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Old 06-02-2014   #1
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
Car Hauler for Raft Trailer


For mulit-use purposes, I am considering getting an 18 foot 7K rated car hauler to transport my 18 raft - and then to have available for all-purpose use.

Its a steel trailer - weighs about 2,000 pounds, with an 18 foot long 2X4" deck with about 6 foot 9 inches between the wheel fenders. The raft is 8 foot wide (and of course contoured) and I envision building up the deck height a little to miss the fenders.

My buddy has a mid sized Kabota that measures 17 foot long and six feet wide with the bucket and blade down (4K weight total). I'm thinking the car hauling is something that might come in real handy for our retirement years projects.

So - question is, have any of you folks used a duel axle car hauler to transport your big rafts and what "problems" might I run into? Many thanks.

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Old 06-02-2014   #2
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
Getting back out of any shitty boat ramp in BFE because your trailer weighs a ton. But you could bring the Kabota and the raft and clean up any boat ramp that needed work and all the local boaters would love you.

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Old 06-02-2014   #3
aka The Curmudgeon
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Hopelessly Stuck in Yesterday, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 322
1. Fuel Mileage
2. I would assume your heavy GWR would make for a very bouncy rig when lightly loaded?
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Old 06-02-2014   #4
Orange, California
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 34
Are any of your access roads narrow with sharp U-turns? A bigger 2-axle trailer might get stuck there. Try hooking it up and checking how tight you can turn.
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Old 06-03-2014   #5
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 103
Works Fine

I have a 16' deck, beaver tail car hauler that I use to move my 15' NRS Otter. Have taken many 400+ mile trips and it works fine.

To get the tubes above the fenders, I have 2"x10" sideboards that I attached to stakes that slip into the stake pockets, and then I built a 2"x6", outdoor carpeted deck that attaches to the top of the sideboards. This deck is easily removable for using the trailer for other purposes. I sometimes "self-shuttle" by hauling my car to the take out, going home, loading the boat, and going to the launch

I've hauled as many as 3 boats stacked, with all kinds of coolers and dry boxes and other stuff in front of and under the boats. It tows very smoothly whether fully loaded, or with just my boat for a day trip. It is never bouncy.

I suspect that the fuel economy of my truck (GMC 2500 4x4) doesn't change much whether towing a 750 pound trailer or a 2,750 pound trailer. It's just always bad. Being a 4x4, I've never had issues with it hauling the trailer up from steep or muddy ramps.

I've not had issues getting the trailer down any boat ramps, its only a bit wider than the truck, and being longer than many trailers, it is easier to back. That said, I've been backing trailers for 30 years...
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Old 06-03-2014   #6
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 65
We have several we use to transport rafts and a tractor. Weight is a concern. The big one can be over kill. The smaller ones don't haul tractor though.

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Old 06-03-2014   #7
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
Thanks folks for the added information.
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Old 06-04-2014   #8
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
We have a tractor?

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Old 06-04-2014   #9
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 328
What are hauling it with? Prius, go with a smaller trailer. F350, car trailer will work fine. Hauling an empty car trailer isn't bad so don't worry about not loading it with 7k of gear. Done right you could set up a nifty little storage space under the decking to lift the boat above the fenders.
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Old 06-05-2014   #10
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
Towing with 2010 Ford 4X4 F150 V8 with Tow Package and 3.31 ratio.

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