Author Topic: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat  (Read 553 times)

Offline jdklaser

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2017, 09:09:37 AM »
Another vehicle to keep an eye on is the Ford Ranger   6 cyl.  4x4

Offline Sunapee Sailing

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2017, 09:36:42 AM »
I find that the Ford Rangers are so expensive though.
A great little truck though.
Dreaming of a SunCat
A Horizon Cat would be great too.

Offline Bilgemaster

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2017, 11:20:56 AM »
My towbeast's a '99 Dodge Durango 4WD with the Magnum 5.9 V8--the venerable old Chrysler LA 360 that Mopar's been turning out since the mid-'60s. You can get these old Mark I beasts (1996-2003?) all day long for under $2,000. Mine was $1,500. Lousy gas mileage (maybe 12 mpg at best), but she'll tug a tree stump out by its roots and then down the road and through the drive-thru window if you suddenly then fancy a Filet-O-Fish. I imagine she might tug a little parade of suncats behind her like they're not even there. Unlike later Durangos, the Mark I series was built on a truck frame, so she tracks rugged and true...very "trucklike". There's seating for seven, with flip-down seats, so there's oodles of room for all my random nautical crap--Mine's basically a rolling workshop and tool and supplies shed. Other folks in the boat lot have long since clued into the fact that I'm like a rolling chandlery. Toss one of those little fussbucket Harbor Freight 2-stroker generators that often go on sale for just $88 into the rear passenger side footwell, and you've always got power for hand tools, buffers, battery charging and whatnot. Lob a big office cooler sized water bottle with a handle in its side into the other rear footwell, and you've always got some handy water on the spot.

Mind you, as well as the little Com-Pac 16, I've also got to tug a 26 foot Macgregor 26X and the occasional car trailer around.  With your little Suncat, you'll be able to handily get away with quite a bit less oomph than a V8 Durango provides.  If you do look at Durangos, pay special attention to the transmission.  Any slippage or less than absolutely perfect shifting, or if the tranny fluid smells "burnt": look elsewhere.  Run, Forrest, RUN! Sloppy ball joints are another very common issue with the breed, but easily and very cheaply remedied, and shouldn't necessarily be a deal killer...just a dramatic negotiation point as you wobble the wheel around wildly with mutterings of "Man, I wonder if this heap would even make it to my driveway."  Some Durangos reportedly had problems with the engines "sludging up", though these seemed mostly to be the ones with the newer little 4.7 engines, and one can't help wondering if poor oil change maintenance may not often have been the culprit.  By now, looking at older Mark I type Durangos or Dakota pickups, anything 15 to 20 years old like that which ever had sludge issues to begin with, most likely wouldn't still be on the road anyhow.  Still, a couple-few oil-and-filter changes with maybe a half quart to a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil instead of engine oil when you first get her and then maybe once or twice at 1,000 miles or so with a fresh filter each time, and with the maybe 6 to 8 ounces of the Marvel in the gas tank with each fillup (4 oz. per 10 gallons), and her innards will all clean up nicely and above all gently (i.e., without causing a sludge stroke in her oilways, as more aggressive measures such as kerosene-based engine cleaners are likelier to elicit).

Older Ford Expeditions, Chevy Suburbans and nice old "conversion vans" with "If this van's a-rockin', don't bother knockin'" bumper stickers also make for good tow vehicles for the necessarily budget-minded. Whatever you fancy, you would do well to get one with a factory tow package, which has the extra or bigger tranny fluid cooler...especially if you're hoping to hit distant boat ramps with mountains in the way.

Happy Hunting!...And here's a shot of my low-budget tow beast next to the Mac26X (Sorry about the image size):




« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 08:20:18 AM by Bilgemaster »

Offline kickingbug1

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2017, 11:46:17 AM »
    think gear ratios. for a rear drive dont go any higher than a 3.42 . i think the 3.73 ratio positrack is best. that is what i have in my siverado. even though it just has a 4.3 6cl and just 200 hp it easily tows my catalina 18 at about 2500 lbs and with an 8 foot bed carries everything i might possibly need
oday 14 daysailor, chrysler musketeer cat, chrysler mutineer, com-pac 16-1 "kicknbug" renamed "audrey j", catalina capri 18 "audrey j"

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2017, 12:57:15 PM »
"2013 RAM 2500 6.7 Cummins turbo-Diesel.
900 ft lbs of torque.

What boat?"


That was supposed to be a joke.  As in... I didn't know the SunCat was back there!

Actually I also use the RAM for towing a 5th wheel, for which it's actually more appropriate.


Offline Bilge Rat

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2017, 01:27:03 PM »
'98 Grand Cherokee 4X4 with straight six (tractor engine).  Original owner with 235K miles and counting.
The Grand Cherokee was an extremely popular SUV in the 90's and there are still a lot out there in the used market. 

'09 Sun Cat, '06 Catalina 16.5, '00 Lido 14, '84 Holder 14

Offline DanM

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2017, 07:26:22 AM »
We pull our Suncat with a 2011 Toyota Highlander, 6 cyl engine. Tows very comfortably although admittedly I have not done any long trips.

Offline Sunapee Sailing

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2017, 10:29:31 PM »
DanM:
I was wondering if a Highlander would do the job.
Thanks for the info.
Dreaming of a SunCat
A Horizon Cat would be great too.

Offline HeaveToo

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2017, 02:34:32 PM »
my Toyota Tacoma pulls my Compac 23 with no issues.

Check the rated towing weight of the vehicles.  If the total package is under the weight of the LOADED boat and trailer you are good
Døyr fe, døyr frender
Døyr sjølv det sama
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr
vinn du et gjetord gjevt

Offline Sunapee Sailing

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2017, 04:14:58 PM »
A 4 door, 6 cylinder Tacoma is my first choice.
However my pocket book says "No way".
Dreaming of a SunCat
A Horizon Cat would be great too.

Offline HeaveToo

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2017, 04:32:09 PM »
Get a used one, there is a ton of them on the market. 

That being said, Toyota run forever but they are expensive as hell to maintain.  I wouldn't do the Tacoma again, I would do a F-150.

Why not a Ford F-150?  Great truck, good pulling power, plenty of them around.
Døyr fe, døyr frender
Døyr sjølv det sama
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr
vinn du et gjetord gjevt

Offline Sunapee Sailing

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2017, 08:22:13 PM »
Hi HeaveToo,
I like the F-150.
 Years ago,  I bought a 4 door with 199,000. miles on it for $3,500.
Great truck until old man rust took it away from me. I would have no problem buying another.
Dreaming of a SunCat
A Horizon Cat would be great too.

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2017, 04:59:24 PM »
My thinking on this is don't get the least vehicle that will do the job.  A smaller tow vehicle will strain harder and can actually get worse mileage than a larger more powerful truck/SUV doing the same job. 

"I wish I had less power," said no one ever.

Ron

Offline Sunapee Sailing

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2017, 06:04:36 AM »
Good idea, Ron
"Go bigger or go home".
I like the looks of the Ford Sport Trac. Half truck/ half SUV. Can tow about 5K lbs.
 That should do it. (Even if I move up to a Horizon Cat someday).
Susan
Dreaming of a SunCat
A Horizon Cat would be great too.

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Tow Vehicle for a SunCat
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2017, 07:57:16 PM »
Susan,

Be Careful. The Ford SportTrac has a bad reputation of instability and rollovers.  Due to short wheelbase and high center of gravity.

The longer the wheelbase the better a tow vehicle.  Rides over bumps without transmitting it to the passengers and spreads out the load better.

Ron