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Trailer towing advice


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I am shopping for a SUV and I need some advice about towing, Currently I have a 4 wheel drive full size that I plan on keeping and my boat is a 17 ft Warrior that weighs about 2,500 lbs, the SUV will be used for towing on short trips. I was wondering if I need another 4wd. What do you guys know about all wheel drive? Is it good on steep launches and or wet ramps? Any experiences good or bad? I do not need to know about brands or engine just if I really need another 4wd. It is rare that I even use it.

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with that heavy of boat your sooner or later going to need 4x4 to get out of a bad landing. and with a smaller SUV your going to be under powered anyways. I don't know about all-wheel drive but I would not suggest a two wheel drive SUV for anyone that has a good sized boat as you do.

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That is a big boat guy. If you restrict yourself to perfect launches without weeds and such, you'll be okay. If you want the full latitude to go anywhere, keep the 4wd or awd. I have a smaller boat and I won't bother without 4wd. Any bum launches or launches covered with weeds and you are stuck easy.

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I have a AWD Ford Explorer with the V-8 in it and used it to pull a Alumacraft Trophy 170 and then a Trophy 190 and AWD has been necessary more than once to get the boat out on sandy or really steep, wet ramps. This spring I bought an Expedition and still use the 4WD to pull the boat out. With all the weeds and crap on the ramps, in 2WD it would slip a little on the way out. I would say that 4WD is a necessity around here.

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4WD is very handy for wet ramps. I always put my Suburban into 4Hi when I pull the boat out - it crawls out nicely regardless of the ramp.

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I have AWD Explorer V-8 and have not had any problems at any good/bad landing. No problems getting thru the snow either. I even have pulled some cars out of snowbanks.

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Ditto- I have AWD Explorer w/ 5.0 engine. Pull a 1750 Sportfish-fairly heavy boat. Never had one problem pulling my rig or getting in/out of any launch in Minny. Been to a lot of marginal ones, I might add. You should be fine w/ your vehicle.

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Yup...I totally agree. You should have 4x4 or AWD , if not for the security. Although I have been fine keeping my truck in 2WD loading my boat at many landing in Minnesota and not having to use the 4x4, I always feel more confident having the 4x4 available. You should make sure that the vehicle you buy will be able to trailer your boat with no problem absolutely. One other thing to take into account is fuel mileage. I think you should expect to go to 11-13 mpg if you start trailering with a good vehicle.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

You already have a full size 4x4. Then you say your looking for a SUV for short trips. Excuse me if I'm wrong but a SUV(short utility vehicle) is a 4x4. Its just a matter of what classs SUV. Could be a light weight or heavy weight.

Personally I'd go with the full size 4x4 what ever that is but I'm thinking a truck. If its a short haul then why not take the truck and save the economical SUV for the long hauls. Now I'm thinking 3.0+ liter taken out of OD on the highways sshould be plenty of power to pull that boat. The 4x4 option will give you the grunt power to pull out of the worst landings.

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I have some friends who sell cars and they say that the suv market is loaded with trade ins. They are being discounted quite a bit. You should be able to pick up a good used one and negotiate a fairly low price. I know someone who got a '98, v-6 explorer, 4wd, under 100,000 miles for about 7-8 grand. Dealer didn't want a 7 year old vehicle on the lot so they gave him a deal. Just do your homework before you buy and see if previous owners did any towing with the vehicle. Not all take care of their vehicles like they are supposed to.

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IF you are a duck hunter you will want to get an AWD at a minimum. When it's cold and you are at the ramp not all hunters pull up and and let the trailer do its dripping while still over the lake and that can make for some very slippery ramps. Have a good one and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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I sell cars and truck for a living. From your description any decent 4x4 would do the trick pretty well. The weight would be well within the towing limits of anything from a Trailblazer on up. cool.gif

Considering the "Empolyee Discount" sale currently going on at all GM dealers there are HUGE savings on anything new and this is bringing in a lot of trade in vehicles that are in very good condition. I don't know how it is for other dealerships but the larger vehicles are going fast leaving the dealerships "stocked" in SUV's and trucks for next month.

I'm not asking for your business only saying keep your eyes open.

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The reason I am not using my full size in town is because it is a F-350 Dually long box with a 12ft camper on it, about half of the parking spaces are too small and some of the launches are a pain for maneuvering, I go fishing by myself sometimes. I am not going to get a 2 wheel drive, I want to know about AWD, just how it is for boat towing and how they are at slippery ramps.

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Never had a problem with AWD at any ramp, slippery or steep.

You can always put gear in 1 or 2 if you feel you need to. Having good tires (not balding) helps too.

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I can relate to that. I have a full size Chevy extended cab long bed. It's an older one that has the turning radius of the USS Missouri. Tack on a 17FT John boat on the back and you have a recipe for disaster if your not real careful how you back it up. Once you get it just a bit to far you will never gitter back. May as well just go ahead and pull forward to regain control of the trailer. Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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Big Roy, As far as your concerned there is no difference between all wheel drive and 4 wheel drive other than there is no option for two wheel drive on the all wheel drive vehicles. Olds Bravadas, Some explorers, Caravans, Astro vans, suburu's are examples of models that offer all wheel drive. My uncle has an all wheel drive astro and goes just about anywhere with a boat or a sleeper ice shack.

It just would'nt be right if I posted without Recomending that you at least take a look at a TOYOTA. A Sequia would be able to pull what you have. Heck, my Tacoma is rated for more than that and it just has a little four cylinder in it! but seriously they cost a little more but they are hands down more reliable, dependable, and better built than any "Domestic" Auto/truck

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