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Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

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  • #31
    Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

    A few people have given you solid advice- the rest is questionable if not downright dangerous.

    You need to pick your boat and determine the total weight of everything you intend to tow. 2000 lbs? No way. I absolutely agree with those telling you that the whole rig will likely weigh in the neighborhood of 3500-4000 lbs., but you won't know for sure until you know what you're buying

    It's also going to be long. The distance from the trailer hitch to the transom of the boat is going to be 22 feet or so. Those advising you that a Liberty or a Nitro can safely pull that load are unknowingly putting you in jeopardy. They may have 5000 lbs towing capacity, but there's a big difference between pulling a heavy 12' utility trailer and 22' of boat. The short wheelbase of those cars will be a big issue. It's called 'the tail wagging the dog'. The boat is gonna push you around, maybe into an accident.

    You're going to need a truck or SUV that's built on a full frame with a fairly long wheelbase. 4-wheel drive will get you down (and back up) the launch ramps without any drama. The specific car models you can choose from will depend on what you learn about the rig you're going to buy.

    Good luck shopping for your boat. Be safe and keep everybody else on the road safe, too.
    John and Linda
    Escapade III
    1992 Carver 26 Command Bridge
    Twin Merc Alpha 4.3 LX

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    • #32
      Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

      Originally posted by JoLin View Post
      A few people have given you solid advice- the rest is questionable if not downright dangerous.

      You need to pick your boat and determine the total weight of everything you intend to tow. 2000 lbs? No way. I absolutely agree with those telling you that the whole rig will likely weigh in the neighborhood of 3500-4000 lbs., but you won't know for sure until you know what you're buying

      It's also going to be long. The distance from the trailer hitch to the transom of the boat is going to be 22 feet or so. Those advising you that a Liberty or a Nitro can safely pull that load are unknowingly putting you in jeopardy. They may have 5000 lbs towing capacity, but there's a big difference between pulling a heavy 12' utility trailer and 22' of boat. The short wheelbase of those cars will be a big issue. It's called 'the tail wagging the dog'. The boat is gonna push you around, maybe into an accident.

      You're going to need a truck or SUV that's built on a full frame with a fairly long wheelbase. 4-wheel drive will get you down (and back up) the launch ramps without any drama. The specific car models you can choose from will depend on what you learn about the rig you're going to buy.

      Good luck shopping for your boat. Be safe and keep everybody else on the road safe, too.
      So what vehicle options do you suggest ????
      sigpicMarada 2100 Executive Series, 5 Litre V8 with Mercruiser Alpha 1 outdrive. 2007 K-Z Spree 260 RBH, all = a whole lot of family fun !!!!

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      • #33
        Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

        Perhaps the poster that said American cars are on the bottom of the list for quality has not been reading much lately. There are a number of Ford vehicles for example at or very near the top of the quality charts with GM and Chrysler having made excellent progress in recent years. But the American/Foreign debate will rage on for years so its not worth discussing. What is worth discussing is this vehicle size stuff. Case in point: My daughter just bought a new Toyota Corolla and is absolutely delighted that she averaged 32 MPG on a trip to South Dakota. She should be happy since she had a Dodge Dakota crew cab that on a good day got about 14 MPG. My point here is that my Impala that has a trunk large enough to live in, seats five comfortably, rides nice and has all the goodies does nearly as well (30 MPG) as the Corolla. I can also burn E85 which is currently 54 cents/gallon cheaper than E10. So is 2 MPG really that much of deal when considering a tow vehicle -- especially one that admittedly is not going to see high mileage trips. In my daughters case she understood the MPG thing but just liked the smaller car as she is an inner city commuter so parking and the job of just getting around makes her more comfortable in a small car.

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        • #34
          Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

          2002 - 2007 Chevy TrailBlazer or GMC Envoy, with the 6 or 8.
          2004 Blazer

          Ford Explorer Sportrac



          http://www.fordvehicles.com/suvs/spo...allery/photos/
          Medford, WI


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          • #35
            Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

            Originally posted by kenmyfam View Post
            So what vehicle options do you suggest ????
            Off the top of my head, something like your Trailblazer will probably be more than adequate. Or an Explorer. Or a half-ton pickup. But as I said in my post...

            The specific car models you can choose from will depend on what you learn about the rig you're going to buy.

            Until he knows that, he can't make an informed decision. Once he does, he can start looking at suitable tow vehicles. He needs to consider tow capacity, tongue weight, GCWR and wheelbase.

            It isn't rocket science, but it does require some research and thought, as opposed to just running out and buying a car because it has 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

            My .02
            John and Linda
            Escapade III
            1992 Carver 26 Command Bridge
            Twin Merc Alpha 4.3 LX

            Comment



            • #36
              Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

              Originally posted by JoLin View Post
              Off the top of my head, something like your Trailblazer will probably be more than adequate. Or an Explorer. Or a half-ton pickup. But as I said in my post...

              The specific car models you can choose from will depend on what you learn about the rig you're going to buy.

              Until he knows that, he can't make an informed decision. Once he does, he can start looking at suitable tow vehicles. He needs to consider tow capacity, tongue weight, GCWR and wheelbase.

              It isn't rocket science, but it does require some research and thought, as opposed to just running out and buying a car because it has 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

              My .02
              Good answer !!
              sigpicMarada 2100 Executive Series, 5 Litre V8 with Mercruiser Alpha 1 outdrive. 2007 K-Z Spree 260 RBH, all = a whole lot of family fun !!!!

              Comment



              • #37
                Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                ford ranger
                :P

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                • #38
                  Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                  You can get a good used Tahoe or Suburban or Expedition these days for pretty cheap.
                  Instead of payments just buy an older used one and make it the tow vehicle.
                  The comment that they are too big is bull! When towing you can never go too big.
                  You will learn that the first time you need to do a panic stop and jam on the brakes.You will be glad you are driving that heavy vehicle.

                  I have driven trucks of all types and towed everything you could imagine and believe me things can happen quick.
                  Those little SUV vehicles can get out of shape fast at highway speeds.
                  The short wheelbase will get the sway going and it's an accident waiting to happen.
                  sigpic

                  1981 ChrisCraft 210 Scorpion K,175 Johnson SeaHorse

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                  • #39
                    Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                    When I bought my boat I could not tow with my 98 Volvo V70 that was only rated at 3300 lbs. My boat weighs just about that much, so I wanted something capable of towing 5,000 lbs with 4WD. I sold the Volvo for $3600 and bought a 98 GMC Envoy for $3500 and it tows great and has pelenty of room. I just towed the boat 900 miles and got 15 mpg towing at about 60 mph most of the way. Felt bad though when I got over 65 so I kept the cruise control at about 62-63.

                    Now I bought the Envoy just to hold me over until I can find a tow vehicle I really want and can afford. What I'm looking at in order of preference:

                    Volvo XC90 with a V8 - Do not get the T6 model whatever you do. The V8 is the best, but the 3.2 is ok too. I know volvos.

                    Lexus GX470 - Fantasic SUV on the same frame as the 4Runner.

                    Toyota 4Runner Limited - Really looking for the V8, but I know the V6 will do the job also. Son in law and daughter has one and it's a really nice car.

                    BMW X5 with a 4.4L V8 - Know next to nothing about this vehicle, but of the ones listed they are the easiest to find.

                    Honda Ridgeline - This is a 4 door shot bed pick up truck.

                    The BMW and Honda are both kind of far down the line. Really looking for Volvo XC90 or Lexus GX470.

                    Hope this helps.
                    sigpic

                    2000 Crownline 180BR - Lil Red

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                    • #40
                      Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                      Welcome to iboats. You've come to the right place for advice. However, you should know (and have probably discovered by now) that nothing ignites posters' passions more quickly than a towing thread. More than one has been closed by the mods for that reason. I won't jump into the fray except to say this. You really need to ask yourself some searching questions regarding your vehicle preferences. For instance, you're prejudiced against full sized SUVs and trucks, which is certainly your prerogative, but you need to determine exactly why, and in order to do that you need the benefit of experience. Before you dismiss them out of hand take the time to drive a few and take a long hard look at their capabilities as compared to mid-size and small SUVs and crossovers. A tow vehicle can meet all your established criteria, but if it's not up to the task you'll have constant frustration, premature major mechanical issues, and safety concerns. Whether you're in Florida or Appalachia you're still going to have people lock up their brakes in front of you, and you're still going to have to ask your tow vehicle to work extra hard when you're towing, so priority one is being sure the one you choose is sufficient. I guess what I'm saying is you might want to broaden the scope of your search and reconsider what's acceptable to you. There are lots of ways to skin a cat.
                      Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
                      21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

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                      • #41
                        Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                        EDIT: Sorry, just went back and saw that you don't have room for the 3rd vehicle. I'll leave this in case someone else reading this can use the idea.

                        Just an off the wall idea. If you have a place to keep a 3rd vehicle, consider buying an older full sized truck or SUV just for tow duty and buy a newer smaller car for driving.

                        My wife and I went that route. We bought a new 2009 Hyundai Accent for a daily driver and picked up a 1994 Ford F250 extended cab truck for towing.

                        We bought the Ford for $2500, had to put some money into repairs to make it road worthy, but for about $4500 we have a real beast of a tow vehicle. The long wheelbase and big V8 makes towing a piece of cake. And best of all, no monthly payment on it.

                        Oh, and we are all set for the next, bigger boat when it comes along.
                        1992 Cruisers 2870 Rogue "Better Days"
                        Twin Volvo-Penta 5.7l/Duo-Props

                        My Google Map
                        BoatingWinnebago.com

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                        • #42
                          Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                          Originally posted by windsors03cobra View Post
                          Honda Pilot, for $20k maybe 2-4 years young with low miles.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Pilot

                          Thats what I have! My boat is probably 3000lbs on the trailer full of gas and gear and it tows it so damn effortlessly you wouldn't believe it! I put a big transmission cooler in it. We tow all on very very hilly and winding country roads. No issues.

                          I used to tow the same package with a CRV, it was way too much for it.

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                          • #43
                            Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                            Originally posted by indy440 View Post
                            I used to tow the same package with a CRV, it was way too much for it.
                            I'd worry about towing a canoe with a CRV, personally. I didn't even know you could put a hitch on them. CRV is pretty much just a tall Civic.
                            Benjamin Krein
                            Floats: 2008 Four Winns H200
                            Restoration: 1980 19' Century 190 Restoration
                            Tows: 2005 Nissan Titan SE

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                            • #44
                              Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                              ^ well, its a little more than a tall civic, but yes you can put a hitch on them. My boat was way too much weight for the CRV and it was not safe or legal to tow that much with it.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Smallest vehicle to pull 18-19' boat?

                                Originally posted by superbenk View Post
                                I'd worry about towing a canoe with a CRV, personally. I didn't even know you could put a hitch on them. CRV is pretty much just a tall Civic.
                                LOL!!! Tall Civic, good one

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