Stuu

2wd vs 4wd Toyota 4Runners for small boat towing/launching.

13 posts in this topic

Would love to hear peoples opinion: In Florida, need a new (used) vehicle, and since a very small boat/ trailer (16ft for example) is hopefully in my near future, I figure I’d get something that is capable of doing that. I also want (my wife wants) the convenience of a SUV body over a pickup. So, I figured a used 4Runner with 4x4 would be perfect. Looking around, 2x4 are easily available and cheaper, but the 4x4 are few and far between, and of course, more money. 

The salesmen are trying to talk me into a 4x2, saying I don’t need the 4x4 for “Florida ramps with a small boat”

Please give opinions on the advantages of 4x4 for boat ramp launching, and if you agree with the salesmen that a 4x2 4Runner would be “more then enough” for towing and launching.

Thank you, Stu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4X4 is nice if you're on a slimy/weedy paved launch or a rutted up unpaved launch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with the salesman in regards to Florida boat ramps and that size boat. The 4X4's are nice to have for the very rare "just in case" scenarios. Mostly unnecessary though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its all good until you get sliding on that algae covered ramp or the unimproved sand ramp. Go 4x4 or all AWD or go home.  My Opinion anyway.

And yes I do launch at ramps in FL every winter and the Port Canaveral ramp I would not go near without working 4x4 or AWD.

My FL tow vehicle is a 1999 Chevy Astro AWD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lived in FL for about 10 years.  Had a 2WD SUV myself.  With no snow and not a ton of beaches to drive on they are pretty common down there, so I'm sure the salesperson has greater inventory.  Had a few boats we used at work and usually 2WD was fine.  As others have said, some steep,slimy ramps can sometimes  be a hassle.  My limited experience suggest that if the boat and trailer is light (I'm a fan of aluminum float on trailers for small skiffs) and it's a real ramp that is concrete into the water you're usually OK.  It's when you're on a bad ramp or off the end in the sand you need 4WD,  It's a bad feeling sliding down a ramp. If it was a 2WD SUV, I'd favor the front wheel drive ones just due to better traction up on the ramp vs drive wheels down at the waters edge.

 

Also, not all 16ft boats and trailer combos are not the same.  Think 16ft john boat on an aluminum trailer vs heavy old fiberglass boat on a beefy steel trailer.

Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boat ramps and 2WD are not a great mix.  I had to get a few guys to sit in the bed once to get up a ramp.  If I had been alone, it would have been a problem.  After that, I never bought another 2WD truck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with rathrbefishn's opinion on 2wd.  I understand about the front wheel drive being further away from the waters edge but I think you want the tongue weight on the rear wheel drive for better traction on the ramp. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, YakDawg said:

I disagree with rathrbefishn's opinion on 2wd.  I understand about the front wheel drive being further away from the waters edge but I think you want the tongue weight on the rear wheel drive for better traction on the ramp. 

That's something I hadn't thought about.  I was thinking engine weight over the drive axles and tires more likely on a dry section of the ramp, but you raise an interesting point. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/16/2018 at 8:52 PM, z-man said:

4X4 is nice if you're on a slimy/weedy paved launch or a rutted up unpaved launch.

This is the first thing that came to my mind, when reading the OP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again, found a 2015 4Runner SR5 4X4. Should have it by Monday.

 

As mentioned, just want that extra security, when and if I ever need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stick with the 4x4. You will need it a year from now when you decide you need a 

bigger boat.    And you will.....Its in the boat Bible. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.