When boat towing, your top priority is ensuring your boat – not to mention your family – gets from the driveway to the boat ramp in one piece. We look at three innovations that provide boat stability when towing.
Weight distribution system
When your boat trailer is connected to your tow vehicle, the two should be as close to level as possible. Loading too much weight on the tow ball can cause the rear suspension of the towing vehicle to dip, thus raising the front suspension.
On the flipside, less weight over the front suspension means that the tow vehicle can easily be swayed by a heavy boat trailer. This imbalance can also reduce the tow vehicle’s handling and increase wear and tear.
A weight distributing system uses spring bars that attach directly to the tow bar (rather than the tow ball). The ends of the bars are chained, under tension, to the draw bar of the boat trailer. The analogy is that these bars work for boat towing like the handles of a wheelbarrow – lifting them moves weight onto the ‘wheelbarrow’s’ (front) axle.
Sway control coupling
Unlike the weight distributing system – which attaches to the tow bar – a sway control coupling tackles boat trailer sway directly by acting on the tow ball.
Sway control couplings act like a brake on the tow ball itself. As the trailer starts to sway, the sway control coupling ‘brakes’ the trailer’s lateral movement with friction pads that resist against the turning movement of the tow ball. As they are self-contained, friction pad sway control couplings are easy to install and therefore ideal for replacing most regular couplings with the addition of a captive tow ball.
iQ7 and iQ7 Xtreme
Designed and manufactured in Australia, the iQ7 is the latest in power assisted braking, particularly for large boats in excess of 2-tonnes. Unlike other vacuum or compressed air systems, iQ7’s compressed air reservoir allows it to activate instantly. This technology significantly improves the stopping distance of hydraulically braked boat trailers. In testing, the Xtreme version has reduced the stopping distance of a typical 4WD and 2000kg (GTM) boat trailer from 80km/h in a mere 18m. That’s against an unbraked trailer’s 35m.
Should the unthinkable happen and your boat trailer detaches from your tow vehicle, iQ7’s in-built breakaway technology safely brings the trailer to a halt. Rigorously tested, it comes with its own 3-year warranty and won’t void that of your tow vehicle.
Visit the AL-KO iQ7 website to find out more about iQ7 & iQ7 Xtreme.