Trailered Rafts - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-08-2018   #1
speyguy's Avatar
Cascadia, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 34
Trailered Rafts

So after 17 years as a cat boater, I'm switching to a raft. It was a big JPW Daddy cat and it was time to down size. I bought it as a river station wagon back in 2001, but now he kids are grown and the wife only does about 1 multi day trip a year with me.

My cat was set up with 2 large dry boxes and a 128 qt cooler. When I trailered it, all the boxes were packed and riding in the boat on the trailer and even a dry bag or 2. So when I launched there really wasn't much to do but get the beast off the trailer.

For people that trailer rafts, do most of you take your boxes out when you're trailering? It seems like in a raft the tolerances are are little tighter with the boxes and then with the floor so close, maybe the chances of rubbing something raw in transport is a little more likely. I'm just trying to figure my next trailer out and if I should get something with more trailer storage as opposed to a flat bed.

Should I be concerned about trailering a raft with fully loaded boxes and a cooler?

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Old 06-08-2018   #2
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2013
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My coolers and boxes don't touch any part of my raft other than the frame. no matter hard it bounces it won't touch the raft. I have 1 cooler in a dropbag, one in a sling. and the drybox hanging on tabs. I keep them all loaded on the trailer. Backup to the water, and roll it off. the only thing that sucks, is that it's on a deck over trailer and loading it is a bit of a bugger with the height. but if you have a flat bed trailer, it probably won't be a problem, for you.
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Old 06-09-2018   #3
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Same here.... the boxes and cooler are in the raft & loaded. I fill at least the most forward end of the raft on the trailer with soft gear to keep weight forward on the trailer & sometimes fill the rower's bay with a few things as well.

I made the switch from cats to a raft 3 years ago. I kept my basic NRS cat frame (minus the lower rails) as it was a perfect fit for my Sotar SL14 raft. My dry boxes were shorter to fit the cat, so they don't touch/rub the sides of the raft.
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Old 06-09-2018   #4
speyguy's Avatar
Cascadia, Oregon
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Posts: 34
Thanks, that's what I wanted to hear.
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Old 06-09-2018   #5
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 2017
Join Date: Jun 2017
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I keep mine loaded, haven't had an issue yet.
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Old 06-09-2018   #6
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 63
Agree with the prior replies. My dry box also has foam on the bottom, so no rubbing. I do sometimes unload the cooler before dropping the boat, as we have a platform above the deck and it can be pretty heavy. But to/from the river, as much as possible goes into the boat - just simpler that way and more room in the vehicle for people.
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