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Small boat towing with a RAV4

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  • Small boat towing with a RAV4

    I just purchased a 1988 Wahoo 16.2 twin console. The overall weight of trailer, motor, boat is a shade under 1450lbs. I drive a '98 RAV4. I fall within my (extremely small) tow rating and will be driving it 40 miles down I93 during off peak hours. Once I get it home, I will be around the corner from a boat ramp that is not so steep. Does anyone have any experience trailering a boat with a small SUV? Any tips, comfort, or caution would be appreciated.


  • #2
    Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    40 miles should be O.K. if you're careful, but 400 miles would be sretching that rig. Remember to leave yourself plenty of braking room between you and that guy ahead of you because your rig will take longer to slow down/stop. You should be O.K.! Good Luck!

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    • #3
      Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

      the boat weights more than the rav 4, I wouldnt do it.
      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 - VP AQ271C / 290DP "Rock'n Along"
      http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=500145
      1970 Wooster Hellion 7' of cool mini boat with a Merc 9.8
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      • #4
        Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

        Originally posted by Scott Danforth View Post
        the boat weights more than the rav 4, I wouldnt do it.
        The Rav4 curb weight is a little over 2500 pounds. OP said his boat is 1450#. Also, I believe pretty much every 1/2 ton truck (and everything larger) has a tow rating well above the vehicle weight.

        just a FYI
        f150 weight: 4685# towing: 8300#
        Chevy 1500: 4460#/9100#
        Ram 1500: 4525#/9100#
        Toyota Tundra: 4580#/8100#

        yep, all of them are DOUBLE the vehicle weight...

        Put it this way, I'd MUCH rather trust that rav4 on the road with 1450 pounds behind it than I would with one of the 1/2 tons above pulling its max tow rating. Throw some trailer brakes on it, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the rav 4 could probably out brake any of those also.

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        • #5
          Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

          Boat is ~1450lbs.
          A 1998 RAV4 is rated for 1500lbs towing capacity.
          The real issue is the 86 inch wheel base!

          It may be squirrely at speed.
          Get up to maybe 50 and set the cruise control.
          Add 1 mile per hour every minute or two.
          Give it time to show any instability.
          If the tail starts to wag the dog, slow down at least 5mph.
          If you have not already done so....
          To help you get better answers, Specific to your Location.
          At the Top Right of this page, Click on 'Your Name'.
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          In the "Location" Box, Enter your General Location. City, State.

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          • #6
            Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

            I tow a 1200 lb boat with a Ford Escape, v6. Tows great but the gas milage goes to He_ _!
            At the ramp I go right up, some pickups set there and spin there wheels.

            Don

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            • #7
              Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

              Unfortunately it is not a V6, but I think I should be OK. It needs the oil changed soon anyway, so I am just going to bring it in and have the brakes checked out. Thanks for the info, I really wanted to make sure I wasn't going to end up with a Darwin Award.

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              • #8
                Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

                I think I would take it slow. Make sure you turn off the overdrive if you have it.

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                • #9
                  Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

                  You'll be fine.

                  If you want you could ignore the internet opinions and try towing the boat behind your RAV4 and find out for yourself how it feels. If it is uncomfortable than decide what to do. DonHof has good advice to start.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

                    I just towed a 99 Pro Team 185 (900lb boat, 280lb motor) with my CRV (1500lb towing capacity) 200 miles. The CRV is a big 4. Keeping the OD off in the city and taking it slow seemed to work well for city driving. Once I was up to speed on the long, flat road between Oklahoma and Missouri, it did great. Gas mileage did go to pot - but oh well. I live between two lakes and will travel a max of 20 miles to put my boat in. I think it will be ok. I think you will too.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

                      I towed my Rinker V170 a summer with my Bronco II, pulled it fine power and speed wise.
                      Braking however was not adequate.

                      I upgraded to a full size bronco that fall.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

                        Check condition of your rav before setting off and check trailer wheel bearings and tires when you get there. Other than that just take it steady and think ahead on the way back.
                        sigpic
                        85 Chevy C10
                        89 Cheetah 210ES Cuddy

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                        • #13
                          Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

                          Your tow vehicle is 14 years old, so as Cheetah wrote, check its condition carefully, especially the brakes and tires. Consider changing the transmission fluid.

                          Keep the speed down, and you should be okay. Trailer brakes would be an excellent idea. Toyota may well recommend them for trailers over 1000#.
                          Bob
                          Orange County, NY
                          '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri Bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
                          Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
                          Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

                            Limping in and out of your local ramp that you say is right around the corner will probably work. Jacked up Corollas won't do much else. No way I'd ever load your boat and gear and do highway speeds with that rig. You'll be way over it's capacity with a cooler and a full tank of gas let alone a couple of people and normal gear.
                            90 Carver Montego 21.5 (23') "Lady Minna" (yes a name change in honor of our fallen Labrador. Poseidon understands.)

                            In the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson:
                            "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of
                            arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid
                            in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out,
                            and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

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                            • #15
                              Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

                              Originally posted by UncleWillie View Post
                              Boat is ~1450lbs.
                              A 1998 RAV4 is rated for 1500lbs towing capacity.
                              The real issue is the 86 inch wheel base!

                              It may be squirrely at speed.
                              Get up to maybe 50 and set the cruise control.
                              Add 1 mile per hour every minute or two.
                              Give it time to show any instability.
                              If the tail starts to wag the dog, slow down at least 5mph.
                              DO NOT USE THE CRUISE CONTROL!
                              You are apparently inexperienced at towing. Keep your speed down, keep a good interval between vehicles, and stay aware of how your vehicle is operating.

                              Comment

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