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Hello I have a 2006 Toyota Highlander V6 3.3 that had a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. Would I be able to tow with it? I'm looking to get an aluminum bass tracker because they're light but i'd prefer a fiberglass...any reccomendations for a light rig?  thanks

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Honest answer, I wouldn't do it unless it was a small aluminum. It will pull it just fine unless you are on a big hill, but braking will be a concern as will wear and tear on tranny. High winds could become an issue also.

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Alright..I was looking at a Bass Tracker aluminum like the 17ft ones...I'm only 17 so i'm buying my first bass boat I want to fish tournaments. My parents have a 4runner sport edition that has 5000lb towing which they said I could use for towing the boat so I should be good with that I think. thanks!

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My wife's is a 2008 with the factory towing package.  Since we live in a hilly area, I would never try towing my 20' Javelin but I have used it several times towing smaller boats.

You just have to pay attention to what, how and where you are towing. 

Towing up hills, towing fast and towing in overdrive can all cause the transmission to over heat so you have to pay attention to how much you are loading it and how much shifting it's doing.  If you are going to tow regularly with it, a temp gauge in the transmission would be worth it's weight in gold.  Also an external cooler if it doesn't have one.  You want to keep it below 190f degrees.  Stopping from time to time and Using one of the laser temp readers to shoot it would be wise to get a feeling for how its doing.

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2 things I wouldn't do:

1. buy a boat based on the weight.

2. borrow a vehicle to tow my boat.

 

Research the boats you might be interested in and don't forget to add about 1000 lbs for fuel, rigging, tackle, full coolers, safety margin, etc.  If they fall into the rating of your vehicle, great!  If not, see below. 

 

If you really think this is something you will do long term (either as a tourney guy or just rec angler), you might consider trading the highlander in on something more suited to towing.

 

Your parents will get tired of you using their vehicle every weekend, (getting the interior wet, stinky, etc.) trust me... and then what happens when you burn up a tranny or something??  I wouldn't do it. 

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in regards to weight be careful figuring it out. dry hull weight is literally just the hull, no motor wiring, batteries or anything at all.

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Good advice above.

 

Figure out what the boat is going to weigh full.

 

Gear, gas, batteries, trolling motor, batteries, electronics...everything you'll have in it when you're ready to go fishing.

 

If that is under the tow rating for the Highlander, you'll be fine.

 

I tow an eighteen foot Crestliner with a '14 Ford Escape rated for 3,500 lbs.  Everything is just fine.

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Another thing, I would want to stay a reasonable distance under the max tow rating too.  If the max is 3500 pounds, I wouldn't want to always tow around 3400 pounds.  Stay around 3000 or less if its something you'll be towing around a lot and do your SUV a favor from all that constant labor.  A 17 foot tracker is a pretty light boat but like people have already mentioned, the dry weight is the boat only without any outboard, trailer, batters, gear, etc.

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I can tell you the idea of trading for a more suitable vehicle might be a good idea. My friend Bryan runs a Toyota Tacoma with the towing package. He regularly pulls an old Ranger 482 around MD and VA. I run a Chevy S-10 ZR2 which has all of the towing and off road packages. I pull a 17 1/2 foot Lowe aluminum bassboat. I have even pulled it through the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.  My truck pulled it and stopped it fine.  I would never pull a boat like his over those mountains without a full sized truck and a bigger set of brakes.  Maybe you could find a nice used Tracker, Lowe, Alumacraft or G3 etc. and a vehicle that suites towing better

 

Something else no one mentioned is how shorter wheelbase vehicles are harder to tow with.  I had to use my wife's Ford Escape one time to drop our boat off at a boat dealer.  It was located less than a mile from the house. We have owned 11 boats in the last 45 years and I have pulled them for every mile they were towed.  We have owned everything including several fiberglass bass boats.  One was a 20 footer.  This was my first time towing using such a short vehicle. It was horrible, and dangerous. Changing lanes and also backing a vehicle up is difficult when the boat trailer is longer than the vehicle.  Just be aware of that.

 

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1 hour ago, gimruis said:

Another thing, I would want to stay a reasonable distance under the max tow rating too.  If the max is 3500 pounds, I wouldn't want to always tow around 3400 pounds.  Stay around 3000 or less if its something you'll be towing around a lot and do your SUV a favor from all that constant labor.  A 17 foot tracker is a pretty light boat but like people have already mentioned, the dry weight is the boat only without any outboard, trailer, batters, gear, etc.

 

I agree.  My boat runs around 2,800 lbs. around home for local fishing, gets up around 3,000 - 3,100 for a week long trip to Canada.

 

25 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

Something else no one mentioned is how shorter wheelbase vehicles are harder to tow with.  I had to use my wife's Ford Escape one time to drop our boat off at a boat dealer.  It was located less than a mile from the house. We have owned 11 boats in the last 45 years and I have pulled them for every mile they were towed.  We have owned everything including several fiberglass bass boats.  One was a 20 footer.  This was my first time towing using such a short vehicle. It was horrible, and dangerous. Changing lanes and also backing a vehicle up is difficult when the boat trailer is longer than the vehicle.  Just be aware of that.

 

Interesting.  I have towed my boat for thousands of miles with our Escape...no issues at all.

 

Looks like the wheel base changed from 103.1" on the older (pre-2013) models to 105.9" on the newer models.  I wonder if that 2.8" makes that much difference, or it's all the other improvements, including the built in anti-sway?

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I was glad to get it parked and then go to my friends house. My truck was on his floor lift. I got the repairs done on it and that was the last time I would tow with that short a vehicle again. My next vehicle is going to be a Tundra.

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20 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

I was glad to get it parked and then go to my friends house. My truck was on his floor lift. I got the repairs done on it and that was the last time I would tow with that short a vehicle again. My net vehicle is going to be a Tundra.

Good choice on the Tundra.  Great trucks.

 

When I was making my choices last time around...I went at the process from a long term perspective.

 

I didn't want to have to pay the big cost penalty for a full size pick-up or SUV, or deal with the lower gas mileage for the 95% of the time I'm not towing the boat...so I was focused on boats that weigh less that do what I want/need them to do.

 

It took a while, but I've got a little less than $40K in both boat and vehicle (I buy everything used), I got exactly what I want for a boat and I get great MPG day to day.

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16 hours ago, damian19s said:

Alright..I was looking at a Bass Tracker aluminum like the 17ft ones...I'm only 17 so i'm buying my first bass boat I want to fish tournaments. My parents have a 4runner sport edition that has 5000lb towing which they said I could use for towing the boat so I should be good with that I think. thanks!

 

Get a 16'-17' tin bassboat that you can comfortably tow.  Fish small, local tournaments and then bigger tournaments on bigger bodies of water as a nonboater.  You'll learn a lot by being in the back of a boat with an experienced boater.  And I don't just mean about fishing but handling the boat and a lot of small things you learn with experience.  Plus, as a nonboater you can concentrate only on fishing.  You're going to make mistakes as a new boater.  I find it better to do them alone (less embarrassment) or with a buddy fun fishing rather than a tournament.  Good luck.  

 

And to answer your question- I see the specs on the 17' Tracker as 2100 lbs.  I wouldn't hesitate to tow that with a truck with a 3500 lb towing capacity.  

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I have a 2008 Ford Explorer V6 4x4, with the 3500lb towing package, it towed my 17.5 foot Stratos 176XT with full tank of gas without any problems, but then again the Explorer is bigger.

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I used to use a 2008 Escape to tow my 17.5 foot aluminum boat and I had similar experiences as FishnKamp did.  It has a V6 engine with enough power, but the overall weight of the SUV just wasn't sufficient for me because it always seemed to be "laboring" when towing my boat around.  Plus my fuel mileage would go from about 21 mpg to about 12 mpg when towing.  I fixed that problem with an upgrade to an F-150.

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I wouldn't do it, I'm still regretting trashing my Toyota Venza just towing my 15' Jonboat.

The Venza doesn't have any towing package but from spec it can tow up to 1500lbs. That is why I bought this jonboat (total weight with trailer ~1200lbs). Now my Venza always has a problem when shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear (automatic). I have a machanic checked on it and he said he can't really do nothing since he isn't sure what part to fix in transmission. 

Now I got Toyota Tundra with towing package just for this job only.

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