Trailering vs. rolling boat in truck - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-02-2019   #1
 
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1994
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Trailering vs. rolling boat in truck

Going from Missoula to San Juan in late March. About 900 miles each way. Waffling between trailering and rolling boat in truck. Good steel trailer with 15Ē wheels. Tundra. Would obviously prefer to trailer to avoid breakdown, rigging, etc. Concerns include pulling trailer on questionable roads (icey, etc) and overall distance versus rolling into truck and maxing truck payload and space. Letís hear your thoughts on pros/cons of each!

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Old 03-02-2019   #2
 
Denver, Colorado
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I drove Denver to north of missoula this past summer. I rolled and put in the bed. I didnít want to deal with unforeseen trailer BS and I didnít regret my decision. That being said I was on the river for 6 straight days so I rigged once and de rigged once so wasnít a big deal for that much time on the water.
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Old 03-02-2019   #3
 
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lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
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Snowmobilers (me) pull fully enclosed trailers with 4 sleds over multiple snow packed mtn. passes all the time with no problems. I almost never travel with my boats not inflated and rigged, never had a problem doing that also. I have never had a trailer issue (knock on wood) but, have had truck problems.
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Old 03-02-2019   #4
 
Carbondale, Colorado
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I've been all over the Western US, in all kinds of weather pulling my cat on a trailer. Aside from a flat or two I've never had any problems. I do take care of my bearings every year and make sure the lighting works but I think it's far better way to travel if you have a good trailer. Each to his own though
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Old 03-02-2019   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
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Allow me to amend.

I too pull enclosed snowmobile trailers like bighorn. Iím 100% in agreement with him. I put my stuff in the truck bed because I had to take breakdown oars, had to pack all my stuff in on mules when I got there, and I could travel with my tonneau cover closed.

If I had full length oars and full coolers etc id 100% trailer. I would never put my sleds in my truck no matter what. My enclosed trailer has all my stuff and the convenience and protection it affords is worth any ďriskĒ of towing it 1000 miles.

Just depends on your situation.
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Old 03-02-2019   #6
 
Missoula, Montana
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Thanks all. I had the same thoughts as most of you, but didnít want to taint the thread with a loaded question. Iíve also read through the ďtrailering long distanceĒ thread on MB. Actually seems like more risk of damage rolling than trailering. Iíll keep monitoring to see if anyone else chimes in. Seems like trailer is the way to go.
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Old 03-02-2019   #7
 
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Gunnison, Colorado
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Almost always trailer boat rigged and ready on a snowmobile trailer, never had a problem. 10's of thousands of miles put on that trailer with the boat on it. Keep everything tight on the trailer as screws tend to come loose from the deck plywood when shuttled empty over rough dirt roads. Now I have the plywood doubled up and thru bolted with Nylar lock nuts thru the deck plywood to keep screws from loosening up. Gives it a little more weight when boat is off on shuttle runs so it doesn't bounce quite as much empty. Colorado to Boundary Creek, Deso/Grey (Sand Wash and 9 Mile), Westwater many times. Lots of rivers with little to no dirt roads. Check air in boat tubes when climbing passes or after dropping in altitude from Colorado High Country. I always carry a spare tire and spare trailer hub with two sets of bearings. Never needed them, but they are there. The only time I travel with it rolled in the back of the truck is an early season trip to the Salt or San Juan where it is already rolled up from storage over the winter and I know I will have to de-rig to haul it to put in (Salt) or from take out (San Juan). Also the trailer is still buried in a couple feed of snow in March and I don't want to dig it out of the yard. Once it is on the trailer (after the snow melts off the trailer) typically it does not get rolled again until the late fall.
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Old 03-03-2019   #8
 
Missoula, Montana
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BackCountry- ewww. Sand wash. That road is a trailer destroyer. I like the idea of doubling the ply. And the bearings, but Iíll have to look at that and see if I have the skills to deal should I have a bearing failure. I do travel with a greaser, and look at bearings at most stops. Thanks.
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Old 03-03-2019   #9
 
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Gunnison, Colorado
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Replacing bearings is very easy. Jack up the trailer, remove the tire, remove the grease cap and cotter pin, undo the spindle nut, pull off the hub and bearing assembly, install new pre-greased bearings and hub, tighten down spindle nut so there is no play in the bearing (do not tighten bolt - hub should spin freely with no friction while having now up/down or side to side play) and reinstall the cotter pin and grease cap, reinstall the tire and you are on your way. The hardest part sometimes is prying off the grease cap without ruining it. I always check and see if there is any play in the wheel before long trips and grease the bearings. I haul a lot of trailers for work, rafting and 5th wheel - bearing maintenance is important.



Everyone fears the 9 Mile Canyon road for some reason. Road vehicles may suffer a bit on it with the sharp rocks and long dirt sections. Heavy Duty trucks with good LT 10 ply rated tires have no issues on it. It is very well maintained these days with all the oil and gas work out there. Not much worse than Sand Wash, just a longer dirt road section.
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Old 03-03-2019   #10
 
Missoula, Montana
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BackCountry- thanks for the bearing lesson! Iím gonna go through it while sitting in front of the trailer. Sounds straight forward. Iím pretty vigilant about maintenance of all gear. Re 9-mile and sand wash. I havenít been back to those parts in about 20 years, but used to guide on desk/grey, Juan, ladore, etc. So it will be cool to show the family and check out old haunts. I appreciate your beta on trailering. In my reckless youth I would have just risked it. But now with family I want to make sure everything goes real smooth.
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