By on February 19, 2020

Yesterday I received a used car recommendation inquiry from TTAC reader Nicholas. He’s looking for a truck — on a budget — to help him tow around his new boat. Think we can help him find the right ride?

Nicholas writes,

I’m looking for something to tow our new boat, but don’t want to buy a new vehicle. I thought we could get a 4Runner but they’re really expensive used. Could you make any recommendations? I really didn’t want to spend more than $20k, but don’t want something so old it will be impossible to find parts.

I feel Nicholas’ pricing pain there. Used Toyota 4Runners and Tacomas across the country have heavy “because you can” markups applied to their asking prices. Some call this the Toyota Tax, but I usually refer to it broadly as the Purp Drank Tax. You’ll be familiar if you’ve seen a purple Impala SS for sale at any point between 1998 and today. I wrote back to Nicholas to ask a few more questions, and obtained the following general guidelines beyond the $20,000 price point:

  • The truck shouldn’t be too old — no vintage metal.
  • Nicholas lives in central Florida, where things are flat and paved, and occasionally wet.
  • Four-wheel drive is not required.
  • The boat being towed weighs 3,294 pounds, including the trailer.

Staying away from miscellaneous brand taxation, I think I’ve got a good recommendation. Have a look.

It’s the later version of the first-generation Honda Ridgeline. Some of you will of course hate this recommendation, causing you to shout “It’s not a real truck!” Calm down for a second — think of your blood pressure! The name of the game here is practicality, which the Ridgeline has in spades. It can tow 5,000 pounds in four-wheel drive guise, can carry plenty of people and cargo, and even has a trunk. It’s also more comfortable than your standard full-sizer. It’s key to remember here that the towing task is not a 12,000-pound horse trailer in Colorado, but a single boat in Florida. There’s no need to overdo it when truck shopping.

The current-generation Ridgeline is out of budget, but there are nice later examples of the first generation within reach. This particular example is in the area, and has a trailer brake controller already installed. It’s the highest RTL 4WD trim, offering nice wheels, leather, a sunroof, and aftermarket navigation. It’s also that blurple color Honda is so fond of. With just under 64,000 miles, it’s listed at $21,737.

Got a better recommendation as Nicholas prepares to BOAT? Let’s hear it.

Update: Nicholas has informed the truck will not be a daily driver, but see primarily boat use and a weekly run to Costco. 

[Images: Ford, seller]

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83 Comments on “QOTD: Towing With Trucks for Twenty Bucks?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Nissan Frontier, slightly used they’re cheap, dependable, parts are easy to come by, the 6 cylinder has the towing capacity he needs and unlike the Honda it’s a “real” truck

    • 0 avatar

      The things you say about the Frontier are true. But what’s also true about the Frontier is that it has terrible seats, terrible ride comfort, terrible fuel economy, and the interior is from 2005. I would never recommend someone drive one every day.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Did he mention this was a daily driver? If so, I didn’t see it in the article and that might change my recommendation.

        • 0 avatar
          Menar Fromarz

          Yawn. All the mentioned are boring and expensive. How about combining pull and gravitas and get a boat tail Riv with positraction. You won’t get stuck, you will have fun and it’s not a daily, so who cares about how much gas the 455 sucked. And you can get a capable classic for way less than 20.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Corey, the man wants something cheap and reliable to tow his boat, he’s not looking for a comfortable daily driver

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        If you think the seats on a new Frontier are uncomfortable I welcome you to try my 99 frontier, the current gens may as well be velvet cushioned thrones.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike-NB2

        You should also mention that the Frontier has the turning radius of a cruise ship. While some may see this as a cool synergy when towing an actual boat, my experience in pulling (and maneuvering) a trailer says you need a tighter turning radius than the Frontier will give you.

        (My experience in them is limited but I’ve had a few as a rental in the recent past and have been amazed at the huge turning radius these things have.)

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      The frontier would be a perfect vehicle, problems are worked out, parts will be available for at least the next 20 years based on the number of these produced, they should have no trouble towing the boat with ease, and they can be had fairly inexpensive.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    I was in a similar situation not too long ago. I needed a little more towing capacity than the Ridgeline would allow, so that was out, but the other mid-sizers fit the bill (at the time, that meant Tacoma, Frontier, Colorado, or Canyon). I didn’t want a full-size truck. I have a small house with a small driveway in an old neighborhood with narrow streets. Every inch counts.
    The used market for those trucks is bonkers. I could either spend 20k on a 5-7 year old truck, and when I was done with the loan I’d have a 10 or 12 year old truck. Or I could stretch things a little and spend 25k on a brand new truck and have a 5 year old vehicle when it was paid off. That made more sense to me. I had to be patient and shop around a bit, but I managed to find what I was looking for.

  • avatar
    TR4

    “Four-wheel drive is not required.”

    I’d say it’s highly recommended. Algae covered boat ramps can be quite slippery. A co-worker of mine used to make a few bucks on summer weekends by cruising the local boat ramps in his full size GMC Jimmy and seeing if anyone was stuck. This was back in the early ’80s when 4WD was not quite so common.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I agree, also where you would need to park the truck and trailer near water in Florida can be quite mushy and the 4WD could come in handy

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        This, I’ve seen many, many unkept boat ramps – many state owned ramps – that one could barely stand on. 4×4 isn’t just needed it’s required on many ramps.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Fake 4 wheel drive like on the Ridgeline is asking for trouble.

          • 0 avatar
            Carrera

            Hummer, in all honesty, the “fake” AWD in the Ridgeline is plenty for most situations. I had mine parked on a steep hill, unplowed snow, never had an issue ( no snow tires either). No, I’ve never tested it as a desert runner or in the MOAB but for 99% of the population, the Honda AWD is fine. The problem is, it is high maintenance, with frequent rear differential ( Honda fluid only) changes every 15-30,000miles depending on the severity and usage of the truck. Failure to due so can create $5,000 big holes in the pocket. That’s why I would never buy a used Ridgeline AWD with more than 15-20,000 miles, particularly if it has a tow hitch. The consequences of non maintenance are too severe for those AWD electronic clutch packs. Take care of them religiously and they last forever .

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Another reason to consider something other then the Honda

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      All of the ramps around my part of central FL are well maintained and have paved parking lots but I don’t often venture to the backwoods snake-hunting areas. And obviously if you’re going outside your local area you never know what you’re going to get.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I posted that as well below. Its very much ramp dependent. 80% of the ramps I’ve used in FL (even in the Keys) are 2WD friendly. 15% are iffy due to conditions where having a 4×4 would be nice but that last 5% would require a monster truck they are so bad.

        Also trailer setup makes a big difference. My buddy had an electric winch on one of his trailers. Sweet setup – hook up cable, push button, done! The winch could haul the boat all the way up as soon as the bunks got wet.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I run 2wd but with a locker and have never had an issue on boat ramps.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Agreed. I’d go so far as to say that if your use case for a truck includes boat ramps then 4WD is, in fact, required.

  • avatar
    Jon

    “The boat being towed weighs 3,294 pounds, including the trailer.”

    Lets add four meat bags at 180lbs each because people like to ride with you to the lake. +720lbs
    A cooler with drinks and food +50lbs
    Other miscellaneous lake stuff/accessories. +100lbs
    Now we are up to 4164(ish)lbs but i will round up to 4300 to account for anything i missed.

    Under no circumstances should you use a Ridgeline to tow the boat. The five speed transmission is NOT optimized for towing. It has a very high first gear ratio which is really really bad for pulling the boat out of the water and two OD gears which should not be used when towing anything over 2000lb. It is effectively reduced to a three speed if used properly when towing.

    If towing this boat is the only load that the vehicle sees, then any V6 midsized truck built after 2005-toyota/nissan, 2012-GM, is probably adequate. However, a midsized truck may leave you desiring more torque.

    If this were my boat, I would find a low mileage GMT800 truck or SUV with the 5.3L (avoid the 4.8L). Parts are everywhere and repairs are cheap. Put the transmission in “3” and use tow/haul mode.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “I would find a low mileage GMT800 truck or SUV with the 5.3L (avoid the 4.8L). Parts are everywhere and repairs are cheap.”

      Most repairs are cheap, but a new transmission isn’t and the 4L60 that GM put in everything back then (and the first two years of GMT900s besides) rarely made it much past 120K even not towing. These trucks are now 15 years old and finding one with 75K to put that repair comfortably far off isn’t an easy thing anymore.

      I’d spend the extra money for a 2009+ with the 6 speed.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        I partially agree on the 4L60. It did not hold up if people towed in “D” and/or did not use tow/haul mode. However they hold up well if folks tow in “3” and use tow/haul mode regardless of load. Properly used (not abused) GMT800 trucks are becoming harder to find but there are still some specimen out there. I suspect that in Florida there is still a big market for these low mileage trucks due to all the retirees and snowbirds.

        Although the 2009+ with the 6L80 has a solid transmission, I avoid these trucks due to the lifter/cam issues they had, especially in hot climates where the lifter/cam issues are exacerbated by extended LOF intervals.

        I suppose at the end of the day, a Ridgeline transmission rebuild is a lot more expensive than a 4L60 rebuilt which is slightly more expensive than a new cam and lifters.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “However they hold up well if folks tow in “3” and use tow/haul mode regardless of load.”

          Always run my ’07 ‘Hoe in “3” when towing regardless of what’s hooked behind it. I pull everything with it from a 12′ Lund fishing boat to a 25’ Searay Sundancer cruiser. Transmission has never been touched. 160K miles w/LOTS of towing miles. The truck came with a factory “trans temp” gage so it has never once been overheated. As they say, heat kills automatic transmissions.

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      Unless those meat bags are riding in the boat while you’re towing it, that number gets applied to the payload capacity, not the towing capacity. Those ratings do not overlap. Payload capacity for a 2013 Ridgeline is 1537 lbs. You could put all that extraneous stuff you mentioned into the truck instead of the boat, maintain the originally stated 3294 lbs towed, and be at about 50% or payload capacity and 66% of towing capacity. That’s a pretty comfortable place to be.

      Also, you are seriously underestimating the effectiveness of today’s midsizers. I can tow my race car (about 5000 pounds with trailer) all over the midwest with my V6 Colorado and have never felt like I was short on torque.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        According to Honda, the GCWR is 10085 and the truck curb weight is 4513. 4513 + 4300lb of cargo = 8813lb. Thats 87% of capacity. Sure, its within capacity, but it is close enough to max capacity to make me suspect its short (and long) term reliability will suffer. I try not to make a habit of regularly towing greater than 70% of the rated capacity in any 1/2 ton and smaller.

        “I can tow my race car (about 5000 pounds with trailer) all over the midwest with my V6 Colorado and have never felt like I was short on torque.”

        Thats why I said “may”. My point is some people feel like their V6 provides enough torque but some don’t. If you do, good for you. If you don’t, now you are stuck with a truck you feel is underpowered. My suggestion is that this man buys something slightly more powerful than what he thinks he needs or be prepared to settle for *slightly underpowered*.

        • 0 avatar

          Thank you Mr. Ferrari for explaining the maths properly. It helps calm the alarmists.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            Except he didn’t. There is overlap. You see, 4513 (curb weight) + 1537 (payload) + 5000 (towing capacity) = 11050. That is 970lb over the GVCR. With this vehicle, one can not load the vehicle to max payload and max towing without going over the GVCR. One must choose a combination of payload and towing in order to remain under the GVCR. Am I mathing wrong? Do I misunderstand GVWR, BVCR, payload or towing capacity? If I am wrong, Id sure love to know.

            But this is all null since the weight of the payload is under capacity and the weight of the boat is under towing capacity and the weight of both is under the GVCR (in this application).

            If the capacities are the only metrics that are used to determine worthiness of this ridgeline to tow a boat, then it fails none. I implore this gentleman to look beyond the capacities and at the transmission itself since this component is the unit that will handle most of the abuse when towing.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Writing “you might be more comfortable with a torque reserve beyond what a mid-size truck or SUV would offer” is completely reasonable.

            Writing “Under no circumstances should you use a Ridgeline to tow the boat”, which is in you first comment, is alarmist given the numbers presented.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            Given the numbers presented, its an alarm for me. It may not be for others. I present the numbers and give my opinion. Others can decide for themselves if it is an alarm for them.

        • 0 avatar
          FerrariLaFerrariFace

          Fair enough. You also need to consider how often this boat will be towed, a factor that isn’t disclosed. A couple times a year? I wouldn’t worry about wear and tear at 87% capacity. Every weekend? Now you’ve got me worried.
          The buyer here is in Florida, so you’ve got flat land where I think he’ll fall into the “plenty of torque” category, but I suspect boat usage will be higher than average. So, yeah, I’d tend to shy away from the Ridgeline and get a “real truck”. :P

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      I had a friend of mine who owned a Toyota RAV4 V6 and was towing a 4700lbs boat and trailer for 5 years ( short distances, no more than 25 miles). This was done in a relatively hilly terrain also. He was careful and had a trailer brake controller but he did ok. The Ridgeline is more than enough capable for that boat, but I would still avoid it due to the high price and high miles. A 2019 almost new Frontier can be had for $21,000

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        Currently own
        -2015 Ram 1500 4×4 5.7L V8 ext.cab and full air suspension and locking diff. and HD tow pkg 10,700lbs
        -2014 Honda Pilot 3.5l V6 AWD with hitch and transmission cooler 5000lbs
        -2009 Nissan Frontier 4×4 4.0L V6 crew cab with a 3500lbs hitch (I wouldn’t tow much more with it
        -2006 Chevrolet Silverado Reg Cab 4×4 8ft box work truck

        Pilot has to be in low range to make the 4WD permanent and is specifically designed for use at boat launches.

        Ram drives great but is not reliable, Nissan I just got to replace the Silverado. Nissan has terrible turn radius, ride and refinement. The Silverado is up for sale, whats left of it. I have only put 8000kms over the last 6yrs of mainly summer use on this truck and its completly fallen apart and needed endless repairs: 2 batteries, 2 alternators, brake lines burst going down a hill while driving, tranny lines and cooler, body fell apart, bad lifter, never ending.

        If I am towing less than 5000lbs its the Pilot every time if I have the choice.The Ridgeline will be a better vehicle the other 95% of the time and is more reliable, refined and efficient. Plus the interior is junk on any other mid-size or older truck anyway. People who buy Ridgelines buy another one after 10-12 yrs and still get good money for their trade.

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    I very much agree with Jon – a safe rule of thumb is max out at 80% of the max capacity, which would be 4k lbs for the Honda. The boat is too close to the edge when you add a cooler and gas in the boat and everything else you need for the weekend.

    Used Tahoe would do the trick and it still get’s decent mpg…plus you have the bonus of secure storage.

  • avatar

    Corey, I think this is a GOOD recommendation! Considering that the boat is well within the towing capacity of the Ridgeline, he gets AWD to help pulling out of the boat ramps and gets to enjoy the unibody ride, steering, and handling that body-on-frame trucks lose out on. I assume he’ll be driving unladen much more often than he’ll be towing, so this is a worthwhile benefit, even if the maximum towing capacity is less than others. Plus, it’ll likely be more reliable and solid through its life.
    As an alternative to consider, new trucks lease out for cheap. For that reason, I’ve always leased a new, reliable, under-warranty truck with the most up-to-date tech and safety, rather than buy used.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Buy a new Frontier and get a warranty. You’ll need a V6 to get enough towing capacity but my suspicion is that Nissan dealers are anxious to move metal about now. $20K or close to it should be enough to get a 2WD, and better financing rates on new cars may allow you to stretch the budget over a used car loan.

    I’m always nervous about used cars from hurricane prone areas.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Good call, below are current dealers on the Frontier

      $1,500 Bonus Cash[1]
      + $1,500 Package Savings[2]
      + $995 Bonus Cash[3]
      + $650 Package Savings[4]
      + $500 Bonus Cash[5]
      Up to $5,145
      Total Savings

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    F150, crew cab, 3.3L base V6, 2wd, AVIS car sales. $20k. Towing is about controlling the trailer, NOT horsepower.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    I don’t see the real quandry here. For 20k with those requirements the world’s your oyster.

    Skip the mid-size stuff and forget the Toyota Tax and the Honda Hype.

    Get a 4×4 (not required for boat launching? Seriously?) full-size crew cab 1/2 ton or 1/2 ton based SUV. Never be afraid of buying more truck than you think you need to tow, so 3/4 ton isn’t out of the question if it’s within your budget. Stick with gas as it’s cheaper to acquire and operate unless you really rack up miles.

    If you absolutely must go mid-sized, be sure the vehicle is equipped with the engine/transmission/axle/options required to be rated for at least 6000 lbs towing. This puts you within V6 Durango and Highlander territory so it isn’t ridiculous, but you’d be surprised how little some Tacoma configurations are rated to tow. And use trailer brakes.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Just curious what the average cost of a slip is near your friends home? I bet it could be much more reasonable than a note on a new vehicle depending on the size of the boat. Certainly not in downtown Miami but in many areas they can probably be had a fairly reasonable annual prices. No towing, no getting stuck, no insurance, no maintenance, no interest, no gas for the truck. Best of all, you dont have to drive a truck and its one less truck polluting our roadways.

    Work smarter not harder, trucks are not the panacea for everything that wont fit in the trunk of a sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      +1 – According to a colleague of mine, if your boat’s on a trailer in your driveway, you can’t afford the boat. Snobby and harsh? Yeah. Wrong? Well, um . . . . Dollars and cents aside and to your point, anything beyond beginning-of-season and end-of-season use of a boat ramp is more time than I want to be spending there. Give me my own slip, dock, hoist, or boathouse if it’s in the budget or else a boat small enough for a friend and me to carry it to the water.

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    I believe that the Ridgeline is a good choice, though I think the 2nd gen truck is better if only for the extra gear in the transmission. I also think a V8 Dakota would be a good choice. The 2nd gen 4.7 motor was a good deal stronger and would also might have a manual transmission.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Is he sure he wants a truck? An Explorer or Traverse with the towing package is rated at 5000 pounds and will handle the boat. Also, being front drive, the drive wheels stay out of the water.

    On an unrelated note, I’m done writing comments on this site, the user experience is just too problematic.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    The 1G Ridgeline only comes in AWD. Only the new ones have standard FWD.

  • avatar
    Big Smoke

    Corey- Your reader nicolas, may not have any friends, yet.
    But once they find out he has a boat. They will start to surface.
    They will expect to be Ubered to the ramp, for a day of fun on Nicolas’s dime. They will have really short arms, that will be unable to reach their wallets to help pay for gas, for truck or boat.
    I agree, with your Rigeline choise. While mostly unloved, it does not demand a premium on the used market. But really there are lots of choises ere. $20k is a very reasonable budget. 2wd does have way less moving parts, less to go wrong. But I do agree with the others, 4WD on a slippery ramp is great. Plus 4WD will sell better in a larger geographical area, in four more years when it is time to sell this rig again.
    All great problems to have. Happy shopping.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Unfortunately Big Smoke, clean, used Ridgeline do recommend a premium on the used market. $21,000 for this vehicle is just too much. I bought my 1St Gen 2007 Ridgeline from CarMax in Florida. Car max sells very clean cars but generally speaking are expensive. My Ridgeline was almost 2 years old but only had 9,000 miles. It came with OEM roof rack, BBAK semi-rigid bed cover and running boards. I paid 21,500 non negotiable of course. So fast forward to 2020, to pay 21,000 for one with 64,000 miles, potentially abused and out of warranty seems crazy.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I have used a ’02 Dodge Dakota 4.7l V8 Quad Cab 2WD automatic (with the tow package, different rear gears, extra cooling) to tow a 16′ skiff rig that weights maybe 1,700lb (1/2 what Nicholas is looking at) for the past 18 years all over Southern Florida (Ft Piece Inlet to Duck Key, then west to Pine Island Sound and all points in between including Big O and Lake Isto). My fishing buddies have various other tow rigs and honestly the best of the them is a full size diesel Ram. That torque makes a huge difference. Plus you can get decent mileage with the oil burner.

    I would say the truck needed depends on the distance your towing. Just about anything can tow 20 or 30 miles to the next lake over but if you plan on logging a 100 miles you’ll want more. For example when I first started towing I used a V6 Ford Ranger Extra Cab, it worked but in the middle of summer with A/C blasting it struggled on long runs and would ping badly so I had to put higher octane fuel in it. Twice it overheated on me. When I stepped up the V8 Dakota all those problems went away. I can tow at 70 MPH for 3 hours in 90 degree heat and the temp needle stays dead center.

    Personally I have never needed 4WD but my trailer has a long tongue and the boat sits low which keeps the trucks wheels away from the slippy sections of the ramp. If he is in central FL then I’m guessing freshwater only which should be easier. On the coast with saltwater you have the tide to worry about. Launching at low tide can be very tricky at some ramps. On the freshwater side you can encounter ramps that are nothing more then hard packed sand, while not ideal these are manageable if you careful. The chances of slippage are directly related to ramp conditions, construction and up keep. Some ramps are just terrible while others are no problem, local knowledge is helpful here. For example Flamingo (Florida Bay) at low tide after any wind (pushes seaweed up) will be iffy.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    While the Ridgeline is ok for that purpose, why pay $21,000 for a vehicle with 64,000 miles which can have potential mechanical issues? I had a 2007 Ridgeline and while flawless for the 120,000 miles I owned it, it was a fairly high maintenance vehicle. Rear differential fluid changes at 15,000miles first then every 30,000 miles ( VTM Honda fluid only), front control case fluid changes every 30,000 miles as well. I did all mine religiously but not all first owners give a crap. Most people know they will trade in the car by 50-60,000 miles so who cares?
    Like someone said earlier, a 2019 crew cab Nissan Frontier with 12-14k miles can be had all day long for $20,000 in Central Florida. Most ex-rentals but how much damage can one do to a Frontier in 15k miles?

    • 0 avatar
      jh26036

      I am with this guy. $21k for a used 1G Ridgeline sounds bonkers to me. I bought a used 2008 off a private owner who got it back in 2008, the height of the gas spike, the guy paid $23k for a brand new 2008 RTS (he gave me his old P&S along with Monroney sticker). Sticker was ~$31k.

      If you’re willing to go back further to like a 2007-2010 model, you’ll find plenty of 125-150k mile trucks for like ~$7,500. Totally baseline it and have a nice runabout truck that will likely not depreciate much more while being a nice daily. Plenty of Ridgelines deep into 200k miles with nothing but timing belts, water pumps, and your routine maintenance.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        $21K is nuts.

        Lots of gently used or even new (in the case of the Frontier) that could be had for a similar monthly payment. Look for brands that include some sort of limited slip in the towing package.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Correct JH26036. In August 2006 I bought a brand new Pilot LX for 21,500. A brand new Ridgeline was 23,500. I wanted one but since the car wasn’t for me but for the wife, I had to get the Pilot. The 2006 Ridgeline came out in 2005 but were languishing on dealer lots. No one was buying them due to the economic and real estate crisis. I bought my slightly used 2007 Ridgeline in 2009 for 21,500 but it only had 9000 miles and smelled like brand new.

  • avatar
    bkojote

    I’ve towed a 4,500 lb trailer with a Ridgeline and no issue. Best choice by far. People who complain it’s not a ‘real truck’ likely drive a Sentra

    Frontier would be a solid recommendation too as long as it’s from after 2011. Reasonably comfortable, good interior design, dead reliable.

    If you need more luxury why not get a similar-era Pathfinder?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      It’s literally not a real truck, theres no frame, it’s front wheel biased, the rear end is independent and therefore garbage as a truck, the bed can not be removed.

      I’m not sure how your comment makes sense, people that speak the truth are likely peasants in your mind?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Not sure why you have such heartburn over independent rear suspension. There’s nothing about a live axle that makes it better for truck duty; they’re used because they’re cheap and work with leaf springs. Leaf springs are cheap, you can increase payload by adding more leaves to the stack, and they also provide mounting and location for the axle for free. An IRS can do just as much or more since the axle housing no longer has to carry all the load. Just look at the 1st gen Cummins-powered Ram 4×4 trucks with bowed front axles just from having to hold up that lump of cast iron.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          “ There’s nothing about a live axle that makes it better for truck duty”

          Could you provide evidence to support this? Over 100 years of hauling loads around the world, essentially every truck, tractor, or heavy duty equipment in use across the world uses solid axles for the load axle, and you claim there’s no advantage. The constant supply of aftermarket equipment for solid axle conversions on all types of body on frame vehicles tells me your invested in your opinion too much to rationalize the possibility that independent suspension isn’t what you claim.

      • 0 avatar
        bkojote

        Who cares if the bed cannot be removed? Who cares if it’s got a unibody frame? Those are f-ing pointless for 99% of people who use their trucks and would prefer more space to haul gear and buddies. As the Ridgeline has proven that’s just an arbitrary point insecure ‘truck guys’ cling to.

        Can it tow/haul? Yep, and it does so better than most of its mid-size competitors.
        Can it handle dirt/muddy roads? No problem. (And the IRS means it can go longer before its shocks blow out if you’re desert running.)
        Is it gonna last for 250k miles? Sure will, can’t say that about a Colorado or Ranger. Or Raptor.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          That entire comment descended from some fantasy world where cats chase dogs and rain “falls” up.

          No it does not tow haul better than its midsize competitors, not even the ancient frontier, a Corvette can handle dirty muddy roads – moving the Overton window for what counts as a truck is ridiculous; no one would ever seriously take a Ridgeline desert running – see Jeep XJ, Honda reliability is a myth today, I’ve worked on enough problematic Honda’s to discover that on my own. I’d also remind you on that last point high mileage Big4 trucks still pull big money.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I can literally say from first hand experience that I’ve driven multiple Rangers, F Series, and GM full-sized trucks well past 250k without much in the way of drama.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    I suppose this would fall into the “vintage” category, although parts would be dirt cheap. Also, I’m sure this would tow anything you would ever need. Probably single digit fuel economy though:

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1974-gmc-2500-sierra-grande/

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    Used Chevy WT 3/4 ton with 50-75k miles. Pick them up for 8-10k. Everything you need nothing you don’t. Nothing beats a 6.0 L96 motor and transmission. Then buy a truck camper to drag your boat anywhere in FLA.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    Was waiting for how long it would take for the towing spec sheets to get referenced. Better is to ask some service shops that work on the potential tow vehicle about reliability. Back when I did repair work there were some clear cut models that had much higher failure/repair rates when used for towing.
    Also, forget the Ridgeline and others. Find a V8 Gremlin. Put air/coilover shocks on the back, install an 8-Track, put on some Beck (Jeff or the other one), and head for the water with the boat. Easy backing due to short distance between rear axle and hitch. Better visibility as it’s lower than a pickup. AND your “friends” won’t sponge rides off you!

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I’m not certain the other Beck was around in the 8 track era. I definitely listened to the “Loser” one many times on cassette back in the early to mid 90s though.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    I don’t understand why nobody has mentioned a Ram truck. You can find 4X4 Rams with towing package for under $20,000 all day long.

    https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/inventorylisting/viewDetailsFilterViewInventoryListing.action?zip=19382&showNegotiable=true&sourceContext=cargurus&bodyTypeGroupIds=0&bodyTypeGroupIds=1&bodyTypeGroupIds=3&bodyTypeGroupIds=4&bodyTypeGroupIds=5&bodyTypeGroupIds=6&bodyTypeGroupIds=7&bodyTypeGroupIds=8&bodyTypeGroupIds=9&distance=200&entitySelectingHelper.selectedEntity2=c29344&entitySelectingHelper.selectedEntity=c22895&newUsed=3&newUsed=2#listing=264344086

  • avatar
    lstanley

    Ya’ll boring. Clearly the solution to this problem is a 2009 Saab 9-7X 4dr AWD Linear.

    • 0 avatar
      phreshone

      Hell, a 2009 Saab 9-5 has 3500lb of towing capacity… plus FWD is perfect for boat ramp towing…

      Basically a used Ford Edge w/ V6 would be fine if anyone makes a hitch for it that’s rated for 3500…

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    You guys are all full of it. Clearly a CPO Miata is the right call here.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    Why do you need a truck? A Crown Vic/Grand Marquis with a frame mounted class III hitch can easily tow the boat.

    They used to be quite common tow vehicles, and could be factory ordered with a tow package for up to 5,000 lbs. Been there, done that, they make great tow vehicles. Plus they have a gigantic trunk that can hold more than the cargo area in most SUV’s smaller than a Suburban.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    How far and how often will it be towing the boat, that’s a big factor. Just going across town every once in a while, then the Frontier can fill the bill. If you are going any distance or very regularly then get the full sizer. Yeah you might be paying a little more at the pump when you are heading to Costco but once the boat is on there the gap in MPG will narrow or disappear.

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