member SILVER Sponsor

    690
    Jul 12, 2012
    Tri-Cities, Wa
    2007 310 Sundancer
    Twin 350's, V drives
    Is the trailer level? If it's high at the tongue, that could make it not track well.
     
  4. dguisinger

    dguisinger New Member

    5
    Sep 23, 2017
    2017 SPX210
    Mercruiser
    I've never noticed it not being level; but I haven't hooked it up in the last few weeks since I've actually been trying to find answers to my problem. I did measure the top of the ball and the top of the frame between the tandem wheels, both came out to the same height, but that was without having the trailer connected. If it is pitched up or down, its so little i've never noticed it.
     
  5. Westie

    Westie Active Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Calgary
    2001 260 Sundancer towed with the power of an IFORCE V8
    7.4 L Bravo III
    Trailer sway is almost always caused by too little tongue weight. Can you move the bow stop up a little?
    Post up a photo of you boat on the trailer hooked up to your tow vehicle. We'll be able to help you a lot more if we can see what you are dealing with.
     
  6. Jeremygavin

    Jeremygavin Member

    639
    Mar 6, 2012
    Cape Cod, MA
    2005 Sea Ray 340 Sundancer, 2016 Sea Ray 19 SPX OB
    496 Mercruisers with Bravo IIIs, Mercury 150 Fourstroke
    I have a 2016 19spx OB with the stock single axle Searay trailer and I had naticable trailer sway, I tow with a 2014 Tundra so my tow vehicle is not the issue. I ended up moving my trailer axle back 12" and now it tows true with no sway even up to higher than legal highway speeds. Don't realy on the set up being correct from the factory. As said above, sway is almost always from too little tongue weight. If it isn't e correct set up from the factory then it is on the dealer to correct it, unfortunately it was easier for me to do it myself then drag it to the dealer and go through their process.
     
  7. BleednBlue

    BleednBlue Member

    158
    Jul 22, 2015
    Lake Of The Ozarks
    270 SLX
    Merc. 496 MAG Bravo III
    I had a similar problem when towing similar sized camper. The previous tow vehicle was a 2005 Ford Explorer - no sway. New vehicle was 2011 Nissan Xterra - sway. I never fix the problem and assumed the no sway vs sway was due differences in tow vehicles wheel base. Have you tried a weight distribution hitch?
     
  8. SCORPIO

    SCORPIO Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 7, 2008
    Delaware
    1989 300 DA
    Twin 5.7 Merc Alpha I
    Sounds like the trailer is porpoising, which sounds like a tongue weight issue. Get a scale or take it to a truck stop, feed mill etc and get an accurate weight on the boat/trailer, combined weight and tongue weight. Also, be certain the tow vehicle and trailer are level with the boat connected. If the truck is squatting, the tongue will dip and alter your tongue weight and your axle loading if more than one axle.
     
  9. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
     
  10. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Your signature does not indicate where you are located. I think all the comments are correct. I don't think the boat is on the trailer correctly. I would look for a boat trailer manufacturer in your area and ask them to set it up correctly. You may pay for it but at least it will be set up correctly. If you don't have a manufacturer I would look for a reputable trailer/hitch dealer that specializes in installations. These places set this stuff up all day especially with RV trailers. Again, you'll pay but if you have to pay I'd rather pay the guys that do trailers for a living than a boat dealer that may just take a stab at it. That said....shame on your Sea Ray dealer for not doing all they can to ensure you come there for your next boat purchase. I'd talk to a manager and if that doesn't work I'd contact Sea Ray directly. This is a new boat.
     
  11. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    97 270DA 5k Kohler A/C,
    85 Monaco 197
    7.4 300hp BII,
    260hp Alpha 1
    To be clear, you bought a new boat at a SR dealer and they will not check and adjust the trailer to tow correctly?

    MM
     
  12. dguisinger

    dguisinger New Member

    5
    Sep 23, 2017
    2017 SPX210
    Mercruiser
    Thanks guys, that was a lot more responses than I was expecting.

    So am I reading this right?
    Too much weight at the rear gives trailer sway, too much weight up front of the trailer gives porpoising?
    I feel like its porpoising, but I don't know

    I've ordered an adjustable rail ball mount, I'll give it a try this weekend.
     
  13. dguisinger

    dguisinger New Member

    5
    Sep 23, 2017
    2017 SPX210
    Mercruiser
    Yup, bought it brand new at Marine Max in Rogers, MN. I spoke to the service department on the phone, told him I bought it this spring and was having these issues towing it and was trying to work through scenarios. He said it would be $150 to bring it in and have them check the weight, check the axles, and do a test drive. I haven't tried going back to the sales guy yet, that was going to be my next step
     
  14. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Active Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 8212 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    You can weigh the tongue by yourself if you're up to it. If the weight exceeds your scale, there are tons of articles and videos online about how you can use boards and blocks with your existing scale to calculate weight.

    You can also use truck scales for overall weight, but many of them won't let you drop the trailer to weigh it alone.
     
  15. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    97 270DA 5k Kohler A/C,
    85 Monaco 197
    7.4 300hp BII,
    260hp Alpha 1
    I believe you are talking to the wrong guy, talk to sales and warranty service, not service. Many of them lack the position to help you with an issue like this. You should not have to purchase something at this point, it just needs adjustment.

    MM
     
  16. dguisinger

    dguisinger New Member

    5
    Sep 23, 2017
    2017 SPX210
    Mercruiser
    Well, I bought a new adjustable ball mount.
    When I pulled it down to the street where things are more level, I found the trailer sloped 4" towards the vehicle... so i raised the ball up 2" above the old ball position. Trailer now measures level and my rear suspension lifted 1" above where it was before. I took it out for quite possibly the last time before it needs to be winterized today, and was able to get it well past 70mph on the freeway with no issues. So I think its solved, it was too heavy at the tongue

    Thanks for the help :)
     
  17. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    It may have been due more to having the weight unbalanced on the trailer axles, not so much the tongue weight. Extra tongue weight, from the trailer's perspective, is typically just fine. But possibly there was too much weight on there for your vehicle and the front of the vehicle was way too light. But more likely it was the fact that there was just too much weight on the front axle. Dual axle trailers need to be as close to level as possible.
     

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