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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

Smaller tow vehical

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My lease is coming to a close and I'm looking at getting a smaller SUV. Thinking about a Ford Escape, but I've read the stopping distance is horrible. Have they improved that for '09?

What else might be worth looking into? I currently have a '06 Pathfinder, which I love, but want something more economical. Don't want any pickups though.

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16' Alumacraft 165 CS with 50 hp Yamaha 2 stroke. Not sure of the weight, but it's not a huge boat.

4Runner is a gas hog like my Pathfinder, so it needs to be smaller. I'm going to go look at Escapes and also the Hyundai Santa Fe. Maybe the Ford Edge would work also.

Might need to get a cross-over instead of a SUV to get the mileage up.

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That's a pretty big boat to be pulling it around with a crossover. You will be using up a lot of the towing capacity.

How many MPG's are you expecting to get? I hope not anything over 20. With a smaller boat I get around 18mpg with my 4Runner and pretty much the same with my RAV4 (maybe 19 or 20). The safety factor, comfort, and 4x4 is WELL worth the 1-2 mpg's with a bigger vehicle.

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Smaller will likely be the way to go. Who knows how high gas will be in 5 years. But you need something that isn't too small either. Escape would be one option (I know two people with them though and they aren't happy). Probably most of them are fine though. Other options I'd look at are the GMC Acadia, Saturn Vue w/ 3.6, and Dodge Nitro/Jeep Liberty. I like the Acadia's a lot, but they sell for more than some of the other options.

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With a 18' boat I wouldnt feel safe towing with anything less than a 1/2 ton with 4 wheel dive for getting in and out of landings. heck I have a 17' boat and have a 1/2 ton ford with the 4.6 and Im looking at moving up to the 5.4 because my 4.6 works too hard towing at highway speeds.

Stopping a boat that size is what will really be tricky. Either get a smaller boat or a truck in my opinion.

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Pulling power is the small part of a tow vehicle. To me stopping it is the biggest issue, you need something with some pretty good stopping power. A small truck would tow it OK and have better braking power than a small SUV. I had a 2000 for Ranger with the 4.0 V6 and a towing package and it towed my 17' Crestliner with a 70 Evinrude on the back OK, but it tows much better with my 2005 F150 with the 4.6, stopping and overall control is much better.

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Toyota highlander would be another "car based" SUV that would be comperable to the Escape. If you want to stop than take a good look at the 4runner or a Tacoma (a four door is available if you need the interior room).

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Your second post says:

"16' Alumacraft 165 CS with 50 hp Yamaha 2 stroke"

What type of mileage are you looking for? You won't be able to get a vehicle that gets 25 mpgs and it safe for towing anything.

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Why not get an older vehicle with the towing capaisity for the boat. Then get what you want for a good gas vehicle. I use my durango for hunting and fishing and if it snows. Otherwise, it sits.

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Let's face folks, there is not such thing as a vehicle that can tow and stop a heavy load safely and get you 25 MPG. They make vehicles like trucks for a reason, they are made to tow or carry a heavier load.

I bought a 5th wheel and yes according to all the charts I could have possible towed it with my 1/2 ton, but I would have been at the max or close to the max for that truck. Maybe I would have been OK, but I figure I wanted a 3/4 ton to make it easier, safer and more comfortable to tow. I personally would rather not be at the max or over the vehicles capabilities.

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I used to do the two (three with the wifes vehicle) vehicle thing, and older truck and a small car. It's a great system if you have the space to store everything. For us, we decided to go back to just a vehicle for each of us.

I get a kick out of all the MPG and towing post. IMO, if you need to tow something, get a vehicle that will tow it safely and live with the MPGs. If your vehicle isn't safe towing your load it could cost you WAY more than a few mpgs ever will.

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My lease is coming to a close and I'm looking at getting a smaller SUV... I currently have a '06 Pathfinder, which I love, but want something more economical. Don't want any pickups though.

I never said anything about specific mileage figures, but that I was looking for something more economical.

If I can get buy (safely) with a smaller sized SUV, I'd like to do so. Not interested in doing the third vehicle thing.

Some of the cross-overs for example can tow up to 3500 lbs and get better mileage when not towing than my Pathfinder does. It can tow up to 6000 lbs and gets 13-19 mpg.

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As long as the vehicle you get is rated to tow more than your 16' boats weight, you're good to go. They have tow ratings for a reason. A 1/2ton pickup is overkill for a 16' boat because you actually want to feel it back there when you're towing, makes you more careful. I've seen superduties towing little 14'-16' boats like it's not ever there, they don't feel it and drive around like they're not towing and their boat or trailer go flopping around like crazy, it's actually reckless looking. Be a smart tower and you'll be safer than the 3/4ton guys towing a 14'.

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Rav4, just test drive one with the V6, and compare the gas mileage to the comparable SUV's . IMHO nothing compares to the Rav4 overall.

mnrstrider, do you have a Rav4? Looks like it's rated for 3500 lbs with the tow package, but it looks a little small. Good news is it gets 26 mpg when not towing (highway).

I don't use my boat as much as I'd like, so the extra mpg's would help a lot for every day driving.

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I have an '04 RAV4 that I towed my 14' boat with before I purchased the 4Runner. The RAV is a good vehicle for a primary driver and occasional tow of smaller boat.

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I agree with some of the above posts to go with an older larger rated truck. if I was pulling a very light boat, thern I would consider a smaller vehicle. For a mid range and above sized boat, I wouls go with a 1/2 ton truck. If you look at one with a smaller V-6, the mileage will not be too bad ans it will handle the boat much better.

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Hey Dtro, I have a 14' also, and was wondering how you did with the Rav 4 vs the 4runner pulling the boat out of the water.Any difference?

Also,do you have any opinion on the difference between the two on long road trips? (I know the mileage is different, and if you are towing it's lower, etc. I'm just wondering about comfort, handling and things like that.) I do realize these are somewhat subjective, but I'd appreciate any info anyone is willing to share. I'm also looking at the Xterra, so if anyone has an opinion on that...

Thanks

Mike

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