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Old 05-05-2009   #21
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 58
I think that it might also have something to do with the power of your vehicle. As I said - my Honda CRV suffered pulling a sail behind me - if I have a more powerful vehicle that would not even blink, then perhaps I would reconsider. Where I live - I cannot leave my boat inflated, on the trailer. It would become re-distributed property faster than I could imagine. So I have to inflate it and rig it each time I go play, whether that is at the put in, or at home - is a matter of economics.

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Old 05-05-2009   #22
class 3 felon's Avatar
pine, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 175
I need to pick up a trailer hitch for the wife's Nissan. Saw a real pretty yellow one for sale on JC Whitney that would match the boat oars. Anyone have a better suggestion? ANYONE?...Class?.............Carlson?

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Old 05-13-2009   #23
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22
We just got our first raft, 14ft vanguard. I've been using a 10ft triton snowmobile trailer with outdoor carpet on it for transporting the raft inflated.

After cleaning and applying 303 to the boat we drove down to the Upper Colorado for a day trip. When we got there I noticed the boat was covered in dirt. All the dust from the dirt road stuck to the 303 covering the entire boat. Also found rocks/pebbles in the boat and on the trailer underneath the boat.

I have a tundra with plenty of room for boat and gear. I'm thinking it would be better to just deflate the boat. Seems like its more work to clean off the boat/trailer than it would be to just re-inflate the boat at the put it. Not to mention the time I would save driving without the trailer attached.
Is it going to wreck the boat if I roll it up or fold it in thirds to transport it? The boat is always stored indoors and inflated.
Any thoughts?
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Old 05-13-2009   #24
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pine, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 175
DRanged- I agree, I'm off to the Green in a week and I think I'll strapn the frame down to the trailer and roll up the boat and put it in the back off the pickup. Then inflate it at camp and trailer to river for put in. Shorter trips I'll leave the boat inflated on the trailer for now, I think.
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Old 05-13-2009   #25
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 36
Originally Posted by muttster View Post
I have talked to several people about using trailers, and everyone has a different opinion. Here is my question. How far will you trailer your raft inflated? Is it better to deflate it and use the trailer to haul your gear? Are there concerns about rubbing and chaffing if you keep your raft inflated? Ok, that is more than one question, but I am curious as to what everyone thinks.


I use my snowmobile tilt trailer with marine carpet and padding underlay. Love it for shuttling. Last year though heading to Westwater had a deer run out of the woodwork and blast my raft on the trailer....bummer.... ripped a big hole. ended up messing up the trip. so beware, poo happens
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Old 05-13-2009   #26
timbuktu, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 679
I trailer everywhere. I make absolutely certain that the trailer bed is free of rocks and sand before I pull my raft on. Living in Summit, there's a pass virtually everywhere I go, so yes I pay attention to the air pressure. Even coming back from the Upper C I have to let quite a bit of air out at Kremmling and the boat is stiff by the time I roll into Silverthorne.

I leave the frame on, I have a couple pieces of foam that I wedge between the frame and the boat for extra piece of mind regarding rubbing. They stay in there no problem. I do not deflate my raft for anything other than fall cleaning (Aire, so I have to unzip and check for pebbles between the bladder and the outer layer). My raft stays in the garage on the trailer year around, it's way more important to me than the brand new truck that pulls it! So my truck get's to stay outside! My raft is four years old now and looks practically brand new.

I do use the car wash, just keep the tip of the spray gun a ways from from the boat, some of those things are so powerful they are dangerous. Don't use soap, just rinse water, I use spot free at the end because it's a cleaner water.
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Old 05-13-2009   #27
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22
So does everyone trailer there boat inflated because its more convenient or do they trailer there boat to prevent possible damage from deflating/folding/rolling boat up?
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Old 05-14-2009   #28
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Originally Posted by RDrangstveit View Post
So does everyone trailer there boat inflated because its more convenient or do they trailer there boat to prevent possible damage from deflating/folding/rolling boat up?
When I had hypalon, it was because I was lazy. Now that I have urethane, it's both lazy and a hassle rolling. However, I am transporting my cat rolled this weekend since we don't want to take the trailer and have the boat un-secured outside the vehicle.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 05-15-2009   #29
Tiggy's Avatar
Steamboat Springs, CO
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 213
OK. Some good Ideas if not great!
I have a quick question. I opted out of a new truck to rebuild my 91' Toyota pickup, 4 cyl, not the most guts in the world but she can haul alot of weight.
Would you guys go with a utilitty trailer:

Cons: Higher ride, possible difficulty getting boat on, lots of air flowing under

Pros: more storage under the boat

Or a snowmobile trailer:

Pros: Light trailer, low profile, break neck trailer.

Cons: no storage except in the boat.

Id like to go with a fully rigged boat, after reading a post here, I guess a guy could rig on the trailer the night before then just go for it, thats really not a bad thought. I own a Maravia , so pending temps, she rolls different.
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Old 05-15-2009   #30
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
I keep my boat fully rigged on my trailer, travel with it that way for convenience and quick launching at the ramp.

You say your 4-cyl truck doesn't have tons of power. Why pull an extra 500 lbs of steel? If you get a heavy utility trailer you'll need more power. Don't let the tail wag the dog and make you want a bigger truck.

You've got room in the bed of the truck for extra stuff. If you've got a shell you've got all the storage you need. Load and rig before you leave home, drive to the put-in, launch in 5 minutes, then send the truck on shuttle while you finish rigging.

Here's a trip report I wrote back when I first got my aluminum snowmobile trailer in 2003. My Subaru now has about 260,000 miles on it and has since pulled my raft & trailer about 30,000 of those miles.

A boating buddy recently explained his big Ford Excursion this way: "95% of my driving needs could be met with a volkswagon beetle but I need something for the remaining 5%." I see so many otherwise ecologically-minded boaters driving big gas-guzzling SUVs or pick-up trucks to accomocate the boating lifestyle that I want to post my recent experience with an alternative setup. Here's a highway trip report of my first test-run with a recently acquired light-weight trailer and my Subaru station wagon.


Denver to Ruby Ranch on the Green River south of Moab, float 3 days in Labyrinth Canyon, takeout at Mineral Bottom, Moab Daily run for splashy rapids, return to Denver. 950 miles total.


*Vehicle: 1994 Subaru Legacy Wagon, 2.2 Liter engine, 160K miles, 5-speed, rated towng capacity 1000 lbs w/o trailer brakes, 2000 w/ trailer brakes.

*Trailer: Converted aluminum 10' x 6'8" snowmobile trailer w/ 5/8" plywood decking & rollers across the back, approx 450 lbs unloaded, 8" wheels, 2400 lbs rated carriage capacity

*Boat & Gear: 13' SB raft w/ oar setup (inflated during transit), 2-person duckie (rolled during transit)

*Standard rafting gear - 120 qt cooler, camping gear, steel firepan, relatively spartan but more than adequate kitchen setup, Ecosafe groover setup, overpacked personal gear + contingency gear, overpacked food, boat was loaded level w/ gear while on trailer

*Thule roof box

*Personnel: 2 adults, 2 adolescent girls + small dog

The Subaru pulled the load beautifully, freeway speeds of generally 75 mph w/ no trouble, dropped to 55 - 60 mph (3rd gear) on major passes (Georgetown Hill, Vail Pass, Floyd Hill, etc.), could've done 70 easily if I'd wanted to tach it out. No trouble pulling load up the hairy road out of Mineral Bottom. Easily did 85 - 90 mph w/ gusty tailwinds coming east and noticed most significent drag w/ strong headwinds when I had to drop to 4th gear and drive about 65 - 70 mph (4000 rpm). No noticable engine temp difference from unloaded driving conditions. Usual milage for a similar trip w/out trailer and all the gear is about 25 mpg (mountain driving included), for this trip overall the milage was just over 20.5 mpg. Trailer was hitched the entire time.

We did 75% of our shopping & filled water jugs after going over the major mountain passes (City Market in Fruita). I think the Subaru could haul an inflated 16' boat w/ similar setup & load just as easily w/ out the roof box wind drag. With a boat rolled and gear on trailer, I expect to be able to haul an adequate load for a 1- 2 week river trip with the same car/trailer setup and a bigger boat.

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
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