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  1. #1

    Default 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. #2
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    Default 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!

  3. #3
    Rear Admiral Scott Danforth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    the boat weights more than the rav 4, I wouldnt do it.
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    Quote 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.

  5. #5
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    Default 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.

  6. #6
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    Default 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

  7. #7

    Default 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.

  8. #8
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    Default 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.

  9. #9
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    Default 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.

  10. #10
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    Default 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.

  11. #11

    Default 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.

  12. #12
    Petty Officer 1st Class Cheetah 210es's Avatar
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    Default 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.

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  13. #13
    Vice Admiral NYBo's Avatar
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    Default 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#.
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  14. #14
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    Default 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.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    Quote 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.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    i cannot say much about the old rav but last summer i towed with a rented 2011 rav4 2.2 turbodiesel my 3200lbs+trailer 21ft cabin boat without any issue .

  17. #17
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    Quote Originally Posted by aerobat View Post
    i cannot say much about the old rav but last summer i towed with a rented 2011 rav4 2.2 turbodiesel my 3200lbs+trailer 21ft cabin boat without any issue .
    We in america pretty much have to discount any towing advice from europeans. Ya'll are complete crazy over there!
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    Quote Originally Posted by ezmobee View Post
    We in america pretty much have to discount any towing advice from europeans. Ya'll are complete crazy over there!
    X2 Different laws.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    Quote Originally Posted by ezmobee View Post
    We in america pretty much have to discount any towing advice from europeans. Ya'll are complete crazy over there!
    And they also have some drivers education requirements that 90% of american's would fail.... Our requirements for a license are a) heartbeat, and b), well, couldn't think of b.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    Quote Originally Posted by fender230 View Post
    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.
    Old thread but I'll chime in since I'm doing it. I'm towing a 17' Fish-Ski w/115hp merc behind a 2011 RAV4 w/2.5 4 cylinder... and it does fine. Gas mileage goes down, but it's got sufficient power, good brakes, and handles well with the boat. I've not had any wheelspin coming up the ramp. It works much better than I expected.

    recent cars/engines are a lot better than what we used to tow with. I remember my folks towing their boat with a Ford Falcon, which had nowhere near the power/braking of the RAV...

  21. #21
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    Quote Originally Posted by Catus Magnus View Post
    Old thread but I'll chime in since I'm doing it.
    Please don't. The red bar shoulda made that clear.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    Shoulda it have? I hadn't noticed a red bar, but I'll be on the lookout. Are threads off-limits after a certain time?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Small boat towing with a RAV4

    I see this in your future

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