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Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

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  • Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

    I have a question that doesn't really pertain to a boat, but to the vehicle you use to tow your boat. I am in the market for a new truck and am looking for something that will tow a 19 ft Javelin and still get good mileage. Does anyone tow a large boat with a 4 cylinder vehicle successfully? Thanks, John


  • #2
    Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

    Well


    It would really depend on the total weight of the compeat boat/trailer/stuff package



    If it is safely within the tow rating of what your looking at it will work
    If a dirty bottom slows you down what do think it does to your BOAT

    1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever
    http://cal29seafever.blogspot.com/
    1981 J24 Tangent 2930
    http://s565.photobucket.com/albums/s...%20for%20sale/
    Tommays
    Northport Ny

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    • #3
      Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

      My AWD V6 Escape pulls my 18' boat fine and gets 17-18 mpg while towing. The new Rav 4 and GMC also do quite well and can tow small boat.

      If you consider an Escape without a tow package, have Uhaul put on an aftermarket one...I had bloody knuckles trying to install an aftermarket hitch as it was not easy fishing bolts through the frame rail due to limited access.

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      • #4
        Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

        I don't know about 4 cylinders for a 19' boat...

        A couple "small" SUVs with 6's and reasonable gas mileage come to mind though:
        The Honda Pilot can tow 4,500 lbs as long as it is a boat (3,500 lbs otherwise).

        Starting in '08, the Toyota Highlander is rated to tow 5,000 lbs. I believe it was rated for 3,500 before '08.

        Saturn's Outlook (new in 2007?) can tow 4,500 lbs.

        I'm not familar with Javelin, but am guessing that for most 19' boats, you want a vehicle that is rated to tow 3,500 - 5,000 lbs., depending on how many passengers you expect to have with you..

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        • #5
          Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

          The only decent one I can think of is the Jeep Liberty with the 4 cylinder diesel. Tons of torque. It had some egr problems that I don't think every got fixed and they are a little hard to find. So I guess I'm saying the vehicle you want doesn't exsist.

          I have never tried towing with a 4 cylinder truck. I had a s10 years ago with a 2.8l v6. (20-28mpg) It did ok with the little boat. But with a 18 ski boat (3k loaded) it was slow. I wouldn't want to put a lot of miles on that way.

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          • #6
            Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

            I own a RAV 4 AWD V6 with a towing rating of 3500#, and have no problem towing my boat that weigths around 2200#. The towing capacity is only part of the things to look at.

            If you always go to the same ramp, and it's paved you will be fine with 2 wheel drive, but if it's not the case, a locking diff or AWD is to be considered. In my case AWD was a must.
            2008 Doral Sunquest 170 - Merc 115hp 4 stroke
            1995 Lavy 16 foot pontoon - Honda 15hp 4 stroke

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            • #7
              Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

              i have a Mariner, 4 cylinder, i tow small boats, but a 19 footer go with a v 6. i had no problems installing my hitch, 20 minutes by myself.
              FLORIDA GATORS
              TEBOW Country



              Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
              That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

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              • #8
                Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

                Makes a lot of difference if you want a tow vehicle or an all purpose vehicle that you tow with.

                The best all purpose vehicles I ever had were both Mercedes MLs. The ML 320 would get 15-16mpg towing, 21-25 not towing, but it needed premium ga$.


                The best tow-only vehicle I ever had was a 80s F-150 with the 4.9 liter I6 and four speed. I suspect that a new F-150 with the smaller (V6?) engine would do even better.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

                  Diesel Excursion. Tows a small country with seating for 8......

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

                    You have a conundrum. You can have a good tow vehicle, or a vehicle that gets good mileage. You probably won't get both. I prefer a good tow vehicle for many reasons. Yes, I give up good mileage for the other benefits.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                      The best tow-only vehicle I ever had was a 80s F-150 with the 4.9 liter I6 and four speed. I suspect that a new F-150 with the smaller (V6?) engine would do even better.
                      The 4.2 will pass more gas stations.
                      The 4.9 will pass more repair shops
                      The 4.9 will pull tons more than 4.2.
                      sigpic First "BIG" fish!!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

                        I tried and tried to do the same as you; find one vehicle that could do both. I finally gave up and bought a 97 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd for $1200. I kept my 4cyl import for daily use. I know a lot disagree stating the "hidden costs" of owning a second vehicle. I have not seen this math work out in my case. I have driven the Rodeo 3500 miles in just over 1.5 years. It costs me nothing and I could sell it now for what I bought it for. It is also nice for when I do my Home Depot runs...

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                        • #13
                          Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

                          My chrysler mini van pulled my little boats fine. Now with the 20 footer I use a 90 t car. 5.0 engine and rear air ride make for a perfect tow car.Mpg seem to be a little lower when towing but, still cheaper than buying a truck. Once in a while for long tows I have rented u haules.
                          Monterey 206 br

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                          • #14
                            Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

                            Get a chevy s-10 with the 4.3 V-6, they have lots of power..

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                            • #15
                              Re: Best Vehicle for Towing Boat ?

                              1999 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the I6. I get about 19 to 20 MPG's in normal driving. My boat trailer weighs about 4500 lbs. Towing MPG is only about 13 mpg though.
                              2007 Larson 208 LXi
                              5.0 MPI Alpha 1

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