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

2366 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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I tow an 18.5 ft Lund Tyee with my 3.6. I’ve estimated my weight at 2700 lbs as well. No problems at all, I think it pulls it easier then my 5.2L Dodge Dakota and it should, they have almost the same horsepower and torque ratings. I’ve pulled it through the Texas hill country at 105 degrees, and it held 60 on the upgrades with no problem at all. It downshifted to fourth and it wasn’t even close to floored. The Texas hill country, however, is not the Rockies’. I would think it would really work on some of the long steep grades to hold speed but so would almost any vehicle. Put a transmission cooler on and make sure you’ve got trailer brakes. Our boats weigh almost as much as the Subaru. I actually think the weight, structural integrity and cooling capacity of the Outback are the limiting factors for the 3.6’s towing capacity.
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