I was just wondering on anyone's thoughts out there if they have ever or what they think about leaving an outboard motor connected to their raft in transportation/driving mode. The outboard motor would still be mounted to the NRS u-shaped motor mount and tilted up (so bumps wouldn't knock a propeller off). A few additional details about our set up- the raft is up on the trailer and does slightly exceed the trailer's length by about 3 ft- already a bit of pressure on the lower portion of the tubes. So the motor would than add an additional 1 ft of "overhang". (I'm not worried about police pulling me over for exceeding the trailer length.) I'm worried about having too much weight on the back of the raft while in transport (bouncing around with potholes, corrugated roads) and potentially damaging the tubes.
We have a van full of humans and dogs, so our outboard motor is typically propped up on an angle inside our 15 ft raft towards the front of the trailer fully supported, which also balances out the trailer from sway. Crawling in and out of the raft while the raft is still mounted on the trailer (using a small ladder) and lifting 66 lbs over the side tube (about a 4-5 ft drop) is getting a little tiresome on the back. Even with the use of a ladder and two people helping, it still is a little hazardous and killjoy at times. (Side note- We've put the motor propped up in the van before, but the smell of gas is nauseating, and it hogs up a considerable amount of room.) We go out on a lakes a lot and need the motor. So leaving it at home isn't an option.
So my question- do you think I would damage my raft's tubes by leaving the 66 lb outboard motor attached while driving to our destinations? These destinations range from 1 hr to 8 hrs- mostly standard highways and the usual crappy, bumpy put in roads.
At one time, I was looking at buying a ladder to attach to the van's back doors and then attempting to suspend it from that, but I couldn't sell myself on that idea.
or.... does anyone else have any ideas?
Thank you for your thoughts and ideas!