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Have I blown $500?

Having seen the availability of trailer hitches for my 6-speed manual-transmission 2014 Mazda 3 GT, and multiple YouTube videos, I believed towing my tiny (7'11") Dyer sailing dinghy to my daughter in Asheville, NC from New Bedford, MA (950 miles) would be no big deal.

Hitches I've seen recommended include the "Reese Towpower 77299 Class I Insta-Hitch" from Amazon and the "Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class I - 1-1/4" which has a lot of positive reviews.

I know the trailer unloaded has nowhere near 200 lbs on the hitch because I can easily lift the tongue/ball receiver assembly. In fact, I was thinking that I'd have to make sure I could get the boat far enough forward on the cradle pads to get anywhere the 200 lbs repeatedly cited as the maximum hitch weight.

And so, I bought a 2006 "Loadright" light trailer used for $500 in mint condition, stored indoors, never in salt water. Wheel bearings nicely greased.

Only then did I check the user's manual to determine the towing capacity of my Mazda, I was stunned to see the admonition not to tow in the user's manual.

Have I blown $500? Or is the forum consensus that I can safely/slowly/carefully tow the dinghy behind my Mazda to NC?

Mel
 

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2014 Mazda 3 GS 6m
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Have I blown $500?

Having seen the availability of trailer hitches for my 6-speed manual-transmission 2014 Mazda 3 GT, and multiple YouTube videos, I believed towing my tiny (7'11") Dyer sailing dinghy to my daughter in Asheville, NC from New Bedford, MA (950 miles) would be no big deal.

Hitches I've seen recommended include the "Reese Towpower 77299 Class I Insta-Hitch" from Amazon and the "Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class I - 1-1/4" which has a lot of positive reviews.

I know the trailer unloaded has nowhere near 200 lbs on the hitch because I can easily lift the tongue/ball receiver assembly. In fact, I was thinking that I'd have to make sure I could get the boat far enough forward on the cradle pads to get anywhere the 200 lbs repeatedly cited as the maximum hitch weight.

And so, I bought a 2006 "Loadright" light trailer used for $500 in mint condition, stored indoors, never in salt water. Wheel bearings nicely greased.

Only then did I check the user's manual to determine the towing capacity of my Mazda, I was stunned to see the admonition not to tow in the user's manual.

Have I blown $500? Or is the forum consensus that I can safely/slowly/carefully tow the dinghy behind my Mazda to NC?

Mel
The manual says no towing to avoid certification and warranty issues. The 3 can tow up to 2000lbs.

Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The manual says no towing to avoid certification and warranty issues. The 3 can tow up to 2000lbs.

Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
Thanks! That’s what I suspected. My boat plus accessories weigh only about 100 lbs. The trailer itself is really small and light. I plan to practice backing up with the trailer in a parking lot till I feel comfortable with doing it (thank you Mazda for the backup TV camera).
 

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Thanks! That’s what I suspected. My boat plus accessories weigh only about 100 lbs. The trailer itself is really small and light. I plan to practice backing up with the trailer in a parking lot till I feel comfortable with doing it (thank you Mazda for the backup TV camera).
Here is a tip for you if you have never backed up a trailer.

Put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and turn the wheel whichever way you want the trailer to go. Some people have trouble putting their hands at the top of the wheel and remembering everything is opposite on the trailer when backing so I recommend the hand at the bottom.
 

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Here is a tip for you if you have never backed up a trailer.

Put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and turn the wheel whichever way you want the trailer to go. Some people have trouble putting their hands at the top of the wheel and remembering everything is opposite on the trailer when backing so I recommend the hand at the bottom.
Hah! For 36 years I have owned an Ericson 38 sailboat - which like all sailboats are notoriously challenging to maneuver in reverse - and the same “bottom-of-the-wheel” technique.

Thanks for the tip!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Will this Curt hitch work on my Mazda 3 towing a light trailer with a 100 lb load?

I see that this hitch is a very robust and elegant one - but it's for a hatchback, and I will use it for a single tow (taking my 100lb dinghy from Boston to western NC).

Could I safely use the Curt 1-1/4 inch with a standard ball mount? Forum won't allow links or photos but you can see it on the auto anything site

I'm not troubled by the inferior esthetics, because I will have it removed after this single tow - and if I can save $100+ I'd like to do so.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have I blown $500?

Having seen the availability of trailer hitches for my 6-speed manual-transmission 2014 Mazda 3 GT, and multiple YouTube videos, I believed towing my tiny (7'11") Dyer sailing dinghy to my daughter in Asheville, NC from New Bedford, MA (950 miles) would be no big deal.

Hitches I've seen recommended include the "Reese Towpower 77299 Class I Insta-Hitch" from Amazon and the "Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class I - 1-1/4" which has a lot of positive reviews.

I know the trailer unloaded has nowhere near 200 lbs on the hitch because I can easily lift the tongue/ball receiver assembly. In fact, I was thinking that I'd have to make sure I could get the boat far enough forward on the cradle pads to get anywhere the 200 lbs repeatedly cited as the maximum hitch weight.

And so, I bought a 2006 "Loadright" light trailer used for $500 in mint condition, stored indoors, never in salt water. Wheel bearings nicely greased.

Only then did I check the user's manual to determine the towing capacity of my Mazda, I was stunned to see the admonition not to tow in the user's manual.

Have I blown $500? Or is the forum consensus that I can safely/slowly/carefully tow the dinghy behind my Mazda to NC?

Mel
Made it 954 miles Boston to NC with a Curt hitch - cost me $257 including installation at Cap World in Saugus MA. One trailer wheel bearing began to throw grease at about 700 miles, and squeaked a bit but didn't heat up at ~ 900 miles. It will now not move more than 150 miles round trip in NC, mostly much less. Thanks to all who gave me the confidence to do this.
 

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I see that this hitch is a very robust and elegant one - but it's for a hatchback, and I will use it for a single tow (taking my 100lb dinghy from Boston to western NC).

Could I safely use the Curt 1-1/4 inch with a standard ball mount? Forum won't allow links or photos but you can see it on the auto anything site

I'm not troubled by the inferior esthetics, because I will have it removed after this single tow - and if I can save $100+ I'd like to do so.

Thanks in advance for your help!
I just put the Curt hitch on my 2017 last week. Got it for less than $100 at CarID.com and shipped in two days. It actually looks great...no complaints about it from an asthmatic point of view. It also seems very solid, though I cannot vouch for towing the trailer. But it mounts with four very solid bolts to the chassis and is fairly easy to install yourself. Some advice on mounting...use a jack on each side and jack up enough to give you clearance but not so high the rear wheels leave the ground. Also feel free to over-do it with the WD-40 to get the muffler hangers off. Lastly, buy a $20 torque wrench at Harbor Freight if you don’t have one.
 
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