We have a 2003 Toyota Sienna minivan fully equipped with a large tranny cooler and class III hitch.
The van is rated at 3500 tow.
We are thinking of buying a boat + trailer with a total weight of 3000 pounds. We will also have the family weight which is around 600 pounds of people. Also gear, cooler, lunch, towels, etc.
HERE's the catch.
THE ONLY lake that we will use it at is 2 miles away, from driveway to ramp. Almost all the roads are back roads through our neighborhood. Mostly flat Texas roads.
I've read that the FWD on the van is great at boat ramps because it is out of the slippery water. I could easily throw it into 2nd or 1st (of course out of OD) if I needed more power.
We towed a 16ft KZ bunkhouse from Dallas to Colorado Springs before with all of our children. It did O.K., but we mostly stayed around 55 mph out of overdrive. We have also towed a larger popup camper with the same van.
Would love to hear advice, suggestions, etc. This is a NON-EXAGGERATED 2 miles from driveway to boat ramp (again most of the drive is through a neighborhood and no highways. Large lake and would never take it anywhere else.
Would you push it?
Also if you would push it, what if the boat+trailer was an actual 3500 pounds (they had a model 2 ft longer & larger engine that I'm thinking of)?
4 whopping cylinders on Toyota RV's. Talk about great getting good MPG. Also I have a very light foot on the pedal. I followed some MPG advice on Livingpress.com and I now get 22 MPG! Not bad for a home on wheels.
I wouldn't be that concerned. You're under the tow rating and a super short trip at that. Tow ratings will consider frontal drag area as well for full size trailers. Boats being more aerodynamic won't have as much effect, thats why some vehicles actually state different tow ratings for boats vs TTs. Boat trailers also tend to have lower tongue weights as the mass tends to sit far back on the trailer over the axles, especially on duals. I believe there is also something in the manual for the Sienna stating that passenger weights in the van do not decrease tow rating as well. (correct me on that one if I'm wrong)
'07 Toyota Tundra Crewmax Limited
'06 Forest River Flagstaff 26BH(sold)
'13 Keystone Bullet Premier 31BHPR
Hitched by Hensley, Viewed by McKesh
That's not towing, that's jockeying the trailer around the property.
Seriously you should be just fine. If it really concerns you make one trip with the boat and a second with the family. That should only add about 5 minutes to the process.
Would tow easily and I would opt for the bigger boat too.
Make sure you don't back too far in the water when loading onto trailer. You don't want your front tires anywhere near the more slippery part of the ramp.
If needed, you could have someone in the boat and they could throttle the motor up a bit to push the boat, trailer, and can a little to get the van moving in the right direction. If you do this, make sure the boat is tied down to trailer well first.
Really though, you should have no problems anyway.