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Advise for a towing vehicle

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Hi all. Hope you're all staying warm. I need some input on purchasing an vehicle to tow my 16' fishing boat. The boat , motor,and trailer weigh @ 2800 pounds. I was using a 1987 Chevy S-10 Blazer with 2.8 liter motor. I know, the motor is under sized for the job, but it could tow down the freeway at 55 MPH alright. The problem is I blew out the automatic transmission. Just didn't have the guts for the job. I am also a musician and grand parent and need an enclosed vehicle to haul and protect my musical instruments and equipment and for hauling passengers, so I don't want a pickup or pickup with cap. I've been considering a Toyota 4Runner or Nissan Pathfinder with V6 engine and 5 speed manual transmission, 1990 to 1995. I'm also looking at a couple of older (1984) Toyota Land Cruisers model FJ60, the larger 4 door model with inline 6 engine and 4 speed manual transmission. Also considering Range Rover vehicles in the 1990-1995 year range. This vehicle will be driven regularly so fuel economy is a consideration,however,  being a servicable tow vehicle is top priority ,and I want a 4 wheel drive vehicle. All input and advise will be appreciated. Thanks . Happy fishing.

~B.A.S.S.~N.A.F.C.~BoatU.S.~

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I know that many people may disagree with my suggestions but to me the answer is a simple one. Get either a Suburban or a Tahoe, the v8 scares off a lot of people, but here is my experience with these vehicles. I had a 97 Suburban Vortec 350 mileage on trips was between 20 and 22 mpg, 4wd and I live in the mountains of WV, around town I averaged 17. My Tahoe's mileage was the same. I consistently got better gas mileage that any of the vehicles you listed, parts are reasonable, the vortec 350 is good for 200,000+ miles, and are easily worked on. Quite honestly neither the Pathfinder or 4Runner has any more towing capacity than the Blazer that you had, add to that the fuel economy will be no better and most likely worse than it will be in the full size vehicle, especially when towing the boat. This is coming from a confirmed Ford fan for all of my adult life, that was until I purchased my first Chevy. BTW on the Vortec 350's make sure the gasket at the fuel system has been replaced, they go bad around 120 to 150 thousand miles, the aftermarkets are better and last a longer time. Also make sure you have the trans pressured flushed, a bit pricey but results in a lifetime of service from your tranny. here is a link to mpg rating from actual drivers http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=browseList Also a trip to Edmunds.com would be beneficial as the websites lists specifications for older vehicles including tow capacity. Good luck to you.

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Ok. I have a tracker pro team 175txw. it weighs about the same as your boat does. i had a dodge dakota with a v6 and it was not doing the job. i felt that the trani would be going out soon so i traded it in for a chevy silverado with the v8 5.3L. let me tell you, it does the trick. i know your not looking for a truck but in my opinion you need to go with v8. the dakota with the v6 lost a lot of gas mileage when towing. the chevy gets around 21-22 mpg on the hwy and around 17 in the city. when towing it gets around 17-18 so your not loosing much there. i have towed it with a tahoe and it did great same as my truck. once again i suggest getting the bigger engine.

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a power stroke with a banks turbo and intake will net 25mpg with 4wd. But the price of diesel now makes it hard to justify imo.

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ford explorer 4.0 V-6 w/ 5-speed overdrive automatic.

post-10066-130162913464_thumb.jpg

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I also say go with something bigger and a v-8.  The gas mileage difference is almost nothing and the peace of mind that you aren't going to break something is well worth it.

I will have to say that after getting laid off several years ago I had a 00 Explorer with the 4.0 and it pulled the boat great!  I wouldn't trust the trans too long though.

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Item 1. If you were pulling in over drive that is a reason for the transmission going. Never pull in O.D.

Check the GVW rating for the vehicule you are considering. If the GVW is higher than your load you will be okay. Remember it is not just the boat and trailer but the passengers as well.

Heat is the enemy of automatic transmissionss so a tranny cooler is a plus if not a requirement.

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Nice rig NitroMan. Here is what I tow with.

Tires3.jpg

A tranny cooler is a must otherwise you will toast it in no time. Also most newer models trucks and SUV's already have them installed from the factory. I know my 2003 F150 had one on it.

Jerrod

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Land Surveyor13,

I'd say you got me beat with your rig, you have the complete rich man set up. Truck looks awesome!!! Glad you stuck with a real truck!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

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Thanks to you all for your help and advice. Right now I'm concentrating on a Dodge Durango with 4.7 liter V-8 and 4 speed OD transmission with factory tow package.      Happy fishing.

~B.A.S.S.~N.A.F.C.~BoatU.S.~

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I'm also a musician with a boat so the vehicle i use to haul gear and tow boat is a 1987 Astro van with a 350 tuneport w/od tranz. my boat is a 1982 Bass Attacker. I get 17mpg not towing but im still working out some bugs. (runs rich & rough idle) But it does great with the boat up hills.

post-18132-130162913468_thumb.jpg

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I just want to mention one more thing.   Make sure your tow vehicle can handle what you have behind it.  Yes myself and NitroMan may be overkill on our tow vehicles but we know that we can safely get to the ramp and home with out killing ourselves or someone around us.  Realistically I could tow my boat with my wife's V6 Honda Accord Sedan.  However I would not feel safe doing it.  I know I can safely start, stop and travel down the road at Interstate speeds and only have to worry about the idiots around me.  Think about the worst possible situation you could be in towing your boat and if you feel safe towing it with you tow vehicle then you are fine.  Personally I know I can haul my 20' enclosed trailer loaded with 10,000 pounds across Kansas with a 40 mph wind blowing at the side of it and keep it in my lane or climb up to Eisenhower Tunnel west of Denver without any problems.  Been there and done that.  The bottom line is pick a safe tow vehicle and arrive to the lake and back home without any problems.

Jerrod

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You can also take a look at a Chevy Trailblazer. I have had one for 5 yrs. It comes with a manufacture installed towing package.

I have used mine to tow my camper which is about 4,500 lbs. I also tow my jon boat which could be towed by a corolla. Anyway, I have towed the camper from Buffalo, NY to Charlotte, NC through the mountains and continually through the NC mountains for towing. It does a good job.

It has an inline 6 with some good HP, so it gets alright gas mileage for a SUV. Fits the kids pretty nicely, back seats come down for storage. I have taken the thing pretty far back into Pisgah National forest on some nasty dirt roads for trout fishing and the 4x4 has yet to get close to getting stuck. And it s friggin brick as far as crash survivability goes.

I has been a good vehicle mostly and would manage what you got to tow.

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Get an F-650 like Skeet Reese!!!  If you haven't seen it, check out his website.

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Thanks to you all for your help and advice. Right now I'm concentrating on a Dodge Durango with 4.7 liter V-8 and 4 speed OD transmission with factory tow package.      Happy fishing.

~B.A.S.S.~N.A.F.C.~BoatU.S.~

I really don't want to be a wet blanket or stick my nose where it doesn't belong, but depending on the year of the Durango you may not be pleased with the mpg.  I have only had one Dodge, so I am not an expert by any stretch, but my full size 1500 got 13mpg!  towing it got 13mpg, highway 13mpg, town 13pmg, darn thing had greatt power and passed everything on the road but the gas pumps.  Check out the weblink in my first post to see what real people are getting with the year model, engine you are considering.  From my experience that website has accurate information.  Best of luck to you.

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