Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 05 November 2001, 10:41   #1
Member
 
Country: Canada
Town: Newfoundland
Length: no boat
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 2,099
What do you use to tow your RIB?

A rib related subject ..... towcars!

Having just changed jobs and thus in the market for a new motor (as we say in Essex) I am mulling the pro's and cons of various towing vehicles. The RIB is 21ft on single axle trailer and weighs around 1500kg all up.

Used to tow with a Disco (when I worked for Land Rover!) but thats no longer in my budget.

Thoughts? Advice? What do you use?

Alan
__________________

__________________
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05 November 2001, 15:36   #2
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Lochgilphead
Boat name: Rannsachair
Make: Shetland Alaska
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki DF50 and F4
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 44
Tow Cars

I recently had to make the same decission - though there are a number of factors to consider:

Do you ever launch from a Beach? (Do you need a proper 4WD)What milage do you do? (Do you need a Diesel) etc.

I went for a Jeep Cherokee on the basis of it easily tows my boat - even off-road: 4WD, Diff lock and low ratio's.

Is a bit more car like to drive than the bigger 4WD's: my wife uses it as her daily car - I have a SAAB.

Cheaper to buy and appears better built than a Disco: most have air-con, auto and don't suffer from differential corrosion between steel and aluminium. The 4 litre Petrol can be very cheap to buy -as the fuel economy is poor, did not matter to me as it only does 4k miles a year.

Negatives: not too roomy in the back and limited boot space due to the spare.

Prior to this the SAAB was adequate towing on the road, though occasionally struggled on slippy slipways!
__________________

__________________
Rannsachair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 02:14   #3
Member
 
Country: Greece
Town: ATHENS
Boat name: SUN KISS II
Make: Nuova Bat 9 Falcon -
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboard Mercury 115
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 639
Send a message via Skype™ to batfalcon
Alan

For more than 4 years I used a Lada Niva 1.6 L. I gave it away due to some other reasons unrelated to this forum or it's behavior. It's a heavy duty work car continuously 4WD, diff lock, high - low rate. The interior is rather poor to have it as an one and only car, but the capabilities as a towing vehicle are awesome. It's noisy on highways and it can't do more than 140 km/h.
A friend of mine has it for proffesional use in a "rib parking" business for 11 years now. It has launched countless boats so far without any problem (mechanical or oxidation by the salt water).
I sure recommend it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	niva_sealine.jpg
Views:	564
Size:	75.7 KB
ID:	215  
__________________
Michael a.k.a "Bat Falcon"

batfalcon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 04:39   #4
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Surrey
Make: Raider
Length: 6.5
Engine: Mariner 115 4/Stroke
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 15
I can recommend a Isuzu trooper if you want to follow the diesel route.

I tried out most of the opposition before I bought and found that they were significantly better value than most of the Japanese and Land Rover opposition and dead reliable.

I had a SWB 1999 year model with the 3.0 Common Rail Diesel engine which pushes out 159bhp which made it no slouch. Fuelwise the average was about 28 mpg in normal daily commuting use, though obviously less when towing.

For less money the pre 97 Turbo diesel models had 125bhp which is still pretty respectable and better than most of its competitors.

My only gripes were:

1) that dealer servicing was quite expensive (much the norm there I guess).

2) I wish I had bought a LWB model as I felt that they were more comfortable when not towing, (the SWB one was a bit bouncy).

3) I suggest you get an insurance quote before you buy if you end up seriously considering one - mine was surprising expensive to insure.

ChrisD.
__________________
ChrisD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 04:47   #5
Administrator
 
John Kennett's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Brighton
Length: 3m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 7,012
Alan

I would say that your RIB is just a bit too big to comfortably tow and launch with a 2WD saloon. You'd probably get away with it most of the time, but it would be borderline.

A proper 4x4 would be the best bet (if anything not made at Lode Lane can be called a "proper" 4x4 ). How about a turbo diesel Isuzu Trooper, or dare I suggest it, a Frontera?

If you do want to stick with a car shaped vehicle, then maybe a Subaru would do the job? The Lada Niva (a surprisingly good 4x4 actually) would be too small and light for you -- not to mention woefully underpowered with a 1600cc engine.

John
__________________
John Kennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 05:16   #6
Member
 
Country: Canada
Town: Newfoundland
Length: no boat
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 2,099
What I need John is a Mercedes Sports Utility Vehicle like yours !

I used to tow and launch Yellow Tang with a Mondeo which was fine on the flat but bloody useless on slipways. Got it bogged down on a couple of occasions. So the choice now is definately a 4x4 and after working for Ford/LR for 10yrs its fairly refreshing to think about buying SOMETHING else!!

I test drove the Scooby Legacy Outback at the weekend. Quite a car and has low range. Also looked at the new Jeep Cherokee, used shoguns etc. Too much choice!! I can definately say that it wont be a Lada (capable offroaders though they are)!

Any vehicle has probably got to be diesel and certainly have the right chunky image. I don't think I'm a RAV4 kind of guy........

As I say I have my own thoughts but am curious as to the experiences of others so all thoughts and advice welcome. Don't promise to take it though!

Cheers,
Alan
__________________
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 06:42   #7
Administrator
 
John Kennett's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Brighton
Length: 3m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 7,012
I've sold the Merc SUV now. It was hopelessly gutless when towing, and slightly worse on slipways.

By the way, lest anyone think for a moment that I have ever owned a £50,000 Mercedes off roader, it was a 310D van with 215,000 miles on the clock . . .

John
__________________
John Kennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 08:30   #8
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Upavon, Wiltshire
Boat name: Dromedary
Make: Ribtec
Length: 6.55
Engine: Honda 130
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 183
I have used the Monterey (Vauxhall badged Trouper) to tow the RIBs I have had and have not had any problems from it, I have had to replace the exhaust due to corosion but I am not sure if this was age or launching (N reg) It is the long wheel base version and has plenty of space for all the usual boating bits we have to cart about. The only problem that I found was that if I did a very tight turn then the jockey wheel locking handle breaks the light cluster (in the bumper) at a cost of £70 my own stupid fauly though. I have not tried the new version as the one I have is still going strong so cannot justify a new one.

John
__________________
Scubakid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 09:28   #9
Member
 
Country: Ireland
Town: Kinsale
Boat name: Tsunami/Saol Eile
Make: Excalibur Ribs
Length: 9m +
Engine: 350hp Volvo Diesel
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 99
SWB SHOGUN

I've been using a 2.5 turbo diesel shogun to tow my 7m rib for the last 10 months or so without any problems.
Some of my tows would be over 350 miles. I find the shogun perfect for towing with plenty of power although the 2.8 version would probably be better. The disadvantage with them is that they are thirsty especially when towing! Average about 23mpg with normal driving, was never brave enough to calculate the mpg when towing although I can say that it is quite a bit better on fuel than my 225hp outboard!
I think the biggest down side with having a jeep is that when your not using them for towing they are fairly useless! They're slow, bouncy, poor road holding etc... basically everything that a car isn't!!
I only bought my 4x4 because of the boat and after driving it now for 10 months if I had the same choice to make I would have kept my car and bought a cheap pickup and used it for the tow work and the car for all other driving!
__________________
Joe

www.ribs.ie
tsunami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 10:13   #10
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Hilton-of-Cadboll
Length: no boat
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,775
Game set and match to the inflatable boat!

Yes, folks see how easy it is for me. Let the air out, squash it up, bung it in the back of the estate car.

Okay so it won't go across the Atlantic, well as it happens I wasn't planning on doing that this year anyway!

Keith (70mph) Hart
__________________
Keith Hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 November 2001, 15:18   #11
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Great Harwood, Lancs
Boat name: Tigger II
Make: Bombardier Aerodeck
Length: 3m +
Engine: Tohatsu 25HP
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 626
Have a look at Subaru, I drive the Impreza and its a wonderful tow car. While its to light at 1280Kg the Outback or Forester would do the job.

They all have a lot going for then, still have 4 wheel drive, low ratio gears box, bags of power, and resonable MPG. And to top this they all drive great, unlike most off road type 4 weel drive cars.

Regards Gary
__________________
Garygee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07 November 2001, 17:32   #12
Member
 
Country: Ireland
Town: Dublin & Kerry
Boat name: Limanda
Make: Arvor & Valiant
Length: 6m +
Engine: IB 85hp dsl; 8hp Yam
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 57
I have a Legacy saloon 2.5 petrol. Its an superb all-rounder, and usually takes beaches and slips in its stride. However, when the going gets really rough (trailer wheels sinking in sand as water rises) you need the guts and traction of a true off-roader - a Disco not a Freelander. The only complaint I have is that it's too low on the road, and so can be tricky on rough ground. The Outback is much higher.

Mike
__________________
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07 November 2001, 19:01   #13
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Bucks/Cardigan Bay
Make: Osprey Viper
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 12
Tow Cars

Alan,

There is only one car (if you can call it a car) and that is Land Rovers finest -

The "Defender"

Either in 110 if you carry lots equipment and people like us divers. or the 90 if space is not an issue.

Does everything from beaches to the M4.

The only problem LR still have'nt fixed (even after 50 years) is the slight water ingress when it rains. Maybe Ford will now sort this one out as it will affect the new electric windows!

A decent pre-owned vehicle can be reasonably priced and will if looked after go on forever, also they are not quite as agricultural as some may think.

Enough sales pitch - with your experience you probably know the car very well anyway.
__________________
aladdin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08 November 2001, 09:17   #14
Member
 
Country: Canada
Town: Newfoundland
Length: no boat
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 2,099
Defenders...............

The thought of a Defender is really quite appealing I have to say. Certainly has the right roughty toughty image and (even before I worked for LR) I have been a fan for some years. Used to offroad a Series 3 many moons ago. 110 would be favourite for the space but I do about 12-15k miles per year. Not sure whether I am enough of a masochist to do that in a Defender!!

Mind you the tomb raider special edition (the one with more alu chequer plate than you can shake a stick at, loads of spots, full roll cage, snorkel etc) does have a certain appeal! It would certainly get me noticed in the company car park

Thanks for the advice, Alan
__________________
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08 November 2001, 10:07   #15
Administrator
 
John Kennett's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Brighton
Length: 3m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 7,012
I thought this thread started because your budget wouldn't stretch to anything really cool?

How about a Mondeo for the motorway stuff and something slow, square, noisy and draughty for towing the boat? You can pick up a perfectly good (apart from being terminally underpowered) LWB SIIa petrol for the price of a couple of beers these days!

John
__________________
John Kennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08 November 2001, 12:33   #16
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Portsmouth
Boat name: Not sure
Make: ABC/Priddy
Length: 10m +
Engine: 2 x 500 FPT
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 928
Or about an old Ford Sierra estate, we use one to tow Spirit around the docks with no problems ( untill you try to stop it on a wet road) but then it is 3 tonne
__________________
Alan Priddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09 November 2001, 04:05   #17
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Portishead, Bristol
Boat name: "
Make: Ribcraft, Cowes Mari
Length: 5m +
Engine: Mercury 90hp 4-strok
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 600
Send a message via AIM to jools
Well it all depends on the size of your RIB I suppose!

Keith could tow his behind his bike!

I prefer to use my Land Rover - of course.

I'm now onto my second Freelander - great at steep slipways and beech sites.

My first was a Diesel - my current is a V6 which I imported via Virgin Cars.com (Branson gets everywhere) and with the saving I made on the import had a Gas conversion done. With LPG at 35p/l its actualy cheaper to run than the diesel - and more fun to drive.

IMO The freebie is a great car for everyday driving - I do 100 miles a day round trip to work down the motorway - and also a very capeable off-road vehicle (The only issue being ground clearence - but you don't find many deap ruts on slipways and I wouldn't recoment towing your RIB over the ridgeway!)

Seriously though - one of the considerations to make is the weight combination of tow vehicle and trailer so that you have a safe and stable "outfit" when towing. Obviously if you have a big RIB then you need a big Tow Car - like a Defender.

Cheers
__________________
www.ribpanther.co.uk
jools is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09 November 2001, 11:45   #18
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Worcestershire
Boat name: Not Yet Named
Make: Avon SR 4
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40 HP Yamaha Autolub
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 600
I have 2 tow cars - both Land Rovers. The first is a Freelander - which I must admit I bought with some reservations as to whether it was a 'real' 4 x 4 - but it as never missed a beat - and towed up and down slipways of various slopes with no difficulty. I have even received launch vehicles that have gotten into difficulties!

My other car is a Lightweight 'Airportable' Land Rover. It will go anywhere, do anything - tow anthing - but does use lots of fuel and has a top speed somewhere around that of keith on his bike !
Seriously for short journeys she is great - and nice with the top down in the summer.

You can try all the pretenders - but Landrover is - as they say - the best 4x4xfar!
__________________
Carpe pm
GraemeCooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09 November 2001, 15:27   #19
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Hilton-of-Cadboll
Length: no boat
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,775
Hey what a great idea. Get some larger panniers for my bike and stuff the inflatable in them! You may just have given me a good idea there. Sod this trailer lark. By the way why don't you just launch your rib and sail it wherever you want to go?

Keith Hart
__________________
Keith Hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10 November 2001, 23:04   #20
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: N.C.
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 244
One more for the pot...

How about a late model Chevy?...
My truck is a 1971 Chevy Surburban C-20, 402 cubic inch engine, 300 horses, 3/4 ton suspension. 84000 miles, 3 door model. The only changes have been a eletronic ignition and a new Holly carb...
the only downfall is the automactic deployment of the brake chute within a mie of a gas station...but with 94% octain at $1.10 a gallon, not that big a problem for needed power...
I call her "Big Blue"...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg truck.jpg (55.3 KB, 232 views)
__________________

__________________
sirzap is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 14:56.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.