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2018 Malibu 25 LSV trailer specs and swing tongue rating


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Hello all,

maybe this is too much detail but maybe it will help someone else make a decision on tow rigs and their trailer. Long story short does anyone know the specs on the UFP by Dexter Swing away tongue that Malibu supposedly used in the 2018 trailers?

I have the XR-84 hyd brake actuator and the manual that came with the boat says you are allowed to use a weight distributing hitch with the XR-84 (I plan to switch to electric over hydraullic pump for better braking, but you are not required to). There is no mention about the swing away tongue. Malibu tech support and so far Dexter cannot tell me if the XR84 comes with a dexter made swing away tongue (UFP by dexter part #47122) or any of the specs of the tongue on the boat. I only found part #47122 by googling dexter swing away tongues for the XR84 and that tongue is only rated at 7500 lbs and there is no mention whether or not you can use a weight distributing hitch with it. I would guess not just by looking at it, but I would really like to know the facts. Does anyone know?

I followed another thread on this website that led me to another website that said the guys at Boatmate say the modern swing away tongue hinges can handle weight distributing hitches. 

I know some will ask why this matters. Well you could legally tow this boat with an F-150 if using a weight distributing hitch (not that I'm going too but it is a consideration). Also some 3/4 ton trucks also require weight distributing hitches in there legal footnotes  above certain trailer weights (one 2500 truck required weight distributing over 8000lbs). I know they will tow this boat all day long with no problems, however weight distribution hitches can make for a nice towing experience as well as make you legal in some cases going down the road with 6 people, coolers, weight, and everything you own loaded up going to Lake Powell! I might just weld up the swing tongue but it would sure be nice to keep it stock if it was rated for it.

Any help with the specs or actual manufacturer of the swing away tongue would be appreciated! Thank you! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

well I found out from the engineers at Dexter that my swing tongue is rated at 14000 pounds, enough to support the loads of a weight distribution hitch. We had a nice long talk about WDHs on boat trailers and said the best scenario is using electric over hydraullic pump instead or surge assembly (especially in the mountains) with WDH if your vehicle requires ir, however it can be used with a WDH just the way it is.

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I see this topic come up regularly but I don't believe I have ever actually seen anyone follow thru and actually install a weight distributing hitch on a boat.

One of the only brands I have seen that claim to work with surge brake trailer is the Equalizer https://www.equalizerhitch.com/ most camper trailers the frame immediately splits and widens out just behind the hitch while boats usually have a straight tongue that splits further back. Not sure how that geometry would effect a weight distribution system but Equalizer specifically states they can be used with boats with surge brakes so you may want to check with them about compatibility.



Edit: This would take care of the straight tongue issue. https://www.equalizerhitch.com/store/hitch-accessories/pole-tongue-adapter-kit





Edited by tbullard
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Heavy duty trucks (2500/F250) tow construction equipment down the road using pintle w/o the need for a WDH (like 30,000lbs!).  If there is a footnote saying a WDH is required over 8k then you might be talking about a econoline van or and old suburban 2500 maybe (ie, not a real 3/4-1 ton truck).  You live in CO so I can understand wanting better braking.  You can legally tow a 25LSV with a F150 granted its outfitted properly.  Those that say they have a class III hitch didn't get the right options, mine was clearly marked as IV.  That said, in CO I'd buy a 3/4+ if I towed any great distance.  Braking is you enemy, not the tongue weight (imo) and a larger, heavier 3/4 will serve you better (I know you weren't looking for a new truck  ;)  ).

Can you put the stress of a WDH on that swing joint?  I've heard both yes/no but I don't love the idea (just my opinion).  I prefer the correct tow vehicle option.

Edited by pauley71
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 I did buy a 2500HD - I just wish it sat 8 people and two dogs like the expedition! 

I know this topic comes up a bunch but it seems like most people pulling with 1/2 ton trucks or lesser tow vehicles should be pulling most of these heavy boats with WDHs. Not sure why there is so much pushback from boat dealers and even the trailer supply stores when you mention boat and WDHs. These boats just keep getting heavier, they are at the point that they need to change their tune or at least make it clear. I tow a small toy hauler with my expedition and the WDH makes all the difference in the world. Anyways, I really just wanted to find and now let people know that at least the swing tongue part by Dexter on the 20118 Malibu trailer is rated for a WDH if you want to (as well as the xr84 surge brake).


I did end up buying the pole tongue adapter by equalizer and the fastway E2 wdh hitch, just for going short haul to the local lake and having 8 seats in the expedition. I think with the electric over hydraulics in place it will be very safe, but it will be interesting to compare it with the 2500.

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