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View Full Version : What kind of vehicle to pull my MC 190


heypops
09-23-2010, 12:01 PM
Hey Guys,

Have a 1994 MC 190 & trailer.

Looking for recommendations for smallest practical vehicle to pull it on public roads. Live in Northeast Ga with rolling hills.

Would chevy S-10 work ? Looking for a used vechile, but not sure of minimum requirements.

Looking to pull boat and trailer locally, about 2-5 miles each way.

any thoughts on this...

thanks

flipper
09-23-2010, 12:06 PM
I'd go 5 miles with my s-10, but getting the boat out of the water may get interesting at the ramp

captain planet
09-23-2010, 12:12 PM
I pulled my 190 with a Ranger STX 4X4 w/ 4.0 L V6 for 6 years until I got my Suburban. It did fine and our lake is about 20-25 miles from our house. I wouldn't want to pull it out of the water with only a two wheel drive though.

Willski
09-23-2010, 12:21 PM
I agree. Weight wise, you're probably okay, but depending on ramp steepness, you may want 4WD. Bigger vehicle will pull easier though.

east tx skier
09-23-2010, 12:30 PM
You can and I have towed a small inboard like that hundreds of miles with a smaller 6 Cyl vehicle. On most well constructed ramps, getting it out of the water will be fine. That said, since you are shopping, I'd suggest a bare bones pickup with a V8. Once I got my Expedition, I don't know how I did without it for as long as I did.

thatsmrmastercraft
09-23-2010, 12:35 PM
On the smaller vehicle, four wheel drive and high quality brake pads are the answer. If you are only going a short ways, whether you drive 55 or 75 mph doesn't matter too much, but pulling it out of the water and being able to stop quickly (especially more than just once) are the keys. Brake fade will happen quickly, so if you do go with a smaller tow vehilce, good brake pads are well worth the few dollars spent.

supturb89
09-23-2010, 12:36 PM
Back in my early waterfowling days we used to pull a 16 foot aluminum jon with a 25 horse outboard with a 4cyl Ford Ranger. Let's just say that it was interesting at the ramp, ice not being the issue. If the S-10 had a V-6 it would help and 4WD would be even more desirable.

Double D
09-23-2010, 12:44 PM
Lets see, I used to pull my brothers 1979 Ski Tique with my 1988 S-10 with only a 4 cylinder engine, 2-wheel drive and manual shift. The road and highway were OK but had to get a running start on hills. Like others said, the ramps where the issue. Spinning the tires and burning the clutch trying to get it out, and one time being pulled in on a steep ramp. I was saved by the boat hitting the water. :o

Next, I pulled my 1994 ProStar 205 with my 1995 Chevy S-Series Blazer 4-wheel drive, automatic. It did fine pulling but I had to put on a transmission cooler. Stopping was another story since the trailer had no brakes. Got pushed through an intersection once. :o

Next: My brother pulled his 1999 Ski Nautique around for years with a similar truck that the Captain mentioned, Ford Ranger STX 4X4 w/ 4.0 L V6 and it did great but he had trailer brakes.

Now we don't mess around and both have full sized V8 vehicles.

If your trailer has brakes then a mid-sized truck with a V6 and 4X4 should work. IMO

Good Luck!!

Adam Wanichek
09-23-2010, 12:52 PM
Heypops
Most trucks with a v6 should work. The 190 is super light compared to most boats involved in the usual "tow vehicle" discussions on this site.
I have always had good luck with the 4.3 in s-10's, torquey little buggers.
Can't go wrong with toyota V6's and the 4.0 in the Ranger pulls decent.
Either add some weight to the bed or grab a 4x4 for some insurance on slippery ramps.

rjracin240
09-23-2010, 01:07 PM
Gotta put the plug in for Nissan, have a 08 Frontier Crew Cab 15-17 on highway @ 70-80 MPH pulling either car trailer or 88 190 Prostar 20-22 around town 2WD with LSD ramps have proven not to be an issue. Had a 90 Pathfinder and pulled my 1750 Vector Hydrasport with it, had a limited slip as well as 4 wheel drive, never needed the 4 wheel drive though. 13-15 Towing and 17MPG around town. 2002 Supercharged XTerra with 5spd towed race car only with it about 4,000lbs car and trailer. Plenty of power 15 MPG while towing and 17 around town. Last I heard the Pathfinder had 200,000+ miles on it and was pulling out tree stumps!!

Good Luck

Willski
09-23-2010, 01:19 PM
I have a full size Chevy Silverado and a Honda Pilot. When I had the 84, I felt comfortable pulling with either. I don't think I would want to pull my '07 197 with the pilot though. Quite a bit heavier than the '84 S&S. Not too sure on the '94 190.

kpickett
09-23-2010, 01:31 PM
I pull my 94 190 with a 97 Ford Explorer w/ the 6 cylinder engine and 4x4. It tows just fine. I wouldn't try to tow it across the country or even up the Sierras to Tahoe with it, but on the flat I5 tows, it's great. I do use the 4x4 on the ramp pretty often, especially if the ramp is slippery.

The problem with the 6 cylinder is that the mileage is horrible while towing, around 9 mph. I wish I had gotten an 8 cylinder, and eventually I'll move up to a bigger truck, but the 6 does fine.

ski/hunt
09-23-2010, 01:46 PM
I tow a ps 205 with a 94 toy 4 runner it works but has to work hard on hills and will like it better when I do brakes on trailer. Also tow with a 04 Acura mdx it will do better but in truth if I had to go more than couple hrs. away I'd go with a v8 (I like to go fast). If I go anywhere a long way away I hook up to the motor home and that 300 cummins doesn't even feel it just have not tried to launch with the 40ft. rig. Really don't want to be a feature in the "Boat ramp bloopers" thread:)

heypops
09-23-2010, 02:21 PM
Wow!! Great Info !!! Really. Many thanks.

Pleae keep your thoughts coming.....

I have a chance to get a well maintained:
1986 Chevy S-10, under 100.000 oringinal miles ( no kidding... I know the oringal owner)
2.8 liter, 6 Cyl.
4x4
automatic trans

any thoughts ??

Worth-while to consider ?? Or should I pass ??

thanks again.

Willski
09-23-2010, 02:25 PM
I would honestly pass on that 2.8 liter. The later S-10s had a 4.3 that was pretty good.

Double D
09-23-2010, 02:26 PM
Wow!! Great Info !!! Really. Many thanks.

Pleae keep your thoughts coming.....

I have a chance to get a well maintained:
1986 Chevy S-10, under 100.000 oringinal miles ( no kidding... I know the oringal owner)
2.8 liter, 6 Cyl.
4x4
automatic trans

any thoughts ??

Worth-while to consider ?? Or should I pass ??

thanks again.

Do you have trailer brakes? Do you know the weight of your boat? My 205 w/ trailer is close to 3K so yours should be less. It all sounds doable to me except the 2.8 liter will struggle more than a 4.0. But if your only a couple miles from the ramp it would make it. IMHO :rolleyes:

heypops
09-23-2010, 03:15 PM
My 1994 MC and trailer DOES have brakes. And they work great!!
In fact, just got finished complete refurbishing the brakes and I DO mean complete. Just see my thread in trailer section.

Thx

east tx skier
09-23-2010, 03:26 PM
Another thing to consider is the wheel base and weight of your tow vehicle. My 93 205 used to play a little bit of who's your daddy with our old 97 Explorer. It had brakes, too.

captain planet
09-23-2010, 03:28 PM
Wow!! Great Info !!! Really. Many thanks.

Pleae keep your thoughts coming.....

I have a chance to get a well maintained:
1986 Chevy S-10, under 100.000 oringinal miles ( no kidding... I know the oringal owner)
2.8 liter, 6 Cyl.
4x4
automatic trans

any thoughts ??

Worth-while to consider ?? Or should I pass ??

thanks again.

The 2.8 is not ideal. The 4.3 would be better, watch your tranny temp if you tow long and monitor your oil for antifreeze. The early 2.8's had problems with their gaskets and antifreeze getting in the oil pan. My dad had one, which eventually became mine and it had to really work to pull our 17' 1978 Aerocraft Tri-hull boat.

captain planet
09-23-2010, 03:30 PM
Another thing to consider is the wheel base and weight of your tow vehicle. My 93 205 used to play a little bit of who's your daddy with our old 97 Explorer. It had brakes, too.

Now that is funny.

Explorer or Explorer Sport?

I let my buddy pull my 190 down to Tennessee with his Explorer Sport the year I got it. He said it was white nuckles all the way down!

bturner2
09-23-2010, 03:34 PM
I've pulled several of my MCs with various V6 Explorers and never had any trouble. Only used the 4x4 on the ramp a couple times but without it I would have been stuck for sure. Way back I had a Bronco II with the 2.8 and pulled 18' Wellcraft. Wouldn't call it the best for towing but it did do it. Brakes seem to be more the issue on a lot of these smaller vehicles. Even with trailer brakes stopping and lane changing with a light vehicle can be a challenge.

I now have an F150 and all is right with the world when towing.

Muttley
09-23-2010, 03:41 PM
I used to have a GMC Safari mini van with the 4.3 V6. It did the job quit well.

jomiddour
09-23-2010, 03:57 PM
I towed a 91' 190 with a v6 front-wheel drive toyota highlander. Never had any problems and the trailer didn't have brakes. Once i had to get a buddy to sit on the hood to get up a slick ramp but otherwise uneventful. Just be mindful that you are towing and stopping and starting will take longer and you will be fine.

Now i use a lexus gx470 for my ps205. It is an excellent tow vehicle but is not required.

Chas
09-23-2010, 04:51 PM
LONG AGO I spent a summer boating with a couple who pulled their shiny new MC Stars and Stripes with a small Toyota pickup. Four cylinder, manual four speed trans. They had a shell on it, which seemed to help somewhat with traction due to the extra weight over the rear wheels, but they still could never get the thing moving from stopped to pull the boat out of the water at the end of the day.

They added brakes to the trailer (single axle) so they stopped getting shoved through intersections... But pulling it out of the water was always dicey.

I used to sit in the boat and run the engine - yes, in forward - to get the rig rolling when we retrieved the boat at the end of the day. With practice we pulled it off so smoothly that nobody around us even knew what was happening. Never had an issue, never touched the prop to the trailer (trailer had a prop guard so we were not likely to hit the ramp itself with the prop), and never ran it too long so that it came out of the water before I shut 'er down. We had it down to a science, and didn't even need any signals or yelling back and forth -

I sure didn't miss the old 'system' when they finally purchased a full-sized pickup with a V8, and I have never seen anyone do it before or since.

Now, I have an old S&S not that different than theirs was - though now it's a 'classic,' or whatever - still with no trailer brakes, but my one ton Chevy pulls it as if it's not even there.

I have even used my Jeep Cherokee in 2WD (had my hand on the 4WD lever but never needed it) once or twice when the truck was busy elsewhere. I thought I might have to relive the old 'system' with the Jeep, but I guess the off-road tires got enough grip even in 2WD, and the straight six engine put out just enough poop to get us out of the lake and onto the highway.

thatsmrmastercraft
09-23-2010, 05:00 PM
Did that once or twice with a relative who had a Ranger and a Supra. It worked - end of story.

CruisinGA
09-23-2010, 05:31 PM
My vote would go to a 4x4 4runner w/ 3.4 V6.

JMann
09-23-2010, 05:37 PM
I have a 2004 highlander limited 4x4 with the V6 to tow my '91 PS190. It tows pretty good but I wouldn't road trip with it. WIth the boat loaded and 4 guys in the car I can tell it's weighted down pretty good.
I would say the boat is 2500 LBS empty and dry
the Trailer is about 1000 LBS (Dual axel with brakes)

east tx skier
09-23-2010, 05:45 PM
Now that is funny.

Explorer or Explorer Sport?

I let my buddy pull my 190 down to Tennessee with his Explorer Sport the year I got it. He said it was white nuckles all the way down!

XLT. However, I have been in a 92 Explorer Sport 5 spd pulling a 98 205 and it is positively frightening. :o

flipper
09-23-2010, 06:15 PM
Wow!! Great Info !!! Really. Many thanks.

Pleae keep your thoughts coming.....

I have a chance to get a well maintained:
1986 Chevy S-10, under 100.000 oringinal miles ( no kidding... I know the oringal owner)
2.8 liter, 6 Cyl.
4x4
automatic trans

any thoughts ??


Worth-while to consider ?? Or should I pass ??

thanks again.


buddy of mine had the exact same truck. That thing would go anywhere. 2.8's don't have a whole lot of power, but a good running little motor though

Footin
09-23-2010, 06:27 PM
I use to tow my 190 with a 91 Toyota 4X4 with a 2.4 liter 4cyl, the trailer had no brakes. . I did local and 8 hour trips with no problems. Just stay in 4th gear and look ahead for hills.

brettmess24
09-23-2010, 09:30 PM
I vote Toyota Tacoma. Should fit the bill perfectly.

cdstukey
09-24-2010, 12:28 AM
I used to sit in the boat and run the engine - yes, in forward - to get the rig rolling when we retrieved the boat at the end of the day. With practice we pulled it off so smoothly that nobody around us even knew what was happening. Never had an issue, never touched the prop to the trailer (trailer had a prop guard so we were not likely to hit the ramp itself with the prop), and never ran it too long so that it came out of the water before I shut 'er down. We had it down to a science, and didn't even need any signals or yelling back and forth -

I sure didn't miss the old 'system' when they finally purchased a full-sized pickup with a V8, and I have never seen anyone do it before or since.



And I thought we were the only ones doing that. We used to pull our Nautiques with small, 4 cyl, 2wd Toyotas and S-10s. Our trailer had the bow pads and you would just load the boat like normal, but then just keep pushing until the truck started moving up the ramp then hit neutral and kill it before you cleared the water. Good times. :rolleyes:

timvan
09-24-2010, 08:09 AM
I used to pull a 94 205 out of the water at Chrelston park with a old *** volvo GL240 4 banger and drive it up to the storage at the top of the hill.
Anything further than that wouldnt have worked, good times!

ksdaoski
09-24-2010, 08:28 AM
that 2.8 better be cheap...like what 2k?

Craig
09-24-2010, 09:41 AM
heypops,

I am in consensus with the crowd here, 4.3L, 4x4 or greater. The engine is really of less concern than the brakes and transmission. The extra power is really only necessary for acceleration or towing up hills. A transmission built for towing will help with longevity, and brakes that can handle the extra load will keep you safe.

That said, if you are towing 2-5 miles over flat terrain to a nice ramp most of this discussion is moot.

I was convinced that I would end up with something small (thus cheaper). I was convinced by some friends that I would not be sorry to go full-size. I took their advice and am VERY happy that I did. You never know when you may want to tow the boat to locations other than your local site and having a full size truck to tow with has made it fantastic.

I hate the thought of hesitating to take my boat somewhere because I am not sure if the truck can handle it.

Also, kpickett, your 9mpg is better than my full size with V8. I get 8mpg in the city towing the boat :(

Sawdust
09-25-2010, 11:11 AM
I've pulled ski boats many, many miles with my '96 Ford Explorer. You can easily pick up an old Explorer with a 5.0 V-8 w/trailering package (lower gear ratio and trans cooler) in great shape for 3K if you look around. Very reliable engine and trans, and the 4x4 is a must at the launch IMO. At 170K I've had no major mechanical problems, just routine maintenance ...and that's coming from a Chevy guy.

BTW - The Explorer comes with 4 wheel disc brakes and you can add a leaf to the rear springs (adds about 900lbs capacity) for about $120 for parts, it's an easy afternoon project. Throw on some heavy duty shocks and you're good to go.

heypops
10-01-2010, 05:17 PM
Looks like I should go bigger for my tow vehicle....

How about GMC Jimmy, 1998 4.3L V6, 4x4 ?? 127,000 miles.

My buddy owns auto repair shop and knows the owner of the jimmy. One owner, good shape.

Any thoughts on this one??

as always, thanks!!!

Footin
10-01-2010, 05:52 PM
I had a 97 Jimmy with the 4.3, it towed very well. I did put air shocks on to help raise the back but other that it was great.

Double D
10-01-2010, 05:55 PM
Looks like I should go bigger for my tow vehicle....

How about GMC Jimmy, 1998 4.3L V6, 4x4 ?? 127,000 miles.

My buddy owns auto repair shop and knows the owner of the jimmy. One owner, good shape.

Any thoughts on this one??

as always, thanks!!!

Sounds like a better solution to me.