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Towing a boat with 4 cylinder?

6/13/20 @ 7:32 PM
USER SINCE 1/30/18

Hey guys, I own a 2017 Honda CRV, and the towing capacity is only 1500 pounds.  I really want to buy a fishing boat, but i'm concerned the CRV isn't strong enough.  I would only be looking at 14-16 foot aluminum boats (like a Smokercraft) with maybe 40-50hp motor.  

Have you ever towed a boat with a 4 cylinder?  Any issues with this?  My main concerns would be very slow accelerating (especially on the highway), too much stress on the engine and body of the CRV, or having to pull the boat/trailer out of a lumpy/crappy landing which would add to the force on the trailer hitch.  


7/26/20 @ 9:28 PM
USER SINCE 1/30/18

Master Piker, thank you for your feedback!  Before I got the Pilot i looked at the manual and learned about the ATF coolers you speak of, and youre correct in that the tow capacity goes up from 3,000 ish to 5,000 ish when a cooler is installed.  Here’s the thing, the Pilot has AWD so if the ramp is steep and slippery, I would hope the rear tires kick in to get me out of the ramp.  Also, im not looking to buy a big heavy fiberglass boat, more so like a 16’ aluminum tops.  It seems like i will be well under 3,000 pounds, but i can always get the ATF cooler installed for peace of mind and/or if my future boat ends up being heavier than i imagined.  Is there anything else I should be aware of besides the ATF cooler if I go with UHAUL hitch?  Another thing I should note is I don’t plan to tow the boat every weekend or anything like that.  My dad towed his 16’ sylvan with 50hp Johnson with his Pontiac minivan For years and we never Got stuck on a ramp.  And his van didnt have AWD.

7/26/20 @ 1:21 PM

My boat was an aluminum 15 ft. deep V, my outboard was a 25hp 2 cycle. The towing vehicle is a Subaru forester with a 170 hp 4 banger. I had no problem hauling that rig and 2 or 3 guys in the vehicle. Had to launch at some steep spots and the AWD never failed me. I don't think a 16-18 ft. boat with a bigger outboard would work with that vehicle. But for my rig the subie was fine.

7/25/20 @ 10:57 PM

Last summer I pulled a mini-van w/attached trailer and Bayliner out of Green Lake. The guy towed his boat there and enjoyed driving in circles towing the kids on a tube. When he loaded the heavy boat (water in bilge) on the triler and tried to pull it out of the water, his crappy tires (front wheel drive) had no traction on the wet boat launch ramp. Tires were spinning while the the rig was going backward into the lake. His wife and kids were watching and screaming in panic from the dock. I watched and laughed while waiting in line to retrieve my boat. I felt bad for him so I intervened. Pulled his rig out with my F-150 with my trailer attached. Good thing I have a 30ft tow strap. No one else in the area even tried to assist. The moral of this story is: use an appropriate tow vehicle in good working order. Don't risk your life, the lives of your family, and those of other motoring public because you didn't use the common sense God gave you.

****END OF RANT****

Best wishes for a fun and safe boating season

7/25/20 @ 3:44 PM
USER SINCE 10/7/18

Here's my .02......don't be an idiot... Just because a vehicle will pull something doesn't mean it'll stop it!!! Get a big boy vehicle before you want to pull anything!!! All the idiots rolling down the interstate with a Jeep pulling 5,000 lb are morons!!! You want to know you got enough vehicle to pull something? Take it to 60 mph and slam on the brakes!! My rant is over!!

7/25/20 @ 10:02 AM

MPiker is right regarding the Pilot.  The max towing limit on the honda Pilot is cut in half without a tranny cooler. 

And two wheel drive!

7/25/20 @ 4:27 AM
USER SINCE 12/7/05


Not sure who you're replying to...?

I didn't mean to scare anyone or make it seem like aftermarket hitches are ALL bad...I've just seen first hand what can happen when people slap an aftermarket hitch on a vehicle without other towing equipment, and then get online and Google "towing capactiy of (insert vehicle make/model)" and pick the biggest number they see. That is one of the first things they will look at when you cook your engine/tranny and file a warranty claim. If the vehicle build sheet doesn't have any mention of a towing package, transmission cooler, hitch, etc. and they put that vehicle on the lift and see a 2" hitch on that vehicle, it is a red flag. U-Haul will gladly sell and install a hitch on your vehicle, but will NOT tell you what the repercussions may be. I just want others who are following this and those that may read this in the weeks, months and years to come to make an informed decision if faced with a similar situation. A 12 or 14 foot aluminum boat can be towed with *almost* any vehicle, yes...but you go much bigger than that or get into a deep-v with a 4-stroke outboard and gear and you could be asking for trouble with slapping an aftermarket hitch on just any vehicle, especially one with a 4 cylinder and a unibody frame. Good luck in your vehicle/boat searches and tight lines!

7/24/20 @ 5:54 PM
BâssÂddîçt ©¸
BâssÂddîçt ©¸

yes it has Towing 7,500 lbs. with the towing package

and a trans cooler , big brakes because its a truck 


Timmothy A
User since 5/17/09


I had a 2020 ecoboost 4 banger Ranger loaner for a month and that towed the 16.5 C Star w/90HP engine like nothing was hooked up.


7/24/20 @ 12:23 PM
Timmothy A
USER SINCE 5/17/09

I had a 2020 ecoboost 4 banger Ranger loaner for a month and that towed the 16.5 C Star w/90HP engine like nothing was hooked up.

7/24/20 @ 8:06 AM
USER SINCE 10/3/12

MPiker is right regarding the Pilot.  The max towing limit on the honda Pilot is cut in half without a tranny cooler. 

7/24/20 @ 7:19 AM
USER SINCE 3/26/04

I bought a dodge ram with v6 and tow my boat every weekend.I average 19mpg mostly hyway but still good in my opinion.Truck gets 22 when wife uses it for work in city.It is 4wheel drive but not full time.i pull a 16ft alumacraft with 40 hp Honda 4 stoke.

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