What's your tow vehicle?

Interested in cruising in smaller boats? If your boat is trailerable or under, say, 32 feet LOA, here's the place to trade experiences, ask questions or just hang.

What's your tow vehicle?

Postby captainbobc » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:50 pm

I would be interested in knowing what others are using to tow their boats. I originally was using a 2006 F350 dually that was also my business vehicle. Since I retired, I have downsized as they say, and now own a 1989 E350 dually that is a retired ambulance. I bought it as a cab and chassis as the po had removed the box from the back leaving an open cab. I found a cab back...off of a U-haul van and now it has an enclosed cab. I am in the process of adding leather reclining seats from a Chrysler van, new carpet, headliner, accelerator cable, new tires, 3 glow plugs, custom hitch, etc. On the first test pull, I found that I had tons of torque with the 7.3 International diesel but haven't made a run on the interstate with the full rig yet.
I am sure it will be just what I want.
Shaping up.........
reduced van.jpg
reduced van.jpg (76.17 KiB) Viewed 4816 times
Bob Clinkenbeard
Custom Trailer Trawler
"Bobbin Along"
User avatar
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:45 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: What's your tow vehicle?

Postby thataway4 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:22 pm

Nothing as exotic as the retired ambulance--great choice! Our primary tow vehicle is a 2001 Ford Excursion with the 7.3 diesel. The Tom Cat on the trailer weighs in somewhere about 10,000 lbs, and the C Dory 25 at about 7500 lbs (these are scale weights, with 10% hitch weights--equalizer weight distributing hitch--we still are using surge brakes, but will probably go to electric over hyraulic). We have towed the C Dory about 7500 miles with this rig. We enjoy the carrying capacity of the large SUV, and keep an air mattress in the back on one side, so I can nap, while the Admiral drives. There is still plenty of room for our grear.

Last summer we had occasion to use our 2000 Holiday Rambler RV (30 foot on a Ford chassis--V 10 engine) as a tow vehicle. We upgraded the transmission and torque converter, as well as beefing up the hitch and back of the frame. We towed the C Dory 25 2500 miles with this rig, including all of Interstate 5 N to S. The biggest problem with this rig, was that the over all length was just over 65 feet. Parking and finding RV spaces was a problem. Launching (even solo) was not a problem. Normally we don't need the RV, since we "camp" in the boat. Just this last week, I used my 1993 Dodge 3500 (1 ton) Road Trek as a tow vehicle for the C Dory 25, and it worked well, but I would be reluctant to do any major grades with this rig. The rated tow capacity is 6800 lbs--and we were pushing that, if not over. Also it has the smaller V8, and the Dodge transmissions have not been their strong points.

One other modifciation we have made is to hook up the 12 volt circuit of the tow vehicle with a 30 amp circuit to the house batteries of the boat. This keeps the refigrator battery well charged on the road. We also put a second back up camera on the top of the cabin of the boat--thus giving us good visability all of the way aft; both on the highway, and when launching. The moniter is a 7" LCD in the truck cab.
Bob Austin
Pensacola, FL, Dana Pt. Calif.
Tom Cat 255--twin 150 suzuki
C Dory 25 Single 130 Honda
Century 18 single 115 Yahama
Tow vehicle Ford Excursion 7.3L diesel
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:22 pm

Re: What's your tow vehicle?

Postby Doryman » Fri May 22, 2009 11:36 am

Very cool conversion. Are you building a camper in the box?

In a related vein, I am curious whether those boxy delivery vans such as used for delivering bread, etc. would make good tow vehicles.

"Lori Ann" 25.5' C-Dory Tom Cat with twin Yamaha 150s for cruising
"C-Puffin" 22' C-Dory with twin Honda 40s for fishing
2008 GMC Sierra Duramax crew cab
Anacortes, WA
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 11:30 am

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