Truck selection for boat towing

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Fryle
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:28 pm

Truck selection for boat towing

Postby Fryle » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:08 pm

Hey western bass community forgive me if there’s already a topic on the subject but I just wanted some info from people who have the experience. Anyways I tow a 1989 bass tracker TX17 with a 2003 Chevy S10 4x4 with no issues it’s a light boat. Well I had my truck in the shop for a blow CV joint and I had noticed it leaks a bit of oil here and there. Well come to find out there’s some major seals that are blown and it would cost anywhere from 3500-4000$ to get the truck completely back up to spec. Needs new control arms, suspension, etc. I had recently been thinking that somewhere along the line I’d like to get a new boat nothing over 18ft with 115HP MAX. So needless to say pouring that amount of $ into this S10 would mean I’m in it for the long haul and I’m not sure it would do so well towing a heavier boat I’d prefer a full size truck but I’d really like to get the correct truck as a one time buy and run it as long as possible. Any thoughts and suggestions for a truck that can tow an 18ft no problem at all even for long distances? I appreciate any advice on the subject! I just don’t want to buy something on impulse only to find out it’s not suited very well for what I’m doing. Thanks again western bass community!

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BIG DADDY BLUE RANGER
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby BIG DADDY BLUE RANGER » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:34 pm

An 18 footer is a pretty light load as far as towing goes, especially if it comes with trailer brakes (stopping power is important and really light weight trucks can push) Just about any full size truck will do fine. Just make sure your rear axle ratio is meant for towing - 3.73 - 4.11 etc. I’ve heard plenty of guys complain their full size V8 truck doesn’t tow well and they want diesel’s....only to find out that the great 20-22 mpg they get comes from having 3.08 -3.33 axle ratio.....of course they can’t tow, it’s not geared for it.

Personally I’m a Toyota fan and put over 150k trouble free miles on my Taco with 4.11 gears pulling a 19 footer all over....it slowed a bit through the mountains but never an issue on the open road. Ended up with 240k miles before finally selling it, other than routine service never needed any repairs other than replacing a noisy bearing once. Having either a locking rear diff or 4x4 is nice for sketchy ramps or in the winter on super low tides when nothing dries out. Now my Tundra tows like a champ, no problem accelerating to pass towing uphill.

I’d have no problem recommending a newer Taco 4x4 or a Tundra but a 1/2 ton from any of the big 3 brands will tow just fine with proper gearing. Going 3/4 ton or diesel would be over kill for you and more expensive in the long run
Last edited by BIG DADDY BLUE RANGER on Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rod Martin
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby Rod Martin » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:30 am

For years I pulled my 20' Champion with a Chevy Colorado , Had no problems. I now pull a Ranger 177TR with a Ford Transit Van with a V6 engine again no problems.

Good luck with your new rig when you get it.
TR177 Ranger Mercury/MK

Skeeterman
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Location: Skeeterville CA.

Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby Skeeterman » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:14 am

I second what Rod said I've been looking at the Colorados they have plenty of power to pull a good size bass boat I would check out the Colorados.

monte300
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby monte300 » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:02 am

You are smart to move on from the smalerl truck in favor of a full sized truck. Pretty much any 1/2 ton full sized truck will meet your needs. Smaller trucks simply aren't designed to be pulling 18'+ fiberglass boats. Usually the transmissions can't handle it. Way back in the day I towed a 16' Bayliner bass boat with a 1985 Ford Ranger with a 2.8 V6 and over time it took a toll on the transmission.

mark poulson
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby mark poulson » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:49 pm

Look for a truck with a towing package.
https://itstillruns.com/tow-package-5037993.html
Attitude plus effort equal success
CLEAN AND DRY

Dave Brabec
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby Dave Brabec » Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:30 am

Full size half ton will be plenty. I personally cant stand to be in or drive the mini trucks.

birdman920
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby birdman920 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:17 am

I have learned over the years “ it’s not so much the power to pull !.... but the ability to stop ‘ in a emergency situation!....brakes !....

Rick Perez
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby Rick Perez » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:22 pm

I'm getting ready to put my GMC 2012 Crew Cab for sale White in color, tow package, and tows my Ranger 520 with ease! It's a sweet truck and looks outstanding and runs strong. If your interested hit me up with PM and I can send you some pictures!
Rick

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Pat
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby Pat » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:23 pm

I purchased a 2019 Ram 1500 crew cab 4WD last Fall. Yeah, it's got a Hemi! I use it to tow my 2006 Stratos 285 Pro XL with Evinrude 150 ETEC. It's an 18 foot boat, single axle trailer. The truck tows it very well. It has the tow package which I would make mandatory. I was not looking for 4WD, but the truck that had everything else I wanted, and the price I could live with, had it. I saw the recommendation to get 3.73-4.11 gears and I thought about that. I actually chose one with 3.21 gears. With the torque of the Hemi V8 it has plenty of power to tow the light boat and I am sure it would pull something much bigger without a problem. I have towed a Ranger 518VX with a 200 and it did not break a sweat. On level ground, even with some hills, I get 16+ mpg towing. Without the boat I get 22-23 mpg on the highway and 16-17 around town. I really love the comfort of this truck. It was Truck of the Year in 2019, I recommend it.

Let me add that the truck I replaced was a 2001 SIlverado Extended cab 2WD with 5.3 and 3.73 gears. It also towed well having previously towed a Triton TR20. Being a Chevy guy, I looked at 2019 Silverados but the RAM won out hands down.

THE DR
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby THE DR » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:43 am

I love my Gen2 Dodge cummins.

2001 Dodge 2500. The cummins engine has 200k and no signs of slowing down. I used to pull a 21ft Ranger 521 with ease. I've since downsized to a 19fter and get even better fuel economy.

Fryle
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby Fryle » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:22 am

Wow thanks for all the info guys. My S10 is rated to pull 5200lbs and I’m thinking the the 18ft aluminum boat would be somewhere around 2500lbs loaded up, that’s just a rough guesstimate. But I pretty much just use a truck to tow my boat, I have a car to shoot around town, so I’m thinking in the long run I’d be better off with a full size truck with a tow package so I don’t beat the transmission up to much and I can get the right gear ratio for towing. The GMC Sierra/ Chevy Silverado you can find under 100,000 miles in the 15-18,000$ range. Brand new is just to pricey for me. I’d like the extended cab not the crew cab cause I’d rather have the slightly longer bed than more cab space.

monte300
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby monte300 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:52 am

Minor point but I would be shocked if your rig weighs more than 2000 pounds fully loaded

NoCAL
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby NoCAL » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:28 am

I think back in the day, the gear ratio was much more important than now days. If you can find it, sure get a 3.73 but with the horsepower and computers driving the transmissions now, I just don't think it's as important. I'm pulling a 21' Triton with a 5.3 Chevy that only came with 3.42 gearing and it does just as well as my '99 that had 3.73. The power difference is 285 in the '99 to 315 in the '06. I would keep looking if they offered me a 3.23 but anything above that will do the job.

NoCAL

monte300
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby monte300 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:08 am

NoCAL wrote:I think back in the day, the gear ratio was much more important than now days. If you can find it, sure get a 3.73 but with the horsepower and computers driving the transmissions now, I just don't think it's as important. I'm pulling a 21' Triton with a 5.3 Chevy that only came with 3.42 gearing and it does just as well as my '99 that had 3.73. The power difference is 285 in the '99 to 315 in the '06. I would keep looking if they offered me a 3.23 but anything above that will do the job.

NoCAL


I also have a 2006 Silverado with a 5.3 as my tow vehicle and it easily tows my 19 foot Triton. I have no idea what gear ratio I have?

rastrike1
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby rastrike1 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:03 pm

Dodge EcoDiesel

Tom Proffitt
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby Tom Proffitt » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:14 pm

I would like to know more about the Ram eco diesel. I am thinking about getting one in the near future.
Thanks for the help

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BIG DADDY BLUE RANGER
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby BIG DADDY BLUE RANGER » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:48 am

Here’s some basic info on axle ratio’s.....usually opting for the tow package will take care of this and also include the hitch, tranny cooler, and sometimes extendable mirrors

https://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/how- ... truck.html

You can can tow with just about any truck but if you’re buying it specifically to tow, then choose right and you’ll be happier in the long run and it will probably save you some costly tranny repairs too

JPFish
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby JPFish » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:41 am

Some trucks with tow packages also include trailer brake controllers, which is needed if your trailer is equipped with electronic brakes.

As mentioned by birdman920, the ability to stop is just as important as going forward.

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BIG DADDY BLUE RANGER
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby BIG DADDY BLUE RANGER » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:37 am

[quote="JPFish"]Some trucks with tow packages also include trailer brake controllers, which is needed if your trailer is equipped with electronic brakes.

Are newer bass rigs coming with electric brakes now? I've only seen them with surge brakes but haven't paid much attention either. When I used to pull my exGF's Travel Trailer we used an electronic brake controller and weight distribution hitch, which definitely helped a lot, but that was also around an 8K lb load. The controller was a fairly inexpensive add on but would have been nice if it came built in already

JPFish
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Re: Truck selection for boat towing

Postby JPFish » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:59 am

Don't know if electric brakes are being used on new rigs, but electric brake systems were an option on some older trailers. Also, some people have retrofitted bass boat trailers to electric brakes claiming to be more dependable than surge brakes.

I prefer the hydraulic surge brakes that most bass boat manufacturers use.


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