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Author Topic:   Montauk Tow Vehicle Query
tabasco posted 02-16-2002 09:56 AM ET (US)   Profile for tabasco   Send Email to tabasco  
As I will be new at towing my new montauk (ran into trouble one wanted to install a trailer hitch on a mercedes S class and Uhaul only offers a type one hitch and wanted to cut my bumper :-( ). Interested to find out what type of vehicle you whaler people use to tow your Montauk. I sure most use SUV's that's a given but for those of us that don't own one, what type of vehicle do you use to tow you boat? What adjustments were needed to your car? Did you have to install a transmission cooler? Anything have to be done to the brakes to improve stopping ability or overheating? Any input would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your response.
tabasco posted 02-16-2002 09:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Don't know what's going on [see comment below] but the last two post have come up double on the forum.
Kelly posted 02-16-2002 04:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
Buy a full size truck or suburban. In my opinion, while other vehicles are rated to and can tow boats, particularily of the Montauk size, life is just easier with a full size tow vehicle. And besides, when that Outrage you always wanted shows up, you want to be able to take it home. I personally like the suburban. Kelly
captreils posted 02-16-2002 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for captreils  Send Email to captreils     
I used to tow with a 1981 VW rabbit pickup,the montauk was about its limit.I now use a 1987 Dodge Ramcharger,much better,I hardly even feel it when I'm towing.nothing special done to the brakes or suspension,although I am going to install a trans cooler,not really because of the montauk but I also use the truck to plow snow
Tsuriki BW posted 02-16-2002 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

I tow my Dauntless 14 (1000lb) with a 75hp Merc (304lb) with my 4cycl 190E. Got a frame bolt on hitch from U-Haul. They had to special order it, but it was a U-Haul model. The "dealer" just didn't have one in stock. No cutting the bumper ( I wouldn't allow that). I pull up some hills but nothing that long and steep. No problems.

Obviously your S class will have no problems pulling a Montauk. Ask about a frame bolt on or go to a special hitch dealer and have one made for you. It's not rocket science.


JBCornwell posted 02-16-2002 12:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Howdy, Tabasco. I have towed my Montauk about 10,000 miles and my OR-18 about 1500 miles with my ML320.

The Montauk is usually loaded with all my fishing gear, cooler full of ice and food and, at least part of the time, 28 gallons of fuel. The engine is a Suzi DF70, which weighs about 350# with prop, etc. Probably grosses about 2000#. Cruises at 70-75 in 5th, shifts down to 4th on moderate grades and to 3rd on steep grades.

No modifications to the vehicle with tow package. Never overheats. I consider it the perfect vehicle for long distance towing of a Montauk.

Towing the Outrage with no fuel and a 350# engine (gross about 2600#) the ML works harder (spends a lot more time in 3rd), hard enough that I am considering going to a ML430. Still, the 320 will maintain 65-70, never overheated, etc.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

kamml posted 02-16-2002 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
I tried to tow my Montauk with a 96 Tacoma Ext. 5spd, 4cyl. I tried is the operative phrase. I switched out to a new Mazda B3000 Ext. auto and am very pleased with it s towing ability and around town performance/ride and economy. But I must agree a full size truck is hard to beat either as an SUV or as pickup. My neighbor just got a 2002 Dodge 4dr and its looks and performance are super to tow his 21' boat. Ken
Dick posted 02-16-2002 08:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I tow my Montauk with a 97 Ford F150 short bed flairside with the 4.6L v-8. No problem at all except that a short wheelbase truck can beat you to death when towing, oh well the Montauk can do the same when the water kicks up a bit. The longer the wheelbase the smoother tow vehicle you have.
triblet posted 02-16-2002 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Any of the V-6 SUVs or pickups should be
fine with a Montauk. I towed my for three
and a half years with a '95 Nissan Pathfinder
(3.0L V6, 170HP) and have been towing it
the last six or eight months with an '01
Nissan Pathfinder (3.5L V6, 250 HP). The '95
was fine, but I had to down shift for some
of the hills. The '01 just gallops up the

Neither had any overheating or stopping
problems (once I got the tongue weight right)
Transmission cooling isn't an issue because
both are sticks (BTW, the automatic PF is
rated for 5000 pounds, the stick 3500).

Check the manufacturer's rated towing
capacity. The Montauk (old version) will
weight a bit over 2000 pounds with engine,
fuel, battery, trailer, and some gear.

Neither PF beat me up.

You don't need a full-size for a 16'7"


Tom W Clark posted 02-17-2002 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

You can pull a Monatuk with just about ANYTHING bigger than a Pinto. I towed mine with a 1983 Toyota pickup powered by a 4 cylinder, 100 hp engine. No problem whatsoever. If that little thing can do it I bet whatever you drive now will work. There is a FORUM memeber here who uses his 3-series BMW to pull his Montauk. All this talk about needing a big, badass SUV or V-something pickup is utter nonsense.

Andy Holmes posted 02-17-2002 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Andy Holmes  Send Email to Andy Holmes     
Heat and tongue weight are the two most important things to consider. Get the tongue weight right and your handling should be ok. Watch the temps as you drive. Slow down or stop, but don't shut off the engine if you see the temp getting high. Consider a tranny cooler if your vehicle is marginal. Just my two cents worth. We use a 1997 E-350 Super Club Wagon with a 6.8 Litre V-10, just because we need the van anyway, but that is overkill. I wouldn't buy a special vehicle just to tow with.
Kelly posted 02-17-2002 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
The December, 2001 issue of Trailer Boats magazine includes their 2002 Tow ratings guide. This is the best resource I have found about trailering. It has virtually every vehicle listed. Kelly
dfmcintyre posted 02-17-2002 06:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
I think (unless it's needed for other missions) that needing Surburban for a Montauk tow is a little bit of overkill too (this statement is coming from a third generation GM dealer family).

When we had a Nauset, and later a Montauk, a Olds Cutlass pulled them just fine. We even pulled a 22' Outrage with the Cutlass (little wiggly, come to think about it......).

Best way to determine it, is to take the rig to a nearby scale, weight it, add a 15% to 20% margin (for when you go on vacation, and _will_ use the boat as an additional trunk) to the total and then look for the right sized vehicle.

Best - Don McIntyre

RWM posted 02-17-2002 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for RWM  Send Email to RWM     
I tow my Montauk with a Buick Park Avenue Ultra. Works good for me although I keep it to 70 and don't use the overdrive.
Kelly makes a good point though...When I see that Outrage I want I'll have to move to a bigger vehicle. A Caddy Fleetwood Broughmn from the early 90's might be the ticket!!...Bob M.
FISHNFF posted 02-18-2002 01:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
I've been towing my Alert/Montauk with a 1993 Ford F-150 XLT (302 V-8, 3.73 gears, Hypertech chip, K&N, Flowmaster) and it does fine. My new Pontiac Montana mini-van also does nice. We got a lot of hills around here and it will put your tow vehicle to the test!
I previously has a 1987 Nissan x-cab 2WD 4 banger with a 5 speed. Towed the 13 fine, but burnt out 2 clutches in a year on my first Montauk. Had to get helped out of a few launch ramps. Maybe an auto would have been better.
triblet posted 02-18-2002 06:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I launched my Montauk every weekend for three
and a half years with my '95 Pathfinder
stick. It still had the original clutch
in it when I traded it at 130,000 miles
(still had the original EVERYTHING except a
couple of light bulbs and a bumper section).

It's not the automatic, it's the 2WD. 4WD is
great for crawling up those slippery ramps.
And it's great for backing up -- put it in
compound low and it backs up ever so slowly.

On the subject of Caddys as tow vehicles. I
once read an article about a half dozen
Airstreams that towed from Johanesburg to
Cairo in the late fifties or early sixties.
The IH Travelall was the tow vehicle of
choice for the Airstreamers then, but at
least one had a Caddy. Brave souls.


Macman posted 02-16-2002 02:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
I haul my Montauk with an Isuzu Trooper.(3.2 V6) I have to remember that it is there most of the time! Last summer I hauled it to a lake in Maine where the last 60 miles was on a gravel worries. The ease of towing and launching the boat is beautiful.
masbama posted 02-17-2002 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
I tow my Montauk with a 2001 Toyota Highlander. It replaced a 1985 Chevy Full size truck (w/V8) as the tow vehicle. The Highlander has the V6 and tow package. It is SWEET! Tows like a dream; no effort-much, much better than the truck.
Bigshot posted 02-18-2002 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Towed my Montauk with a 560SEC and it towed it fine. Hitch was $200 installed and same hitch applies to sedan. Newer 140 style, etc I am not sure but avail for a 126 body. If you have the hydraulic rear suspension, I might reconsider because parts for that are VERY expensive(I know).

I currently am trying to mimic my hero JB and have a Montauk with a 70 Evinzuki and a ML320. The ML tows flawlessly and all-time 4wd is priceless. I do tow in 4th on the highway because it does not care for O/D too much. I even tow my 6000lb Baja with it.

seasicknes posted 02-18-2002 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for seasicknes    
I used to tow my montauk with a 4X4 pathfinder. It pulled it fine, but I would suggest a tranny cooler. I decided to sell it and now got a full size ford f250 super duty 4X4 crew cab.
I know its an over kill, but I do tow my other boat which is a 22 Hydrasport vector walk around.


where2 posted 02-18-2002 12:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Just installed hitch on my wife's '98 Toy 4Runner (v6) last night. Reese Class III bolts up with 6 bolts in 12.5 minutes. Disassembling the rear interior panels to hookup the "plug-n-play" wiring harness took more like 1.5 hours. Then again, I fished the wires through the frame, made a cut-out for the harness to come through the storage bin in the fender well, and was generally being much more careful than I had to be installing the frame mount hitch.

As for modifications, I anticipate no modifications to the vehicle until I get the 26' Hunter sailboat! Then a tranny oil cooler, and other heavy duty items might be in order. How much does a loaded Montauk weigh? I tow my 15' Sport with a VW Corrado. Granted, I can't do 0-60mph in 7.5 sec, but 4 wheel discs w/ ABS and 158hp get it to and from a standstill just fine. Then again, I wouldn't tow it through the mountains like this. I'm a flat-lander in South Florida. Biggest incline around here is a bridge!!

tabasco posted 02-18-2002 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Curious did you have a transmission cooler on that 560 SEC. Also what brand hitch did you use and was it a type 1 or type 2 hitch. How about the wiring any problem or did you just use the standard flat four connector. Did it effect the engine computer at all?
Thank you
JBCornwell posted 02-18-2002 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Forgot to mention: My son tows his Montauk with his ML320, too.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

triblet posted 02-18-2002 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A class 1 hitch is only good to 2000 pounds.
A Montauk could easily exceed that.

You want at least a Class 2.

I installed the bolt on hitches on my last two
Pathfinders. The hardest part was figuring out
the best way to route the electrical wires.


jimh posted 02-19-2002 12:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Changed topic; was "tow vehicle survey."
PMUCCIOLO posted 02-19-2002 01:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
I towed my previous Montauk and now my 17'Alert with a 2001 Toyota Tundra V8 Access Cab. It has LOADS of power, which you certainly don't need to tow a boat like this. I bought it in anticipation of adding a 22 or 25 to my fleet. The engine and transmission are smooth, it has no squeaks or rattles, and is very quiet on the highway. It has the one important thing that made up my mind--great crash test results.
cvye posted 02-19-2002 11:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for cvye  Send Email to cvye     
used to tow my Montauk with an Acura Integra GS-R. it was hard to get the revs up to 8K on the launch ramp, so i prematurely aged the clutch, i think.
my Jeep Cherokee 4.0L auto does a MUCH better job, go figure!
where2 posted 02-19-2002 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Cvye, after reading your Integra_GS-R comments, I'm glad I have a Supercharged VW. It doesn't need to be wrung out to develop torque: 166 lb-ft @ 4k rpm, 158hp @ 5.6k rpm (1.8L/4cyl).

Hmmm, maybe I should get that TRD blower for my wife's 4Runner when we get the sailboat. *druel*

MikeG posted 02-19-2002 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeG  Send Email to MikeG     
I used to tow my Montauk with a 97 Grand Voyager. PA to Maine once a year and 100 miles each way to NJ shore 5 or 6 times a summer. The Voyager was fine on the road but it went through brakes quickly and had transmission problems after 70K. It was equipped properly with a hitch and trans cooler.

I have since moved to a 1998 Explorer XLT w/ tow package. No worries with towing. 4wd has made slippery and sandy ramps much easier to work with. Question: Will the Explorer be suitable for 22' Outrage/Revenge/Temptation? Any experience here? I believe the Explorer can handle the weight, I'm wondering about excessive wear and tear since this is my daily commuter as well. Thanks

FYI: I have seen a early 90's Taurus S/W towing a Montauk in my area for a few years now. It seemed to be doing fine with it.

Whalerdan posted 02-19-2002 01:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
2000 Chevy Silverado with the small V-8 (270hp!).
Bigshot posted 02-19-2002 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot was stock. Trailer was a class 2 and car was rated for 2000lbs. It towed fine. Don't know brand name but it was NOT a Reese or Draw-tite.
Bigshot posted 02-19-2002 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Crud! Did not have lights. The wire harness is like $100 and I never got around to doing it. They make an inline protector at Napa for like $20 that will shield the computer(who knows). My ML has the factory hitch and harness.
tabasco posted 02-19-2002 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Thanks bigshot .......your input is always appreciated
Mark D posted 02-19-2002 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mark D    
I use a Jeep Grand Cherokee 6cyl
Eric posted 02-27-2002 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
I've towed my 16 with three trucks: a 4.0 Cherokee (not Grand) 4x4, a 4.0 Ranger 4x4, and my current truck, a 3.4 Tacoma 4x4 with a TRD supercharger. Any six cylinder truck will do the job. Make sure that you've got an auxiliary cooler for the transmission if it's an automatic. The Cherokee didn't handle the heat here in Florida well, ran really hot when towing. Didn't have the Ranger very long, sold it when I bought the Toyota. The Toy's the best truck I've owned.
Salmon Tub posted 02-27-2002 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
Get something with at least a mid sized v-6 and if does not sit too tall, get a reciever where you can put in a raised hitch. My truck sits at standard height and I have to use the trailer jack to lift the tongue when washing otherwise all the water does not drain out.

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