Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-23-2016   #1
Hard pack, Utah
Paddling Since: 01
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 67
Trailering an inflated raft

Hey all,

I'm going to make the move soon from mainly carrying rolled up in the truck to pulling it inflated on a flat trailer

I wonder what advice/insight the forum has regarding traveling with an inflated raft

I've done it a bit in the past, and I've searched through some older threads here for info; but I'm excited, and hungry for more information

NWO Whiewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2016   #2
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4

1) You will never need a spare tire until you leave home without one.
2) It's easy to get carried away with strapping down. One on the nose going forward and a good one aft over the top side-to-side is good 99% of the time.
3)ANYTHING touching aluminum (or other metal) will rub itself into a messy worn out crap fest. ie Don't let your oars ride on your frame or the road vibration will make you sad.
4)Unplug your lights before backing into the water.
5)If you're having problems with your trailer lights the problem is with your ground.
6)If your lights don't work see #5.
7)Having a spare tire isn't much good if you don't have the right lug wrench.
If it can blow out of your raft it will. (And you won't see it when it does)
9)The raft is a great carry all for equipment until you have to carry your now heavy monster down to the river. PPPPPPP
proper prior preparation prevents piss poor performance
10)99% of all blown out raft floors and other damage from over inflation come from a raft taken out of a cool river and put on a trailer (usually black) and left in the sun to double its psi while the owner is tooling down the road. If you don't clean and maintain your floor relief valve they probably aren't working.
11)Note #10 should be #1.


Hold my Beer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2016   #3
mattman's Avatar
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,047
Service or get serviced once a year, your bearings, it is no fun beating and cutting heat welded parts on the side of the road. Don't trust the grease zerk, take them apart and clean/ replace/grease. ( ask me how I know).

Watch your pressure also going from high to low elevation, Pump it tight when dropping, bleed it kinda soft going low to high. Ratchet straps bounce off if a boat gets mushy.

Trailers generally kick as inspite of the problems.
Think of me what you will, I got a little space to fill.
mattman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2016   #4
Paul7's Avatar
Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 781
Trailer tires are about as reliable as a politician (pick your color). Always run recommend pressure and inspect with every stop. I like to put my hand on the tires and hub with every stop checking for heat.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
Paul7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016   #5
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 244
checking bearings is good. but, a properly greased bearing should last a long time.
i just changed mine this year, after 13 seasons! And I regularly back into the water. jack it up and spin them once a year, make sure it is smooth and there is no looseness in the bearings. pop the cap off and look at the grease, any water in the cap or on the grease and you will need to repack or replace.

a raft at low pressure at 7000 feet will be way over pressure going over a high pass. a boat at low pressure at 7000 feet taken to 5000 feet will be darn near flat.
spencerhenry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016   #6
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 298
I always travel with my boat inflated. Many trips over many miles. Never a problem.
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
shoenfeld13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016   #7
Cortez, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 151
The feedback in this thread could just be put into a trailering how-to manual, without editing. Valuable, experience-based info!
Note: Experience = dirty knees, bloody knuckles and cussing.....been there - done that
grumper13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016   #8
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,661
Hold my beer pretty much nailed it...Just remember it's not rocket science - it's trailering a boat. Use your common sense, double and triple check everything and maintain your bearings and all will be well. If you put on a lot of miles it's always a good idea to have a spare hub and bearing assembly. If you do have a problem with a bearing it'll happen at 10:30 on sunday night in a rain storm. Simplifying the repair is key. I carry two spares tires on long trips.

Always check the air in your boat (rule #10 should be rule #1)and never use open hooked ratchet straps on an inflatable (pressure changes will leave them on the side of the road). I strap mine on at the 4 corners, easy enough and I've seen boats move around alot when only strapped at the bow and across the stern with one strap. They probably wouldn't have fallen off but it distracts the driver as he starts watching the boat more than the road.

I'd add not to let your boat rest on your roller - I've seen a lot of wear happen when they are together.


Bigger tires = less problems. I'm not saying to stuff 36's under your trailer but 14-15" wheels significantly out perform 12" which outperform the little snowmobile trailer wheels... Get the biggest wheel and tire package that works with your rig.

I too touch my tires and hubs at stops - that'll tell you a lot about impending failure.
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
elkhaven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016   #9
yesimapirate's Avatar
Denver-ish, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 741
Many good things said here. One I haven't seen mentioned yet - be conscious of where you strap, its cam, and the excess strap are placed. On my setup they are constantly in a high speed flapping/vibrating motion. I try to always keep the cam from touching boat, frame, or even other straps.
I recall one trip traveling back East from Moab where I failed miserably with this because I secured the excess strap poorly, and the it ate 2/3 of the way thru the strap by Silverthorne. Was glad I caught it before it went further.

Also, ditto ElkHaven
Originally Posted by elkhaven View Post
I too touch my tires and hubs at stops - that'll tell you a lot about impending failure.

“HOLD THE DOOR!” — Hodor
yesimapirate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016   #10
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,911
I like to keep my boat tight on the trailer and against the straps. When I see the boat squishy and bouncing, I can just imagine that it's stressing the straps much more than when the boat's inflated and everything's tight. Remember to let some air out on the way up a high pass, top off when you get back down, and be aware to let air out when you take it out of the cold water and drive off into the hot desert.

Have fun!


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
Andy H. is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

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

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trailering for long distances MDC902 Whitewater Rafting 29 12-04-2014 06:10 PM
rudder to make paddling inflated raft easier bennetthaselton Whitewater Rafting 11 07-01-2014 11:03 AM
Storing inflated raft outside? TimEubanks Rafting | Gear Talk 5 07-23-2012 02:21 PM
Raft storing in winter..inflated Herm99 Whitewater Rafting 5 11-05-2011 04:16 PM
Trailering your raft to the river muttster Rafting | Gear Talk 47 01-30-2010 02:29 PM

» Classified Ads
Patagonia Guidewater and...

posted by clemkins

Two patagonia drybags, one is the guidewater II 50L, the...

Recretec Folding River...

posted by clemkins

Recretec folding river table, purchased from Clavey in...

2016 Blue 16' NRS River...

posted by Ripple

2016 Blue NRS River Cataraft Tubes - only used on one river...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.