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Author Topic:   truck to pull whaler V-6/V-8
stefan posted 08-19-2003 06:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for stefan   Send Email to stefan  

looks like I'm going to need a truck after all, It's an 18'whaler w/ 150hP.

will a V-6 dakota type do, or do I need a V-8 Ram or F150 type to tow with comfort.

I live on water, and when I do plan to tow it's to other locations at least couple hrs


stefan posted 08-19-2003 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for stefan  Send Email to stefan     
I saw post by steelhead,
guess what i'm after is even if truck meets towing requirements, will V-8 vs. V-6 make a big difference for an 18'?
whalersailer posted 08-19-2003 06:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersailer  Send Email to whalersailer     
Hi Stefan,

I tow my newly aquired 17' Outrage I with a mid-sized V-6 SUV that is rated to pull 5K lbs. This is the biggest boat I would feel comfortable towing on the highway with a vehicle of this size/power. It tows very well, but I think the extra size and weight of an 18 would be too much to comfortably tow with a mid sized V-6. Before I purchased this boat, I thought an 18 would be no problem, but not now. Go for a full size!


Peter posted 08-19-2003 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I used to tow an 18 Outrage with a Nissan Pathfinder V6 (3500lb towing capacity). It was a little much for the Pathfinder. Upgraded the tow vehicle to a Ford Explorer V8 and it was a world of difference. If you plan to do long distance towing as stated, step up to at least a mid-size truck with a V8 and better yet a full size truck. You will be much safer and more comfortable towing.
kgregg posted 08-19-2003 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for kgregg  Send Email to kgregg     
I tow Outrage 19 and 135 HP outboard with 4.0 liter V6 Ford Explorer. Never had any problems with this setup. Explorer is rated for 3500 lbs and has class II hitch. I just completed 700+ miles round trip tow from Balto MD area to Outer Banks NC. Also kept transmission out of overdrive to give trans a little break. Kevin
JBCornwell posted 08-19-2003 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
What generation Outrage 18 are you planning to tow, Stefan?

I towed a '82 Outrage 18 (2500lb) all over the country with my ML320 V6, including cruising Interstates at 70mph. Never dropped below 3rd gear. This did not include western mountains.

The ML320 is rated for 5,000lb (Brakes over 3,000). I don't think I would want to tow anything bigger any distance.

Red sky at night. . .

Tom W Clark posted 08-19-2003 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Take it form a guy who towed his Outrage 18 for over 10 years without a hiccup: A V-6 will be fine.

I used both a Nissan Pathfinder and a Toyota T-100 (both with relatively small V-6's) to tow my Outrage. Both were excellent tow vehicles, though if you really want to drive 70 or 80 mph on the freeway with your tow, then a V-8 would certainly be a better choice.

DaveS posted 08-19-2003 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveS  Send Email to DaveS     
I guess now is the best time to make a move like this, after much consideration I found a great deal on a Ranger with a V-6 205hp 4.0L engine . Upgrading from my current 4-banger, I'm looking for considerable improvement pulling my Newtauk. I should be picking it up tomorrow!!!

Good luck with whatever you get...


Sal DiMercurio posted 08-19-2003 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
I towed my V-20 for 10 years with a 4x4 toyota 4 banger, with absolutly no problems, just gotta gear her down,....stick shift is better if the vehicle is small.
Hell you can tow it with a motorcycle, it's getting the rig to stop is the trick.
If your trailer dosen't have brakes, better keep "AT LEAST" 10 car lengths behind the car in front of you.
I never tow over 50 mph cause i'v seen some people flying on the freeways at 80 mph with the whole trailer & boat bouncing around like a bucking bronco just looking for a place to come unhitched of fly off, with things flying out of the boat.
stefan posted 08-19-2003 11:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for stefan  Send Email to stefan     
thanks guys,

it's '82 18' outrage, and looks even sided on v-6 vs v-8
but i guess can't go wrong with a v-8. comes down to money after all right?!

Dr T posted 08-19-2003 11:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
In Fla. it won't matter too much. But I would avise on a V8 if you think you will ever have to pull a hill bigger than an ant mound. More torque is better, and bigger engines (at the same HP) tend to have more torque. The only two sixes that I would consider as exceptions to prove the rule are the no-longer-in-production 292 cu. in. I6 from GM and the 300 cu. in. I6 from Ford (or one of the OLD GMC truck V6s). This is not to say that I disagree with JBs choice of vehicles. Mercedes also tend to be exceptions to the rules.

Remember more power and more weight in a tow vehicle provide you more control, and more control translates to more safety.

The question then becomes, how much safety margin do you want to pay for?


Clark Roberts posted 08-20-2003 06:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
The more displacement (read torque) the better no matter number of cyls or configuration. Also, a vehicle with factory tow package has lots of advantages like: factory hitch; heavy duty radiator; heavy duty transmission fluid cooler; steering damper; heavy duty flasher and trailer light wiring/trailer brake connection; heavy duty alternator; heavy duty power steering pump; bigger brakes; bigger tires/rims; heavy duty lug bolts; special rear axle ratio (lower)... and maybe some others ??? A dealer can run the VIN through his computer and tell you what features/options a vehicle has. As mentioned above it's stopping (also emergency handling) that will test tow vehicles abilities. Blah, blah, blah, blah... Happy Whalin'... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
stefan posted 08-20-2003 07:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for stefan  Send Email to stefan     
thanks guys,

i'll look for a v-8 with factory tow package, i'd like to go the used truck route, since i'll only be towing once in awhile. anything i should be looking for with a used truck that has towing miles on it?

Over the LINE posted 08-20-2003 07:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Over the LINE  Send Email to Over the LINE     
Watch out for the "Factory Tow Package". Some of them consisted of a hitch and light wires. When I bought my Tahoe I special ordered (for a lower geared rear end) and I think trans cooler, oversized radiator, etc. were add ons.

When my father was looking for a new truck, I sent him to the dealer, with his boat, to "Test Tow" after all the usual inspect and test drive. The dealer did not have a problem with it.

I currently tow my 13' with either the Tahoe or a Chevy 2500 pickup. Oversized tow vehicles are OK but not the other way around. I've done it the other way around and it scares me to death.

Good Luck

stefan posted 08-20-2003 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for stefan  Send Email to stefan     
thanks for answering all questions guys
one more, bear with me
If i find a good deal on a truck without tow package, having one put on (uhaul) without oversized rad,alt ect..
would that be a problem?
Clark Roberts posted 08-20-2003 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
I would not consider a tow vehicle that didn't have ALL the features I wanted/needed a "good buy" at any price! Could be a matter of life and death or as a minimum loss of boat, trailer and truck... just some thoughts.. Clark ... Safety Division of Spruce Creek Navy
Bigshot posted 08-20-2003 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Stefan....we live in FL. The 18 with a trailer is about biggie. The trans cooler is a nice option....if you get an automatic, 5spd does not use them. The v6 on most trucks is fine but the v8 is better. The v8 however will eat more gas when towing and not towing. The Dodge Dakota is a great truck etc and either engine would work, the V8's burn more gas though. If you plan on towing a couple hours a couple times a year, get what you want and can afford, either will be fine. With 2500lbs the bumper hitch is fine. I towed a 6000lb rig with a 4cyl Toyota Tacoma with a 5spd and a bumper hitch.....don't recommend it but I only went 2-3 miles. Point of story is the bumper was still intact when I returned my lease. 2nd point of story, don't ever buy a lease trade-in that has towed:)
gnr posted 08-20-2003 05:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     
"If i find a good deal on a truck without tow package, having one put on (uhaul) without oversized rad,alt ect..
would that be a problem?"

Depends on the rig. If you have something that is rated well over what you are pulling you will probably be alright. If the rating is not much higher then your trailer weight you will be heating the transmission up everytime and that is a tranny killer.

Aftermarket tranny coolers are not that expensive but if it was me I would get the right rig from the git go.

Be careful in comparing manufacturers. Manufacturere A will sometimes advertise higher HP/torque ratings then Manufacturer B bot will not tell you they don't get these numbers until they reach 6000 rpm which is pretty much useless unless you are drag racing, while manufacturer B gets their max numbers at 3500 rpm which is right where you want it.

Remember that each manufacturer will put a variety ot transmissions and differentials in the same rig so make sure you are getting the heavier duty applications.

For $300.00 to $700.00 you can make improvements to the intake, exhaust and ignition/timing (computer chip) on pretty much any vehicle and make it run the way it should not the way the EPA mandates the manufacturers to build it.

A V6 in the right rig will do just fine but over the long haul there is really no replacement for displacement.

Good Luck

Eric posted 08-20-2003 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
It's true, that "there's no replacement for displacement", with one exception: forced induction. The supercharged 3.4 in my Tacoma pulls like a V8. Without a trailer it's a lot quicker than the average V8 pickup due to the light weight of the truck (closer to a Mustang GT) but that's a disadvantage when it comes to stopping a heavy trailer.
I did a panic stop from 60 mph while fully loaded and towing my 16 like it wasn't even there, but my Cape Horn 19 is another matter.
Dr T posted 08-20-2003 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
If I were to go the low-cost, high value used route just for towing the boat, I would look for an older style (say 1995) F150 with lower miles and the 300 cu. in. I6. Then I would get it carefully checked before buying by a good mechanic. The ball joints and brakes should get special attention. Often, the ball joints in the drive train will be quite worn if the vehicle has been used to tow a substantial amount.

cmarques posted 08-21-2003 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
I've been towing my 160 Dauntless the last few months with a 2003 Ford f-150 v-6 and have been o.k. with it. I don't think it would tow well with any larger boat- It is a 4.2 v6 auto with a 3.55 rear rated to tow 5700 lbs. I've gone from Orlando to the Fl keys with it and out to Sarasota-runs great and smooth about 68 mph will not go over 70 unless foot on floor!! Gets about 10-12 mpg on highway towing. It rides much smoother than the '98 S-10 I replaced it with although the 4.3 auto S-10 with 3.42 rear seemed to pull stronger from a stop and could cruise easily at 75 on highway. I plan on adding a trans cooler soon. My next truck in a few years will probably be a v-8.
Lou posted 08-21-2003 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lou  Send Email to Lou     

Go with the V-8. Any significant towing is always better handled w/ a V-8.

I pulled the largest (tandem-axle) U-haul w/ my 4x4 toyota 4-banger from Mississippi to SC when I moved. (Anything can be done.)

I pulled my father-in-law's Montauk w/ his Nissan 4x4 truck (V-6) and it absolutely sucked. I later bought a Montauk and tow it w/ my chevy 4x4, V-8 and you can't tell it's back there. Also, recently bought an 80's model 18 Outrage and towed it from SC coast to upstate SC w/ full gas tank in boat (nearly 500 extra lbs.) and I was very glad to have a V-8. IMHO, you'll be unhappy w/ the V-6.

Dr T posted 08-21-2003 11:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Interesting about the mileage on the Ford V-6. I am surprised it did that poorly down on the flatlands. That V-6 has the bore and stroke as the 5.4 V-8.

For comparison, I have a 1999 F150 supercab 4x4 with 3.73 gears. I usually get about 14 mpg pulling my 13 on the highway and about 17 solo on the highway in West Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado with towing speeds about 65 - 70.

alkar posted 08-22-2003 01:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
I vote for the V8 too. It'll still be up to the job if you get a case of two-foot-itis in a year or two :)

My wife has an F-150 V8 and it's a wonderful little truck. We use it to tow our boat when the big truck is otherwise occupied and it does a wonderful job. The gas mileage isn't great, but it isn't significantly worse that the same truck with a V6.

Perry posted 08-22-2003 03:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I towed my whaler (3000 lbs with trailer) with my Ranger for almost a year. I added 4.10 gears to help with pulling. It towed it ok but stopping was a problem. I now have a 2000 f-150 4X4 super cab with 4.6l V8 and 3.55 gears and tow package. I can barely tell it is back there and stopping is no problem especially after I added Raybestos Brute Stop pads. I say any full size truck with a large V6 will be sufficient but a V8 will be better.
ShrimpBurrito posted 08-22-2003 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Lou - Were you towing that 18 Outrage with a something like an F-150 V8 or a Ford Explorer V8?
Gene in NC posted 08-23-2003 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Gene in NC  Send Email to Gene in NC     
Towing - Pulling vs Stopping
Which is more important:
Pulling as though "there is nothing back there", or
Safely stopping from highway speed in "stop or crash emergency"?
Knot at Work posted 08-23-2003 09:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
I let my 17 Montauk push my Silverado 4x4 up hills even and over bridges... Whaler pushes the Chevy to the Levy with no problems


Tom2697 posted 08-23-2003 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
Almost any truck will be able to "tow" that boat. In highschool, I used my '82 Datsun 4-banger 4x4 to pull my father's 4500lb boat when his vehicle wasn't available. The right gears and a little bit of horsepower will move almost anything. (Pulled the boat out of the water with 4-Low. Dragged the boat home with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears.) Stopping is another story. Unless you have brakes on the trailer, I would recommend going with the heaviest truck you can find. The heavier the truck, the less you will feel that trailer bouncing along behind you. Plus, the brakes and tranny are usually already better suited for the task.

As for how I tow my 18 Outrage (no trailer brakes), I use a '71 V-8 Ford Bronco or an '02 V-6 Olds Bravada. The Bravada stops better, gets better mileage, and is more comfortable but the Bronco looks better...Imagine that!

Lou posted 08-23-2003 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lou  Send Email to Lou     
my chevy is a Z-71 w/ about a 325 ci V-8. So, it would be much more like a Ford F-150 level V-8. I think it has somewhere in the neighborhood of 285 ponies or so.
Dick posted 08-23-2003 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I tow my Montauk with a 1997 Ford F-150 short bed flair side. 4.6L V-8, 4 speed auto and 3.55 limited slip axel. I have added a K & N intake system and a Borla cat back exhaust system. Towing is no problem and I average 15 mpg. Normal stopping is not a problem but with a panic stop trailer brakes sure would be nice.

As others have said towing is the least of the problem it's the stopping that realy counts.


SpeedBump posted 08-24-2003 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
I have a similar set up as Dick, '97 F-150 XLT flairside, super cab. the big difference is I have a 4.2 V-6 and ordered the tow package when new. A great upgrade at minimal cost. Trans cooler, beffy rear end, limited slip diff,and HD rear suspension,type III frame mounted tow bar, electronics for Brakes, the whole enchalada. have not had any problems pulling 17' whaler hulls, and have hauled up to 22' sailboats with it on heavy trailers. hell I used to use a mazda B-2000 pick up and a peugeout 504 to haul my boats around and one trailer had tandem axels and weighed the proverbial ton. But we have all done foolish things when we were younger haven't we..

only changes I would consider if I had to do it again is get the V-8 and a trailer with brakes. overall gas mileage would be about the same, the V-6 hasn't proven to be as economical as advertised. More importantly consider getting a trailer equiped with brakes. As others have said it is a lot harder to stop in a panic situation than to get moving out of the ramp or in traffic, etc. once you are rolling the issue comes to stopping safely, given the size of boat your considering pulling around brakes wont be that much of an issue with a well ballanced rig..

and to answer your question, Yes you should be OK with a V-6 Dakota.

HAPPYJIM posted 08-24-2003 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Go with the biggest truck you can afford. The new 4 door crew cab's are great! Get one with all the towing options.
If you tow for a 2 hour trip, it will be much more comfortable.

The extra doors are nice for the rest of the crew too.
The bed can hold a lot of coolers and with a lockable truck box, secure storage is right there at your finger tips.

I can pull a 25' Revenge full canvas, with no problem, with my 1 ton, 4 door, GMC Dually.

I have pulled a Montalk and a 19' Outrage and could barely feel them back there.

I get 15-17mpg and people respect me, I am big!

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