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brgbassmaster

Long distance trailering

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Going on my annual (as long as I'm not tdy or deployed) trip to northern Michigan for a month. Was wondering what I should look out for, or how i should prep boat and trailer or anything else for a tow from Arizona to Michigan. 2100 miles one way. Most I've towed is 700 miles one way. Figured since my buddies will take their boat from Michigan to south Florida for a 4 day trip might as well take my boat up there for a 30 day trip. Thanka for any tips. 

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Hope you get lots of good tips from those who know more than I do. I'm no expert. My one bit of advice (from experience) is to check your trailer wheels and tires. Make sure your bearings are in good shape, and make sure your tires are new(ish) and that you have a good spare. I always carry a separate bottle jack and lug wrench specifically for the trailer. It's much easier. The ones that came with my vehicle are a pain to use on the trailer. Also, if you haven't had to change any of your trailer tires in a while, check the lug nuts to make sure they aren't locked up. Better than trying to break them free while on the side of the road. Safe travels. Sounds like a fun trip.

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Check your tires, including the spare, not tread depth but age, over 5 years old they get weakened sidewalks.

Tire pressure is critical use the information molded into the tire sidewall.

Remove the drain plug and make sure youhave a spare.

Check the running and brake lights.

Check the wheel  hub lub.

Check the safety chains.

Check the hitch ball for tightness.

Don't trailer your boat with a cover on, wears out both the cover and gel coat.

Lock all the compartments and remove your sonar units, do not trailer the boat with sonar units installed. Road vibration can severely damage your sonar units.

Add a strap hold down for the trolling motor.

Don't trailer long distances with a transum savers bar, use a rubber wedge saver.

Service your tow vehicle.

Don't be in a hurry, stay within the speed limits.

Have a safe trip.

Tom

 

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^^^ This is what I meant by "good tips from those who know more than I do." Great advice.

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Tire pressure - If you drive the speed limit keep them at the max.  If you have radials, it doesn't hurt to inflate them about 10psi over, especially if you drive over 60mph on the interstate.

 

In Europe, they have guidelines on how much pressure to increase based on speed.  As radial tires flex, the faster you go the hotter they get.  Therefore, add more pressure which means less flex and less heat build up.

 

Otherwise, all the advise above is valid.  One thing I would stress is the hubs/bearing.  If you have the typical bearing buddy setup they are easy to replace.  At a minimum, ensure there is no play and plenty of grease.

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Great Advice offered already regarding your boat & trailer.

I'd encourage you to apply the same TLC to your tow vehicle.  

btw ~ here's a little local info for you . . . . 

Burt, Mullet, Charlevoix, Torch & Hubbard Lakes are all CLOSED to guys stationed in Arizona ! 

:happy-111:

Safe Travels . . . .

A-Jay

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55 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Great Advice offered already regarding your boat & trailer.

I'd encourage you to apply the same TLC to your tow vehicle.  

btw ~ here's a little local info for you . . . . 

Burt, Mullet, Charlevoix, Torch & Hubbard Lakes are all CLOSED to guys stationed in Arizona ! 

:happy-111:

Safe Travels . . . .

A-Jay

Otsigo lake is fair game? What's the fishing report for Lake Menderchuck?

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On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 0:50 PM, 12poundbass said:

Otsigo lake is fair game? What's the fishing report for Lake Menderchuck?

 

Otsego was just recently renamed The Dead Sea by the DNR but the fishing on Lake Menderchuck has been Killer !

Thank you so much for asking . . .

:smiley:

A-Jay

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2 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Great Advice offered already regarding your boat & trailer.

I'd encourage you to apply the same TLC to your tow vehicle.  

btw ~ here's a little local info for you . . . . 

Burt, Mullet, Charlevoix, Torch & Hubbard Lakes are all CLOSED to guys stationed in Arizona ! 

:happy-111:

Safe Travels . . . .

A-Jay

 

Haha I'll be hitting the way lesser known smallmouth havens. 

13 hours ago, WRB said:

Check your tires, including the spare, not tread depth but age, over 5 years old they get weakened sidewalks.

Tire pressure is critical use the information molded into the tire sidewall.

Remove the drain plug and make sure youhave a spare.

Check the running and brake lights.

Check the wheel  hub lub.

Check the safety chains.

Check the hitch ball for tightness.

Don't trailer your boat with a cover on, wears out both the cover and gel coat.

Lock all the compartments and remove your sonar units, do not trailer the boat with sonar units installed. Road vibration can severely damage your sonar units.

Add a strap hold down for the trolling motor.

Don't trailer long distances with a transum savers bar, use a rubber wedge saver.

Service your tow vehicle.

Don't be in a hurry, stay within the speed limits.

Haveca safe trip.

Tom

 

 

I aleays drive speed limits. Especially when towing. Gas mileage and wear and tear. Not about that lol. My tundra has new brakes, coolant flush, brake flush, 4x4 service, and new rear axle from when I got rear ended. Also 110K mile service. I always make sure and get oil changed day before my trip. And on way back. Boat trailer has new bearings, seals, races, tires are almost new but do need new spare. I read wherr i should strap the boat down also including trolling motor. What do u think about that? Why should I use a rubber wedge? 

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Metal transum savers transfer rod shock and vibration into the lower unit and can loosen bolts and damage trim cyclinders. A good modern saver with shock absorbing mounts or a simple M-Y Wedge rubber saver works to keep the OB balanced without rocking back and forth or side to side as long as the engine is tied down properly.

You should always strap your boats transum down onto the trailer using standard transum tie downs to prevent problems with rough roads or sudden stops.

Tom

 

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Get a tube of dielectric grease.  Apply generously to the female connector on your trailer plug (don't have it oozing all over the place).  You can also apply it to all the light plugs on your trailer.  It will not conduct electricity across contacts, and will prevent corrosion.  While you are at it, do the same for the running lights, connectors and bulbs.  You can also use it on fuses.  It will insure that your circuits have good contacts.

 

Good to do it as part of your routine maintenance than to have a bulb burn out and have to struggle with a frozen connection.

 

One other thing.  Every time you stop, feel the trailer's hubs to make sure they are all running the same temp.   Keep in mind, the side of the trailer that gets the most sun will be slightly warmer than the wheels on the shady side.  You can also take a quick peek to see if any wheel is slinging grease.

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3 hours ago, WRB said:

Metal transum savers transfer rod shock and vibration into the lower unit and can loosen bolts and damage trim cyclinders. A good modern saver with shock absorbing mounts or a simple M-Y Wedge rubber saver works to keep the OB balanced without rocking back and forth or side to side as long as the engine is tied down properly.

You should always strap your boats transum down onto the trailer using standard transum tie downs to prevent problems with rough roads or sudden stops.

Tom

 

 I do strap down transom. I'm talking about I read to put ratchet straps across boat and strapt that way also. For extra security. Thoughts?

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9 minutes ago, brgbassmaster said:

 I do strap down transom. I'm talking about I read to put ratchet straps across boat and strapt that way also. For extra security. Thoughts?

Unnecessary. I have trailered bass boats for over 50 years all over this country and never had additional hold down straps. The big issues are bad weather and parking in a lighted area when staying over night and locking every up securely to protect from theft and making sure the rig is road ready and it sounds like you have everything in good condition.

Enjoy your trip, what route are you taking?

Tom

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I wouldn't use a ratchet strap for additional security.  You run the risk of damaging the finish where the strap passes over it.  Road grit and grime can get trapped between the strap and the finish of the boat.  The results would not be pretty.

 

This brings up another point.  Be sure to check your tie downs frequently at the start of your trip.  Boats are often loaded slightly off center.  The boat will usually center itself during travel, which leaves one of the tie downs loose.  Tighten it.  

 

Checking them, and the strap on the winch should be part of your routine at every stop.

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One thing I have not seen mentioned. At the bow of your boat there should be a safety chain or turnbuckle that connects at the bow to trailer to keep the boat on the trailer should the bow strap fail. Some trailers do not have one but it should be added if Yours is not equipped with one.

 

The bow strap rarely fails but the bolt that holds the strap to the winch does because of rust. New straps usually come with a new bolt.....safe travels

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Never had a boat trailer, but I tow a 24' camping trailer, and I pay attention to the tire speed ratings.  The low quality Chinese tires that came on the trailer are rated at 65 mph, so that's the fastest I go when towing, aside from a few very brief periods when I have to pass another vehicle.  

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18 hours ago, WRB said:

Unnecessary. I have trailered bass boats for over 50 years all over this country and never had additional hold down straps. The big issues are bad weather and parking in a lighted area when staying over night and locking every up securely to protect from theft and making sure the rig is road ready and it sounds like you have everything in good condition.

Enjoy your trip, what route are you taking?

Tom

 

Up through flagstaff, through Albuquerque,  okc, st Louis. That route lol. Up to gladwin Michigan 

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I40 & I55, familiar with I40, not so much with I55. Have a safe trip and enjoy yourself.

Tom

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Bring a spare prop and prop wrench.

 

 

Bring an battery operated impact wrench. Not to put a tire on, because it can do it too tight, but to take off. If you get a flat and can't take it off you'll have to call a tow truck which can be expensive. Breaker bars and metal pipe takes up space. A good impact wrench can take almost all nuts off. I had 3 nuts that had been overtightened by the previous owner holding on the blades to my lawnmower. A break bar couldn't do it. A battery operated impact wrench took them all off easily without stripping them. Rigid, which is what I have has 325 foot pounds which is plenty. 

 

Obviously spare tire.

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I didn't read through all of the comments, but before a trip like that, I'd pull and pack the bearings.  I'd also make sure I had a spare hub kit and the tools to change it roadside.  Tires and spare in good condition.

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2 hours ago, S Hovanec said:

I didn't read through all of the comments, but before a trip like that, I'd pull and pack the bearings.  I'd also make sure I had a spare hub kit and the tools to change it roadside.  Tires and spare in good condition.

 

I just put new bearings on trailer in may. Maybe 5 trips on them. But I will have a pre packed hub kit just in case 

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Two things that are often overlooked, but will result in a catastrophe if they fail:

 

 

 

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I was a tow truck driver for many years and have seen a few trailer failures ruin vacations. #1 - if you have AAA, make sure you have an AAA Plus RV membership, as it's the only one that covers trailers should either your truck or trailer fail. #2 - Bring a spare spare tire. If you've got a dual axle trailer and one tire fails, you've only for a couple miles to notice it before the other one will follow suit from the additional load, especially if you're running cheap Chinese tires. If you've got 2 flats and one spare, you're going to be cussing and kicking stuff #3 - bring a little compressor and a tire plug kit. Make sure the cord will reach from your cigarette lighter to the trailer tire, if it doesn't, make up an extension cord or carry a booster pack. #4 - Road flares. Bring some, if you're on the side of the highway, people will try to run you over. They will run over your safety triangles, too. Fire seems to be the most effective deterrent for drunk drivers and morons. #5 - tire club and infrared thermometer. OK, so the thermometer isn't such a big deal, but if you have one and use it to check your bearings when doing your walk around each time you stop, you'll be a lot more likely to spot a failing bearing before it fails on the highway, as it will be hotter than the others. #6 - I believe you said above that you serviced your bearings recently, but have you had them underwater since then? You're about to go 2500 miles each way, pack the bearings before you leave AZ and again before you leave MI. It doesn't take long to do in a parking lot and it certainly beats replacing a bearing with 18 wheelers flying past 3 feet away at 80 MPH. #7 - Bring a heavy ratchet strap, practice strapping up an axle to lift the tire off the ground long enough to get you to an exit or safe place to change a tire or bearing on your tandem axle trailer. This isn't a 2500 mile solution, it's a get your busted stuff 2 miles up the road so you can fix it without getting smashed solution. You can also use it as a jack, but bring a jack/wood blocks too. #8 - Pack your emergency roadside stuff where it's accessible. Having a jack and a spare is great, unpacking everything you are bringing onto the side of the road to get to it is not. Every second that you can save on the side of the highway can save your life. #9 - WRB gave great advice, follow it.  #10 - Don't get the oil changed the day before you go, do it about a week in advance if you can. If the schmuck at the local quickie lube double gaskets your filter or leaves the drain plug loose, you will be in a lot less of a pickle if it fails at home, and a mechanic that you know and trust will be back home replacing your engine while you're northbound and down in an Enterprise Rent a Truck or SUV. #11 - map out places along the way that carry spare tires. If you have to use your spare, replace it ASAP, don't wait to get where you're going. Running 15-20 minutes out of your way to stop at Tractor Supply Co could save you a real headache. AAA usually runs within the hour, but when it's midnight and the small local towing company they dispatch only has one driver on call, He's got to finish his local calls before he comes and takes you 100 miles closer to your destination, and he (or she) will have to wake his backup driver out of bed to bring a second flatbed to haul the trailer. The "I'm broke down and towing a trailer" call is one that many drivers dread. They don't always carry a hitch ball, if they do, chances are really good that it's the wrong size or someone borrowed their ball wrench and never returned it. They get that trailer call once every 2 years, it's hard to justify putting $2-300 worth of trailer towing attachments on each truck knowing that they will probably never pay for themselves. #12 - Tip the tow truck driver $10 when they show up and say thank you, even if they're late. If they take a while, it's usually the fault of the dispatcher, not the driver. Don't shoot the messenger, they're busting theirs to save yours, and the dispatcher probably has them just as frustrated as they do you. Nobody likes being yelled at because they work for an *******. A little kindness and courtesy goes a long way. Kind words and dead presidents will ensure kid glove care 99.9 percent of the time. 

 

 

Thanks for serving us and hope you have a great trip!

 

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10 hours ago, Lures'n'Liberty said:

I was a tow truck driver for many years and have seen a few trailer failures ruin vacations. #1 - if you have AAA, make sure you have an AAA Plus RV membership, as it's the only one that covers trailers should either your truck or trailer fail. #2 - Bring a spare spare tire. If you've got a dual axle trailer and one tire fails, you've only for a couple miles to notice it before the other one will follow suit from the additional load, especially if you're running cheap Chinese tires. If you've got 2 flats and one spare, you're going to be cussing and kicking stuff #3 - bring a little compressor and a tire plug kit. Make sure the cord will reach from your cigarette lighter to the trailer tire, if it doesn't, make up an extension cord or carry a booster pack. #4 - Road flares. Bring some, if you're on the side of the highway, people will try to run you over. They will run over your safety triangles, too. Fire seems to be the most effective deterrent for drunk drivers and morons. #5 - tire club and infrared thermometer. OK, so the thermometer isn't such a big deal, but if you have one and use it to check your bearings when doing your walk around each time you stop, you'll be a lot more likely to spot a failing bearing before it fails on the highway, as it will be hotter than the others. #6 - I believe you said above that you serviced your bearings recently, but have you had them underwater since then? You're about to go 2500 miles each way, pack the bearings before you leave AZ and again before you leave MI. It doesn't take long to do in a parking lot and it certainly beats replacing a bearing with 18 wheelers flying past 3 feet away at 80 MPH. #7 - Bring a heavy ratchet strap, practice strapping up an axle to lift the tire off the ground long enough to get you to an exit or safe place to change a tire or bearing on your tandem axle trailer. This isn't a 2500 mile solution, it's a get your busted stuff 2 miles up the road so you can fix it without getting smashed solution. You can also use it as a jack, but bring a jack/wood blocks too. #8 - Pack your emergency roadside stuff where it's accessible. Having a jack and a spare is great, unpacking everything you are bringing onto the side of the road to get to it is not. Every second that you can save on the side of the highway can save your life. #9 - WRB gave great advice, follow it.  #10 - Don't get the oil changed the day before you go, do it about a week in advance if you can. If the schmuck at the local quickie lube double gaskets your filter or leaves the drain plug loose, you will be in a lot less of a pickle if it fails at home, and a mechanic that you know and trust will be back home replacing your engine while you're northbound and down in an Enterprise Rent a Truck or SUV. #11 - map out places along the way that carry spare tires. If you have to use your spare, replace it ASAP, don't wait to get where you're going. Running 15-20 minutes out of your way to stop at Tractor Supply Co could save you a real headache. AAA usually runs within the hour, but when it's midnight and the small local towing company they dispatch only has one driver on call, He's got to finish his local calls before he comes and takes you 100 miles closer to your destination, and he (or she) will have to wake his backup driver out of bed to bring a second flatbed to haul the trailer. The "I'm broke down and towing a trailer" call is one that many drivers dread. They don't always carry a hitch ball, if they do, chances are really good that it's the wrong size or someone borrowed their ball wrench and never returned it. They get that trailer call once every 2 years, it's hard to justify putting $2-300 worth of trailer towing attachments on each truck knowing that they will probably never pay for themselves. #12 - Tip the tow truck driver $10 when they show up and say thank you, even if they're late. If they take a while, it's usually the fault of the dispatcher, not the driver. Don't shoot the messenger, they're busting theirs to save yours, and the dispatcher probably has them just as frustrated as they do you. Nobody likes being yelled at because they work for an *******. A little kindness and courtesy goes a long way. Kind words and dead presidents will ensure kid glove care 99.9 percent of the time. 

 

 

Thanks for serving us and hope you have a great trip!

 

 

Very good info thanks!

10 hours ago, Lures'n'Liberty said:

I was a tow truck driver for many years and have seen a few trailer failures ruin vacations. #1 - if you have AAA, make sure you have an AAA Plus RV membership, as it's the only one that covers trailers should either your truck or trailer fail. #2 - Bring a spare spare tire. If you've got a dual axle trailer and one tire fails, you've only for a couple miles to notice it before the other one will follow suit from the additional load, especially if you're running cheap Chinese tires. If you've got 2 flats and one spare, you're going to be cussing and kicking stuff #3 - bring a little compressor and a tire plug kit. Make sure the cord will reach from your cigarette lighter to the trailer tire, if it doesn't, make up an extension cord or carry a booster pack. #4 - Road flares. Bring some, if you're on the side of the highway, people will try to run you over. They will run over your safety triangles, too. Fire seems to be the most effective deterrent for drunk drivers and morons. #5 - tire club and infrared thermometer. OK, so the thermometer isn't such a big deal, but if you have one and use it to check your bearings when doing your walk around each time you stop, you'll be a lot more likely to spot a failing bearing before it fails on the highway, as it will be hotter than the others. #6 - I believe you said above that you serviced your bearings recently, but have you had them underwater since then? You're about to go 2500 miles each way, pack the bearings before you leave AZ and again before you leave MI. It doesn't take long to do in a parking lot and it certainly beats replacing a bearing with 18 wheelers flying past 3 feet away at 80 MPH. #7 - Bring a heavy ratchet strap, practice strapping up an axle to lift the tire off the ground long enough to get you to an exit or safe place to change a tire or bearing on your tandem axle trailer. This isn't a 2500 mile solution, it's a get your busted stuff 2 miles up the road so you can fix it without getting smashed solution. You can also use it as a jack, but bring a jack/wood blocks too. #8 - Pack your emergency roadside stuff where it's accessible. Having a jack and a spare is great, unpacking everything you are bringing onto the side of the road to get to it is not. Every second that you can save on the side of the highway can save your life. #9 - WRB gave great advice, follow it.  #10 - Don't get the oil changed the day before you go, do it about a week in advance if you can. If the schmuck at the local quickie lube double gaskets your filter or leaves the drain plug loose, you will be in a lot less of a pickle if it fails at home, and a mechanic that you know and trust will be back home replacing your engine while you're northbound and down in an Enterprise Rent a Truck or SUV. #11 - map out places along the way that carry spare tires. If you have to use your spare, replace it ASAP, don't wait to get where you're going. Running 15-20 minutes out of your way to stop at Tractor Supply Co could save you a real headache. AAA usually runs within the hour, but when it's midnight and the small local towing company they dispatch only has one driver on call, He's got to finish his local calls before he comes and takes you 100 miles closer to your destination, and he (or she) will have to wake his backup driver out of bed to bring a second flatbed to haul the trailer. The "I'm broke down and towing a trailer" call is one that many drivers dread. They don't always carry a hitch ball, if they do, chances are really good that it's the wrong size or someone borrowed their ball wrench and never returned it. They get that trailer call once every 2 years, it's hard to justify putting $2-300 worth of trailer towing attachments on each truck knowing that they will probably never pay for themselves. #12 - Tip the tow truck driver $10 when they show up and say thank you, even if they're late. If they take a while, it's usually the fault of the dispatcher, not the driver. Don't shoot the messenger, they're busting theirs to save yours, and the dispatcher probably has them just as frustrated as they do you. Nobody likes being yelled at because they work for an *******. A little kindness and courtesy goes a long way. Kind words and dead presidents will ensure kid glove care 99.9 percent of the time. 

 

 

Thanks for serving us and hope you have a great trip!

 

 

21 hours ago, Glenn said:

Two things that are often overlooked, but will result in a catastrophe if they fail:

 

 

 

 

Great info glen..never knew about greasing the ball. 

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On 7/12/2017 at 6:22 PM, brgbassmaster said:

 I do strap down transom. I'm talking about I read to put ratchet straps across boat and strapt that way also. For extra security. Thoughts?

Waste of time.

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