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What kind of "car" is good for towing a boat?

edited November -1 in General Discussion
I am looking into getting a boat. The boat weighs around 900 lbs. Probably a few hundred more with fuel, etc. My question is simple.. What kind of car will be able to tow it up and down a boating launch ramp without having a problem?



I currently have a 97 Mustang and was told it's a definite "no" for the ramp... I'd probably spin my wheels. Not to mention I'm only rated for 1k lbs.



The other factor is money.. How much do I have to spend for a used car that can do this?
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Comments

  • edited August 2009
    The best car for this job is an AWD truck. Anything with RWD will spin out on the low end of the ramp where traction is poor, and any FWD car could have too much weight on the rear and not enough on the front.

    Perhaps you should check out an AWD Toyota Tacoma with a V6.
  • edited August 2009
    Do I have to get a truck? I really dislike pickups. I was looking at the Subaru Outback.
  • edited August 2009
    You need more information. Are you planning on using just one boat ramp (OK 90% of the time). Hang out at the boat rmp and take a look at what vehicles are handling the job well and what vehicles are having trouble.

    Go into the marina and ask the people operating the ramp what problems they see and what cars they would like you to use to launch a boat at their ramp.

    In short you will get better answers from people that are more closely involved with doing what you want to do.

    So the Mustang is a wheel spinner,ask yourself what specification puts the Mustang in wheel spinner class and avoid this quality in your perspective boat launching vehicles.
  • edited August 2009
    RWD is great for towing and recommended especially for boats. It used to be that framed vehicles were better, but that's blurred now. The cheapest I can think of that would work on a slippery boat ramp is a 2wd/rwd compact truck with a limited slip rear differential which I used for years carting boats of the weight you stated. It will give you all the traction you need and the added safety you can't get with fwd. An AWD Subaru/RAV4/CRV for occasional towing would be acceptable. 4 wd drive is better traction wise, but unless you really need it otherwise, is an unnecessary expense. Limited slip is actually better than part time 4 wd in some traction situations, especially climbing hills. Locking two rear wheels when the center of gravity shifts to the rear going up hill is sometimes better then engaging one wheel on front and one on back which is the case with part time and most AWD w/o traction control. I know this with experience driving trucks and vans and Tractor/truck makers knew this for years.

    A used performance rwd car with limited slip is another option; with the right tires of course. A RWD Mustang has potential with that add on.
  • edited August 2009
    On this site it says a 2005 Subaru Outback would be fine for towing... What about a year 2000 model?

    http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/list/top10/102426/article.html

    I don't know how much trailers weigh, but the boat is 900 lbs I believe.
  • edited August 2009
    You're now stretching the capability of the car when you include trailer and gear...I'd go the 2wd truck route and not worry. They're cheap used.
  • edited August 2009
    The outback can tow 3 lbs.

    So I guess it's between the Honda crv and outback.
  • edited August 2009
    Great advice , as the wet end of the ramp is often covered with moss and other wet-all-the-time goo.
    Maybe the TIRES are key with rear drive cars under these conditions ?
  • edited August 2009
    Ok afar kind of pick ups are there for under 10k?
  • edited August 2009
    Lots of them. :P
    A v8 F-150 would be ideal since it'd have more power than you'd need, which is a good thing with towing. Can probably pick up a fairly new one for under 10k. A v6 Ranger would also be a good choice.
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