Any of you dry sailing or trailer cruising on a regular basis? What
are you using for tow & launch vehicles? Is the vehicle you use
comfortably adequate or marginal for over the road use? Do you have
trailers with braking systems?
Anybody had their boat and trailer weighed? In SC trailers with gross
weight over 3300lbs are required to have brakes. Depending on what
it's loaded with the Rhodes would probably fall right at or a little
on the high side of that.
Razz the Rhodes Wannabe
Time for a stupid question. You will find that I am full of them. I
note that depending on the source of the information, displacement of
the Rhodes 22 is between 2500 and 2900 lbs. Is this the dead weight
displacement, or is this the sailing displacement - i.e. the weight
of the boat rigged for sail with crew. Trying to determine what my
tow vehicle will need to be rated for if I intend to trailer the boat.
If 2900 is accurate, adding the weight of the trailer will require
a tow vehicle capable of towing 3500 lbs. or more. Any feedback is
As with a lot of things in life, bigger is better. The boat will be
about 4100+/- pounds with the trailer. These are the real issues:
pulling, stopping, tongue weight.
1) Pulling: almost anything with a FACTORY TOW PACKAGE rated for 5000
or more will work, bigger the v8 the better. The package will cover
the trans cooler, oil cooler, heavy duty flasher, wiring, LOWER
GEARED AXLE, heavy duty shocks, etc. 4-wheel drive is a big plus on a
wet ramp, front wheel only can get you swimming (the front wheels can
be lifted from the boat weight).
2) Stopping: Again bigger is better towing a 4100 pound boat with a
2500 pound car is asking trouble. Trailer brakes are needed (many
state laws and your own safety). Remember a lot of the SUVs have a
limit Gross Combined vehicle weight in the 10,000-pound area. At
4100# for the boat and 4500# for the SUV the stuff (and your self,
spouse, kids, stuff) can put you over the limit. And the issue is
3) Tongue weight should be in the 7%-15% area, in the rhodes22 case,
400 pounds, too light and you will fishtail and the trailer brakes
will not engage, too heavy and you will drop the SUV back end down
too much (tripping the trailer brakes).
4) Grease the bearings, fix the lights!!
I trailer, though not regularly, with a Jeep Grande Cherokee LTD. The
trailer does have brakes, but the condition of them is suspect. The
jeep ltd comes equipped for towing with oversized radiator and disk
brakes front/back. It has a 302 (Chrysler V-8) that is 220 hp. And
that is my idea of the lower end of over the road towing.
Some may disagree, but I think you need at least that kind of power
if you're going to haul across interstates. Whereas I can pull my
Newport 17 (1,000#) at 75 mph through the Tennessee mountains, I can
just about cruise at 65 with the Rhodes on flat and level highway.
You definitely know it's back there. Anything over 10 to 15 miles
would require a serious tow vehicle. If I had won a part of the
lottery, my choice would be the Suburban with the large V8.
I've towed Dynamic Equilibrium all through the Ozark & Ouchita
Mountains of Arkansas with a Ford Aerostar minivan. I believe the
manufacturer's rated load specifications for their trailer towing
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
I just got back from towing the boat from one part of Colorado to
another with my GMC Jimmy. (4.3V6). Power is rarely a problem; yes,
I do slow down going up to the pass at 12,000 feet but never below 45.
Biggest problem is weight distribution. When I brought the boat
out in the spring I left the Honda 9.9 (heavy) on the mount. This
was bad. It amounted to a 110 lb. pendulum on the back of the
trailer, lots of fish-tailing over 55.
On this trip I put the outboard in the back of the vehicle. Muuuch
better. No fish tailing even down hill. I use the surge brakes a
lot by triggering them with more of an initial braking jolt than you
would normally use. In short, the biggest thing for me is to have a
heavier tow vehicle, not necessarily power.
I tow with a Ford Explorer (6 cyl). Power isn't bad, but as others
have said weight distribution is critical. I've had trouble getting
the boat far enough forward on the trailer. My trailer came without
brakes and they are required over 3000 gross in here in CT.
Fortunately I am 30 minutes away from Triad Trailers, where the boat
and trailer is now getting brakes added.
Mike Orro (Triad) said something cryptic last week about the Rhodes
weighing more than Stan will admit. I imagine a boat and trailer
weighs out at more than 4000 lbs.
Anyone had theirs weighed?
We tow and launch our R22 with a 1989 Chevy S10 Blazer 4X4 with the 4.
3L V6 engine. The trailer has surge brakes that are required in
Pennsylvania at 3000 lbs. We launch regularly with it. So far we've
only trailered the boat over the road a couple of times: once from NC
to PA and once from PA to MD.
It seemed to do quite well but the biggest hill we encountered may
have been the bridge over the C&D Canal. The Blazer with the big V6
is probably the minimum package we would want for towing a boat of
this weight. We'll probably look at similar vehicles and at some with
a bit more heft when it's time for a new one.
Mary Lou Troy
I have purchased a tow vehicle for my current Compac16 and future
Rhodes 22: a 1988 Jeep Cherokee with the inline 4.0L six and
automatic transmission. Thought I might share the research that
resulted in choosing the Jeep. Being more of a sports sedan guy, I
loath driving trucks in general and the larger they are the less I
like them. So the quest was for the smallest and most economical type
of truck that had a serious class III tow rating.
My own experiences slip sliding up and down some rather steep launch
ramps with the Compac behind my Audi, plus advice from some fishing
buddies (the ones with the 125hp Evinrudes on their Sears jon-boats)
suggested that 4wd might not be a bad idea. And I have a personal
bias towards something with 4 doors and a tailgate as opposed to a
So surveying the medium size SUV (street useless vehicles) market,
Blazer II's, Troopers, Rodeos, Toyotas, etc., several things about
the Jeep stood out.
1. The drive train is rated to tow 6500lbs. Everything else in this
class maxes out at 3500. With the 4.0L six the maximum recommended
tow weight is 5000lbs, with either of the V-8's, 6500 lbs.
2. Jeep uses heavier duty drivetrain components: Dana truck axles,
Spicer drivelines, and the same GM automatic that Chevy uses in the
Suburban sized trucks. There is a transmission fluid cooler built in
to the stock radiator and cooling system.
3. Cherokees are common as dirt so one can find a decent used one
easily, sometimes at a good price.
4. Parts, including aftermarket upgrades are relatively cheap and
easy to find. Mine is currently under going a round of chassis
upgrades, premium shocks, suspension bushings, brakes and tires. The
mechanic swears it will handle like a sports car when done. I'm still
5. If you want one for towing, don't buy the 86 or earlier versions
with the GM 2.8L V-6.
6. Mine gets a pretty consistent 18mpg as purchased and before the
super-tune. EPA rating is 16 city/20 highway. Not bad for a 4wd that
can tow 5000+lbs.
7. It has a full time 4wd mode so it can be driven on paved roads
with 4wd engaged.
8. The 4.0L six has more torque than the small 301 V-8 although it
has less horsepower.
All in all it should make a pretty decent minimum sized tow vehicle
for the future Rhodes as long as I don't plan to haul it over the
AKA: Razz the Rhodes wannabe
I seek the opinions of the Rhodes group on towing vehicles.
At the outset, let me say, I know "more is better," please no giant
SUVs. I am looking for "less is better." I have to park on a narrow
city street and commute in a city.
The target: a vehicle I can city commute with, park in congestion
without hassle, can carry my wife and me and maybe another couple and
our gear. No mountains, swamps, etc. to clear, does not use a lot of
gas, reasonable cost and looks nice.
To give an idea of the type I am considering, in order of priority:
- 1. Nissan Frontier Quad Cab 4WD, supposedly pulls 3500 lbs. Anyone
had experience? Alt: Nissan Xterra or Pathfinder? I know they are
- 2. Toyota Tundra, part time 4wd, ext cab. I realize this borders on
- 3. Ford Crown Victoria, or like Chevy or Dodge. Anyone with
- 4. Other?
- 5. Jeeps: What to get and what to avoid?
- 6. Ford Ranger 4wd, ext cab. Dodge Dakota, same.
05 Nov 2000
Look at the Dodge Dakota or Dodge Durango. 318 CI fuel injected V8
with towing package. Both are built on the same chassis and with
optional towing packages will tow in excess of 4000lbs., which is
where you want to be without having a LARGE vehicle. Comes with
Rummy's 5 star rating. And they look really good too.
5 Nov 2000
I plan on using a Toyota Tacoma 4x4. The six cylinder can tow
5000lbs, and it is smaller than the Tundra.
5 Nov 2000
I chose a plain ole Jeep Cherokee (1990 model) for a minimal tow
vehicle for a Rhodes sized boat and trailer. Currently I have a
Gloucester 22 that is about the same general size but 500lbs. lighter.
The Jeep has the 4-liter inline six 170hp and the factory towing
package. The tow rating is 5000 lbs. I too use this vehicle as my
primary commuter. It drives like a truck, not like a car, but is
small and maneuverable enough for city commuting. They are dependable
and cheap to maintain.
Mileage is typically in the 15mpg range around town, which is decent
for any 4 wheeler with this kind of towing capacity but obviously not
econo car territory. Stock highway mileage is in the 18 to 19 range.
I towed my Gloucester 250 miles home from purchase with little
problem. The tongue weight was a little light so I kept speeds under
60mph to prevent swaying, and the trailer brakes were non-functional,
so stopping was not confidence inspiring. Mileage towing was around
This trip was with my previous 1988 model that was wrecked last
The '90 model that replaced it has a much better braking system. The
drive train in the Jeeps is beefier than other similar sized SUV's
and the inline 6 has gobs of torque and plenty of power, hence the
higher towing capacity. I have done a complete tuneup and added a
Jacobs mileage master ignition system to my '90 Jeep. Mileage is now
16 or better around town and consistently around 21 mpg on the road
and there is significantly more power and torque. The all-up trailer
weight of a Rhodes typically exceeds 4000lbs, so something with at
least 5000lbs towing capacity is highly recommended.
Hope this helps.
5 Nov 2000
I would not take the chance using your car, and I would include the
launch ramp. (more conservative than MJM) The boat might just
outweigh the car, and at a slipery ramp, you might just see the boat
pull the car down into the water. It's been witnissed at Action Lake
by one of my friends.
You might just want to rent a truck for towing at those selected
times you might want to move the boat. As I recall, Dan Hope rented a
dual wheel Dodge Ram or something like it to tow his newly acquired
boat last summer. Rummy accompanied him on the trip, so there's two
sources of info on that subject.
That might be the cheaper way to go as opposed to buying a tow
vehicle that's a bit long in the tooth. A 200 mile trip is a really
long trip with an inadiquite tow vehicle. It isn't soo much the
pulling away and getting up to speed as it is the stopping.
Controlling a load like the Rhodes and it's trailer is not to be
08 mar 2001
Actually what I meant is that high speed reduces gas mileage
dramatically for both of them. I can get close to 25 mpg in the jeep
and 18 in the truck on constant 50mph highways. That goes down to
about 19 in the jeep and 14 in the truck if I try to go over 70.
The jeep also gets much worse mileage when towing. depending on
terrain, about 10-15. The truck isn't really affected much by towing.
Maybe a 1-2 mpg.
06 Mar 2001
The new Jeep Liberty is the replacement for the Cherokee. Jeep was
originally planning to produce both the Cherokee and the Liberty as
long as demand for the Cherokee was high. But sales dropped last year
so they ended production. I've only seen preliminary write ups on the
Liberty but it looks like they stuck with the formula that made the
Cherokee such a success. Its got a new V-6, but it is a heavy duty
truck V-6, not a car V-6. Same extra beefy drive train but with
independent front suspension. Better street ride and handling, better
interior ergonomics. As with all Jeeps, it has to pass
the Rubicon trail test in stock form. Still rated for 5000# towing
capacity with more torque and horsepower. Slightly better mileage
ratings too. Looks like a good bet. I'll buy a use one in 5 or 6
years when the Cherokee wears
06 Mar 2001
Hehe, would you believe twelve mpg by itself on the highway. I
usually get about 7 - 8 towing the race trailer (102" wide almost 11'
tall, 26 foot long, 10,000 lbs.). I have gotten as low as 4 mpg
towing out to Huron, South Dakota in a 40 to 50 mph head wind. It was
sure an easy trip back though.
I would like to try changing the computer chip to see if I could
improve this a little.
Unfortunately, I need a workhorse truck for both racing and work. I
would never buy this truck just to tow the Rhodes. I just use it
because I already have it, but by god I can go 70 mph straight up if
I want too, eh!
This will be our exclusive tow vehicle now. We just traded the Tahoe
in on a VW bug. Sandy likes it (she likes little cars anyway) and to
tell the truth I have been pretty impressed with it so far. It's a
heck of a fun car to drive. Sticks to the road like a little Porsche.
But, a face only a mother could love.
06 mar 2001
Gas milage goes down dramatically? Mine goes down about 45%. The Jeep
Grande Cherokee V8 normally gets 17- 17.5 on the road. Our trip to Ky
lake last summer was monitored over the 3,000 plus miles and we
10.1 mpg towing. Our trip hit right at the height of the gas price
adjustment and over that distance made a big difference in available
funds after the trip.
06 Mar 2001
Our Tahoe w/350 (now somebody else's) towed this boat, NO PROBLEM.
Could have easily used a smaller truck. own there in IL where you are,
it's pretty flat. I would have to believe that a good V-6, like a 4.
3 Chevy, would do the job quite adequately. If you could find a long
bed or an extra cab S-10 pickup or an Astro Van, these should work
well for you. Yes, you ain't gonna burn rubber at the stop lights,
but once you are rolling, you'll go along just fine. Oh yeah, the big
V-8 is nice, but it ain't near as owner friendly at the gas station
in between tows.
Of course this is all written by a guy who tows with a GMC 1 ton 4X4
4 door dually w/454 V-8 (talk about gas). But, seriously, this boat
isn't that hard to tow.
S/V Country Rhodes
I think the tow vehicle question always brings up lots of personal
prefreences from folks that trailer in one area. It seels that the
east coast is so flat that just about any vehicle that's close to the
proper rating would work. On the other hand, we just moved east from
Colorado, and out there, you need all the muscle you can get in your
I have a 95 Grande Cherokee LTD with V8 and tow package. I consider
it to be absolute minimum for where we lived. The mountains were
tough towing. In the Mid-West you might have some hilly terain that
would slow you down, but not prevent you from pulling the boat.
However, if you intend to travel to areas that have serious grades,
you might want a
more heavy duty tow vehicle.
BTW, there are a lot of folks in St Louis that keep their boat at
Kentucky Lake. It's a great lake for your gunk holing trips.
06 Mar 2001
I have towed the R22 locally with a '80 Volvo V6 (I replaced the
tranny). Then moved to a V8 Merc Mountaineer 2wd and then to the 4wd
V8 Grand Chorokee. Towed the boat to and from Edenton with the Jeep.
It hardly worked up a sweat. Like the 4wd for getting up of a wet
Also like your advise on using/storing the boat. Trailer sailoring
every weekend (launch and recover) is a lot of work unless you have a
lot of time (i.e., retired, won the lottery, etc.) and don't have a M-
Bob on the "NoKaOi"
I agree with everything you said about the cherokee. Great vehicle.
I'm sorry to see it go. (Chrysler has decided to eliminate the
Cherokee model and will only produce the Grand Cherokee in the
future). I have the command trak 4wd. Part time only. It is unreal
how sure-footed the thing is in snow, mud, or whatever. I have no
idea what I will do when mine wears out in 10-15 years. Grand
Cherokee owners seem to be pleased with their choice, too. I just
thought at the time that the Cherokee was a better value at $10K less
(oh, and it has better clearance than the grand cherokee, too).
My only complaint for towing the boat is its light weight and
corresponding reduction in stopping power. It is SUPERB for
manuvering around the ramp. I can back the trailer almost anywhere
An interesting side note... the full ton ram turbodiesel gets between
16 and 18 mpg... not much worse than the cherokee (actually better
than the cherokee when towing) and better than most SUVs. But, the
diesel was an expensive option. It will take many years for the
efficiency to be paid back in fuel savings. We bought it to pull the
camper, not the boat.
Mileage on both goes down dramatically if I try to go faster than 70.
That is the price I pay for low gearing.
06 Mar 2001
I have been happy with my 1990 Jeep Cherokee as a minimum tow vehicle
(5000# rating with factory towing package) and a reasonably economical daily
commuter. Mileage is 2-3 mpg better than most other trucks with this
towing capacity. It gets around 16mpg in town and 21mpg on the highway (not
towing ). The 4.0L six has enough power and more torque than a lot of
small V-8s, a longer wheelbase would be nice. The transmission and drive
train in general are beefier than anything in its weight class, they use the
same 4-speed automatic that is used in the 1/2 ton class chevy trucks
rather than the lighter 1/4 ton drive train that others use.
My only experience towing with it over distance was a 450 mile round
trip to pick up my Gloucester 22 which is the same size as a Rhodes but about
500lbs lighter. Most comfortable towing speed was in the 55-60 mph range. My
tongue weight was too light, so the tail had a tendency to wag the dog at
higher speeds. Mileage towing was around 13mpg. Launching and recovering a
boat the size of a Rhodes is no problem at all. The 4WD is helpful on steep or
The Cherokee is a utilitarian truck through and through, relatively
noisy, rough riding, and not car like in its handling characteristics
compared to its more modern counterparts. But they are readily available
and very good ones can be bought for $5-7K. They are also reliable and
relatively cheap to maintain. I like the Limited and Wagoneer Limited
models with the Selectrac drive train which has both a full time on
pavement and part time off pavement 4WD setting along with the 2WD.
I installed a Jacobs ignition package on mine which increased both
mileage and horsepower by about 10%.
I did not want to be doing the daily commute in a 12mpg vehicle and
towing the boat is typically only done 3 or 4 times a season, with maybe one
500 mile round trip to the coast and back. For me the Jeep seemed the
most economical compromise, both for purchase price and operating cost. I
would not want to tow a Rhodes any significant distance with anything
lighter, shorter, or less capable.
First, understand that every vehicle, new or used has a designed
towing ability built into it. The manufacturers sticker either
located in the engine compartment or the glove box on on the drivers
side door jam will tell you how the vehicle is equipped. They are
listed in numerical code, but the codes are available from a dealer
or on the internet at various sites.
Towing ability takes into many factors. Engine size, brakes, wheel
size and tire ratings, transmission and cooling are all a part of
this. Getting a vehicle not sized for the job is VERY dangerous.
Stopping becomes a nightmare, transmissions over heat, engines over
heat or worse, excessive tire wear and blowouts.
Know the difference between GVW, GVWR and towing capacity. They are
all different and salespeople can really confuse (translation: take
advantage of) you with these.
06 Mar 2001
There is always a debate on tow vehicles. Anything with a 5000lb tow
capacity would probably do fine, but some things are better than
others. As with everything, there are trade offs to consider. I'll
suggest a few:
1) Wheel base: shorter wheelbase will give better manuverability
around the ramp or driveway. Longer will give better stability on the
2) Weight: The heavier the vehicle, the less affected by sway. Also,
the worse the fuel mileage and the weight of the vehicle counts
against your GVW. Don't assume a big vehicle can tow it. Vans, in
particular, are frequently geared to be efficient at highway speed
and don't have much reserve power for towing. But, if the van was
initially set up for towing, it may be about the perfect vehicle for
3) Engine size and type: this depends on the overall weight of the
package, and interacts with gearing. We have a 4.0L Jeep Cherokee
that will out accelerate a friend's full sized van when both are
towing the Rhodes. Why? It is a much lighter vehicle and is geared
much lower. Target: If you get a large vehicle (pickup or van) shoot
for 5.9L V8 or better, and 3.73 rear end or better. Gas engine is
fine. Diesel can't be beat for torque or longevity, or fuel mileage,
4) Make: Although some people swear by one manufacturer or another,
this is frankly a non-issue today (as far as capability). Assuming
you have considered the other things. If you are talking pickup
trucks, Dodge, Ford, or GM each make half-ton pickups perfectly
suited to the job. Even the Toyota Tundra could do it, if set up for
towing. If you get one of them with a 5.9L V8, 3.73 rear end or
better, and factory tow package, you will be fine. These can be found
by the dozen in the used car section of the newspaper.
Some people used to tow with a big Cadillac. This is not a good idea
today. Suspension and drivetrain just aren't designed for it, anymore.
That means that your choices are basically a pickup truck, full
sized van, or some of the SUVs.
Price to performance ratio: I would bet that you will have the best
tow vehicle for the money if you can find a used full sized van that
is set up for towing. Look for 3/4 ton vans (250 or 2500 series).
They are probably more likely than 1/2 ton vans to have a tow package
and 3.73 or greater differential.
Your next bet is to find a used 1/2 ton pickup with a factory tow
package. Look on the plate under the hood for gearing, engine
displacement, and aux transmission cooler.
SUV: Any suburban ever made will tow it, as well as many others if
they meet the criteria. One surprising note, though, is that the Ford
Expedition is generally a poor tow vehicle considering its size (no
flames... this is a generalization and doesn't apply to YOUR
Expedition! ;^). The Excursion corrected this flaw. It is an
excellent tow vehicle. Many Explorers, Cherokees, Durangos, etc. make
good tow vehicles. Keep in mind what happens to stability and
stopping power as the weight of the tow vehicle decreases, however!
My Cherokee has the power and the rating to tow the Rhodes just fine.
Stopping can be a bit unnerving, however! I'd much rather tow the
thing with my Dodge Ram 3500 dually turbodiesel with a 6 speed manual
transmission. But then again, look at the ratings. The Cherokee is
rated for 5,000lbs. The Ram is rated (conservatively) at 13,000. That is a
03 Mar 2001
Reccomend nothing less then a V-8. the extra power is a LOT when
trying to get up to speed out of a traffic light and going up hill/
launch ramp. Vehicle in partiular-General Motors line up of SUV's or
Pick-Ups. If you need the back seat, but like the bed of the truck
the Pick-Up is for you. It isn't a straight verticle back on the rear
seat in the cab. Made for comfort. As for SUV's-We have the Yukon XL
becuz we like to have the 3 rows of seating along with extra space
behind the 3rd for travel bags. Maybe the short wheel base would be
better for your needs. Your call there.
towing for 4 hours to sail is not fun every weekend, you might want
to see if a marina will let you dry store the boat on the trailer on
land fully rigged, very cheap and only takes 20+- minutes to be on
the water, also a lot less wear and tear on the boat / family. Will
use it more often, maybe move it around during the session. BTW the
house on the lake might be a better investment.
I would get something that you like for everyday that also tows, 4
hours each way is not local towing so I would be tempted to go with
the bigger van's, bigger pickup's or midsize or bigger SUV, most
likely a V8, Explorer size or lager with the factory tow package (i.e
the rear axial, tran cooler, oil cooler etc...)
So what is the rest of the group thoughts.
A lot will depend on how far you want to go and what conditions
(mountains, hills, level ground) you have. I towed mine adequately
with a Chevy Blazer (4WD) to and from the harbor twice a year (45
minutes over level terrain). I would have been reluctant to take a
much longer trip, but am told it could be done. This year I upgraded
to a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
I will have the boat based at Lake Carlyle in ILL.. It is great for
sailing, only 1 hour from my home in St. Louis, but is no good for
cruising. However with in a 4 hour drive is 5 excellent lakes for
gung holing. Realistically we will take about 4 to 5 trips a year,
weekends mostly. The problem is that what ever vehicle we choose will
be the primary vehicle for one of us. A junker (light pickup - old
van) is fine for me or an SUV for the wife. I have owned 3 other
boats w/o a tow vehicle and could stand to do it for the first year
of ownership. My wife agreed to the boat as a compromise to a lake
house. "Lake house on wheels" will only work with a boat that can be
single handedly set up and sailed w/ "real" head. Well, that is my
criteria any wisdom is appreciated.
06 Mar 2001
the Rhodes on the trailer should come in around 4200+- pounds, so you
need something in the 5000 range, the SUV's are a little pricey for
what you get, A used Full size van or used pickup can be found at a
good price, as a rule of thumb a "car" looses half it price every 4
years so after 8 years it only 1/4 the new price. Also depending what
you are up to, renting a local uhaul for the haul in/out for the
session is a way to go. A little background on what type of trailing
(dream Vs, what will really happen), how offend and where you will be
trailing will lead to a more focused answer.
This question goes to those who trailer their Rhodes frequently and for
What do you currently use to tow your Rhodes? Please include engine size
and any other pertinent details.
13 Oct 2002
Last year I traded the 1 ton GMC 4x4 4 dr. 454 cu. in. dually pickup that
had been my all around, perfect for everything, over kill for most, tow
vehicle, for an S-10 4x4, extended cab, 4.3L V6, 5 spd.. I loved the 1 ton
for towing, but since one only tows a very small percentage of total miles
driven, I got very tired of stopping at every other gas station (11, 12
MPG, 6-8 MPG towing) and dropping $50 with this big truck, when I wasn't
towing. With the S-10 I get around 20 MPG when not towing and 13-14 when
towing in 4th gear (we never tow in overdrive). We have now towed our R 22
on a single axle trailer to the gathering at Kentucky Lake (875 one way)
for the second time with the S-10 and I have been very happy with the
performance of this truck. With the boat properly loaded, this took a
little experimenting, we can cruise down the highway 60-65 and feel pretty
comfortable. When going very far, I take the outboard and the rudder (1
bolt) off and store them in the cabin. This gets about 100 lbs. off the
transom (my motor is small) and over the trailer axles and makes the
trailer much more stable without adding a lot of tongue weight.
As towed loads go, the R22 is not that big a load. Tongue weight need only
be between 2 and 3 hundred pounds and the total loaded trailer weight is
only between 4 and 5 thousand depending on your gear, etc. There are many
folks on the list who tow with Jeep Cherokees, Chevy (GMC) Blazers and
Astro Vans, Ford Explorers and other makes of like size. I like a 4x4
because they are generally available with a little heavier suspension, and
a 2 speed transfer case. The low range is very nice for towing up a steep
ramp. I don't think the 4 wheel drive is really necessary, but the 2 speed
transfer case is not a possibility in a 2 wheel drive truck.
The over kill of the 3/4 or 1 ton truck is very nice, but remember that, if
not properly loaded, your trailer can still want to sway at highway speeds.
Believe me, I have learned this the hard way. The only difference between a
big truck and a small truck as far as loading is concerned is; With the big
truck you can have as much tongue weight as you want or you can get. With
the small truck you have to watch not to get too much. Either way though,
you have to have ENOUGH tongue weight, for the trailer to track properly.
When this is just right for your truck is something you kinda have to learn
by experience. Personally, I would rather have a smaller vehicle, that I
can afford to operate the rest of the time, that lets me know right away
when things aren't going just right rather than a large truck where I can't
feel the problem till it's too late to do something about it.
There's my 2 or maybe even 3 cents worth.
13 Oct 2002
You can get by with a vehicle that has a V-6 engine, automatic transmission
with auxiliary cooling. The vehicle MUST be properly equipped to tow the
weight of the Rhodes. They are rated by GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)
which is different from GVW (gross vehicle weight). GVWR includes the
vehicle, occupants, a full tank of gas and the vehicle to be towed. The
higher the GVWR, you get additional things like better brakes, tires, engine
cooling and a rear axle ratio for towing.
A good truck (SUV) salesman can tell you what type of vehicle you need. There
are differences in V-6 engines in horsepower and torque. I tow with a Dodge
Ram 1500 pickup with a V-6 and automatic. The transmission has a lockout
(electric button) for overdrive for towing. I have a class 3 hitch.
I also recently put new Michelin tires on with a Class E weight and
temperature rating. Tires with additional weight on them such as pulling a
trailer generate more heat.
13 Oct 2002
We tow with a 1995 AWD Chevy Astro minivan with the factory HD trailer
towing package. The engine is the 4.2 liter,195 bhp, GM V-6 with a 3 speed
+ OD automatic transmission. There is a lockout on the steering column to
prevent the transmission from shifting into OD while towing. The factory HD
trailer towing package includes a transmission oil cooler. We get about 18
mpg in daily use & about 8 - 10 mpg while pulling the boat. I've also towed
our R-22 with a RWD Aerostar minivan with the factory HD trailer towing
package & a 4WD AMC Eagle station wagon with a 5-speed manual transmission &
an aftermarket HD trailer towing package.
Even if your trailer has brakes (now reqd by law in most states for boat
trailers of the size we are talking about for hauling an R-22), antilock
brakes on the tow vehicle are REALLY nice. Our Aerostar & Eagle did not
have them, but our Astro does. I also prefer a tow vehicle with 4WD or AWD.
There's just nothing like having all 4 wheels pulling to get you up a wet,
slimy launch ramp, but you can get by with only RWD. Do not buy a tow
vehicle with front wheel drive, although you probably couldn't even find one
with a sufficiently high GVWR.
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
13 Oct 2002
2000 GMC yukon xl V8. Previously a Dodge Dakota 4x4 V6 short bed with back
seat. The dodge was a little underpowered for the distance we tow, but the
Yukon tows like a dream. We tow over 3500 miles every season, so tow vehicle
and dual axle trailer are important to us. If you won't be doing any
significant towing, such a tow vehicle isn't as important. You'd do fine
with a V6.
13 Oct 2002