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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.  


6/15/20 @ 3:01 PM
USER SINCE 1/30/18

Thank you all for the replies!  I'm thinking my best option would be trading in the CRV for something with a V6 and greater towing capacity.  Although I wouldn't plan to take the boat out every weekend, I wouldn't want the added stress on the vehicle in addition to the possible braking and acceleration issues.  I don't think i'd be too concerned about launching on a steep ramp because the CRV has AWD.  

6/15/20 @ 2:34 PM

Boat is 554#, motor 180#, and trailer plate reads 700#. I had a Yacht Club that was 300#, but it did not fit the boat right in width. This Trailmaster trailer was custom made to fit my boat.

I added in for TM, two batteries, battery charger, two seats, spare tire, six gallons of gas and tank. We’ll see when I get it on a scale.

6/15/20 @ 1:45 PM
USER SINCE 10/10/17

Tuffy....that sounds heavy for a 145 Alumacraft.  But that is just me guessing.....I have the 14.5" boats as dry weights of 550-600 lbs.  

My 2000 17'9" Lowe hull weight at 0.090 gauge is 1145 lbs + 254 lbs 70 hp Johnson + 350 lb Yacht club trailer = 1750 lbs.  

6/15/20 @ 1:36 PM
USER SINCE 10/10/17

Don't forget the weight of your gas in your boat.  My 18' Lowe has a capacity of 27 gallons.  Plus the 20 walleye at 10 lbs each on ice on the way home of each trip :)

Either should be fine pulling a 12-15 foot boat with a 4 cylinder.  I wouldn't worry about it one bit.  

But don't go over the towing capacity of the vehicle....unless we are talking short distances.  Don't want that trailer driving the car down the road in terms of control and braking.  

6/15/20 @ 8:21 AM
USER SINCE 2/22/07

Have a neighbor who pulled his 18 foot crestliner with his Rav 4, said he was fine weight wise, I'd just shake my head. No way I wanted to be in that rig if he had to hit the brakes at highway speed. Finally he bought a truck.

6/15/20 @ 8:20 AM

I just did a quick calculation on my Alumacraft 145 Escape, 30hp ETec tiller, Trailmaster C channel trailer and came up with 1730#.

When they give you the Hull weight they don’t even include the seats. The listed trailer weight doesn’t include a spare tire. I’m going to get mine weighed and I’ll bet it will be 2000# or more.

I tow mine with a Toyota Highlander V6, AWD and I wouldn’t want less. Years ago I towed a bass boat with a 150hp motor on it with my sons Toyota Tacoma 4 cylinder engine and it did a good job, but stopping was a different story.

6/15/20 @ 8:00 AM
USER SINCE 7/19/03

Have towed my older  (1975) 14 ft alumacraft with older (1996) 15 hp evinrude 2 stroke with my wife's Rav 4 and my father in laws outback.  Weight of rig,  boat ,motor, trailer maybe 750 lbs.  Both vehicles tow boat so easily you don't  even know they are there.  

Now, if you get 16 foot rig with carpeted floors and live wells and consoles, 4 stroke 60 hp, add a much bigger trailer, all your fishing gear and extra batteries for trolling motors you will be pushing 2500 to 3000 lbs quickly.  For a boat and trailer like that you had better limit the tow to a few blocks or couple miles.  Those smaller suv's would struggle hauling a bigger rig  down the road.

Good luck and be careful.

6/15/20 @ 7:43 AM
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Here's another situation people keep forgetting

Vehicle your towing with

People load up their vehicle with four people and gear go off and tow their 1500 lb boat

Already there tow vehicle also at its Max caring weight

And they can't understand why they can't get up the express ramp to a safe speed to get on to the highway

And then again the other problem is the stopping distance

6/15/20 @ 7:34 AM
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BâssÂddîçt ©¸

Max towing capacity it's hard for people to understand

To understand this easier let's say your vehicle has a weight capacity of a thousand pounds

you put a of a thousand pounds in a vehicle and you will realize that it will go all the way down to the stops

yes you can carry a thousand pounds but would you want to do this all the time

That is the same thing with towing capacity does this make sense

6/15/20 @ 7:20 AM
USER SINCE 4/17/07

I used to tow a 17' Bass Tracker w/ 50 hp motor with my Ford Escape, however that had a 6 cylinder engine and the transmission had actual gears. Towing capacity was 3500 lbs. It towed great and I averaged over 17 mpg while towing. I would not tow with a 4 cylinder, especially a SUV with the CVT transmissions. Weight in the boat adds up very quickly, gas tank, livewell, batteries, trolling motor are the big ones. I own a Subaru forester and love it, but would never tow with it. 

But it all depends how far and how often you plan on towing. If its only a couple miles a dozen times a year, the risk of doing it may be worth it versus spending more money to upgrade vehicles.

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