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View Full Version : Towing your boat long distance Dos and Dont



kennedy
06-09-2013, 08:28 PM
Going on a vacation and taking the boat, we really do not do a lot of long distance towing can I get a reminder of the dos and donts when traveling any amount of distance with your trailer and boat just a check list so I am good to go!!

wolfeman131
06-09-2013, 09:35 PM
Have a spare ready, be sure you have a lug wrench that fits the trailer bolts, have a jack that will work, throw in some wood blocks for leveling the jack and maybe even change a tire in your driveway so you know what you're doing without idiots zipping by you at 80 mph.

Do a precheck on your brakes, lights, chains/cables, tires, etc.

E4NASH
06-09-2013, 10:37 PM
Have a spare! Can't say that enough!

rsinger
06-09-2013, 10:47 PM
Tape off the paddle wheel. I read somewhere this could cause premature failure of the speedometer.

Oh crap. Took my boat on the water for the first time this year, since bringing it from Kansas. That's why the speedo isn't working.:oops:

Gee thanks for solving my problem.....

wolfeman131
06-09-2013, 11:24 PM
Nice catch on the paddlewheel!

Don't tow with a factory cover on. It will flap against the gel coat & leave marks.

rsinger
06-10-2013, 12:12 AM
I've also ratchet tied the back of my platform to the bar across the stern, pulling the back of the platform up a bit. My platform has a tube running along the perimeter of it, which is the anchor point. It helps stem avoidable vibration on the platform mounts. Those torsion axles are really stiff. I doubt anyone else does this, but it's just a thought.

Or you could take the platform off if you have somewhere to stow it.

parrothd
06-10-2013, 05:48 AM
I tow a lot.. cover on.. :) Just make sure you put it on the right way to avoid any strap marks. I check the usual stuff along the way, tires and bearings after long distance, ie every few hours.

The best advice is to get trailer towing insurance, last year I found out the hard way those cheapo auto/basic insurance plans only cover $100! ($600+ total for my tow) Boat us has the best one but you need to get the upgraded package. They will call and arrange the tow, there's very few tow trucks that are allowed to tow boats. Boat us was very helpful except that I was on the free plan. Your regular auto insurance probably doesn't cover roadside.. :(

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

maxpower220
06-10-2013, 07:21 AM
Use straps on the back of your boat. Locally, I don't strap it, but for any trip do. Drive at the posted speed limit OR LESS.

Inspect your tires, inside and outside sidewalls, and the tread. Have a spare.

Consider using a shrink wrap type product on the nose/front of the boat to reduce road debris damage/dirt.

Make sure that your cushions are all secure, some have lost cushions at speed.

kaneboats
06-10-2013, 09:17 AM
I've also ratchet tied the back of my platform to the bar across the stern, pulling the back of the platform up a bit. My platform has a tube running along the perimeter of it, which is the anchor point. It helps stem avoidable vibration on the platform mounts. Those torsion axles are really stiff. I doubt anyone else does this, but it's just a thought.

I loop an extra tie down strap through the mounts underneath the platform and cinch it down to the trailer. It takes all the slack out of the platform mount holes and pins so it doesn't rattle. I have a designated strap for this b/c I tow about 40 min. each way every time we go out.

Also: Make sure your lug wrench fits the trailer lugs. Take them off, grease them and put them back on before you go. Make sure you can actually get your spare off your trailer mount. Make sure you have a jack that works with the trailer. Check your trailer brakes too.

moombadaze
06-10-2013, 09:24 AM
dont think its been mentioned yet--set the air presure as per the sidewall, dont forget the spare

mmandley
06-10-2013, 10:29 AM
Everyone is on top of the trailer but lets talk about the truck pulling the boat.

Don't use Overdrive unless you are on flat ground, going up hills put it in what ever gear you have under OD, this will depend on your tow vehicle.

If you tow through a lot of hills, take it out of OD before you go down the hills, keep it in a gear low enough your not getting pushed down the hill by the boat and not riding your brakes the whole way down the hill.

Make sure your oil, trans, coolant are in great shape before towing.
Make sure if your truck has over 80K you have replaced the serpentine belt, and the coolant hoses are in good shape.
Have the brakes looked at by a shop that does free brake checkes.
If you have Drums on the rear get them adjusted before the trip
Make sure you have a Good spare on your truck for the truck with the right stuff to change it
If you plan to tow at night make sure all the lights are working on the truck and trailer
Bring a decent flashlight

All this has to tow with how fare you have to travel but personally this is the short version of my check list before i tow long distance, such as this summer in Sept i will be towing the boat over 3K miles to and from AZ and honestly its not the trailer and the tires i worry about, its my Rig and how hard she has to work to pull that big ass Bestia up and down the mountains lol.

E4NASH
06-10-2013, 02:48 PM
Mike, don't you have a diesel 250? My dad has a Dodge 2500 Cummins and his fifth wheel weighs way more than a boat and it does fine up and down the mountains out west. I think your rig will be able to handle the boat and hills no problem. Nothing to worry about.

mmandley
06-10-2013, 03:17 PM
Mike, don't you have a diesel 250? My dad has a Dodge 2500 Cummins and his fifth wheel weighs way more than a boat and it does fine up and down the mountains out west. I think your rig will be able to handle the boat and hills no problem. Nothing to worry about.

Wasn't talking about my rig was talking about the OP lol.
I don't know what rig he has.

On my F350 i honestly don't worry about anything i just click the Tow/Haul button and it does the rest, all i have to watch is my EGTs as i fly up the mountain doing 75 like the cars do LOL

toksik
06-10-2013, 05:40 PM
Make sure you always tow with a cover on!!! I have had the unfortunate circumstance where my windshield caught a rock and shattered it. Boat windshields are very expensive! I was lucky that it only shattered my center window (only about $150 to fix), the curved ones run about $1500 and are not readily available (at least in my research)


Nice catch on the paddlewheel!

Don't tow with a factory cover on. It will flap against the gel coat & leave marks.

parrothd
06-10-2013, 06:33 PM
These are great for towing... no more marks..

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008PPN720/ref=cm_sw_r_an_am_ap_am_us?ie=UTF8

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

slicks
06-11-2013, 12:44 AM
What about the top? I have the Z5 and dont want to damage it. Should I collapse the tower?

moombadaze
06-11-2013, 07:23 AM
What about the top? I have the Z5 and dont want to damage it. Should I collapse the tower?


Z5-remove the canves or stow it in the bed of a truck if ya have one, tower stays up

wolfeman131
06-11-2013, 07:34 AM
Make sure you always tow with a cover on!!!

Just about the only covers that have been recommended to tow with on this forum are the Evolution covers which are specifically designed for this. There have been numerous posts from folks that have had very bad experiences with the straps and/or cover leaving serious damage to the gel coat.

jsly04XLV
06-11-2013, 08:03 AM
Thanks for all the advice. I'll be pulling the boat from Charlotte to Lake Lanier (214miles) and this will be the longest pull by far. Haven't paid much attention to the trailer since buying the boat Oct 2011 due to the minimal (5miles or less 4 times a year) towing conditions it sees. I'll have some long nights ahead of me until we take off Friday to go over this checklist. Recently replaced just one tire, that wasn't holding air, knowing the rest would need to be done eventually. Guess maybe my eventually has arrived. Going back and forth on towing with the trailer cover or not. Is the damage being caused by the straps that go down to the trailer rubbing on the boat? Definitely think I'm going to use the plastic wrap on the speakers and back of the mirror idea though.

PS. Anybody have or have used the BoatsUS towing service? Have AAA but thinking, even if only because of this trip, $43 bucks may be worth it for some piece of mind. If there is any members that want to toss out their info to me in a PM I'll throw you in the referral box. Thanks in advance.

wolfeman131
06-11-2013, 08:31 AM
If you have the factory mooring cover, I strongly suggest you don't tow with the cover on. Yes, those straps that run from the cover to the trailer will flap against the gel and/or painted surface of the trailer and will leave marks. You can try wrapping towels, pool noodles, etc around them, but over the years folks have posted time and time again about how these items fell off, shifted, etc. and damaged the boat and/or trailer.

The past few years that folks have traveled up to Sinclair for the Jam (not this year :( ) from FL, so some 5+ and 9+ hour drives, the covers were off except for Moombadaze who has an Evolution. Kaneboats has done the plastic wrap trick on the tower & speakers and it is nice to simply unwrap vs cleaning off the bugs. You can buy it on a roll with a handle at an office supply/hardware store in the moving supplies.

Any way you decide to do it, travel safe & have fun!

jsly04XLV
06-11-2013, 08:55 AM
Boat also has a snap on cover for bore and main. I would think that would be ok but worried about losing it at speed.

From the mobile

moombahighrider
06-11-2013, 10:34 AM
Boat also has a snap on cover for bore and main. I would think that would be ok but worried about losing it at speed.

From the mobile

I have the snap on covers and that is what I tow with. I tow lots of miles to boat. You will get some light marking on the top rails of the bow where the cover folds over the fiberglass and around the bow grab handles. I have to regularly clean that area because of the cover. After a number of years of doing this there are light marks in the gel coat in this area and I find I need a bit more elbow grease to keep it clean. Maybe some polartec fabric strips or the like could be sandwiched between the cover and bow rails to alleviate this?

If I had the money laying around, I would get an evolution cover, but maybe next year? I can't afford to tow without a cover, as I drop the z5 into the cockpit of the boat and have the surfboards and all sorts of other stuff in there as well. It all gets covered by the snap on cover and I don't have to worry about it flying out or getting wet/dirty when I get caught in an afternoon monsoon (which we get almost daily up here in the summer). You won't lose your snap on covers at speed- my experience with them has been great, with the exception of the light bow marks, which i have found are cleanable. Cinch the snap covers down tight with the rear straps and you should be good.

sybrmike
06-11-2013, 11:23 AM
Did I miss the obvious? Fill the hubs/bearing buddies/oil bath/etc.

jzelt
06-11-2013, 12:33 PM
As you mentioned, I wrap the speakers with plastic wrap. I also do the tower and the wakeboard racks (3-wraps of plastic around the rack and break off going toward the back so the air doesn't catch the seam).

I also carry an extra rachet strap in case there is a bearing issue. Dual axle trailer, can remove the wheel, rachet up the axle and get to a safe place to diagnose.

I don't trailer with a cover. Last boat I did and it blew the seam apart at the threads. We leave the wakeboards and seats in the boat.

Carry a hammer, some basic wrenches if you are handy enough to fix things. Check tires and bearing for heat at each gas/rest stop.

I will do the rachet for the swim platform since I read that here.

Cigars n scotch
06-11-2013, 01:16 PM
I have the snap on covers and that is what I tow with. I tow lots of miles to boat. You will get some light marking on the top rails of the bow where the cover folds over the fiberglass and around the bow grab handles. I have to regularly clean that area because of the cover. After a number of years of doing this there are light marks in the gel coat in this area and I find I need a bit more elbow grease to keep it clean. Maybe some polartec fabric strips or the like could be sandwiched between the cover and bow rails to alleviate this?

If I had the money laying around, I would get an evolution cover, but maybe next year? I can't afford to tow without a cover, as I drop the z5 into the cockpit of the boat and have the surfboards and all sorts of other stuff in there as well. It all gets covered by the snap on cover and I don't have to worry about it flying out or getting wet/dirty when I get caught in an afternoon monsoon (which we get almost daily up here in the summer). You won't lose your snap on covers at speed- my experience with them has been great, with the exception of the light bow marks, which i have found are cleanable. Cinch the snap covers down tight with the rear straps and you should be good.

How do you fit your z5 in the boat?

I think it was mentioned to me here that Transhield is a reusable shrink wrap. Worth looking into. I did and it will cost about $200 for my Supra. Haven't decided if I will get it or not.

We towed our Supra with just a snap cover from Utah to New Jersey, no problems. I now have a full cover that tightens up below the rub rail and has additional straps that connect to the trailer fenders.

I'll be towing it down to SC next month. I'm going to need new tires on the trailer by the end of this season definitely, starting to see cracking on the sidewalls.

moombahighrider
06-11-2013, 07:42 PM
How do you fit your z5 in the boat?.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/06/12/mu8e9ehe.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/06/12/ba2yqury.jpg

mmandley
06-11-2013, 07:45 PM
Z-5 fits but only if you have a rotating seat.

moombahighrider
06-11-2013, 08:11 PM
Z-5 fits but only if you have a rotating seat.

Not true for me, mike. My dealer suggested it and helped me drop the z5 in that way when I bought the boat. obviously, that was well before I did the swivel seat mod.

mmandley
06-11-2013, 08:13 PM
Not true for me, mike. My dealer suggested it and helped me drop the z5 in that way when I bought the boat. obviously, that was well before I did the swivel seat mod.

Sweet wish i had known how to make it fit in mine i would have liked to do that but i thought it only worked if it had a swivel seat, I know Newty travels with his in the boat but he has a swivel seat too.

moombahighrider
06-11-2013, 08:16 PM
It's definitely easier with the swivel, but it did work without. The one benefit to the swivel now is that I can leave a board or two strapped on the z5 and it still fits under the cover without rubbing. I could not do that before, because the z5 sat higher and would have rubbed the cover.

brain_rinse
06-11-2013, 11:04 PM
I tow 7 hours each way, two or more times each year. I've used the snap cover a few times but wasn't happy with the marks on the gelcoat and the front snaps don't like to stay down. I use covers for the tower speakers and board racks, and wrap the top tube of the tower in plastic to make bug cleanup easier. I leave my Z5 up and have had no problems.

Cigars n scotch
06-13-2013, 12:01 AM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/06/12/mu8e9ehe.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/06/12/ba2yqury.jpg

Wow that is impressive! Now I'm going to have to see if mine fits, not sure though because I bought my Z5 off someone with a 24SSV so it's wider I believe(could totally be wrong on that).

nogoodjr
06-15-2013, 05:29 PM
Wow that is impressive! Now I'm going to have to see if mine fits, not sure though because I bought my Z5 off someone with a 24SSV so it's wider I believe(could totally be wrong on that).

Be sure to put towels between seats and the z5. The cargo cover will leave black marks on vinyl.

wolfstone
06-27-2013, 10:49 AM
I just returned from towing my Mobius from England to the South of France and back, 2 days of towing each way.

This was my second year of doing it, with no problems.

Last year we had a blow out on the trailer, luckily dual axle Boatmate trailer didn't even feel it.

This year i greased the bearings beforehand and took a spare wheel/tyre and a trolley jack.

Towed all the way there and back with the cover off, started towing with the cover on, but it almost wrecked the cover and the boat, plus it looked bad.
Towing with the cover off dried out the boat nicely.

Kept our speed at 55-60mph all the way.

Filled the boat with wakeboard bags, cider and wine, and the swim platform, put the tower down and stuck some foam between boat an tower to stop rubbing.

Made double sure we emptied all the ballast and used up all the fuel in the tank before towing.

No sweat.

kaneboats
06-27-2013, 11:53 AM
Please don't tell us you took wine TO France. :)

wolfstone
06-28-2013, 03:14 AM
Please don't tell us you took wine TO France. :)

Took cider there to drink (as French cider is merde)
Took wine back

tgoody14
06-25-2014, 08:28 AM
Thread Revival!!!

Question about removing the Z5 cargo rack for long hauls... Will the entire rack sit in the bed of a truck, flush without any sticking up/out? I have a bed cover is why I ask..

Also, have you ever just removed the canvas? Is that hard/tricky/time consuming?

moombahighrider
06-25-2014, 09:15 AM
The Z5 will not fit in the truck bed, at least not in mine. I have removed the canvas, but yes, it is tricky and time consuming- more of a semi-long term solution if you want the storage and no Bimini. Search my posts to see how I store the z5 in the cabin of the boat. I tow at least 1 hr to the nearest lake and always drop the z5 into the boat- it's just part of my routine.

Rakkasan
06-25-2014, 09:29 AM
The Z5 will not fit in the truck bed, at least not in mine. I have removed the canvas, but yes, it is tricky and time consuming- more of a semi-long term solution if you want the storage and no Bimini. Search my posts to see how I store the z5 in the cabin of the boat. I tow at least 1 hr to the nearest lake and always drop the z5 into the boat- it's just part of my routine.

Same here this is my post from another thread.

I put a towel on the drivers seat so it won't mess up the vinyl.

Cigars n scotch
06-25-2014, 09:34 AM
Same here this is my post from another thread.

I put a towel on the drivers seat so it won't mess up the vinyl.

I'm going to try this out this Friday when we leave for our camping trip (3 hr tow) if I can get my master cylinder swapped and bleed the brakes. I've always towed with the Z5 attached and had no issues as I strapped it down in addition to the tower clamps.

rdlangston13
06-25-2014, 10:26 AM
Removing the canvas is not that hard. Just don't remove all the little strings and balls if you don't have it. That's key. It takes maybe 10 minutes to put back on


Sent from my iPhone

tgoody14
06-25-2014, 11:27 AM
Thanks for all the replies guys!!! One of my bearings are going out, getting that fixed this afternoon. Then I'll try laying down towels over the seats and dropping the Z5 then strap it down.

Haven't decided on the snap on cover yet, may pack it in the boat just in case we run into rain between here and Bethy Creek.

Checked my spare.... WTF!!! Somebody hijacked my spare and left me with a 5lug wheel! Trailer has 6 lug wheel...

*looooong sighhhhh 😡I would've been pissed if I left here not knowing that and ended up having a flat

Cigars n scotch
06-25-2014, 02:43 PM
Someone stole your spare? And you just noticed? And replaced it with a 5 lug?

tgoody14
06-25-2014, 03:20 PM
Someone stole your spare? And you just noticed? And replaced it with a 5 lug?

Yea they either swapped it out while parked at the ramp or somebody from the factory put the wrong spare on the boat from the dealership...

I've spent all day trying to locate a 15" rim with a 6 lug pattern, not your typical set up! Finally found one, just need to make sure it will fit and then have to buy a matching tire

rdlangston13
06-25-2014, 03:52 PM
When do you plan on rolling out and heading this direction?


Sent from my iPhone

tgoody14
06-25-2014, 04:49 PM
When do you plan on rolling out and heading this direction?


Sent from my iPhone

Well, it was 5... The ole lady sweet talked her boss into letting her go at 2pm!!! So we'll hit the road at 2:30! 7hr drive (I'll be takin 'er easy) hoping to be there by 9!

Dreading Houston traffic...

Cigars n scotch
06-25-2014, 04:49 PM
Yea they either swapped it out while parked at the ramp or somebody from the factory put the wrong spare on the boat from the dealership...

I've spent all day trying to locate a 15" rim with a 6 lug pattern, not your typical set up! Finally found one, just need to make sure it will fit and then have to buy a matching tire

That sucks, I hope it was a dealer mistake and not a thief. Not that either helps your situation.

tgoody14
06-25-2014, 05:02 PM
That sucks, I hope it was a dealer mistake and not a thief. Not that either helps your situation.

Slowly but surely getting everything lined out! Found the correct rim, $25, found a new correct tire, $85, and just dropped off the trailer to get bearings checked/fixed... Still got two more days of work, but I need a beer haha

rdlangston13
06-25-2014, 05:15 PM
You shouldn't hit any Houston traffic at that tome


Sent from my iPhone

ninedriver
06-25-2014, 07:21 PM
I use a cable kryptonite type lock on my spare. Way too easy of a "crime of opportunity" for someone to take it. In less than 5 minutes, some shady sob could hit a boat ramp and have a new set of tires/rims for their trailer.