Transport inflated? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-14-2018   #1
 
Langley, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 10
Transport inflated?

When driving to / from a river, we have always put the frame on our trailer with the raft rolled up inside of it, covered by a tarp, and surrounded by all the other gear. This works fine, and keeps the raft well-protected on the highway, but creates a lot of extra work at both ends of the river trip. This next trip, I'm considering transporting the raft inflated and rigged. I know I'll love the convenience at the put-in and take-out, but wonder if it's bad for the raft.

I'm just curious if anyone has strong opinions about going 350 miles on the highway with a big yellow balloon bouncing behind the truck. My wife does, but then she has strong opinions about everything...and she's usually right.

Thanks,
Caleb

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Old 06-14-2018   #2
 
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Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
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My first boat probably had 75k miles of montana trailer time (i.e, 80 mph interstate and 60 mph gravel roads) - my new one is probably 15k in including 5 trips of 350+ each way. I pull it fully rigged and almost ready to push off the trailer and row away... To say I'm not concerned about it being bad for my boat is an extreme understatement.
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Old 06-14-2018   #3
 
codycleve's Avatar
 
salmon, Idaho
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I have not deflated my boat since I got it in 2012. I pull the coolers and boxes and put them in the pickup bed.. Frame stays on and all soft goods stay in the boat. I think you are more likely to damage your boat rolled and rubbing on something in the back of your pickup than inflated on the trailer. It takes very little effort to add or deflate your tubes with the passes.
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Old 06-14-2018   #4
 
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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I pull mine fully rigged all the time. That's the whole point of a trailer! Thousands of miles so far and no issues. Sometimes even with a second one on top of it. The second hurts the mileage a bit more, but still all good. I put foam pads at the pressure points between the two to keep from damaging anything.

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Old 06-14-2018   #5
 
bighorn1478@msn.com's Avatar
 
lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
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I pull with everything I can loaded into the boat except my gear bag and oars. My goal is to put the oars in the oar locks, toss my gear bag in, undo two straps and shove. My record from the time I stated backing down the ramp till I pulled up from it to park is under 5 minutes with outrushing. I do inflate to my launch pressure before backing down. Like elkhaven, Over 100,000 miles of pulling trailer with inflated, loaded boat with no issues other than with the tow vehicle. I even carry a separate cooler, stove, etc. sometimes for pre launch food and meals to really make things easy.
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Old 06-14-2018   #6
 
Langley, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Well that there is plenty of ammunition to use in my defense! Thanks, all--this was so helpful!
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Old 06-14-2018   #7
 
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salmon, Idaho
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The only reason I pull my dry box and coolers is because we almost always have boats stacked 2 to 3 deep. If I am not stacking boats they stay in the boat.
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Old 06-14-2018   #8
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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x6 - my first 6 or 7 years were spent inflating/rafting/deflating, and I got a trailer in 2010 or 2011, and have barely deflated since. I do deflate and roll my boats (preferably in warm-ish weather) each fall, and wait until warm-ish weather to re-inflate every spring, since it's easier to store them at my house deflated for the winter.


I completely agree that the whole point of a trailer is to save the hassle of inflating/deflating!!!! Also like codycleve, I pull coolers/dryboxes to stack--they're HEAVY!
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Old 06-14-2018   #9
 
Boise, ID
Paddling Since: '99
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You’ll probably do more harm pulling a rolled boat around than inflated. There is the mpg argument but it’s not much of an argument.
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Old 06-14-2018   #10
Di
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Agree with everything above. Have not fully deflated my 15" raft since I bought it in 2002 and have never had any damage or chafing. It lives on my trailer with the frame on top and I too load everything I can in it for travel. Just pay attention to significant changes in elevation and temperature - might have to add/release a little air and tighten/loosen straps. As others have said, the whole point of a trailer is to save all that work at the put in, and more importantly, the takeout when you just want to get off the ramp and on the road.
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