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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Advice on a Tow Vehicle

    I have been lurking on the forum for a while and have learned a ton about wakeboard boats. I am hopeful that this spring that my wife and I will be able to buy our first boat. We currently have a jet ski and use it like a boat (wakeboarding/skating). Our budget has us looking at older Mobius LSV or similar v-drive 20 ft. boats. We need a tow vehicle and I have NO experience with towing anything bigger then our old jet ski.

    Here is what we need:

    • We have 2 cabins in the family both 3 to 4 hour drives away mostly highway. We would leave the boat at one cabin most of the time and tow it home or to the other cabin 3 to 4 times a summer.
    • We live in Minnesota so the terrain is pretty flat
    • We are looking for 4 doors. We are planning on starting a family soon.
    • Need something nice but any extra money spent on tow vehicle is coming directly out of the Boat budget money. Need to find a nice balance
    • We have a kia spectra at home for everyday driving and tow vehicle would get used sparingly at home.



    Questions:
    • Do people tow with SUV's or should I be thinking truck all the way?
    • What type of engines should I be looking for (liters and v6, v8..)?



    Any thoughts/suggestions/info. would be greatly appreciated. Just looking for the best bang for my buck so I can spend more on a boat.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    341

    Default Advice on a Tow Vehicle

    My wife's vehicle is our tow vehicle, a 2011 suburban. I have a company car (Prius -woo whooo), and we've got 3 young kids so we needed something that would get the job done, and haul the kids. When we got our first boat, I made her trade in her cross over & get a Yukon. The Yukon served us well until we had twins.

    It looks pretty comical in front of our house in the summers with all 3 things out.
    Matt
    2012 LSV
    4 XM9 Towers
    Javelin & XM30.2
    Xi 12DVC Sub
    2 6V Golf Cart Batteries
    FAE

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody929 View Post
    My wife's vehicle is our tow vehicle, a 2011 suburban. I have a company car (Prius -woo whooo), and we've got 3 young kids so we needed something that would get the job done, and haul the kids. When we got our first boat, I made her trade in her cross over & get a Yukon. The Yukon served us well until we had twins.

    It looks pretty comical in front of our house in the summers with all 3 things out.
    I do electrical work and have a company vehicle too (ford transit). The biggest need for our tow vehicle is to keep the cost as low as possible so it does not kill our boat budget, But it also needs to be reliable.

    I have been looking at the F150 ecoboost trucks but I just don't know what to look for as far as engines go. I want it to tow well but not be overkill.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO
    Posts
    131

    Default

    I towed my Sanger ski boat with a GMC Envoy. That boat is around 2500 lbs and the Envoy had enough guts from the V-6 to pull it and the trailers have breaks, so that's not a huge issue. However, I was putting some pretty harsh wear on the rear diff/axle and suspension. My mechanic was practically begging my to get a bigger truck (even though it was making him money).

    My wife came with a 4-door Silverado (and a very little, out-board run-about, maybe 1000 lbs wet). This truck pulls soooo much nicer. Now that we have an LSV, which comes in around 3500lbs, I wouldn't even consider pulling it with the Envoy or anything smaller than a Yukon or Suburban built on the larger truck chassis. A pickup truck with a V-6 would probably be just fine too. You can get plenty of power from the smaller engines but that's not the issue.

    The 4-door truck works nicely for us with a family. It seats 4-5 comfortably since it is wide, and up to 6 when we need it. We did add a soft tonneau top to keep the cargo dry. The only downside compared to a large SUV is having room for the dog to be without stepping on the back seat passengers. But the 4-door trucks are a bit less money than the large SUVs.
    Last edited by gregski; 11-16-2013 at 10:52 PM.
    2007 Mobius LSV
    1989 Sanger Skier DX - sold

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    3,811

    Default

    My dad's advice - "Get more than you think you'll need"

    Older half tons and SUVs will do the job but be working pretty hard. Newer, say 8 yrs or less (ballpark) typically have higher HP/TQ and tow ratings - in general.

    I've towed the same boat with an Expedition, 1/2 ton GMC, and now F350. I'm sure you can guess which one is the best.
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    341

    Default Advice on a Tow Vehicle

    Seems like there are a lot of Ford guys here

    I've always been a GM guy, but I must admit that I'm infatuated with the F350. In Feb I'll have to trade in the kick a$$ Prius for a Ford Cervix. I'm not sure which is worse. I couldn't ever justify the F350 as my daily driver, that would probably cost me $100/wk to just go to the office and back. The Prius is only $39 every 2 weeks.
    Matt
    2012 LSV
    4 XM9 Towers
    Javelin & XM30.2
    Xi 12DVC Sub
    2 6V Golf Cart Batteries
    FAE

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snellville, GA & Lake Sinclair
    Posts
    6,901

    Default Advice on a Tow Vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody929 View Post
    The Prius is only $39 every 2 weeks.
    That's a low cost until you factor in the the loss of pride & dignity.
    Drew
    New ride: 2012 Mojo
    Old ride: 2008 OBV

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    341

    Default Advice on a Tow Vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfeman131 View Post
    That's a low cost until you factor in the the loss of pride & dignity.
    I know, but I gave that up a long time ago. It does look rather funny when I have the boat at the house, the family has to go somewhere in the suburban, and I back the Prius up to the LSV to make it difficult for someone to drive off with my boat.
    Matt
    2012 LSV
    4 XM9 Towers
    Javelin & XM30.2
    Xi 12DVC Sub
    2 6V Golf Cart Batteries
    FAE

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    130

    Default

    find yourself a nice first generation power stroke extended cab and be done with it. By now the tranni would have been replaced with a updated one so that's no worries. Decent fuel mileage and it can sit for long periods of time without issue.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Flowery Branch Georgia
    Posts
    176

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    I have been towing boats since 1984 with everything from a Toyota 4 cyl truck to a 1 ton 6L. Here is what I have learned ,if possible get a 3/4 or 1 ton with a strong tow package most 1/2 tons are just cars with a bed. You will never regret having too much vehicle. Towing with a short wheel base small engine economy vehicle can differently be a white knuckle experience. It can also be dangerous especially when the unexpected happens. Remember stopping is even more important than towing. Its also very hard on the equipment and will cause more frequent breakdowns. Your choices are PU trucks, SUV s or full sized vans all are built on truck chassis. Go as heavy duty as you can over kill is always best for a tow specific vehicle . I chose a 2005 GMC 12 passenger savana van 3500 6L 373 rear gear HD tow package. It has the ability to tow about anything and the inside space to haul 12 passengers or remove the seats and haul a ton of cargo. It was cheap because the PUs and SUVs are in and vans are the red headed step child now. Not pretty but tows and hauls great. It also gets better gas mileage towing than the 6 cyl I used to have . You don't need a Diesel they tow great but with the added cost to purchase higher fuel and high maintenance most never even hit break even over their gas counterparts. They do have the wow factor but it comes at a cost. What ever you get make sure it has the added towing equipment like trans cooler and HD suspension to handle the load.

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