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View Full Version : New Z5 Cargo rack - trailering



bjames
07-17-2009, 01:37 PM
Do you guys trailer with your Z5 installed? According to Z5 FAQ's, they say the 2009 Z5s can be trailered as long as you tie down the front straps. How many of you trailer with the Z5 in place? My usual commut is about 30min on the highway.

Otherwise, where would you put it - doesnt fit well in the back of the truck.

KT Mobius
07-17-2009, 01:48 PM
No problem, I have gone 2.5 hours one way without the straps. My Z5 barely moves. Its nice and strong. My max speed is about 75 mph and I average around 65 mph. If your only going 30 min away I guarantee you will not ave any issues.

jetpilot2002
07-17-2009, 11:47 PM
I do not know if the 08 and 08 z5 cargo tops are different, since mine does not have any straps, but I have left it on and towed up to 70 mph and a hour long drive with no problems, other then bugs.
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tazz3069
07-18-2009, 01:00 AM
Just returned from my trip today. 9 hr drive and no problems with the Z5 Cargo Rack. I just have to say, IT IS A MUST HAVE. Best mod I ever done to the boat.

jeilers1
07-18-2009, 11:25 AM
Z5 told me to add two front tie down straps when towing which they sent to me and a couple of hold down brackets that I screwed into my tower to attach them to. First trip out and the straps came loose and marred up the tower. So, now I don't use them and haven't had any issues, just was trying to follow thier rec. I think the straps are a good idea for long trips, but need to be ratcheting to get them snug. They sent ones that just have an adjustable tarp style bracket that you get snug and hook the straps. However, the bracket won't stay tight while trailering. Also, they suggested taking the cargo webbing off the top while trailering as the two pieces of fabric will wear on each other. I took mine off as I don't really use that feature and did notice some minor abrasions. My boat had 20 hrs on it at the time.

zegm
07-18-2009, 01:09 PM
Ok I probably have the most miles and hours towing a Z5 and just a week ago while 300 miles from home we gave the top a Real Good Inspection. Let me add the mileage and hours up for these trips up for the past year.....ok this is NOT for my local trips to the gas station or the boat ramps but 4 actual long distance trips. I towed it 2100 miles in one year and for about 50 to 60 hours time towing while doing it at 65mph.

First thing we noticed was that spider type hold down (for tubes and other big stuff) was getting worn bad and was also wearing against the canvas top even though it was never used. Took it off and stowed it in the boat incase we need it.

The canvas top, after this inspection we decided that the canvas had to come off for the trip home! And in the future it will for any trip over 30 minutes. It is starting to look tired from all of flapping around it does while towing at 65mph. I can only image the cost of just the Canvas from a dealer!! I also was thinking that my fuel mileage might increase a little too without that sail back there!

The frame work on the top is awesome looking and there was no wear or any other issue here. I believe they are requesting you to install the straps as a back up incase you forget to put in your safety pins and the top were to rotate down accidently, wow then you would have huge sail bouncing up and down and all the associated forces of wind at 65mph acting on that! Yeah there would probably be some damage then!

So in the future we will pull the canvas off for any trip over 30 minutes, especially if the speed will exceed 50mph! And I think I did notice a small increase in my mileage on the trip home and I actually drove faster (70mph) because I did NOT have to worry about the canvas fluttering! Yep it was worth taking it off!!!


Tazz is correct this is a GREAT FEATURE well worth the money we spent!!!!

moombadaze
07-18-2009, 03:53 PM
After getting into Zegm's boat this last weekend and looking at the Z5 a little more, I really wished I had know how this worked when I picked up my boat as it would be sportin the Z5 now. That is a really tight bimmini and storage top.

mmandley
07-18-2009, 07:12 PM
ON my Z5 i use the straps when i take it on the road. The real porpose of those straps to keep the front of the cover tilted Down slightly. It will ack more like a rear spoiler on your car then.

Depending if you have the Z5 tilted down in the front more or tilted up in the front the straps till ensure when the wind is hitting it, it doesn't put extra stress on the hinges, causing it to tilt back in the < Open > position.

Open position is considered the loading and unloading gear position.

The straps are strictly a safety device and for the most part have no real use. You don't want to tighten those little front straps so tight the cover is being forced forward or you cause extra wear and tear to the plastic bushings in the ball sockets for tilting.

As for the canvas material. The spider webbing is only supposed to be on the Z5 if you have gear stowed there. No gear then take off the spider web because it wont stay tight with no pressure under it.

Main canvas material on mine is super tight and doesn't flex or flap at all so no wear as of yet. I have been told if you take it off its a real pain to get it on tight again with all the little plastic rollers it uses to keep the rope in the canvas tight.

Cleaning it i was told to use mild detergent a soft brush and water. Just scrub it by hand in the grass or hanging up and let rinse it really well and air dry on the frame. Dont wash it off the frame to minimize any shrinkage.

These are my tips from the dealer and my own experience so far. Longest trip is only 125 miles 70mph.

zegm
07-18-2009, 11:31 PM
mmandly,

It took us a few minutes to figure out how to get the top off. AND we haven't put it back on yet as the boat is now sitting in the driveway. Tomorrow we are putting the boat back on the lift so I will let you know how difficult it is to get it put back on correctly. As far as the angle of the top to horizontal, it is determined by the ball height of the hitch on the tow vehicle. Luckily the front of our trailer is a little lower than the rear while we tow. But the peace of mind I had while towing the boat for 6 hours and not having to worry about it was worth taking it off!

mmandley
07-19-2009, 03:53 AM
mmandly,

It took us a few minutes to figure out how to get the top off. AND we haven't put it back on yet as the boat is now sitting in the driveway. Tomorrow we are putting the boat back on the lift so I will let you know how difficult it is to get it put back on correctly. As far as the angle of the top to horizontal, it is determined by the ball height of the hitch on the tow vehicle. Luckily the front of our trailer is a little lower than the rear while we tow. But the peace of mind I had while towing the boat for 6 hours and not having to worry about it was worth taking it off!

Yea i hear ya hear man. Let me know how that goes putting it back on. I dont recal if it was AWS or another owner i know in the area who took one off and fought with it to get it back on lol.

Id like to know because in Sept we are going to Utah for vacation and taking the boat. Only about 700 miles but still a good bit of distance.

jjolson
07-19-2009, 08:20 PM
I trailer with mine exactly how it is listed in the FAQ on the z5 website. I have towed it several times over 400 miles one way.

zegm
07-25-2009, 01:08 AM
mmandly,

I will be putting it back on tomorrow, I don't think it is going to be a big issue though. I'll let you know!

zegm
07-25-2009, 02:06 PM
Ok everyone we finished re-installing the Canvas on the Z% Bimini top. It took about an hour and mainly because we did not pay attention to all the little loops, hooks and directions of where the cord was located before we took it apart. Most of the time was spent laying it out trying to determine the correct way to do it, not the actual time to do the task. I believe if you know what you are doing and had the correct documentation it would take 15 minutes. We went to the Z5 website http://www.z5sportracks.com/ and right now they don't offer a tech section (which they should!!!!) or a manual download of any kind for this product! I also re-read the decal on our Z5 and it said to REMOVE the canvas or the complete frameworkfor anything over 45MPH. So now they are saying it is OK to Tow but their past literature does not state this. So if you want to remove it now the best thing to do is to TAKE a PICTURE showing all the little paths and valleys of where the cord goes. Also document where the little sections of the cord are located. In case you are wondering the cord that makes up the complete loop is actually made up of at least 5 or more separate cords with loops and buttons. But now that it is back on we are good to go and the top sort of got a Canvas Top Tune-Up as we have it nice and tight and wrinkle free everywhere!

MrsZ
07-25-2009, 04:07 PM
Can someone please post a picture of their Z5 as it came pre-installed by the dealer? There are a couple of places I think the cord should be routed differently, after our re-installation. It could be that I am more aware of the details now and just didn't notice before though.

Fman
07-25-2009, 08:26 PM
I have also towed since last year with my Z5 with no problems. I did remove the webbing, and at the beginning of the year I clean it and treat it with 303 protectant. Sunlight is the biggest enemy to fabric, not wind.

zegm
07-26-2009, 12:51 AM
Fman,

Our boat sits in a covered lift so sunlight is not an issue. But while towing at 60 to 70 miles per hour the canvas does flap and I mean alot! The cargo webbing flapped so hard that it did tear so it was taken off and put in the boat. Now my dealer never told me anything about this top and they knew I was heading down the interstate 300 miles to get home. And has anyone seen an owners manual for one!
For such a great item, well designed and engineered I am surprised this company doesn't have any maintenance or supporting documentation for the owner!!! I only found out they had a website 1 year and 4 months after I bought it!
Don't get me wrong this is one of the best things ever invented for a ski boat! Right now we have 2 slalom skis and a pair of wakeboards sitting up there just waiting for us to go back out tomorrow! Also on the boat right now are 2 knee boards, another slalom ski, a set of pairs skis and a 5"6" surfboard. This doesn't count the 4 helmets and 5 ropes. The only thing you see out of this in the boat is the surfboard and it is placed on its side behind the drivers seat next to our observer seat where it doesn't take up any room, everything else is stowed!

mmandley
07-26-2009, 06:36 AM
When i take the cover off the boat tomorrow ill snap 3 or 4 pics of the Z5 bottom side to help make sure you got everything how you want it from the factory MrsZ