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Folks,

For mulit-use purposes, I am considering getting an 18 foot 7K rated car hauler to transport my 18 raft - and then to have available for all-purpose use.

Its a steel trailer - weighs about 2,000 pounds, with an 18 foot long 2X4" deck with about 6 foot 9 inches between the wheel fenders. The raft is 8 foot wide (and of course contoured) and I envision building up the deck height a little to miss the fenders.

My buddy has a mid sized Kabota that measures 17 foot long and six feet wide with the bucket and blade down (4K weight total). I'm thinking the car hauling is something that might come in real handy for our retirement years projects.

So - question is, have any of you folks used a duel axle car hauler to transport your big rafts and what "problems" might I run into? Many thanks.
 

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Getting back out of any shitty boat ramp in BFE because your trailer weighs a ton. But you could bring the Kabota and the raft and clean up any boat ramp that needed work and all the local boaters would love you.
 

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Works Fine

I have a 16' deck, beaver tail car hauler that I use to move my 15' NRS Otter. Have taken many 400+ mile trips and it works fine.

To get the tubes above the fenders, I have 2"x10" sideboards that I attached to stakes that slip into the stake pockets, and then I built a 2"x6", outdoor carpeted deck that attaches to the top of the sideboards. This deck is easily removable for using the trailer for other purposes. I sometimes "self-shuttle" by hauling my car to the take out, going home, loading the boat, and going to the launch :)

I've hauled as many as 3 boats stacked, with all kinds of coolers and dry boxes and other stuff in front of and under the boats. It tows very smoothly whether fully loaded, or with just my boat for a day trip. It is never bouncy.

I suspect that the fuel economy of my truck (GMC 2500 4x4) doesn't change much whether towing a 750 pound trailer or a 2,750 pound trailer. It's just always bad. Being a 4x4, I've never had issues with it hauling the trailer up from steep or muddy ramps.

I've not had issues getting the trailer down any boat ramps, its only a bit wider than the truck, and being longer than many trailers, it is easier to back. That said, I've been backing trailers for 30 years...
 

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What are hauling it with? Prius, go with a smaller trailer. F350, car trailer will work fine. Hauling an empty car trailer isn't bad so don't worry about not loading it with 7k of gear. Done right you could set up a nifty little storage space under the decking to lift the boat above the fenders.
 

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Ask yourself, do you REALLY NEED a trailer? Or do you WANT one because everyone else uses them?

After buying a brand new 16" deck over axle raft trailer and hauling it all over the PNW, I now am of the opinion to just roll up my raft and NOT bring the trailer anymore. Lower MPG, less maneuverability and more hassle than it's worth are just a few of the reasons. For most day trips I usually just throw my raft on my BMW's roof rails! Why not? Why bring a truck and trailer when you can bring a car most of the time. For those rough and tumble multi day adventures I throw the raft and gear in the truck of course. Just my evolving thoughts.
 

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I once saw a group pull in to the Smith river put in and one truck had a car hauler trailer with a few rafts and gear. And another vehicle (SUV) had people. Once they unloaded the SUV was loaded on the trailer. Save the cost of a shuttle.


Jim
 

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I love having my raft trailered. I use a simple single axle makeshift trailer that works well. I don't know what your launches are like, but I like the single axle short trailer for the PNW. I fit anywhere, but part of my advantage is I drive a minivan and a Legacy wagon. I don't know if you plan on sinking the trailer into the water, one thing to look out for is the shackles flipping if you got up or down a ledge. It would be difficult to describe if you have never had to deal with it before. The area you boat might be more open and wide than what I deal with.
I have kids, and if I can show up, pop a few straps, drop the boat in, and be gone in minutes, it is a huge advantage. Same deal at the end of the day. I can load my raft like a guy with a motor boat.
 

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I once saw a group pull in to the Smith river put in and one truck had a car hauler trailer with a few rafts and gear. And another vehicle (SUV) had people. Once they unloaded the SUV was loaded on the trailer. Save the cost of a shuttle.


Jim
How does that save the cost of a shuttle? You still need to get back from the take out.
 

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Well you only pay for the one vehicle. Saves about $120.00 plus gas for the vehicle riding on the trailer. That is if you have one of the local shuttle services do it for you. I always do. (Annie's) I see how my post was confusing though.


Jim
 

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The tandem axle raft trailer worked great for my group, asphalt access boating needs. The rough roads, difficult access, lightly loaded applications were the downfall for me. The small trailer I can move by hand has been a versatile tool for day boating and camp trips. I don't drive as often now with-out the mondo lets take it all trailer. .02$


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I once saw a group pull in to the Smith river put in and one truck had a car hauler trailer with a few rafts and gear. And another vehicle (SUV) had people. Once they unloaded the SUV was loaded on the trailer. Save the cost of a shuttle.


Jim

That wasn't by chance this year for a mid-May put in?

We did that and had three full rigs stacked on the car hauler with room for dry boxes and coolers in front of the rafts. Allows for a lot of gear to be hauled by one vehicle. And as stated, reduces the need to shuttle one vehicle. If you have the need/access to a car hauler it's great for packing tons of gear and has its perks. For a one raft show, it might be a bit much. You'll definitely feel a car hauler (even empty) behind an F-150.
 

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No Swiss. It was a couple years ago. They actually put their second vehicle on the trailer so as to pay for just one shuttle. For the Main Salmon last fall we paid $350.00 plus $100.00 tip plus another $150.00 or so in gas per rig. So if you had a big truck and big trailer you could save some money by loading a vehicle. But for day use and most trips I agree go with a single axle raft trailer.


Jim
 

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Well you only pay for the one vehicle. Saves about $120.00 plus gas for the vehicle riding on the trailer. That is if you have one of the local shuttle services do it for you. I always do. (Annie's) I see how my post was confusing though.


Jim
Didn't realize you were using a shuttle service. How does that work though that it'll save you $$$? Do they drive your rig down? Or do you pay by the person riding back up?
 
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