Choosing a Tow Vehicle? A Few Things to Keep in Mind

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towing boats

Towing multiple boats with multiple trucks offers some insight.

If you regularly tow a boat, sooner or later you’ll be faced with choosing a new tow vehicle. Recently I had the chance to park my truck for a week, and tow a number of different boats with a different (and brand new) truck. Even though I’ve always been 100-percent happy with my truck, I learned a few things that will stick in my mind, when I choose the next one.

towing boats

Towing multiple boats with multiple trucks offers some insight.

Comfort Counts. Sure, my truck is comfortable. But the new seats—oooh, it was like sitting in a La-Z-Boy. And while I hate to think that such a superficial thing counts for so much, the fact of the matter is that during one three-hour tow, it made a heck of a big difference on my back.

Using a vehicle with far more tow capacity than needed is the way to go. Sure, you can tow to your maximum. But the new truck was rated for much more than my usual one, and when towing the exact same boat, made it much easier to do things like merge, and accelerate uphill. When at all possible, get more power (like I had to tell you that…right?)

Self-leveling suspension systems are awesome. As I wound down the jack and the truck took the load its self-adjusting shocks kept the truck level, which helped it drive a whole lot better.

Getting a multiple-hitch receiver is the way to go. We towed three different boats during the week, and had to change between 2″ and 1 7/8″ balls several times. Flipping the bar around, as opposed to storing and hunting for multiple receivers, made life a lot easier.

If you regularly haul with more than one person aboard, spend the extra money for a full-sized crew cab and two more doors. Good gravy, it makes life easier when guys are piling in and out of the truck.

Big, integrated tow mirrors beat the aftermarket add-ons by a mile. If they’re an option when you choose your next tow vehicle, make sure to check the box.

So, which brand would I recommend? Whichever makes you happy. My truck is a Tundra, the demo I had was a Ram 1500, and both are absolutely excellent, IMHO. Some guys love Fords and others swear by Chevy. Nothing I write in this blog is going to change anyone’s mind. But when you next look at whatever brand you like to drive, keep these things in mind. In the long run, you’ll be a happier boater.

 

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