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Can a Toyota RAV4 Tow a Boat? (Explained)

If you are an adventurous person who loves to take your boat up to the spot, you would need to know the towing capacity of your vehicle.

If you own a Toyota rav4, it is safe to assume that you love little adventures for yourself. If you’re planning to tow your boat on a Toyota rav4, you might want to consider a few factors first.

Can a Toyota rav4 tow a boat?

A Toyota rav4 can tow a boat as long as the boat is within the vehicle’s towing capacity. The highest towing capacity in a Toyota rav4 is about 3500 lbs. Hybrid versions of the same car will be able to tow smaller boats and jets since they only have a towing capacity of 1700 lbs. 

As you might have grabbed already, the Toyota rav4 vehicle can tow a small to a medium sized boat without hindrance.

However, whether the vehicle can tow bigger boats or smaller ones, would principally depend on the towing capacity of the adventure vehicle. This towing capacity largely varies depending on the model year as well as the trim level of the Toyota rav4.

TRD off-road trims, along with the Adventure one are the models to go for when you need higher towing capacities.

The dynamic torque vectoring as well as the off road features in both these trims are what makes them a popular choice when it comes to towing different types and sizes of boats.

The highest towing capacity of both Toyota rav4 of the 2021 newer versions can tow smaller boats, other loads, and people in the front and back seats securely.

With a payload of about 1000 lbs, you would not have to worry about the gear and human weight along with the towed boat.

Since most cars are switching up to hybrid these days just to save all that raging fuel costs, the half battery powered hybrid Toyota rav4 can tow fishing boats and jet skis or other lighter personal watercraft.

As we have mentioned, older versions of the vehicle would still be able to tow boats but only smaller ones. For instance, the 2019 Toyota rav4 is capable of towing boats of no more than 1500 lbs.

 Platinum, Limited, or LE can all tow a similar sized boat.  Remember that gear load should also be taken into account. Toyota Rav4 has been an adventure vehicle, quite famous among outdoor lovers and when it comes to towing a boat, this vehicle has never disappointed.

Because it generates a massive torque and 200 hp power, it can successfully carry a boat on its back even in the roughest of pathways.

The vehicle also allows its drivers to choose the most suitable driving mode, allowing you to select higher trims, adjustable brakes, or throttle when the roads are rougher and require more power for towing.

Added safety features in RAV4’s newer versions also make sure that you can tow your boat safely to the adventure spot.

Can a Toyota rav4 hybrid tow a boat?

The configuration of the Toyota RAV4 hybrid is different because of the way its internal engine powers itself with the help of a battery as well as fuel. This may be one reason why the towing capacity of the torota4 hybrid is lower.

Toyota rv4 hybrid can tow boats which are about 1700 lbs. For newer models of hybrid vehicles, the towing capacity will be increased.  You may also want to note that the payload of this car is 1210 lbs, excluding the towing power.

The ECVT is a special transmission system that is included in the Toyota rav4 hybrid car, which allows the car to generate better power required to tow a boat. ECVT system is light-speed Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission.

With such a system, it is possible to produce 41 mph on city roads and above 200 hp. This means that the hybrid car can tow fishing boats as well as personal watercraft like jet skis.

What boats can a Toyota rav4 tow?

The Toyota rav4 has a towing capacity. This means that certain boats that are too heavy cannot be towed on a Toyota rav4.

To give you a clearer idea of what boats a Toyota rav4 can tow, here is a comprehensive list:

Ski boats:

Although newer versions of ski boats are too heavy to be towed by Toyota rav4, you can still tow some of the older versions which weighed less than 3500 lbs., the Boston Whaler 170 being an example.

Jet-propelled Boat:

Jet skis or similar jet-propelled boats are common personal watercraft that can be towed by a Toyota rav4. Since these boats weigh no more than 750 lbs, a Toyota rav4 can tow about multiple of these.

Fishing boat:

When it comes to towing fishing boats, a Toyota rav4 is known to have the upper hand among its adversaries, which may be because fishing boats weigh lesser than other types of boats.

On average, most fishing boats have a combined weight of 3500 lbs or less. With smaller fishing boats, the Toyota rav4 can comfortably tow the boat along with good ground clearance.

Several types of fishing boats are available, and ones that weigh 1000 lbs to 1900 lbs are the most commonly available. A Charger Elite, for instance, does not weigh more than 1900 lbs. 

Center console boats:

Centre consoles are versatile trailer able boats that many adventure vehicle owners may prefer for their outings.

This medium in size and older versions, like the 2019 versions weigh about 1000 to 1500 lbs which is well within the towing capacity +++of the Toyota rav4.

How much will a Toyota RAV4 tow?

How much a Toyota RAV4 can or will tow would largely depend on the model or year of the vehicle you own. The towing capacity of the Toyota RAV4 may also vary depending on the configuration of the vehicle.

Generally, the Toyota RAV4’s towing capacity is rated at 1240 lbs. However, the Adventure trim model has a towing capacity of 3500 lbs, which is the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle when compared to other year models as well.

If you have a 2019 model Toyota RAV4, you will be able to carry smaller boats since the towing capacity is only 1900 lbs when equipped professionally.

On the other hand, the Adventure FWD trim, along with the TRD trim model of Toyota RAV4 is also one of the models with higher towing capacities, with 2900 lbs being its mark.

If you wish to carry smaller weights from 1000 to 1500 lbs, you would need to use Toyota RAV4 XLE, Limited, or Platinum since all these configurations can tow up to 1500 lbs.

How do tow a boat to a Toyota rav4?

Towing a boat is not the easiest of tasks and it can be quite daunting if one does not know how to do it the right way. If you have a Toyota rav4 and a boat to be towed to your adventure spot, you would need to know the following:

Ensure lights workability:

You would first need to ensure that the lights whether it is the brakes’ light or backup light all work properly.

This is important because the tailgates get blocked by the boat hitched to your vehicle, meaning others would not be able to see or navigate.

For this, you may want to ask a friend to check and you would need to be in the vehicle to turn on the possible lights and signals to see if each work right.

Ensure proper hitch:

Next, it is crucial to make sure that you have the appropriate hitch that can attach and carry the boat all through the journey, despite the rough terrain.

Using a bigger hitch whenever you are not sure of the towing weight is always the best idea. You may also want to make sure that the towing ball size is at least 2 inches or more for heavier boatloads.

Backing the boat:

One of the most neglected practices when towing a boat to a Toyota rav4 is backing it up and yet it is one of the most important ones.

Use assist feature:

Toyota rav4 is equipped with features and loaded with safety hallmarks that can make sure that your boat reaches your adventure spot in one piece

Driver aids and alerts include lane trace assists and even departure warnings all of which aid in making towing a much easier job than it ought to be.

You may also remember to use assist features like pedestrian incoming warnings and emergency brakes that are automated to make it easier.

Final Thoughts:

Toyota RAV4 can efficiently tow boats that are small to medium sized. The Adventure and TRD trims can tow the heaviest boats, while the Limited, Platinum, or XE can tow smaller fishing boats. The towing capacity of Toyota RAV4 can be 3500 lbs to the maximum.