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Tow Vehicle requirements for a FD 226

grimes01 Member Posts: 4

I'm considering buying a used FD 226, but I'm a little worried about being able to tow one.  I've got a 2006 Honda Odyssey with the towing package.  It is rated for a 3500 pound towing capacity and has 244hp.  Can anyone tell me if this would work (aside from not looking cool).  I've seen an approximate wet weight of 3100 pounds so I'm thinking it may push the upper limits, but just be good enough.


Best Answers


  • Capt_Steve
    Capt_Steve Member Posts: 416 admin
    Checking on the towing recommendations for you, grimes. And no wise cracks about the "cool" factor!
  • Capt_Steve
    Capt_Steve Member Posts: 416 admin
    Good personal experience, Nelson...thanks!
  • grimes01
    grimes01 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the great info!  We would mostly be towing to various lakes within a 2hr radius of home.  We live in eastern NC so it is pretty flat driving.  We tow a Coleman pop up camper that is just north of 3000 pounds all over the place (mountains, flat lands), but it does have electric brakes and a sway bar.  The van is front wheel drive so I wouldn't dream of using it on a soft launch ramp.  Every place I can think of around here has paved pads.

    Thanks again, nquirk, for the insight.  I really do need to think about it.  We are ready for a boat, but not ready for a boat and a new vehicle.
  • MNDaveC
    MNDaveC Member Posts: 24
    I used to tow a 17' aluminum fish n ski with a Toyota Sienna... until I got a better tow vehicle. The van was awful for towing... the rear suspension was way too soft to tow confidently at moderate speed. Front wheel drive also was a bummer pulling the boat out at wet boat ramps. 

    I can not even remotely imagine pulling a 226 with an Odyssey.

    I own an Odyssey myself and use a 2006 V8 Explorer to tow my 203 OB. The explorer handles the 203 well thanks to dual axle trailer and trailer brakes, but I could use more ooomph to get it going. 

    I feel like I am pushing the limit of the Explorer with my 203... 

    With a 226, I'd have to say you are in full size pickup truck / tahoe /suburban territory!
  • Jeff221
    Jeff221 Member Posts: 7
    I have a FF 226 & tow it w. Chevy Silverado double cab w a 350 v8...... Drag it to Lake Mead from SoCal 6 - 8 times a year.....that's 5 hrs in the desert heat w 3 passes to climb & descend. I wouldn't pull it w anything less than a full size pickup as it would no doubt struggle & wobble. Do it right & remove all liability
  • CarolP
    CarolP Member Posts: 1
    I'm new to the forum.  I just bought a used 23ft Fun Deck. We have a 2011 Ford Ranger 6cyl 4x4 that has a tow rating of 5200lbs, but when we looked at this boat, I thought "There's no way our little truck is going to pull this boat.  I borrowed a friend's Dodge Ram Hemi and pulled it home today, and even with that big ol' truck, stopping I felt the boat push.  We've opted to put the boat in dry storage/dock (We live in Florida so boating is year round) so towing isn't really an issue and we figured in the long run, it's cheaper than buying new breaks and a transmission down the road in the Ranger..  Our river still gets Manatees and there's a couple outdoor restaurants we can boat to, so it's all good. 
     23ft Fun Deck w/150hp Yamaha Saltwater Series motor


    'If it's not fun, why do it?"
  • 1pointofview
    1pointofview Member Posts: 74 ✭✭
    I pull my ss188 with an infiniti q56,  I had it full of water, full 40 gal tank of gas and other stuff.  I am supposed to be able to pull 9500 lbs and going through the hills pulling the boat which was prob close to 4000 lbs at the time, I can not imagine pulling with a minivan. 

    My friend had a deck boat and pulled it with a frontier with a 3.5 v6.  It struggled but did ok.  3.5 is about what minivans come with as well but the main difference is the gears and the fact vans are front wheel drive.  You put to much weight to your rear wheels in a front wheel drive and when you start hitting a lot of bumps at high speed I would worry about losing control of the vehicle.  if the boat start bouncing and start pushing down on the rear of the vehicle the front wheels seems to me could lose heavy contact with the road.  Maybe it is just in my head though and I could be off base

    If you only have a short drive I could think you could pull it off, long drives I would be weary. Not to mention it would put a lot of stress on the drivetrain.
    2013 Hurricane SS188
    115 Yam
    Magic Tilt Trailer
    Hotty Toddy
  • cjjjdeck
    cjjjdeck Member, Moderator Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭✭

    I just wanted to share some thoughts on the subject of towing, although I know most of you probably know this already (I apologize now for it being lengthy).

    Many vehicles have tow ratings, but that doesn't mean they are equipped with a "tow package".  Tow packages are usually a separately ordered option on new vehicles.  The package typically includes upgraded components and systems like an auxiliary transmission fluid cooler (for automatic transmissions), larger capacity radiator, hitch receiver and trailer wiring harness, a bit heavier suspension and often the vehicle is given a lower gear axle ratio (numerically "higher") than the standard model so the vehicle performs better while under a load.  A tow/haul mode switch usually located near the transmission shift lever is also becoming a more popular item (this switch changes the shift points in your transmission to occur at higher RPM's to aid in better performance when towing or carrying a heavy load).  Some manufacturers include other higher tech features like sway control (which works with ABS brake systems and stability control technology) and an integrated electric brake controller.  The reason I mention this is that if your vehicle is NOT equipped with a tow package, you need to be VERY careful towing something by knowing the limitations of the vehicle.  Towing without the package puts a lot of strain on vehicles, especially on long hauls in hot weather.  The good news is that some of these important towing features can be added to vehicles (like trans coolers, helper springs, trailer harnesses, etc.).


    Here's my list of the best to least preferred types of tow vehicles, others are welcome to share their opinion:

    Full frame vehicles make the best tow vehicles mostly because the receiver is attached directly to the frame, which is typically made of much thicker metal than the body, and works best in handling the dynamics of towing/hauling loads.  These vehicles have the higher tow ratings.   This group typically includes pick up trucks, full size vans and larger to mid-size SUVs and some "older" cars

    1) Full frame vehicles (frame is separate from body) vehicle with 4WD,.

    2) Full frame vehicles with rear wheel drive (2WD) (hopefully it has a "Posi-traction" (not very common anymore) or "Limited-slip" rear end, which might be mechanical or work using the ABS brake system. Without it, 2WD is actually "One" WD, which really stinks on a launch ramp) (the last body-on-frame "cars" that were produced with tow packages available were Lincoln Town Car's, Ford Crown Vic's and Mercury Grand Marquis.... all gone now).  

    The other body/frame technology is call Uni-body.  The body and frame are integrated (unitized) into one.  This group usually includes mid to small SUVs, mini-vans, crossovers and cars.  These vehicles usually have lower tow ratings.

    3) Uni-body vehicles with 4WD.

    4) Uni-body vehicles with rear wheel drive (with "Posi-traction" or "Limited -slip")

    5) Uni-body vehicles with front wheel drive ( "Limited-slip", usually works with the ABS brake system)

    6) Both full frame and Uni-body vehicles, rear or front wheel drive without "Posi-traction" or "Limited-slip" (These are the least prefrred because they both have one wheel drive traction, although rear wheel drive is still better for towing).

    The reason I emphasized the drive and traction systems is due to the marine environment it will be used in.  It's a bit different dynamic pulling let's say a travel trailer on open highways (although the list wouldn't change even for this use, what is a better tow vehicle remains the same).  You need every traction advantage you can get on launch ramps because you never know what you might encounter (just personal experience and witnessing "others" with "less traction").


    2012 SD237 I/O Mercruiser 5.0L MPI ECT/ Bravo 3
    2012 Load Rite Elite Tandem axle trailer