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Old 06-06-2009   #31
portland, Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
how do you do on hills?

Originally Posted by tomrefried View Post
here's my trailer, also towed by a Subaru. I couldn't get the picture to load earlier
I am considering an 09 outback or forester. how does your subaru do on hills? anything I need to know about towing my raft with a subaru?

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Old 06-06-2009   #32
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Northern Tool had a 4x8 folding utility trailer kit on sale for $179 (half the usual price). With wheels, tires, and shipping it came to about $350. I had some Kee-Klamps (steel fittings like SpeedRail but way heavy) lying around so I got some top-rail tubing and built the rack (another $50-75). Since my boat's wider than the trailer frame, I had to lower the trailer fenders a bit and build the rack to clear them, wider than the frame.

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The only other mod was to drill new holes in the tongue so I could extend it. The rollers are PVC pipe. The rack unbolts and lifts off in about 10-15 minutes. I also made a plywood bed and slat sides for utility use.

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This is a minimalist approach: light trailer and fuel-efficient tow vehicle (2000 Honda C-RV). Most of our trailering is short shuttles on 2-lane blacktop. I might trailer the boat over to the North Platte (30-odd miles to the put-in) but for driving interstates would put the frame & oars on a roofrack and the rest in the vehicle. I really hate trailering a boat at high speed.

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Old 06-06-2009   #33
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
I'm glad to see so many of those 4X8 folding utility trailers in use! I just bought one myself and was wondering how it would hold up. I was originally thinking I'd basically use it for hauling everything to and from the river in pieces, rather than inflating the raft and hauling everything rigged and ready to go. From the sounds of things, maybe I can actually haul it ready to drop into the water!

I also like the smaller cars hauling 14' rafts. I'll be using a Mustang GT, which is going to look ridiculous but sounds like it will get the job done. Should have plenty of motor, and with 1,000 lb towing capacity, I assume that loads won't be an issue. Any ideas on what fully loaded rafts in that size weigh? Sure, it depends on what you are taking, but I am assuming the basics (raft, frame, oars, etc) are going to be relatively close for most folks. The rest is beer, right? LOL

I kind of like that frame that can be removed, but I've seen/heard others be concerned about road debris. I was going to build a platform out of plywood and 2X?'s (to get over the wheels) and throw some carpet on top. Seems like the best bet for protecting the boat. I also liked the side rails idea so that coolers, etc can be put under the boat, with the boat on top.

At the end of the day, I'm thinking I'll probably just leave a little room underneath for the oars and make the platform just high enough to clear the wheels. I think that will be best for wind, etc as well as protecting the boat itself. Does anyone else have any good pictures, close up with details, on these little fold-up utility trailers? Mine will be here next week, so that's my next project.
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Old 06-08-2009   #34
San Juan Islands, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 217
Originally Posted by dreines View Post
I am considering an 09 outback or forester. how does your subaru do on hills? anything I need to know about towing my raft with a subaru?
I don't have any problems with hills. On long steep grades with the trailer and car fully loaded I'll occasionally downshift to third to give the engine a break but it will never drop below 55mph. I just came over the pass today with it and it still gets 20 mpg pulling 2000 lbs.
I was told recently that Subaru recommends trailer brakes on trailers over 1000 lbs, I've never had any problems (even in snow) but they would be a nice option.

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