best boaters' vehicle

-- Last Updated: Jan-18-16 9:22 AM EST --

looking for advice on a new ride.

I carry mostly multiple short boats, three or four ww boats at one time, occasionally a tandem canoe or touring kayak.

Live in wv, do a lot descending and ascending to the river on windy roads- good braking system important.
Need to be able to seat at least 3 others on shuttles.

4 wheel drive, all wheel drive, ground clearance are all pluses but not essential

I tend to be hard on vehicles and run them to death.

I live near work and grocery so around town driving is light. Mostly one to two hour trips to trailheads and river. I have a second vehicle, a camper van that I use for extended camping/boating trips.

New or used will work for me.

It's time, reason for new ride listed below by one of my buds:

"With a loaded dodge caravan (actually it is a Chrysler town and country), we braved the cold weather from Oak Hill to the pool session. We rolled, we rolled some more. Then we hit the road early.

Tony had assured Rob on the ascent, the van was solid. New headlights and all, we began our snowy one hour voyage back to Fayette County. The transmission was no match to a formidable opponent of a snow covered WV turnpike. Tony grunted in unison with each slippage as we lugged on east.

With each mile ticked off to the Mossy exit, I tried my best to keep my thoughts away from walking home. The van had a nice rumble as it bounced from 2k rpm to 6k rpm and erupted through random gears.

612, the home stretch. Snow covered and slick. I felt comfort wedged in the rear seat among 3 kayaks. I may have hugged Rob's Sleek during a few of the curves. Its wet hull, my lone comfort as the possibility of making it home grew progressively worse.

I could only see white from the back seat, and by now the brakes were singing a nice tune at every curve. We lurched closer to Rob's, Cold Spot now in sight. If it had been open, I would've hopped out and had some wings and beer.

Tony expertly navigated the hill to Rob's house, though we couldn't see the road, and the engine revved to a screaming pitch. Downshifting an already crying transmission, we slid to a stop at the 19 intersection, only a few miles to go.

Green light. Go. Only the van has other ideas. Stallin out, Tony cranks the ignition in a last ditch effort to make the light. Success! Now careening up 19 in whatever gear the transmission can catch, with no distinguishable lanes.

There's about 3 inches of snow on the road now. Enough to make lanes optional. We pull into the driveway. I attempted to tie my boat down as quickly as possible with frozen bungie cords. What little water is left in the boat freezes solid by the time I reach my house 5 minutes later.

Thankfully, I've got some Russian Imperial Stouts waiting to warm me up and calm my nerves.

May we all have a moment of silence and raise a glass for Tony's transmission. It overcame all odds and slick roads to get us home, but it's shuttle days may be limited."

so what say yea, what should I get?

Iffin’ yer kin find…
A 2001 or erler Jeep Cherokee Sport (still had welded rain gutters) dat made fer an almost ideal boat hauler.


You got that right FE !
We had three of them.

Daimler came along and screwed up the best boat/bike carrying vehicle ever made.

Unfortunately you can’t find anything like it today

jack L

well unless
Unless your a mechanic I would stay far away from any OLD vehicles. Many fit the bill but whats your price range. I would ask the same if you were asking about a boat. Since you want 4 /all wheel drive subaru comes to mind along with many of the small to mid size SUV’s. Been seeing that tv commercial for the new hybrid Toyota Rav 4.

Used minivans for 25+ years
But get a Toyota. Had both chrysler and toyota and toyota is WAY better. Virtually no troubles. Lots of room, relatively low roof, rides like a car, acceptable mileage. Without rear seats slept in there many times when I did not feel like pitching the tent in the rain.

since you live near work there are 3+…

– Last Updated: Jan-18-16 1:58 PM EST –

I went used in 04'(with a 00' Xterra XE)...there are always issues when going your choice.
Toyota 4Runner(w/4wd)
Nissan Xterra(w/4wd)..Great chassis but has a SERIOUS design issue with rear swaybar(interferes with rear tire articulation AND normal shock travel/performance).

Jeeps (4wd)....not familiar with, they have the clearance and 4wd.


plus 2 for the Cherokee
Hard to beat the straight six engine.

a station wagon or minivan
An SUV is a minivan with less space.

mini vans
were handy- short boats could be loaded inside. Fairly wide roof so you could stack multiple boats, and in a pinch you could sleep inside. Unfortunately after owning a chrysler, kia, and ford minivan I have concluded that the vehicle weight puts a lot of strain on the brakes. Combine that with driving in and out of the new river gorge and gauley river and you have constant brake maintenance. Time to try something else.

checking out the suggestions,
keep 'em coming. Anybody got an opinion on the new foresters?

but 2wd will be more efficient and probably cheaper.

buy used

– Last Updated: Jan-18-16 4:14 PM EST –

add motor, shocks, tires real roof rack fog lamps as you go .....

drives lika Mini

late model

I’m behind
Now a Sienna…notice the development period.

Too small for my stuff.

OK - those were great vans
They even made an AWD version. TONS of room, lots of glass, unique look and it’s a Toyota!

I have a 2014 Forester
that I bought new and like it.

I bought the model with out that stupid side rail racks, so I could install Yakima landing pads directly to the roof frame, and I have 78" bars which allows me to carry two sea kayaks and one canoe at the same time.

The all wheel drive is as good as any of my previous 4 wheel drives and with boats on the roof I get between 27 and 30 MPG depending on the mountains, etc.

I like the variable speed drive transmission, but time will tell on that.

there is plenty of room in the back seat for three unless they are big people.

The all around vision is the best of any vehicle I have ever owned.

No complaints yet, but I only have 30,000 on it.

Jack L

Quad cabb long bed F-150.
Put a cap on the bed and carry an outfitter’s worth of boats.

Very pricey for a boat hauler though.

Toyo folk
go for the pickup n Highlander…the snarky black special goes over this…is a one off.

here’s a parts list

could be a long gas glut would swell the big truck -Burban et al - market then with rising prices those piggers will go on the market.

muy dinero…

– Last Updated: Jan-18-16 7:14 PM EST –

and very spacey vehicle 2016 style.

for example the Pilote can scream at junior to get the XXXXX off his sister over the audio system.

all wheel drive in the outdoors model with 266HP

weighs 4500 pounds with 150 cu feet space while my E250 has 255HP with 265 cu feet at maybe 5500 pounds dry weight.

The Toyo body slide thru air, the E250 is more Galleon. We draft.

Yeah with a few after markup gubbins you're in the Lexus Jeep area.

Wiki is best for specs. No struggle. Just the facts.

E250 V8 OHC
has 100 pounds more torque.

no junior