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Old 04-17-2019, 10:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anyone tow a jet ski?

I know the Insight can tow some things. My primary worry with something like a jet ski is that while a single place trailer and older model are probably under 800 pounds and the car can tow more than that in 3rd gear I don't know how well it would negotiate a boat launch.

Some of the launches in Arizona are very steep. The one that comes to mind is Lake Pleasant which is quite a bit longer and steeper than most ramps up north but it is paved. I'm guessing that if you took it at an angle to the left or right it would reduce your effective climb while starting off.

I just don't want to waste money putting a hitch on a car that won't do the job. It has a HCH transmission and is bypassed. It's probably close to stock torque with the lower first.
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In a previous life I had a jet ski and towed it with a truck... my ramp was maybe 10% grade, and boy would I not enjoy trying to pull a jet ski out in an Insight... worst case your car will be swallowed by the sea. Best case people will laugh at you as you struggle and spin yourself up the hill.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A 2000 pound fwd vehicle launching an 800 pound boat should theoretically be no more different than a 4000 pound fwd vehicle launching a 1600 pound boat. Which people do all the time, and worse, although people also struggle. Wet boat ramps are one of the few situations where I feel awd or 4wd is truly an advantage.

My main concern is that none of the hitch designs Iíve seen for the Insight seem suitable for 800 pounds.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Agree with above. The weight isn't the issue, it's that FWD and slippery launches make for a poor combination.

Also, I've been launching my boat with a stickshfit for years. My next tow vehicle will be an automatic.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought Scott's trailer is heavier than 800 pounds? My main concern is exiting the launch. It should go down the launch and retrieve the empty trailer just fine.
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Is anyone currently offering a receiver hitch for the G1, or are these needing to be custom fabricated and installed?
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondarider90 View Post
I thought Scott's trailer is heavier than 800 pounds? My main concern is exiting the launch. It should go down the launch and retrieve the empty trailer just fine.
You should ask him but I believe he's publicly stated it's intended for a few hundred pounds, bicycles kayaks etc.

The problem isn't making a hitch strong enough, easy to do with welded steel. The problem is finding a strong enough place to attach it. There is no frame to speak of in the back of an Insight, just formed aluminum sheet. Which, for the most part, you could seriously damage with your bare hands nevermind the forces of an 800 pound trailer under heavy braking or bouncing over uneven pavement. The hitch designs posted on here, like Scott's, try to alleviate that by attaching at multiple places to spread out the load. But the places they attach are all inherently weak and I don't think anyone has done any real engineering or testing to failure so the real capacity is just a SWAG.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am very curious too.

I've seen a Prius do it over and over.

My thoughts - boat ramps are full of oil from everyone's cars and boats, especially at the end of the afternoon. These tiny Insight wheels might just spin and spin.

Maybe test it out on a weekday, with a friend that can tow-rope you if you get stuck on the ramp?
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ackattacker View Post
You should ask him but I believe he's publicly stated it's intended for a few hundred pounds, bicycles kayaks etc.

The problem isn't making a hitch strong enough, easy to do with welded steel. The problem is finding a strong enough place to attach it. There is no frame to speak of in the back of an Insight, just formed aluminum sheet. Which, for the most part, you could seriously damage with your bare hands nevermind the forces of an 800 pound trailer under heavy braking or bouncing over uneven pavement. The hitch designs posted on here, like Scott's, try to alleviate that by attaching at multiple places to spread out the load. But the places they attach are all inherently weak and I don't think anyone has done any real engineering or testing to failure so the real capacity is just a SWAG.
I have two trailers I tow. Both are designed for motorcycles or small cars. One is a cargo trailer and the other is a pop up tent trailer.

The cargo trailer is about 150lbs empty. I think loaded Iíve been about 500lbs. Iíve carried tools, transmission, springs, parts, etc.

The tent trailer is about 325lbs empty. Loaded I think itís been about 600lbs. It has cargo space for camp gear.

Unibody cars still have what is considered a frame. My hitch design bolts through the rear frame rails. It does require drilling. There are no existing holes to use. My design is two pieces. One part goes inside the trunk area and bolts through the frame rails and then there is another piece that goes on the out side of the rear body panel, the two pieces are basically angle iron, that bolt back to back making a very strong beam. The outer piece also has a bracket that bolts around the rear bumper reinforcement to add more stability, or spread the load, as ackattacker stated above.

The receiver on my hitch is 1 1/4x1 1/4, it is mounted up high hidden under the license plate. The brace on my hitch that goes to the bumper reinforcement transfers some of the load against the the reinforcement pushing it tighter against the frame rails.

The rear bumper reinforcement is not strong for pulling at all. It is only held to the rear body panel by four bolts that are only spot welded to the rear panel. The bumper reinforcement is really only designed for an impact, in which case it get pushed tighter to the frame rails.

Towing an 800lbs load is probably excessive. Iím not saying it wonít do it, but itís probably unsafe.

We own a tow truck at our shop. Iíve towed a number of Insights. One problem Iíve encountered is the Insights park break doesnít hold very well on the slope of the tow truck bed. I canít imagine putting 800lbs of load pulling backwards toward a body of water. If you were able to not launch the car, once you were loaded back up with 800lbs on a slope the car might have a very difficult time climbing back up the slope, wet or not.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Here are a few pictures of the hitch.
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