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jalberg

tow vehicle ?

47 posts in this topic

My current tow vehicle died the other night right on the boat launch. Luckily I was the last one off the lake. It's not worth fixing anymore so it's time for something new(er). I just fish out of a 14ft aluminum boat which doesn't weigh much. Sometime in the near future I would like to get a fiberglass bass boat. My question is what size motor etc. should I have for pulling a bass boat?

Also, what specific vehicles are you guys using?

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my buddy has a 17' fiberglass stratos and pulls it with a chevy blazer. It's a 4.3 liter I think.

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Unless your getting a 19' or larger boat, I would say you be fine with a 1/2 ton pick-up. I have a buddy with a 19' ranger and he went with a diesel. I don't know if you would need that much or not, but it sure pulls nice. His is a V hull also, I'm guessing a bass boat wouldn't be as heavy. Unless you go huge, there probably isn't much you can't handle with a full size V-8.

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V8 would be best. If you dont't tow very far or often a 6 cylinder would work. One thing to think about with the bigger boat is stopping power. If the boat trailer does not have brakes you will want your tow vehicle to have large brakes.

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the newer chevys have 5.3 liter v-8s in em and i have a 2007 silverado classic 4 door and at times when the tranny shifts into 3rd it feels kinda boggy but i'm pulling a 15'3" cajun fiberglass bass boat . 5 27 batteries 18 gallons of fuel and some times one of the live wells are full for a cooler. I have installed bigger break system for my truck(aftermarket) but can't say the name on here . just watch the distances infront of you. the heavier "you" are the more time "distance" will be needed to stop.

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Thanks for the info. It pretty much goes with what I was thinking. The plan is for a smaller boat, 17 or 18' max.

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I've been towing my 17'Sylvan Backtroller for 6 years now using my 97' GMC Jimmy. She's got a little over 177,000 miles on her. I used to store it out in Big Stone,SD until last year so she's travel worthy....it's been a good tow vehicle, although if my boat was any bigger...the v-6 probably couldn't hang. 4 wheel drive has been a savior several times over at those tricky launches too.

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I tow a Ranger Z20 with a Chevy Tahoe and you can barely tell it's behind the vehicle. Lats year I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. I wouldn't recommend that at all. Had a lot of sway on the highway and I bet I didn't get more than 7 miles per gallon towing.

The new Tahoe is nice as well because of the active fuel management system that gives you much improved gas mileage when you aren't towing. It basically uses 8 cylinders when it needs the power and then drops to 4 when i doesn't. Really a great feature.

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I dunno... I'm piloting a Dodge CTD makin' about 300 HP and well over 600 ft lbs of torque but I can still tell when the 619 is hitched up. smile

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I pull a 17ft bass tracker with a Nissan Murano (v6). In my opinion it pull smoother than my 4.6L v8 F150 did. The nice thing is it gets 5mpg more on gas, and has more hp...

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An suv will pull smoother than it's pickup counterpart.

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Are you sure? With a shorter wheel base I thought that an SUV would not ride as well as a truck?

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I pull a 19.5 Ft Charger Bass Boat with a Nissan Pathfinder 3.3V6. I get 17 on the 2 lane roads and 11 mpg on the interstate when pulling the boat. I can haul at 75mph with not much problem but loose about 5 to 10 mph on big hills.

I have had a supprisingly good experience pulling with my pathfinder and will probably sick with a midsize suv for my tow vehicle in the future.

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I tow with a 02 Ford power strke, I have 1750 crestliner.Its a bit of a over kill, but, I tow a 34 ft. 5th whl to. My buddy has a 94 Chev suburban with a 350, and tows a 21 ft.Champion bass boat. He has no problem towing.

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my brother pulls a 17' mr pike with his 05 grand cherokee 3.7 liter and it seems to pull just fine the hills make it shift in to third sometimes. if he catches it right it has an autostick and he can go over most hills in fourth and tow on the straights in OD. we just back from a trip of 600 some miles and he managed 15.5 mpg's

I pull the same boat with a dakota 5.2 liter (stick) and never know its pullin anything till its time to stop. I have achieved 19 MPG going to milac and back.

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Are you sure? With a shorter wheel base I thought that an SUV would not ride as well as a truck?

With any Truck/Tow Vehicle a lot is going to depend on your life style...

In the case of the F-150 with the 4.6 engine over and SUV... The problem he's having is that the 4.6 in that truck has all the balls of the Veinna Boys Choir. My 5.4 liter F-150 gets better gas mileage than the 4.6 because the 4.6 is to weak for the dry weight of the truck to it's gearing.

****

In general... If you're just looking to tow around the metro, and you're always on nice concrete ramps... Never going more than an hour... Never going on a long trip with the boat and box packed with a thousand pounds of gear... Never on a one lane road having to pass gramma who's going 25 in a 55... And you never tow anything else of excess weight.

You can "Get by" with a Mid size SUV...

Now for me... I'm often out on the rugged trail... Loaded for bear, pulling out of mud landings with a Deep V Boat... Jerking stumps, hauling a big fish house, getting lumber ... And still passing people in the fast lane, with a full load behind me...

For me... I need a truck that can punch mother nature in the face when I go to war against her... And for my money... Nothing has impressed me more than the 5.4 liter F-150.

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I can't agree more.... I have an 08 Toyota with the 5.7 liter engine....I think around 370 horse power... It pulls my big and very heavy Ranger 620 quite well and when I need the extra giddeup it is there. I traded in my 4-runner this spring and am glad I did... Yes it pulled the boat ok but it did not have the power when I really needed it...

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An suv will pull smoother than it's pickup counterpart.

Should be the other way around...

The SUV running down the road with no load behind it will be a nicer ride than the Truck...

But a Truck, with Leaf Springs in the back taking the load on the hitch will be a FAR smoother pull than an SUV with shocks or struts.

An exception would be like the 2001 Durango, which had Leafs still...

But Considering that the 4.7 L 2001 Durango gets 1 MPG worse than my F-150... Why not at least go with a 5.4L F-150, and get the full package!

*****

Ultimately if you're doing more towing than just City-Kitty-ing a small boat around... Suspension is "Almost" as big of a deal as Horse Power.

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One thing to remember about towing the big boats is the that the smaller rigs may have enough ponies to pull the boat but are the brakes beefy enough. In the case of a catastrophe a properly sized tow vehicle may be the savior. Coming back from a leech lake adventure over the labor day weekend I had the passenger side tire fall off the trailer while driving down the highway at 55-60mph. Luckily it happened on a smooth road and the trailer didn't sway too bad with the passenger side fender and hub throwing sparks in the air. No warning just a clunk and the tire/rim were gone. I have a 17 1/2 foot fiberglass tiller boat and tow with a 1/2 ton sierra. I don't think I would have carefully pulled over to the side of the road had I been towing on a bumpy road with a mid size suv. Just remember bad things happen and undersized tow vehicles aren't gonna make them better and you won't gain very many mpg.

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One thing to remember about towing the big boats is the that the smaller rigs may have enough ponies to pull the boat but are the brakes beefy enough. In the case of a catastrophe a properly sized tow vehicle may be the savior. Coming back from a leech lake adventure over the labor day weekend I had the passenger side tire fall off the trailer while driving down the highway at 55-60mph. Luckily it happened on a smooth road and the trailer didn't sway too bad with the passenger side fender and hub throwing sparks in the air. No warning just a clunk and the tire/rim were gone. I have a 17 1/2 foot fiberglass tiller boat and tow with a 1/2 ton sierra. I don't think I would have carefully pulled over to the side of the road had I been towing on a bumpy road with a mid size suv. Just remember bad things happen and undersized tow vehicles aren't gonna make them better and you won't gain very many mpg.

Very true...

One thing I've learned, when it comes to outdoor equipment, tow vehicles and the rugged north... "It's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it."

*****

I was in a Massive Storm once... Lots of straight line winds accompanied with funnel clouds...

A blast of wind blew me, the Fully loaded F-150 and the fully loaded Boat & trailer from the left lane all the way across the right lane, into the turn right turn lane... And the boat trailer was half in the ditch...

All the towing SUV's in the area were in the ditch (One was rolled over)...

I slapped her in 4 High on the fly... Powered out of the ditch, and tucked behind a building to ride it out...

For the cost of the extra 1.3 MPG that my truck takes over my buddy's SUV... I call that a savings!

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17 ft Nitro behind my 03' Sport Trac with the 4.0 V6, NO issues over the past few seasons,but yes brake pad life is reduced,check them pads and rotors often!

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17 ft Nitro behind my 03' Sport Trac with the 4.0 V6, NO issues over the past few seasons,but yes brake pad life is reduced,check them pads and rotors often!

For a tow vehicle I always buy the high end ceramic pads...

Personally I think doing anything else for your tow vehicle is borderline negligent...

Twice the price for 4 times the life... Far more even wear, so it's less abusive to the rotors... Only complaint is the whine I get from the brake dust build up over the course of summer of towing.

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the newer chevys have 5.3 liter v-8s in em and i have a 2007 silverado classic 4 door and at times when the tranny shifts into 3rd it feels kinda boggy but i'm pulling a 15'3" cajun fiberglass bass boat .

What gear ratio do you have? I pull a 22' slyvan offshore cuddy fully rigged including dual gas tanks with my 5.3 and I could not be happier the performance and it gets over 12 mpg at 70 mph.

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stock gears ,I'm not shure exactly what they are. i can find out soon though. I have dual exhaust on it ( stock muffler cut off then a flowmaster 2 muffler (one in two out)and the tips com out at 45degree at the back. the boat is a 1997 and just heavy

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I wouldn't think you should hardly even notice that boat behind that truck?

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