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Is there anyway (modifications) to make a 2013 RX350 Tow 6500+lbs safely?


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Have a 2013 RX350 that came with the factory tow package. I understand these are rated for a Max of 3500lbs tow capacity. This is probably a stupid question but wanted to know what it would take to get it to safely tow 6500 to 7000lbs (boat weights 5300 but adding trailer, fuel etc)? Upgraded brakes? I think the engine can handle it not sure if transmission can. Just curious if something like this could be done? If it costs $5-10k in upgrades no biggie sure beats buying another tow vehicle.. Anyone ever hear of such a thing?

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Hi....welcome to the Club

I believe if the trailer is braked then the RX should be heavy enough to slow the trailer on deceleration.
With regards to the transmission, I may be advisable to fit an auxiliary transmission oil cooler to avoid overheating the trans

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I think the big issue is weather a Front wheel drive 270hp RX350 can pull 6500lbs up a ramp and out of the water.  I think that maybe asking for trouble.

Would gladly spend for trailer brakes if the rx could pull it. But was comparing the curb weight of the rx350 and a 2015 F-150 with a 2.7 eco boost. The weights are actually very similar but the f-150 can tow well over 6500lbs all day long. Just dont know why they rated the RX so low. seems like it could do allot more.

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Sorry, You're right.....not really a boaty type myself and not realising you would be pulling the trailer in and out the water on a ramp....that makes for a totally different scenario where an f-150 would definitely do the job nicely.
So not sure the RX would do the job reliably

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4 minutes ago, tobusy4 said:

I think the big issue is weather a Front wheel drive 270hp RX350 can pull 6500lbs up a ramp and out of the water.  I think that maybe asking for trouble.

Would gladly spend for trailer brakes if the rx could pull it. But was comparing the curb weight of the rx350 and a 2015 F-150 with a 2.7 eco boost. The weights are actually very similar but the f-150 can tow well over 6500lbs all day long. Just dont know why they rated the RX so low. seems like it could do allot more.

The Ford F-150 is a "body on frame" design and engineered from the start for heavy towing.  The RX350 is a unit-body vehicle without a separate frame and is designed for light duty towing at best.  Trailers over around 1,500 pounds should have their own brakes - electric or surge.   Trailers over 3,000 pounds REALLY need their own brakes.  Trailers for boats of the size you are talking about usually have surge brakes since electric brakes aren't happy being submerged.

Boat ramps can be scary slippery with moss in the Midwest but maybe that's less of a problem in Florida.  I once had a scary experience pulling a 3,500 pound sailboat/trailer out of the water with a mid-size RWD sedan - rear wheels spilling and not getting traction on the slick steep ramp.  From then on I had the boat pulled out of the water by a marina service that used a large 4WD pickup truck.  I gave up on launching/recovering the boat every time I wanted to use it and rented a slip for it and later moored it on a buoy and rowed out to it in a dingy. 

At most, you might be able to pull 5,000 pounds using a weight distribution hitch with your RX - something like a travel trailer but not a boat if you are going to launch and recover it yourself.  You would need a receiver hitch rated for 5,000 pounds and a weight distribution setup on top of that.

    

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Correct. I really dont want to buy an F150 and have another vehicle to insure that I only use for towing. Absolutely love my RX was hoping there was some kind of way I could make it work but does not look like it. Marina's in south florida are at absurd pricing per month (marina 1 quoted me rack storage 1,475 per month for a 34ft speedboat), you can pay more than a mortgage payment. So towing it around and putting on the side of your home seems way more of an option.

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Definitely seems a lot cheaper to tow it where you want to launch it and leave round the side of your house when not using it.
Can you get something like a Caravan Mover (motorised device that drives one wheel and remote control) which saves dunking the vehicle into the water as well?

Or as Jim says, you could probably use a winch which may be worth a try?

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Wondering if a tuner shop can beef up and make a Rx350 handle that type of cargo.?.  I think for the money and older f150 is the best option

 

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1 minute ago, tobusy4 said:

Wondering if a tuner shop can beef up and make a Rx350 handle that type of cargo.?.  I think for the money and older f150 is the best option

 

A unit body vehicle like the RX cannot be "beefed up" to handle that kind of load.   I suppose you could ask around but I strongly doubt that anybody in their right mind would assume the liability of doing that type of job.   You've just plain got the wrong vehicle for towing that kind of boat.

Some versions of the F-150 wouldn't tow that boat either.  The marina service I used to recover our sailboat used a much larger 4WD pickup truck - something on the order of an F-350 - but they were sometimes launching and recovering boats that weighed well over 10,000 pounds.  

You need something on the order of a Ford Expedition, Toyota Land Cruiser, or Chevy Suburban to tow a boat of the size you are talking about.

If you haven't bought that boat and don't want to rent a slip or get a different vehicle, then maybe don't buy that boat.  Maybe you could look for a much smaller boat but I realize that boats of the size you are talking about are pretty typical in Florida.

I've owned a 2014 Toyota Sienna Limited since new.  It is also unit body, has the same drive train and brakes as your 2013 RX350 and is also rated to tow 3,500 pounds.  It's essentially a larger, heavier version of the RX350.    It has a 2" inch receiver hitch rated to tow 5,000 pounds as long as an additional weight distribution device is used.  I wouldn't dream of towing more than the rated 3,500 pounds with my Sienna.  6,000 or 7,000 pounds would be absolutely scary.

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boat weights in fully rigged at 5200lbs adding 1000lbs for the trailer. 2015 F150 with 2.7 ecoboost and is rated for 8500lbs which will more than cover it. I just did not want a pickup sitting around my house or to pay extra insurance on a vehicle..  such is life...

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1 hour ago, tobusy4 said:

boat weights in fully rigged at 5200lbs adding 1000lbs for the trailer. 2015 F150 with 2.7 ecoboost and is rated for 8500lbs which will more than cover it. I just did not want a pickup sitting around my house or to pay extra insurance on a vehicle..  such is life...

Why not replace your 2013 RX350 with an SUV that can tow your boat safely with no drama and also carry at least as many passengers as your RX?  It would probably be less expensive than owning an extra vehicle.   If you don't want to buy new, I'm sure you can find something nice on the used market that would work for you.  For example, the Carmax down the road from me here in Kansas has Chevy Suburbans from 2013 to 2019 priced between $25K and $37K.

The purchase price of a boat is only the beginning.  I was stunned at all associated costs.  I swore I'd never own another boat unless I could walk out my back door and access it from my own property.  Friends bought a house at the T-intersection of a canal in southwest Florida in around 2005.  It included a dock/slip for a boat.  It was one of the first houses in a new development - fairly modest 3 bedroom, open plan but still very nice.  I was stunned at the price - around $400K back then which I thought was very low for what they got.  Their house was perfectly centered at the "top" of the T-intersection which meant that looking out from their back patio was stunning - water straight out to the gulf.   That sounds awful good when stuck here in Kansas!

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Fort Lauderdale canal lots in a "safe" neighborhood are mostly above 800k for absolute garbage right now..  Hence looking at the tow/launch option.

RX is 100times better than a monster suburban... I dont want to drive that big thing all the time.  RX just fits me so well..

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