Transporting 16' raft without a trailer - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-09-2018   #1
Cortez, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1900
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22
Transporting 16' raft without a trailer

Looking for anyone out there with a 16' rig who doesn't have the luxury/finances/space for trailer transport. Thinking about a roll-able 16' (Hyside/NRS) that will be stored rolled and transported rolled - wondering if anyone else out there is doing the same and how much a pain it is.......for reference Im coming from a Hyside Mini Max and am used to going backpacker style for 1 so transport has always been pretty simple. Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-09-2018   #2
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 2017
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 17
Last year we deflated and transported our 14' trib in the back of a pickup for every trip (12 or so) and laid the frame on the bedrails. It added an hour to both sides of the trip to inflate/rig than deflate/unrig. TBH it was a pain in the ass but we didn't have any other options so we dealt with it.

I picked up a trailer last fall and now its 10 min to load and top off and we are floating, even faster to take out. Don't think I'd ever go without a trailer again.
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Old 06-09-2018   #3
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 154
You don't says anything about the vehicle you are using which would be good to know. That said, I had a 16ft hyside that I transported in a Jeep Cherokee for about 5 seasons. No problem.

Hypalon boats are good for that type of deal and as long as you don't do sloppy taco rolls before and after trips then they will get smaller than you'd think.

Get a good roof rack for the frame and be ready to strap dry bags up there when you've got other folks in the truck.

Sounds like you are already a lightweight packer so that helps.

Big trucks vs. a Prius helps allot, of course. I've migrated towards Suburbans these days as they are comfortable people and roomy gear haulers. Even with 3 people and a cooler, nothing needs to up top beside the frame and shitter( for obvious reasons other than space).

I completely get why folks trailer but doubt I ever will. A little organization, a good sized truck, hypalon raft and practice...not a big deal. Makes life easier for those frequent 4wd access points, too.

A well practiced guy with a trailer is always going to be faster than a well practiced guy rigging ground up. That said, can't tell you how many times I've been on the water faster than folks with trailers, too.

Less crap and a good system works wonders. Good luck with it.
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Old 06-14-2018   #4
Gary F
Philipsburg, Montana
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 47
I have been rafting a long time. I had trailers only when I worked for someone but as a private boater no one had a trailer. Now, everyone seems to have a trailer. I did have trucks throughout however. Suburbans are awesome. Now I have a 1 ton with 4 doors and a shell on the back with a roof rack. At home for the winter, I keep the boat very loosely rolled as I don't have the space to keep it inflated. I definitely can beat many people who have trailers at put in. These days put in roads are better. Before, there were a lot of places where you couldn't take a trailer.
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Old 06-14-2018   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 205
I have a few buddies without a trailer and really I can't imagine doing it. Even if you have room for a rolled raft and frame, what about all the coolers, dryboxes ext. My recommendation is to buy a trailer when you buy a raft, and better just get a good trailer too, bc a shitty trailer is worse than no trailer. Dont be that guy on the ramp....
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Old 06-14-2018   #6
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Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 861
I thought I could run my 156D without a trailer when I started out. I lasted exactly one float before I rigged up a cheap trailer. It's exhausting maybe okay for a multi day but it seemed completely absurd amount of work for a short float.

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Old 06-14-2018   #7
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Up shites creek, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 957
I did it for 2 seasons, and then my dad said he'd build me a trailer because it was taking a long time to get on the water. Have enjoyed that trailer way more than I can ever express to him.

The bottom line is that you can definitely do it without a trailer, but plan for more rig and de-rig time. And also plan for less space in your vehicle for other stuff.

And as Tres eluded to, don't be the dude putting his boat together in the middle of the boat ramp with piles of boats waiting to launch. Save yourself from the dirty looks and disgruntled boaters.
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Old 06-14-2018   #8
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Up shites creek, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Might I also suggest getting a tray if your vehicle has a hitch. I was able to regain some valuable indoor storage by throwing dry box and cooler on a tray.
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Old 06-14-2018   #9
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 335
I went from a mini-max to a 16 footer. I have a trailer but sometimes just put the boat in my Safari van with the frame on the roof if I don't want to deal with towing or if I will be travelling multiple days and don't want my boat vulnerable. That said, I almost always regret not having my trailer when I am spending two hours derigging at the take out.

Advice for packing it, super deflate it. As was mentioned hypalon boats can roll up small. I have a cheapo intex electric pump that has a deflate setting. After sucking all air out the hyside 16 XT can roll up tight enough to fit in a carolls-royce (not easily though).
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Old 06-14-2018   #10
SEATTLE, Washington
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 6
I've got a 14' hypalon boat that I store and travel with rolled. It's fine. It's a lot of work but it's what I do. For multiday trips I use a small utility trailer that I carry the dry boxes and the cooler on.

Yes a trailer with a fully rigged boat would be much more convenient. However there are advantages of rolling the boat up.
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