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  1. #1

    Default Towing/Launching boat behind RV

    Since we are new to RVing, we are hoping to combine our other great love - boating. We have frequently towed our boat (a 23 ft Sea Ray) behind our Suburban from home in Columbus, OH to Lake Cumberland, KY. We have done this many times and camped at the campgrounds at State Dock.

    Now that we have the RV, we are hoping to tow the boat with it so alleviate the nonsense of the whole "setting up camp" thing, which eats up a lot of time at the beginning and end of the trip. I have checked the tow capabilities, and we are OK there. The RV is a 2004 32 ft Bounder. I have pulled the boat with the RV (couldnt even tell it was back there), but never launched it though. Anybody have any tips? I have seen this happen at boat ramps before, but never paid much attention. I know it can be done, just want to make sure I get it right on the first try. I am pretty good at backing and we have a camera, so I think we'll be ok.... Hints from those experienced would be helpful.

    We will be using State Dock as the ramp is huge and wide. Others in the area (Beaver Creek in particular) would be out of the question with such a large rig. We are also aiming for a time and day that will be less busy. I am pretty sure that with the large "over hang" of the back end from the wheels, we should easily be on dry pavement. I plan to try this out at a nearby lake this week so I at least have done it once before pulling it 300 miles. There are ramps i have seen where I definitely would not even give this a try, but this ramp is one that would definitely be easier.

    Anybody who's done this want to put in their 2 cents?

  2. #2

    Default In a way........ that I've towed on the highway since 1971 and with tractors, etc for another 6 or 7 years before that.

    I've also logged some miles in a Class A and a Class C, as well as in many a 24-28' rental truck.

    I now tow with an '02 longbed crewcab Ford Superduty 4WD pickup which has a turning radius worse than many large Class Cs. I tow either a 26' tandem-axle boat trailer or an 18' tandem-axle car hauler. The boat/trailer runs around 8,000# and car hauler up to 10,000#.

    Hello ShelleyW8,

    From the way you describe the campgrounds and boat ramp facilities, I wouldn't hesitate to tow and launch/recover the Sea Ray with the RV. You're obviously familiar with the intended camping and launching facilities. You've confirmed the rated tow for the RV handles the Sea Ray, so if your maintenance schedule on the RV's engine, cooling system, and transmission and that for the trailer brakes and controller is all good, what's not to love?

    With a truck of your size (or mine), I like to keep a tire-plugging kit and a high-quality compressor on board, so you can fix a flat in any of your 10 wheels and so if you need some extra bite at the boat ramp, you can air down the tandem rears, throw down some sand from a 50# bag on board, pull whatever you need out of the water, and air back up before getting on the highway.

    Sounds like a great trip. I say go for it.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Foy. We actually did tow the boat behind the RV, successfully launch it and retrieve it at the end of the 5 day mini-vacation at lake Cumberland. It was a breeze. Definitely not to be attempted at some ramps i know of, but for this one, it was no problem. There is a certain feeling of dread when you start backwards toward a big body of water with such a rig, but we took it super slow and had no problems.

    And as a side note, the wonderful shuttle drivers at the State dock are awesome and will quickly pick up your party (we had 7 ppl) in their 15 passenger vans and deliver you back and forth between the campground and marina at no charge (although we did tip) It was an awesome trip!

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