Flatbed Truck For Rigged Raft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-01-2020   #1
 
phx, Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Flatbed Truck For Rigged Raft

This is likely stoopidest post you have likely seen so far this year, but here goes…

I have a 16’ cataraft that was gifted to me, and I am mulling over ideas on how to get it on the water. The obvious choice would be a trailer, but I live in an apartment complex so I can’t store a trailer anywhere except my garage. I would need to pay to store it at a lot, and the inconvenience would suck.

To get around the storage issue, a flatbed truck crossed my mind. I don’t think I would get any hassle for having a truck at my place. The problem would be loading an unloading the raft, and how to do that single-handed (truth be told I have two functioning hands, but you get what I mean…). Yeah, I am total dork, such a dork that I often take my other smaller raft out on the lake when rivers ain't running here in AZ. I am on the water frequent enough where I could justify having a truck dedicated to fit this need.

Any ideas on how to get a rigged cataraft (16’ long and 8’ wide) loaded and unloaded using a flatbed truck?

Would you dare backing a 4x4 truck directly into the water via a lake boat ramp? Would you build a ramp system? Would you build some sort of other lever?

In the end, I will likely just get a trailer, but I wanted to bounce this alternative off y’all.

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Old 01-01-2020   #2
My name isn't Will
 
Will Amette's Avatar
 
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 175
I take my raft off my trailer to clean it and apply 303 every year. Well, not exactly. I take the frame off and clean it on the trailer, but I do flip it over.



Can I assume you will be storing rolled but just want a way to haul it rigged to the river? Assemble the tubes on the truck and strap the frame on. Easy. Easier than a raft perhaps. If you're thinking about a flatbed to leave the raft on, you could store a trailer in the same place you'd store the truck, no?


Depends on the ramp. Dumping your differential in the water can lead to some issues, but could work.



Good luck!
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My name isn't actually Will.
I live in the Willamette Valley about a half mile from the Willamette River.
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Old 01-01-2020   #3
 
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jul 2011
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That would be a big truck for a long enough flatbed that would take a 16 ft'r. I've thought of a flatbed with a cage for securing gear and a lumber style rack on top for a rigged raft. (similar to a rafting company rig). I would guess a power winch and rollers on the back would work without having six guides and customers to help load.....
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Old 01-01-2020   #4
 
phx, Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Amette View Post
If you're thinking about a flatbed to leave the raft on, you could store a trailer in the same place you'd store the truck, no?


Depends on the ramp. Dumping your differential in the water can lead to some issues, but could work.

Good question about clarifying the difference about storing a trailer vs a truck. I asked the complex about leaving a trailer, and they said no. That when I thought of a well I could keep an extra car, and fly under the radar. I would generally rig and de-rig at home, and store the raft in my garage.

Thanks for voicing the concern about the about the differential. I also was concerned about having the exhaust fully submerged when driving in and out.
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Old 01-01-2020   #5
 
phx, Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerocam View Post
That would be a big truck for a long enough flatbed that would take a 16 ft'r.

I would guess a power winch and rollers on the back would work without having six guides and customers to help load.....
Yeppers. It would like need to be a pretty large truck, and that would be pretty tough to find to fit the needs. Especially some sort of conventional truck. That might be something that doesn't exist without adding some serious bed extension (which could potentially mess up the viability of the lights). Likely an extreme long shot, but a kid can dream though ahahahaha.

I was picturing a winch built hell-for-stout on the headache rack. Two planks for ramps with rollers or perhaps just a couple long pvc pipes for rollers.
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Old 01-01-2020   #6
 
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
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Shooting from the hip my first reaction is to build a ramp that goes up to cab height to store some of the boat above and below the bed to get that much boat on the truck rigged. If you're going to break down if think a sheet metal shop could cheap and easily build some sides for the bed to put a camper shell on to give lots of lockable storage room.
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Old 01-02-2020   #7
 
phx, Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly By Night View Post
Shooting from the hip my first reaction is to build a ramp that goes up to cab height to store some of the boat above and below the bed to get that much boat on the truck rigged.
Hmm, that is an option that hadn't crossed my mind. Well played!
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Old 01-02-2020   #8
 
Salida, Colorado
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I saw a guy with a setup like this once, he had 2 ramps that he hung on the back of the 12 foot flatbed, and a ramp in the bed up to cab height with a small electric winch to pull the boat up the ramps, was a pretty sweet setup until he tried to drive up the Westwater launch ramp empty. It was only a 2WD truck, and he helplessly spun the rear duals until I hooked a strap to him and drug him up the ramp. I confess I wondered about what the boat sticking up over the cab did to the already poor fuel mileage too.



Flatbeds typically large enough to have a 12 foot bed typically are built on 1 ton chassis trucks, so stiff suspensions, poor fuel mileage on almost all the new ones, be it gas or diesel, and cost a fortune to insure due to the damage all that weigh moving at speed can inflict, not to mention 30 to 35K on a set of 6 tires, brakes at 40K, they are expensive to own, I've had a few of them over the years.



You might do a cost / benefit analysis, seems that no matter how I look at it, a trailer seems the cheaper and more versatile option, your problem being where to store it.

There are a lot of boaters in the PHX / FLG area, perhaps sign up to the Central AZ Paddlers club yahoo group [email protected] and making a post seeing if another boater has room to store your rig in a convenient spot for minimal cash outlay?
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Old 01-02-2020   #9
 
mcfarrel's Avatar
 
Cheyenne, Wyoming
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Posts: 90
https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/c...044639014.html

Get yourself a flatbed tow truck...
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Old 01-02-2020   #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 18
If you are going to de-rig and deflate at home, why not just rig and de-rig at the boat ramp, and transport the boat deflated? I rented an 18 foot cat this summer; it was deflated when I picked it up. I was able to fit the deflated tubes, dry box and cooler in the back of my short bed Tacoma (with a truck topper), and strap the frame to the top of truck topper (I have racks up there). The tubes, dry box and cooler were a tight fit, but it was a big box and cooler and a small truck. Seems like any full size truck with a topper would be plenty big.
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