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Towing a 20' boat at 8K feet with the 3.6?

2367 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  subiesailor
Hello all. I am in the market for a new boat, which requires a new vehicle. This vehicle will double as a daily driver. I put about 18K miles per year on my vehicle via "normal" (non-towing) driving and I plan to tow a boat about 3k miles per year.

The boat I am interested in is a Lund Alaskan. It has a dry weight of 1300 pounds. Estimated weight with trailer ( wet, loaded to the gills with gear) is 2700 pounds. The aerodynamics of the boat are obviously in my favor as compared to say a travel trailer. Normally I wouldn't hesitate towing this load with an Outback, but the altitude has me worried.

Would you be comfortable towing this load in the Rockies a couple dozen times per year? I really don't want to step up to a Honda Ridgeline (my second all-purpose choice), but I will if the consensus advises so.

18K miles per year with an EPA-guided mileage differential suggests I'll save about 1100 bucks a year in gas if I go with the Outback. I'm also under the impression that the Outback will significantly outperform the Ridgeline in Colorado winter conditions. So if the Outback won't cut it... lie?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
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The 3.0 liter 6 cylinder vehicles problem lies in cooling - not engine, transmission, braking. I would research and verify the 3.6 isn't similar in that regard, i doubt it's cooling capacity is much different than the 3.0, that's how Subaru designs and builds stuff - they don't change very much. Subaru's = Lego's.

I have a recent thread about towing a 950 pound boat (and trailer, gear, etc - 2,000+ pounds no doubt). It was not even close to being able to go up the grades - it was running hot. Had to be very careful about speed, could not run A/C (really sweet at 97 degrees and humid) and had to run the heat on HIGH to dump enough heat to keep it from overheating.

I am not sure so you should check but my suspicions would be that the 3.6 engine doesn't have much different cooling capacity.

If you're not climbing grades it's far less of an issue - you can tow twice the limit of the car - but if yo'ure pulling grades in high heat, A/C, with a load (people, gear, gas, trailer, batteries, etc) - I'd be worried about the cooling limits being pushed.

Which really sucks because there's no way to measure that or verify what it "can" and "can not" do.
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