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Old 06-18-2008   #1
AKATief's Avatar
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 39
Grand Canyon Raft Frame Suggestions???

I am gearing up for my first Grand trip and I am going all out. Gonna get me a NRS E-180 18' Raft. Any suggestions on a manufacturer for a Big-ol raft frame. I am talking full on commercial grade gear hauling.


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Old 06-18-2008   #2
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 95
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 102
If you want to go custom I know Ron @ RiverboatWorks in Salida can make you exactly want you want. He made a fishing frame for me, but I can tell his heart is in white water!


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Old 06-18-2008   #3
Matty's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 213
Will, that NRS 18' is a great boat. You might want to look at the Sotars. They have a great sale page, and make a great product at a great price. As Far as a frame. You should look at PRO out of Flagstaff. They will hook you up with absolutely everything you need for a Grand trip. You can also rent a sotar from them to try it out. They have been in the frame business forever, and actually pioneered aluminum frames.

Professional River Outfitters Inc.
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Old 06-18-2008   #4
oarbender's Avatar
ww guide/ frame builder/welder, mobile fabrication gig
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 247
i know of several on the board that build frames, myself included. IMO, and for the money, I would buy NRS stock, and a mess of low pro's, and start laying it out. you could easily have a 5 bay frame, or six depending on your set up. Low pro's are easy to work with, and pretty darn solid. if you don't have a chop saw, you can even buy a junker at a pawn shop. with some basic measurments you could have a frame put together in a few hours., for a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a fabricated frame.


I built a frame for a guy with a avon pro, it was pretty trick, double rail, 6061 t-6 rails, 6061-t-6 d-plate, 1/4 inch, 5 bay, powdercoat, and it was 1900.00, just to give you an idea.
Expedition Gear Rental
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Old 06-18-2008   #5
grandyoso's Avatar
Icebox, Colorado
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 260
In Denver

Down River Equipment and AAA inflatables are to shops that can do it all.
Expensive but good quality.
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Old 06-18-2008   #6
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
AAA is not actually more expensive than say an NRS frame plus they can customize it for you. I'd say give them a call or stop by and talk to them - cool folks and really informative.
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Old 06-18-2008   #7
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 171
I'd at least check out PRO outfitters in Flagstaff. I've seen a few of their frames and have been super impressed. I think it's what OARS runs on most of thier boats and I have yet to see a frame as impressively built. PRO: Grand Canyon Rafting
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Old 06-18-2008   #8
aurora, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 107
big frames

I copied their 'major baggage' design for my frame on my 17' I can haul a LOT easily. Dunno about prices, etc. But another option, for sure. The River Source
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Old 06-18-2008   #9
castle rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 203
I love my Down River. They set me up with a great frame for my sister who is in a wheelchair. Bunch of great folks. Very nice frames and great things to make it just what you want and need
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Old 06-18-2008   #10
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
I recommend you check out pro or Canyon REO for rigging setup. The standard setup is, sit on cooler, cockpit with 3 20mm ammo cans on each side (sitting on hanging metal cockpit floor), front bay for dry box or drop bag. Then a trailer frame in front, which is just another small frame to make a 2nd front bay. Decking over the side tubes. Beaver board slung in the stern for holding gear. I had drop bags in both those front bays, with hinged hatches over the top. You can also use a table, but then at camp you lose your bay cover. If you want to sleep on your boat (which I recommend cuz then you don't have to haul as much crap up and down, and you aren't IN and ON the sand) you don't want that platform to go away with the table. One in our group also had some platforms that covered the cockpit, so they had a HUGE flat area on top.

Some people put the trailer frame in the back, but I don't see how you'd balance your load that way, and you'd end up sitting too far forward for my comfort.

have fun!

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