When the average person thinks about golf carts, they usually think of them in terms of golfing or getting around the neighborhood.
However, some people view them with a more utilitarian view in mind. They want to use them for activities like pulling trailers.
But can a golf cart pull a trailer?
Some golf carts can pull lightweight trailers. However, not all golf carts can tow a trailer and you may have to make some modifications to your cart before you can safely tow anything at all.
In this post, we’ll talk about what kind of golf cart you need to safely pull a trailer.
Towing With a Golf Cart
To tow with a golf cart, you’ll need to have a tow bar or a hitch mounted to the back. If you’re buying an aftermarket hitch, you’ll probably buy something that mounts to the bumper.
Otherwise, you may be able to buy a custom hitch that is built right into the frame of the golf cart.
Surprisingly, these bumper hitches do not cost much to buy. You could get a Reese bumper-mounted hitch for a little over $50.00.
Many of these bumper-mounted hitches have a capacity of up to 5,000 pounds!
This being said, you’ll be restricted to towing the weight that your golf cart can safely handle.
For example, Cushman’s electric hauler pro series can tow up to 1,500 pounds. This means that even if you put a hitch on it that is rated for 3,000 pounds, the most you’ll be able to safely tow is 1,500 pounds.
3 Examples of Towing Capacities for Golf Carts
Not all golf carts can tow a trailer and golf carts tend to tow different weights. Here are some examples of golf carts that can tow.
1) The Cushman Hauler Pro X Electric Golf Cart
This golf cart has a 72 Volt AC electric drivetrain on it. It seats two passengers and also has a cargo area in the rear of the cart.
The cart itself can carry 900 pounds and its bed can hold up to 500 pounds. This is impressive considering its weight without the batteries in it is just a little over 900 pounds.
You’ll find that the towing capacity on this cart is also impressive as it can tow up to 1,200 pounds. There are nine 8-volt deep cycle batteries in this golf cart which power the 72-volt motor.
This gives it a horsepower of 22.4HP. This gives it a peak torque of 16.7 kW.
There are brakes on the rear wheels and shock absorbers on the front and rear of the vehicle. Some people might want to add brakes to the front as well for more stopping power.
Expect to pay a little over $12,000.00 for this golf cart.
2) The Club Car Carryall 1,700 Utility Vehicle
This golf cart was built with carrying both people and gear. It is a 4-seater with a fully enclosed interior. It also has a full-size bed on the back of it.
The Carryall comes in a gasoline and a diesel engine version. Both versions put out about 20 HP or 15 kW and both have 6.5-gallon fuel tanks.
This vehicle is four-wheel-drive and goes a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour. There are twin-piston hydraulic brakes on the front and single-piston hydraulic brakes on the rear.
A mechanical disc foot-activated parking brake is also built into the cart.
The overall length of the cart is 154 inches and the overall width is 58.5 inches. The ground clearance is an impressive 8.2 inches. To put it into perspective, this is only two inches shorter than the ground clearance on my pickup truck.
The cargo payload is 800 pounds and the total payload is 1,600 pounds. This means you could realistically carry 800 pounds while driving three passengers. The towing capacity comes to 2,000 pounds.
This cart is currently selling for a little over $15,000.00.
3) The Yamaha UMAX Rally
This golf cart is a two-seater with a small bed on the back of it. It comes in a gas version as well as a 48-volt electric version.
The dry weight on this cart is only 457 pounds as the cargo box bed is made from lightweight aluminum. Still, the bed can carry 800 pounds and the golf cart itself can tow up to 1,500 pounds.
The maximum speed of the cart is about 20 miles per hour on both the gas and electric versions. However, you probably won’t want to tow at this speed as it only has rear brakes.
You can get this golf cart for around $12,000.00.
Other Golf Cart Towing Considerations
Golf carts generally don’t travel on high-speed roads and they can’t travel very fast themselves. This fact alone does take some of the danger away from towing with a golf cart.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some safety considerations that need to be taken. Golf carts don’t have a lot of safety equipment built into them and they aren’t heavy enough or large enough to handle large towing loads.
Additionally, you could ruin your golf cart by attempting to tow too much weight.
For instance, your golf cart’s axles could break under the strain of a heavy load.
Even if the axles do not break, a golf cart’s rear end could flip into the air from a tongue load that is too heavy. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure that the trailer’s tongue weight is never too high for the golf cart to handle.
In most cases, the maximum tongue weight will be 10% of the maximum towing load. This means that if you’re towing capacity is 1,500 pounds, your maximum tongue weight is only 150 pounds.
Braking Issues To Be Aware Off
Another big consideration to keep in mind when towing with a golf cart is the ability to brake. While a golf cart may be able to tow 1,500 pounds, it may actually weigh less than this.
You probably won’t have a set of electric brakes on your 1,500-pound trailer, so your lightweight golf cart will need to provide the power to stop its own weight as well as the weight of the trailer.
For this reason, you’ll want to travel slowly and you’ll want to be especially careful when traveling downhills.
Combine high speeds, the weight of the trailer, the weight of the cart, and the downward motion and you may find yourself unable to stop. A golf cart crash at a modest speed of 25 miles an hour with a trailer in tow could easily end up a deadly one.
Towing With a Gas Golf Cart Vs Towing With an Electric Golf Cart
Many people wonder if it’s better to get a gas golf cart for towing. The theory is that gas golf carts are more powerful and can thus tow more than an electric golf cart.
In years past, this may have been true. Older golf carts maxed out at 36 Volts and they couldn’t provide as much power as some of the newer golf carts.
These days, however, an electric golf cart can come in a 48-volt model.
These models are just as powerful as most golf carts and can usually tow just as much.
Another thought to keep in mind is that there are other factors to consider when towing. The suspension, the brakes, and even the electronics should be stronger for towing heavy loads. A strong engine won’t be able to do its job correctly if the electronics haven’t been upgraded to match it.
Many people will upgrade the controller package as well as the cable set.
They do this to take care of any power issues that they might run into when towing a larger load.
These modifications aren’t incredibly expensive but they aren’t exactly cheap either. An upgraded controller package might cost upwards of $500.00 and a new cable set might cost anywhere from $50.00 to $150.00.
Before you spend the time and money upgrading your golf cart, you may want to find out from the manufacturer if it is something you really need to do. You might also want to consider whether it is worth doing. For over $500.00 you could easily rent a truck to pull your trailer.
If you’ll only be towing once then it might be better just to rent an actual tow vehicle.
As you can see, there are golf carts capable of towing from all three of the main golf cart manufacturers. These golf carts can all tow over 1,000 pounds and they all provide the additional utility with their rear beds.
However, you should keep in mind that these vehicles all cost over $12,000.00 new.
If you’re looking for just a tow vehicle, you may find that you could just as easily buy a small used pickup truck for what you’d pay for a new golf cart. You’d end up with a vehicle that can tow a lot more and that can be used on the highway when needed as well.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a small and capable vehicle that can tow a modest amount at slower speeds, a golf cart might be the perfect vehicle for you. Just make sure the golf cart can tow the weights you’ll need to tow before you make your final purchase.