Boat towing question Boat towing question
Bass Fishing Home PageTM    Boats and Motors  


Boating Equip.
Tackle Shops
Fishing Acc.


Fishing Reports
BFHP Articles
Fishing News
Fishing Tactics
Places to Fish
Boat Ramp Stories
Other Topics
Other Fishing Topics
Swap/Sell (no boats)
Props 4 Sale

Boats 4 Sale
Saltwater Fishing
Striped Bass
Lure Making
OBX Wildlife Photos
More Politics

Boats and Motors

    Boat towing question
from Billy (  
3/7/2007 3:25:00 PM


 I have a 2006 Toyota mini van. It is not the 4x4 version. 6 cylinda. 225 horse power. 2200 lb towing capacity. I am wondering if anyone tow the bass boat on their mini van. If I get a 17-19 foot fiber glass bass boat (they should be less than 2000 lb), am I gonna have problem towing it? Other than install the hitch ball on the back, do I need transmission cooler system installed? If I don't want spend extra money for the transmission cooler system, what is most reasonable boat I can tow on this mini van? (17-19 aluminum?)


Rate this message:
1 Star

2 Star

3 Star

4 Star

5 Star

   Not sure how you decide from Gene  3/7/2007 3:42:00 PM
but its the stopping it, or lack there of, not the towing, that is the most dangerous. Trailer brakes maybe. What about wet steep ramps?? What about an Al boat?

   towing from irv (  3/7/2007 3:43:00 PM
transmissions are expensive I would without question get the tranny cooler, go to pep boys it isn't that high. I think a 17-19 foot fibrglass boat will exeed 2500 lbs towing weight. It isn't just the power but cooling capacity brake capacity and transmission capacity to consider aluminum should be ok.

   Easy>>> from Mark (  3/7/2007 4:20:00 PM
sell the minivan buy a used truck for much less and add the difference of what you were going to spend on the boat for a bigger better boat. 2 birds with one stone.

   Towing from travkeg (  3/7/2007 5:20:00 PM

I used to pull a 17.5 ft Nitro with mine (company vehicle). It pulled it just fine but I would reccomend a tranny cooler if pulling it any distance. Upgraded to a 18.5 ft Ranger and it was too heavy for the van so I pull it with the Trailblazer now. If you could sell the van and get a used truck that is the way to go. Good luck.

   Weight is way off... from TrepMan (  3/7/2007 5:36:00 PM
"17-19 foot fiber glass bass boat (they should be less than 2000 lb), " I tow my 17ft 115 merc Nitro glass boat with my minivan, and i'd estimate my boat weighs 2,500lbs at a minimum.

Are you sure the Toyota only has a 2,200lb capacity? All the v-6 minivan's i've owned ('96 Mercury, '99 Honda and '03 Kia) all have 3500lb max capacitities. I'd DEFINETLY get the auxilliary trany cooler.

If the van realy only has a 2200lb capacity, i would not tow anything bigger then a 16ft with a 40hp. my 2000 17ft Tracker with a 40 Merc weighed close to 2000lb. loaded.

All that said, i have had ZERO issue with the 3 minivans and 2 17ft boats (one Aluminium and one glass bass boat).


   I can not sell the van... from Billy (  3/7/2007 5:39:00 PM
I bought it 01/01/06 in cash. The van only has 4000 miles on it. It is a family car. I would lose big if I sell it. I have the money to buy the most expensive bass boat in cash and a truck in cash. But, I have family. This is the first priority. I don't want spent most of our saving on a bass rig. Wife will definitely not approve it. I am thinking at some point of time, I can buy a 17 foot bass boat (new for aluminum or used, no need for big motor)in $10K range that will not cause to much trouble between family priority and wife's opinion. You see, I work on it whenever I have a chance. I try to convince her that our van can tow the boat. But she told me that she never see a van towing boat on the road. That means, we have to get a truck just for the boat, which is NO, NO. In reality, I don't really know if my van can tow it with 2200 lb vechicle towing capacity.

   Wrong about the towing capacity... from Billy (  3/7/2007 5:42:00 PM
I checked again, Toyota Sienna towing is 3500 lb.

   Towing from c rosseyed rattlebass (  3/7/2007 6:28:00 PM
I have a TR 186 with 150 HP. I weighed the boat and it weighed 3450 lbs. I had a Ford inline six without a limited slip axle. If the ramp was wet I would spin tires. I assume your mini van is FWD. The weight in the back of the van will make traction on the front of the van almost non-existent. Just something to consider. Now I have a 1500 HD 4WD. This is much better.

If the boat trailer does not have brakes that prevent the boat from traveling backwards when pulling it out of the water, then you will slide into the water when the tires spin.

I recommend you buy a used truck with limited slip axle or an used small SUV (TailBlazer) that has a towing package. This may save you money in the long run.

   The first thing to do from A man (  3/7/2007 7:41:00 PM
The first thing to do is take that skirt off that you're wearing and give it back to your wife. Now take the pants that she's wearing and put them on. Now go buy your boat and truck. Problem solved

   If you can stick to an aluminum.. from Toonafish  3/7/2007 7:48:00 PM
you won't have any problems towing with your van. You still need to get the tranny cooler though. I have tried to tow a 19 foot glass Skeeter with the wifes Montana and almost didn't get it off the ramp one wet and rainy day. That did for me. Went out and bought a truck the next week.

Tin boats are much lighter and shouldn't present a problem. BTW- Toyota makes a great van !

   A man from Stratosdad (  3/7/2007 8:07:00 PM
A Man AMEN that was some funny S__t

   Allison maybe from shane (  3/7/2007 8:32:00 PM
If you are looking for a light rig, check out a 20' Allison with a single axel trailer. Or maybe an 18' Blazer. Most 17' boats weigh more than a 20' Allison.


   Van Towing Boat ! from BassAckward (  3/7/2007 8:55:00 PM
Billy , just last year I was waiting at a steep ramp for my turn to take out. I watched a mini van slide down the ramp and ended up in ten feet of water. Front wheel drive is a no/no when pulling boats up wet ramps.

   Get a tin boat from br549 (  3/8/2007 1:15:00 AM
Once in a while I will pull my 18 foot tin 90 hp with the wife's Honda Odessey. It also has a 3,500 tow limit. I put on a tranny cooler and a p/s cooler as recommended by the manufacturer - prob overkill but I plan on keeping the van for a while. Have had no problems - just keep it out of overdrive. You can also install airbags if you get close to the max weight.

   towing from 20_lb_sack (  3/8/2007 7:48:00 AM
It doesn't matter because you need permission to even get a boat. Maybe a nice pontoon would fit you better.

   Decide what you want from Berry (  3/8/2007 10:02:00 AM
I don't see anything about the type of water you will be fishing. If you will not be fishing big water, an aluminum boat will be lighter and just fine. These also usually have smaller engines, also lighter. A 16 ft with a 40, you won't hardly know it is back there. A-Man- dude, ya gotta point, but you know, some people might like to wear that kinda stuff if ya now what I mean.

   Thanks for the information... from Billy (  3/8/2007 10:40:00 AM
I will use the boat in small lake, reservior, pond. I can't see anyone of them I will visit regularly is no bigger than 500 acre. Maybe once in a great while visit some big lake like (Wini in NH). I tell ya, yesterday afternoon, my finger was on the "place a bid" buttom on ebay. I saw a very very nice 2000 triton 17 foot at $6900 and no reserve. There was about 10 minutes left. I swear I would place a bid up to $8000 if I can "steal" it last minutes. Well that boat sold for $9500 in the end. Some of you may comment about "permission' to buy the boat...blablabla...I am not sure you are married and for how long, how you couple manage the monthly income, etc. Here, in my house, yes, I do need "permission"---a OK from my wife. I know I need a boat very bad. But the boat is only bring me the pleasure to fishing. Therefore, I can not be that selfish without consider other's feeling. On the other hand, if she goes out and spend 15K, bought herself a 2 carte diamond ring, I would be upset too because I see this ring has no value in the family. My wife does not spend money. She try to save every bit she can for the rainny day and kids college money. She told me don't look the boat too much because she feel bad she can't agree to buy one for the time being. I know in the near future she will agree (not sure it is 100% or partial agree)that I can have a boat and I know the dollar limit. That is why I want make sure the van can tow a 17 foot tin boat at least. If the van can not do the job, then I can forget about getting a boat. Thanks for understanding....

Regards, Billy

   Tin boat & minivan from John (  3/8/2007 12:36:00 PM

You shouldn't have a single problem with towing with that van. I have a '95 Mercury Villager w/ a 3.0 v6 only putting out about 155 hp. I tow a 17'9" aluminum boat w a 50 hp, side console & fully decked. Reading my manuals (hull weight,motor weight,trailer weight) I est. the whole rig weighs about 2200lbs w/ gas. The van is rated for 3500lbs as well. I have no problems whatsoever, even pulling out on wet, steep ramps (I run the best Yokohama tires, which does help). I even towed this thing to Canada (600+ miles) and avg. almost 19 mpg (and that's with two guys in the van & all of our supplies for a week). Stopping does take a little longer, but I always leave lots of room for braking & I never get into a rush while towing. I needed a van as well, with having three small chidren. I'd love to have a truck, but it's not practical at this point. Besides, both the van & boat are paid for....that's always a nice feeling going down the road. Most times, I go to a lake that's only about 20 minutes away so it's not like I'm towing a few hundred miles a week. In short, it works well. I would think that you would be happy as well.

BTW, I also bought my boat on Ebay from someone about 50 miles away 3 years ago. It was a good experience & I got a really, really good deal. Don't listen to some of these other guys here about needing "permission"....a purchase such as this is a "family decision" and should be treated as such....I've been married a little over 10 years & believe in the "partnership" of the marriage.

Go get the tranny cooler and a good hitch, buy the boat & be happy!


   Trailer weight from Rob (  3/16/2007 9:55:00 PM

I have been looking into the same thing and what I read recently was very interesting. I learned that a vehicle's tow rating isn't the only number to be concerned with for towing.

Many V-6 vehicles are often limited to towing trailers less than 2000 pounds, even with an overall tow rating of 3500 pounds unless you use additional equipment to increase trailer stability and control. That includes weight-distribution hitches and and anti-sway control devices. Your typical Class II or III hitch/receiver combo is not considered a "weight-distribution" hitch, it is considered a "weight-carrying" type hitch.

What "weight-carrying" towing capacity means is the maximum weight a vehicle can tow when the trailer is attached to the ball of a standard (i.e. Class III) hitch reciever which bears all the weight of the tongue. That is the type just about every fishermen uses.

The "weight-distribution" trailer towing capacity is the maximum weight a vehicle can tow using a weight-distribution hitch. This type includes extra steel bars and chains which help distribute the trailer weight more evenly across the vehicle's front and rear axles.

A vehicle's weight-distribution towing capacity will ALWAYS BE HIGHER than its weight-carrying capacity. If you exceed the your vehicle manufacturer's towing guidelines, you may be on your own when it comes to warranty claims or towing-related accident claims.

So in short, your Sienna may actually have a lower weight rating than 3500 pounds when using the standard type II or III receiver/hitch which I assume you have on the Toyota. The actual details of what your vehicle can tow, "weight-carrying" versus "weight-distribution" should be found in your owners manual.

For example, on a 2007 4WD TrailBlazer inline 6 cylinder, the "weight-carrying" limit is 4000 pounds with a 400 pound tongue limit. "Weight-distribution" hitches are required for trailer weights over 4000 pounds. The maximum trailer weights for the Trailblazer's are from 5200 to 6200 pounds. So at first glance, it looks as if 5200 to 6200 pounds are A-OK for a typical hitch until you read the notes. The nice thing is, the Trailblazer info was right in the sales brochure in the towing section and it was very easy to find. My hats off to Chevy.

Also, I highly recommend puchasing Bass & Walleye Boats magazine. There is an excellent article on this topic in the March 2007's where I found the information above on towing.

One more thing to remember. When figuring out your boat's weight, include the boat hull weight, motor, oil, gas, trailer, and all the "stuff" you store in your boat. You'll be surprised on how much weight it adds. I found a local recycling center with a drive-on scale and weighed my boat there. It was much more than the typical "hull" weight you see in the sales brochure.

Hope that helped. Good luck with your boat shopping and have fun on the water!




Can't remember your password? Click here!
Email Address:

Users with subscriptions can attach pictures to their comments by using the form at"




Advertising/Sponsor Information

Register to post messages and reports


Subscribers don't receive these ads

Fishing Reports
BFHP Articles
Fishing News
Upcoming Events
Rally Page
BFHP Surveys
Fishing Tactics
Places to Fish
Other Topics
Product Evaluations

Boat Ramp Stories
Trailers & Towing
Boats For Sale
Tournament Tactics
Striped Bass

Fly Fishing
Saltwater Fishing
Non-Fishing 2
Political Hook
Tall Tales, Fiction & Legend
Complete Listing of Boards
Copyright © WMI, Inc. 1995-2017. All rights reserved.
This message board created and maintained by: WebMasters International, Inc. (WMI) address mail to

WMI disclaimer
Privacy Statement