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#1 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 07:44 PM
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Towing a Boat

I know there have been bits & pieces of this in various threads (I did search ) but wanted to ask specifically:

I'm thinking of buying a small-ish ski boat (like a Bayliner 185, or equivalent classic woody) and would use our V6 Limited 4wd (with tow pkg & Toyota hitch) to tow. I have plenty of experience with trailer towing with other vehicles, but not with boats / ramps / etc. and not with the RAV.

Assuming my rig doesn't exceed Toyota's weight limits, will my V6 and 4wd be sufficient to keep me out of trouble at the boat ramps? I am also aware that the RAV is a relatively short wheelbase vehicle compared to what most people use for towing - any worries about the "tail wagging the dog" on the highway?

Anybody's real world experience with the RAV in this type of situation would be most appreciated!

Steve
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 07:51 PM
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A concern might be the lower ground clearance and possibly lower axle height than other vehicles that are often used to tow boats.

Not so much for the towing part, but more specifically I'm thinking of the case when backing down the boat launch how high the water might get on the vehicle / rear axle & wheel bearings and such.

Obviously every boat launch is different, but it may be something to consider and be a little extra cautious about observing when putting your boat in, or taking it out of, the water.

Silver 2012 RAV4 Limited V6 4WD with Tow Prep and OEM Hitch.

Long live the RAV4 V6!
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 08:27 PM
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A classic Woody would need to be quite small to not exceed the max towing weight. The Bayliner 185 V-6 with surge brakes should be under the 3500 lb max and tow, launch, and recover easily with 4WD.

Old Bird......sometimes wise
2008 Base V-6 front wheel drive
2008 Limited V-6 front wheel drive
Both with Tow Prep Package
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 11:35 PM
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I have seen people add an extender to go between their hitch and the receiver on the trailer to be able to back the boat trailer further into the water so your rav4 wont be underwater. They do tend to sit kinda low for starters, then add any tongue weight and they drop down even lower. If you saw the picture I had posted "towing" my rav4 was all squatted down you dont want to get to low in the water. Could also add some airbags to stiffen your rear suspension. I just ordered a set from JC Whitney was 85 dollars and free shipping.

best of luck
deryk
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 12:19 AM
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You'll have zero issues towing on the road or traction on the ramp.
Keeping your RAV4 as dry as you want depends on many factors that you'll have to control. Implement whichever the others have suggested to solve those.

Fred
2006 RAV4 V6 4WD Red Limited - wife's
2006 Accord V6 Hybrid - Dr. Dyno's - quick as the RAV but +8 mpg
2003 Odyssey V6 - handy people & cargo mover
1999 F-250 4X4 Diesel - snow plow, Bully Dog chip
2001 F-250 4X4 Diesel - truck camper, TS chip, 20' bike/trike dyno trailer
2004 Suzuki DRZ-400S Dual Sport

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 05:48 PM
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For years as a kid, I towed my Aquasport 17 with a big outboard with my Mom's Toyota Corona. It was a 4 cyl with about 75 hp and certainly not AWD. In and out of many ramps around South Florida. It struggled at a few places. You wouldn't know the Bayliner was there if you pull it with the RAV. Don't worry about it!
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 08:38 PM
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I appreciate everyone's words of reassurance & suggestions too. I just didn't want to unknowingly embark on something stupid (knowingly embarking is a whole different matter, of course...)

Steve
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2010 Limited V6 4x4
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 09:38 AM
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My 2011 base V6 4WD with tow prep handles my 17ft bass boat so nicely and easily I have to remind myself it's there...
It is sometimes a bit close with the water line launching and recovering, but so far, so good (said the Captain of the Titanic )
Enjoy!

Rav4nBoat.jpg
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 07:52 PM
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My 2008 6 with the tow package rock and and rolled with a 2200# 19ft Starcraft, up steep grades also. Now stuck wit a 2012 4cyl. yikes we will see. LOL
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