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Thread: Who is towing with their CX-9?

  1. #16
    TomB

    2007 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    Gas next to the battery doesn't really sound safe...but I get it. I like to push things until the low fuel light comes on too.

    I'm building up an order at eTrailer. Can't decide about the WD hitch. A guy in the sales dept said they "could" void the warranty if they saw a class III hitch but I've also read a few messages about uneven tire wear while towing and transferring some weight to the front axle would certainly help with that.


    Good catch, Regarding Gas Can, it's on a separate tray from battery which is inside Battery box, I also wipe off can after filling to avoid fuel residue. Not many options, other than back bumper of trailer which doesn't sound good either. Regarding 2" versus 1.25 factory hitch, smaller 1.25" hitch can be marginal when towing larger trailers due to forces applied to hitch by tall, heavy trailer. But again the scamp is a wind cheating design so may not be an issue. Also note, not all smaller trailers allow for a weight distribution hitch, so best to check with scamp. One last thing, 2" replacement hitch is designed for uncut valence ie no dealer-factory hitch installation, so when you install 2" hitch like in my case, the hitch was 1.5" below cutout, Wife did not like look nor did I so I had Welding shop specializing in RVs, modify hitch to fit flush, we added some additional double plates to hitch flanges beef it up some as well. I've done several follow up weld inspections and all is good.

  2. #17
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    I am towing an 18' boat on a regular basis I was also worried but tows it incredibly well... as for fuel milage, if your towing throw just have your wallet ready


    also using 2" curt hitch had to custom weld a receiver to get the height was the only issue since the rear of these sit really low.
    Last edited by jddesign; 03-14-2014 at 03:57 PM.

  3. #18
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    We are thinking about getting a 2014 CX-9 this summer when the new 2015 redesign hits the lots. I happened upon this thread, since it seems our decision (if we buy a new car this summer - we could wait another year) is between the Travers (5200 lb tow rating) and CX-9 AWD. I'm leery of the Traverse because it is a direct injected engine, causing dirty valves that can cause problems. Plus we have a Equinox and have had some problems with that DI engine (covered under warranty thankfully) and are a little leery of going to another GM DI engine.

    Has anyone had any issues towing things that regularly bump up against the 3500 lb tow rating? In a few years we'd be looking to get a 18' or so boat, and they can be from 2500 lbs (aluminum) to 3500 (fiberglass) including trailer. It would be towed two or three weekends a month in summer. Any issues with brakes?

    Also, we'd be looking to tow snowmobiles. That won't be a problem weight-wise (1500 lbs for two sleds including trailer), but how do these vehicles handle in the snow?

    Lastly, anyone seen or heard anything on the 2015s? I heard at the dealer they will probably make them shorter (especially in the back) to make more aerodynamic, and will likely have Skyactive engine technology. Is Skyactive direct injection or not?

  4. #19
    Registrierte Benutzer Chris_Top_Her's Avatar
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    Firestone ride rites are a good investment for towing. I bought a pair for my CX-5 (although sent back because I forgot I was lowered) and the operation and installation was simple. About $100 and usally you can slip it into the spring. less wear on brakes, springs, and your unibody car. If your going to tow regularly, you probably have your own trailer.. You can get new electric brakes on ebay for < $100 for a set a controller < $50. Save your brakes/body/suspension imo. I couldm't find specifically cx-9 springs, the ones for my cx-5 are actually listed under ford (same size) so if interested give them a call and they can help http://www.firestoneip.com/RideRite/index.aspx You don't ned an electric pump or any of that, all you need is a bike bump. I was going to get a dirt bike and trailer but I changed my mind.

    These are the slip in type

  5. #20
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    Chris, thanks for the link but the CX-9 is not listed on the website.

    Wally, I think you should decide on a boat before you buy a new vehicle. Keep in mind you need to know the weight of the boat, the trailer, and all passengers and equipment in the vehicle. You also need to know the tongue weight. If the boat alone weighs 3,500 lbs you should probably be looking at something with a 5,000 lb rating to be safe. As far as reliability goes, I think you are much safer with a Mazda than anything sold by GM. Mazda has a much better track record in that department, just check consumer reports. When it comes to brakes, some say they are the weak point on the vehicle. I'm not a big fan of the brake feel on my 2013 but I plan to change out the fluid in the spring and eventually upgrade to drilled/slotted rotors. When it comes to braking distances as tested by magazines the CX-9 brakes are on par with its competitors. Just don't expect a larger SUV like this to stop as quickly as a sedan or sports car. When towing over 1,000 lbs I'd recommend trailer brakes and an electronic controller.

    One last item...if you do decide on the CX-9, make sure you get one with AWD. The FWD models are only rated for 2,000lbs. All AWD models come with the tow prep package that bumps the rating to 3,500 lbs. Most AWD models won't have a hitch, but they'll have the important bits like a larger transmission cooler, radiator fan, and reprogrammed ECU. You can add a hitch and pick up the harness at your dealer.
    Last edited by chuyler1; 03-17-2014 at 03:07 PM.

  6. #21
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    towing

    Thanks everyone so far.

    I'm more concerned with the vehicle than the boat. I think I'd be fine with an aluminum 18-20' one. I like fiberglass better, but it isn't a big deal. About the braking, I think I saw where the 2014s have vented front discs. So that would help with the heat. I do like that the 2014s have port injection, not direct injection like it seems all manufacturers (including Mazda with Sykactiv) are going to now.

    Can you put electric braking on a standard one axel boat trailer?

  7. #22
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    Direct injection is much better on fuel mileage. All vehicles these days have vented front brakes (but not slotted or drilled). I would find it very odd if the pre-2014 CX-9 did not have vented front discs.

    I don't know very much about boat trailers. I imagine you can add brakes, but the question would be how they handle getting submersed in salty water. I would research that on a boating forum.
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  8. #23
    Registrierte Benutzer Chris_Top_Her's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    Chris, thanks for the link but the CX-9 is not listed on the website.

    Wally, I think you should decide on a boat before you buy a new vehicle. Keep in mind you need to know the weight of the boat, the trailer, and all passengers and equipment in the vehicle. You also need to know the tongue weight. If the boat alone weighs 3,500 lbs you should probably be looking at something with a 5,000 lb rating to be safe. As far as reliability goes, I think you are much safer with a Mazda than anything sold by GM. Mazda has a much better track record in that department, just check consumer reports. When it comes to brakes, some say they are the weak point on the vehicle. I'm not a big fan of the brake feel on my 2013 but I plan to change out the fluid in the spring and eventually upgrade to drilled/slotted rotors. When it comes to braking distances as tested by magazines the CX-9 brakes are on par with its competitors. Just don't expect a larger SUV like this to stop as quickly as a sedan or sports car. When towing over 1,000 lbs I'd recommend trailer brakes and an electronic controller.

    One last item...if you do decide on the CX-9, make sure you get one with AWD. The FWD models are only rated for 2,000lbs. All AWD models come with the tow prep package that bumps the rating to 3,500 lbs. Most AWD models won't have a hitch, but they'll have the important bits like a larger transmission cooler, radiator fan, and reprogrammed ECU. You can add a hitch and pick up the harness at your dealer.
    You would have to call them; it is probably listed a a ford part e.g my cs-5 spring said Lincoln mkz and ford edge on the box (same spring size)
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  9. #24
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    Looked at and drove a few vehicles. Haven't actually driven the CX-9 yet, but it is a Mazda and I'm sure it will be sporty. Think I narrowed it down to the CX-9 and Explorer. Now will wait until Memorial Day or 4th of July sales or so, test drive both with the wife, and see what one we like better and what the offers are.

  10. #25
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    Wally look at my post 18' boat trailer fuel etc no issues I once saw on here if you look on Mazda's site in Australia the same car tows 4400 lbs towing capacity braked I assume this is with trailer brakes.... I remember doing a lot of research before I bought my boat and literally have 0 issues towing it

  11. #26
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    I would advise against using ratings in other countries to justify hauling more weight. There are numerous factors that go into the ratings. Some may claim politics is one of those factors but if a manufacturer doesn't have a vehicle with different options rated higher, the rating for your vehicle is probably accurate. Consider the following factors that could cause ratings to vary between countries...

    1) Speed limits. Here in the US drivers expect to tow at 65-75 mph. In many countries it is illegal to tow over 60 mph.

    2) Climate. The US has roads at very high elevation and places with extreme temperatures. The SAE Test uses an 11 mile climb in Arizona heat to rate vehicles.

    3) Suspension tuning. The US has some very rough roads and cars destined for our country often have softer suspensions to handle pot holes and frost heaves. This can affect the allowed tongue weight.

    4) Always consider tongue weight and overall capacity. If the tow rating is 3,500lbs that assumes 10% tongue weight of 350 lbs. If you load up 200 lbs of gear in the back of your truck then hook up a 3,500lb trailer you'll be putting 550 lbs on the back of the vehicle which could seriously mess with handling.
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  12. #27
    TomB

    2007 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    I would advise against using ratings in other countries to justify hauling more weight. There are numerous factors that go into the ratings. Some may claim politics is one of those factors but if a manufacturer doesn't have a vehicle with different options rated higher, the rating for your vehicle is probably accurate. Consider the following factors that could cause ratings to vary between countries...

    1) Speed limits. Here in the US drivers expect to tow at 65-75 mph. In many countries it is illegal to tow over 60 mph.

    2) Climate. The US has roads at very high elevation and places with extreme temperatures. The SAE Test uses an 11 mile climb in Arizona heat to rate vehicles.

    3) Suspension tuning. The US has some very rough roads and cars destined for our country often have softer suspensions to handle pot holes and frost heaves. This can affect the allowed tongue weight.

    4) Always consider tongue weight and overall capacity. If the tow rating is 3,500lbs that assumes 10% tongue weight of 350 lbs. If you load up 200 lbs of gear in the back of your truck then hook up a 3,500lb trailer you'll be putting 550 lbs on the back of the vehicle which could seriously mess with handling.

  13. #28
    TomB

    2007 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD

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    A couple of points, The reason for US tow ratings on many vehicles being lower than overseas has a lot to do with trailer tongue weights. US designed trailers often 10-15% of their weight on the tongue, overseas its more like 4-7%. 75kg-125kg is normal for small 18-22ft Caravans in Europe and therefore allows smaller vehicles the ability to tow and carry passengers. Overseas CX9s have 4400lb / 350lb capacity ratio because trailer design allows this.

    Payload capacity of the vehicle is also important, 5 examples I checked recently, (yellow sticker by drivers door, my 2007 CX9 ~1160lbs, my 2002 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro ~1100lbs, My friends new Honda minivan ~1400lbs, my brother in laws 2010 Tundra V8 2wd extended cab base model ~1340lb!!!, my coworkers 2013 Ford 150 Raptor 6.2liter extended cab~ 880lbs!! The CX9 payload matches very well with a 3500-4000lbs trailer. My brother inlaws Tundra payload does not match well with the 1000lb tongue weight of his 33ft Flagstaff Bunk house plus the weight family (4), and other stuff.

    Truck brakes are designed to stop the GVW of the truck not the weight of the truck and the trailer. No vehicle is designed to that.
    A 1984 Dodge 120hp minivan rated at 3500lbs towing capacity, crap engine, crap brakes, crap handling etc. CX9 is no better tow vehicle than this van? Oh and its hot in Australia and roads are rough.
    Towing at 70mph gets me 7-8mpg, towing at 59-60 gets me 11.5-12mpg. Takes the same time as I am not stopping for gas, This is same for all vehicles towing a barn door.

  14. #29
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

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    I've tried towing a single axle trailer with less than 10% tongue weight...it is by no means safe above 50mph. I pulled over on the side of the highway to fix it. Of course overseas they don't tow much faster than 50 mph anyway though...and perhaps a dual axle trailer would behave a little better.

    Payload on the raptor is 980lbs according to this which seems low...but its a special model with suspension designed to absorb rugged offroad trails, which is the exact opposite setup you would want for hauling a lot of weight. That model is basically an oversized dune buggy, not a truck. Payload is important, but not as important as tow ratings. They both tell a similar story about the vehicle, but for different purposes. A higher payload usually means brakes to handle that payload...which helps with towing...which is why vehicles with high payloads also have high towing capacities.

    Oh and towing capacity of a 1984 Dodge Minivan was 1,000lbs (2,000lbs if you had the V6).
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB View Post
    2007 Wife's GT AWD tows, accelerates, maintains 60-70+ mph and handles and stops my 2009 3500lb StarCraft Travelstar 18RB travel trailer (W/brakes) perfectly...
    Tom, It's nice to see someone towing a TT that size. We just purchased a 2014 CX-9 AWD but weren't seriously considering a TT when we made the purchase...now we (kind of) are. We're looking at the KV Spree Escape E18RBT since it's the lightest TT that size that I can find. The Unloaded Vehicle Weight is 2690lbs and the tongue weight is 350lbs for the E18RBT. I'll be adding a class III (4000lbs/400lbs) hitch and a Weight Distribution System if we decide to make the purchase. I figure once it's all loaded up we'll basically be maxing out the CX-9 according to the specs. Interesting enough, I can't seem to find any limit on the tongue weight for the CX-9. The manual simply states that it needs to be 10-15% of the trailer weight. That would mean for a 3500lbs trailer, Mazda recommends a tongue weight of 350-525lbs. Assuming the frame of the CX-9 can handle more than 350lbs and since the hitch is rated at 400lbs I almost feel comfortable with the 350lbs tongue weight of the TT.

    The following text is just me trying to work out all the weights involved in this, hopefully someone will find this helpful...
    I researched the specs on the CX-9 today and calculated the payload at 1438lbs. After subtracting the 350lbs for the tongue weight, that leaves 1088lbs for people and gear inside the CX-9...but, the GCWR is only 8547lbs. So, we can't max out the GVWR and the towing capacity because that puts us 950lbs over the GCWR. So now we have new numbers to work with: GCWR (8547lbs) - (Trailer Wt (2690lbs) + Curb Wt (4559lbs)) = 1298lbs. This seems to be the magic number, I have 1298lbs to work with after the trailer is hooked up. It's unlikely that I'll exceed the GVWR so I'm not too worried about that, my concern is exceeding the GCWR. My family of four weighs about 550lbs, if the dogs tag along we're looking at 680lbs for the family of six. Now my problem is knowing how much my gear weighs...for a typical four day weekend would we be packing more than 600lbs worth of clothes, food, and whatever else?

    I've read that the CX-9 is actually a pretty capable tow vehicle so that makes me feel a little better, but if something were to happen (accident on the road for whatever reason) I want to be sure that the insurance co. isn't going to deny the claim because I exceeded the limits of the vehicle. My guess is, load everything up and take it to a weigh station before committing to the purchase...is there any other way?

    Sorry to make my first post here so long winded. If anyone has any input on what I've said here please let me know.

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