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th365thli

Moving from CA to NC....

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Well, after 5 years in the SF Bay Area my girlfriend and I had enough. We're moving back to my home state of North Carolina, she's starting school at ECU to redo her Bachelors and I'll be working from my company remotely. My departure date is late July. 

I'll be towing my Ranger 375v with a 2017 Tacoma 4x4. Obviously a full size would be better but I quite like my Taco and I'm not going to buy a full size just for one trip. The farthest I ever towed her was 2 hours to Lake Berryessa without any fuss. However, a cross country trip means I have a bit of work to do. I need to replace my axle for one that allows mounting of brakes. 

Any tips on traveling with a boat will be welcome. I installed a loc-r-bar and I ordered a boat cover from Ranger. Not sure if that's enough. Do hotels usually allow boat charging? What about taking up multiple parking spaces? I imagine I have to do a lot of calling. My main concern is boat security obviously, I have a lot of rod and reel combos in the boat I would like to keep. Will be camping some spots along the way as well. 

Finally, I would be remiss not to fish along the way. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity fish lakes across the country. I have a list below of possible lakes to hit. Any advice, lakes to check out, lakes to skip, would be great. I'll be going on I-40 and would like to not deviate too far. I have a 2 week absolute max limit, my girlfriend won't be too pleased if I take anymore time fishing while she has to deal with unpacking by herself. 

Here are some possible lakes off I-40. I won't be able to hit all of them. I'm also thinking of skipping the western half so I have more time to fish the eastern half. There are a LOT of lakes in the Tennessee NC area that look great. Actually, once I pass Oklahoma there are a lot of lakes in general. 

Lake Mohave - Nevada
Conchas Lake - New Mexico
Ute Lake - New Mexico
Lake Meredith - Texas
Lake Dardanelle - Arkansas
Kentucky Lake (New Johnsonville Launch) - Tennessee
Dale Hollow - Tennessee 
Lake Cumberland (This one might be too out of the way) - Kentucky
J Percy Priest - Tennessee
Center Hill Reservoir - Tennessee 
Lake Norman - NC
Shearon Harris, Jordan Lake, Falls Lake (my hometown lakes, fished them as a wee lad, I'm excited to come back with a boat and apply everything I learned since). 

Any advice on traveling, lakes to check out, safety tips would be welcome.

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Safe travels @th365thli and much success and good fishing in the future.

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If the boat trailer tires are over 8 years replace them to aviod tire trouble, including your spare tire. Make sure the wheel bearings are lubed before you leave the highway speeds and day time temperatures can overheat wheels.

Take out the boat drain plug,

Get yourself a baby monitor for the boat when parked overnight. You need about 100' of electrical cord or 2 ea 50' to hook up the onboard charger over night.

I don't trailer my boat with a cover on but put it on overnight. If the cover loosens it can destroy the boats gel coat quickly.

Lock the trailer to the tow vehicle.

Lock all the storage lockers all the time.

Assume you are taking 99 to 58 to I40 crossing the Colorado river at Needles between Mojave and Havasu in July. I would pass on fishing the River area. The July temps can be 115-120 degrees during the day there. Be sure you have a case of water along with you crossing the desert areas and travel during night or very early morning before it get extremely hot.

Stop often when traveling with your girl friend and have a safe trip.

Tom

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5 hours ago, WRB said:

If the boat trailer tires are over 8 years replace them to aviod tire trouble, including your spare tire. Make sure the wheel bearings are lubed before you leave the highway speeds and day time temperatures can overheat wheels.

Take out the boat drain plug,

Get yourself a baby monitor for the boat when parked overnight. You need about 100' of electrical cord or 2 ea 50' to hook up the onboard charger over night.

I don't trailer my boat with a cover on but put it on overnight. If the cover loosens it can destroy the boats gel coat quickly.

Lock the trailer to the tow vehicle.

Lock all the storage lockers all the time.

Assume you are taking 99 to 58 to I40 crossing the Colorado river at Needles between Mojave and Havasu in July. I would pass on fishing the River area. The July temps can be 115-120 degrees during the day there. Be sure you have a case of water along with you crossing the desert areas and travel during night or very early morning before it get extremely hot.

Stop often when traveling with your girl friend and have a safe trip.

Tom

 

Yep, got my bearings and tires all taken care of. Just need to install trailer brakes. I was thinking about camping most of the way since i'm so paranoid about my boat. The baby monitor is a good idea, and driveway motion alarms were recommended to me as well

Good advice on skipping Mojave. You're the second person to tell me the temps during the day will be unbearable. I think I'll just blitz my way past the western half and start my fishing past OKC. 

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I live about 50 min south of OKC. Once in that area you could fish Tenkiller, Okemah, or Eufaula which are all very near I40. My choice for a first time trip would be Okemah as it is a smaller lake and holds some great fish. You could also stay there in Okemah Day's Inn, I have stayed there many times, it is by the McDonald's and you wouldn't have to worry about your boat. If you have any questions or need any additional info just PM me.

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Good info above....I too have done this kind of traveling in the past.  Would plan my trip around the good campgrounds also.  Many of the lakes have them.  Enjoy

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You should REALLY give Matt Allen's (TacticalBassin) video's about boat / towing insurance a watch. He did a cross-country trip last year towing his boat and got into a major accident and a lot of stuff got messed up with insurance I guess. 

All of his fishing videos are the best, but definitely give his insurance videos a watch.

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Theoretically you could follow I-20 and go south through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and fish Lay Lake, Smith, Guntersville and hit I-59 for Chickamauga in Tennessee. 

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12 hours ago, jbsoonerfan said:

I live about 50 min south of OKC. Once in that area you could fish Tenkiller, Okemah, or Eufaula which are all very near I40. My choice for a first time trip would be Okemah as it is a smaller lake and holds some great fish. You could also stay there in Okemah Day's Inn, I have stayed there many times, it is by the McDonald's and you wouldn't have to worry about your boat. If you have any questions or need any additional info just PM me.

Thanks for the advice! I was thinking about Eufala but I heard it's hit or miss. Will definitely check out Okemah. 

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If you plan to camp and fish a small Honda generator to charge batteries using the 110v onboard charger is a good accessory, runs quite in camp grounds that don't have electrical hook ups.

Tom

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If it were me my greatest concern would be bearings and tires as mentioned by others. On a few occasions when I made long trips with my boat and trailer I'd buy a few spare tires and rims at Walmart. I'd keep them bagged to keep them clean. If I got through the trip without any tire problems I'd return them to Walmart for a refund. There was one trip where I had to use my spare and both Walmart tires but they saved me a lot of aggravation.

 

Good luck and have a safe trip.

 

 

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i’d skip Lake Norman for Lookout Shoals which is just upstream on the Catawba River and 10 minutes off I 40 at exit 138. less boat traffic and better bass fishing imo. be safe brother.

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I’d skip Kentucky lake and go on to Cumberland. Both are going to be tough this time of year but the night bite should be good at Cumberland!

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Thanks for the advice everyone. Multiple people have told me to skip K Lake. @lo n slo i'll definitely checkout lookout shoals. Many people have told me to keep extra bearings, advice that I fortunately already heeded, I have like 4 extra idler hubs and bearings and 1 extra drum hub and bearing. 

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Congrats on the move.

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22 hours ago, blanked said:

Don’t be towing at 80 mph. High speed means higher tire temps for blow outs.  I wouldn’t tow past 65

And you get 11 mpg instead of 15. Don’t ask me how I know. Also, it’s a whole lot easier to replace the hubs than to replace bearing and it doesn’t cost that much more 

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