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  1. Default Port Angeles Wa to annapolis Maryland, Newport RI, and back to Port Angeles

    Going out east to pick up a 20' boat, go up to Newport and tow it back. Trip to commence this Thursday and last less than 2 weeks.

    Any one have any thought on which route out and then towing a small boat back. Thanks to all, I have learned a bunch from previous threads.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default huge time crunch

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    That's a whole lot of trip for "less than 2 weeks." Not including any time in Maryland or Rhode Island, you've got at least 12-13 full days of driving just to cover the distance. Factor in the reduced speeds you'll need coming back while towing, and this seems like a full 2 week trip at the bare minimum. What's the reason for the rather significant detour to Newport?

    Heading out, I'd take the most direct route possible, which is basically I-90 and/or I-94 through Chicago, and I-80/I-76/I-70 into Maryland. Getting from there to Newport is going to be a pretty miserable drive regardless, as you are pretty much stuck traveling through the ultra-congested I-95 corridor.

    Coming back from Rhode Island, I'd say your two biggest priorities would be to avoid major cities and tolls if possible (since they get very expensive while towing). For that, I'd try to get up to I-84 to avoid NYC, take I-80 across PA, and then avoid the tolls and Chicago by using I-71, I-70, I-74 to rejoin I-80 at Davenport, Iowa. From there, head across Iowa, take I-29 to Sioux Falls, and I-90 takes you all the way home.

  3. #3

    Default Boat trailer wheel bearings

    Hello phbrtn,

    If this boat trailer is unfamiliar to you, I'd give careful consideration to having somebody tear down the wheel bearings and repack/replace as needed before setting sail (pun intended) on a 3,000 mile trip. I'd also be tempted to put a pair of new tires on it if the old ones are > about 4-5 years old (where boat trailer tires are notoriously prone to failure by dry-rot). If that's not possible, I'd at least want to determine what size bearing packs you have on the rig and carry spares + tools. I've spent many an hour on the side of the highway repairing neglected boat trailer bearings so I carry a kit nowadays. Since I wasn't towing in July 2011, my kit was back here in NC when I met a suddenly saddened father with a Suburban full of wife + kids at Jackpot, NV on a Sunday morning. He pulled into a US 93 rest area with a trailer towing 2 jet skis and had California license plates. His right side trailer wheel was smoking something terrible, and there's no telling how long he was waylaid as a result of burning up his wheel bearing. If he'd have had them inspected & serviced before leaving CA, likely no problem in NV.

    Good luck!


  4. Default Thanks MW Mike and Foy,

    I am doing RI as I use to live there so, being sooo close I will visit and get the boat ready. I will redo the trailer bearings entirely and adjust the tongue weight, Shrink wrap the boat and I am considering taking the outboard off and putting it in the bed of the truck.
    I'm not very experienced with towing long trips just short hops thus far.
    Many, many thanks for your suggestions and thoughts. Regards, Phil

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Just out of curiosity, how heavy do you think the boat AND trailer is, including the motor, and what will you be using for a tow vehicle? How many axles is the trailer, and does it have brakes?

  6. Default

    Hello glc,
    I have a new Dodge Ram 1500 and the boat is a hard bottom inflatable. specs say the boat is 1250 lb and the engine is 450 lb. The fuel tank is empty and I am giving 500 lb as estimate of the gear and then trailer at 300lb. so I am estimating 2500lb for the tow. 14 inch tire rims on the trailer and no brakes. The gear weight is my "fudge factor" as the boat is virtually empty of any gear at all. Thanks, P.

  7. #7

    Default Good plan

    While 2,500 lbs on a single-axle trailer is well within what your Ram is designed for, I'd agree that getting the motor off of the transom before beating and banging it for +3,000 miles on concrete-jointed Interstates is a good idea. Must be a high HP outboard if it weighs 450 lbs, however, so it disconnecting it is too much of a hassle, I'd consider a "transom-saver" brace.

    That's a pretty good load on trailer tires, too, so if they're old............or at least make sure you've got a decent spare.

    I'm guessing my friend glc's question about trailer brakes is leading to making you aware of the wide variation of trailer brake requirements among the various states. Generally speaking, 3,000 lbs is where most states start with their brake requirements, but some are lower. Last time I needed to know, BoatUS had a state-by-state rundown on their website.

    Sounds like you're getting a surplus ribbie from the Coasties, the Navy, or a marine police force. Should be a fun rig to have in the PNW.

    Good luck.

  8. Default

    Hi Foy,

    Thanks, if I could get brakes on in the time available I would and I all ready bought a transom saver but The more I think about it I like the idea of not having it on the boat and the thought of having extra weight in the bed makes sense. The outboard is a Honda 115hp.
    Not coasties ect but a bank repo. Trailer is a 2009 but it has been in storage since Sept. 2010 so I am hoping it has no dry rot or wear. I tend on the cautious side so am prepped to replace the tires if I have to and I will by a spare before leaving to come back.
    Thanks for all....Regards, Phil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You should be fine without brakes or any special equipment (other than a class 3 frame hitch with the correct "drop" to level the trailer, I would NOT tow it with a bumper ball) for towing 3000# or less. I would DEFINITELY pull the motor and put it in the bed of the truck. Even with a transom saver, there's a good chance that all that weight hanging off the back will make the tongue weight too light for stability, causing a lot of sway. Ideal tongue weight is 12% of the gross trailer weight.

    The tires should still be fine after 3 years, but inspect them carefully inside and out for dry rot. Inflate them to the max pressure on the sidewall (I'm guessing 50#) and do NOT exceed 65 mph towing (that's the limit of the tires and axle). If you do need to replace the tires, only use ST-rated tires, do NOT put car tires on it.

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