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Paul Hast

Tracker Pro 170 (2016) & Trailstar Trailer - Long Haul Ahead

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Team, 

 

Young navy guy needing some advice. Trying to be an ahead planner here, going back to Ohio from Nebraska (850 miles) on leave in a few weeks and I want to take my boat!! In fact, I have a couple long hauls coming up between this trip, moving at the end of the year, etc. 

 

I have a 2016 Tracker Pro 170 Aluminum boat with a 17 foot (folding tongue) trailer that fits perfectly in my garage. Total steal of a buy on this boat, the older guy who bought it from BP put it in the water 4 times in two years; had it serviced and sold it to me.

 

Why I need your advice - Cause I don't wanna break down on the way there or back! Ive been doing research but I imagine the members of this board have experience beyond online articles. What should I be doing now to make sure the trailer and boat make it to Ohio safely without issue? Are there things along the way to consider? And do I cover it with the factory cover on an 800 mile journey or no?

 

Things I already know/ have been told by BP service center (would appreciate the sanity check):

  1. I just repacked the bearings this week (lot of research for something that turned out to be stupid easy - I'm happy)
  2. BP Service guy says don't drive over 65MPH, tires arent rated for it. 
  3. BP Service guy says stop every two hours and let the trailer cool for 15 minutes (that'll make for a long 12 hours of driving)
  4. BP Service guy says take the grease gun with me and maybe shoot some in their half way through.
  5. I have been thinking about getting a second strap to connect from trailer to bow of boat (incase the pulley strap fails?)

 

As always, I appreciate your wisdom and stories! I just want to go home and enjoy a couple weeks of leave on the water. 

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I was driving one of them in Spain the other week, nice fishing boat! The BP guy has given you pretty decent advice. I would stop after the first couple of hours and check to see if the hubs were getting hot. If not after the first 2 hours, then you're probably good. I expect the tyres are only rated for 65mph as he suggested, so be aware of that. Definitely make sure you've got a spare tyre and jack and lug nut spanner. The cover will more than likely get worn, or rub against something on the boat, so probably better to haul it naked (the boat, not you). A secondary strap at the bow won't do any harm.  Walk round the boat when you stop for gas and check everything is tight and not hot. You should be fine.

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Great advice has already been given to you.

I make sure to carry some slime, a floor jack and a couple of jack stands with me.

The floor jack is quick and easy and carrys a pretty small footprint when stored away.

The jack stands are a life saver if you need them, I went thru an accident site and somehow managed to flatten both trailer tires.

 

Also pack all your tools last.

I packed them first so they would be out of the way.

Well at 2:30am on the side of the highway, I had to unload 1/2 the truck just to get to what I needed.

 

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And don't forget proper tire inflation. Under inflated tires are one of the biggest causes of trailer tire failure.

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You'll be fine. Be sure to take a spare. I've got an 01 pro team 165 I service the bearings yearly and that boat has knock on wood been on multiple 2000+ mile round trips to northern ontario

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Thanks for the advice; I just ordered new 8-ply tires (184//80R13) with wheels and I'll probably put those on and keep the 6-ply tires as spares on hand; recommendation was given to go with 8-ply for just a little more speed capability due to the manufactured thickness of the radial tire. Pretty pumped to go back home and be with family either way. 

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When you did the bearings, did you back off the spindle nut properly.  Trailer bearings get "preloaded" differently than cars.  The bearings on a trailer should be loose (by car standards), because of the large amount of expansion that occurs, so when they expand, they will be where they need to be, and not overheat.

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Sounds like you have done your research.  As suggested I'd check after the first cple hrs and if all is good I wouldn't worry about it. Make sure you have a spare and proper tools to change it. I routinely pull my Triton 18tx 70-75 on interstate with no problems.  On wet or rough roads obviously adjust accordingly.  Its good to be prepared but dont stress about it. If you did the bearings properly and the tires are good you should be just fine! Good luck

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thank  you for your service

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One thing I learned on multiple long haul trips (1800 miles round) is to remove the boat windshield.

 

It is not necessary, but the very first trip I ever took had a rock crack it and it was super annoying for me the rest of the trip.

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19 hours ago, Paul Hast said:

Thanks for the advice; I just ordered new 8-ply tires (184//80R13) with wheels and I'll probably put those on and keep the 6-ply tires as spares on hand; recommendation was given to go with 8-ply for just a little more speed capability due to the manufactured thickness of the radial tire. Pretty pumped to go back home and be with family either way. 

Make sure you set the air pressure at maximum as printed on the sidewall before your trip. Max air pressure will insure the tires run at the coolest temperature. 

Also you will get better gas mileage on a long trip with the cover on. 

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19 hours ago, Paul Hast said:

. Pretty pumped to go back home and be with family either way. 

That explains the white truck....Last I was in Nebraska, all the pick-ups were red

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Be sure to set your trailer tires at the max inflation on them. That is where they are made to be ran. Completely different than automotive tires

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22 hours ago, TheRodFather said:

When you did the bearings, did you back off the spindle nut properly.  Trailer bearings get "preloaded" differently than cars.  The bearings on a trailer should be loose (by car standards), because of the large amount of expansion that occurs, so when they expand, they will be where they need to be, and not overheat.

Well...you were on to something. And I learned the hard way today (and luckily not on the interstate). I went down to the tire shop to have them mount my new 8-ply tires. I got home with my new wheels and was unloading the old ones when I noticed one was covered in grease spray. I walked back to the new wheels/tires and noticed the left one was also covered. Further inspection revealed that I have blown the seal on the left side. I took it to a friend who runs a shop. He explained what you just did - and that its hard to know but I put too much grease in and after some spinning and separation - the seals couldn't hold all of that new grease. He'll fix it this weekend and now I'm boatless for the next few days. But, better than broken down!

6 hours ago, HenryPF said:

One thing I learned on multiple long haul trips (1800 miles round) is to remove the boat windshield.

 

It is not necessary, but the very first trip I ever took had a rock crack it and it was super annoying for me the rest of the trip.

Great point, thanks for that!

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1 hour ago, Paul Hast said:

Well...you were on to something. And I learned the hard way today (and luckily not on the interstate). I went down to the tire shop to have them mount my new 8-ply tires. I got home with my new wheels and was unloading the old ones when I noticed one was covered in grease spray. I walked back to the new wheels/tires and noticed the left one was also covered. Further inspection revealed that I have blown the seal on the left side. I took it to a friend who runs a shop. He explained what you just did - and that its hard to know but I put too much grease in and after some spinning and separation - the seals couldn't hold all of that new grease. He'll fix it this weekend and now I'm boatless for the next few days. But, better than broken down!

Great point, thanks for that!

Glad you found out about it before the long trip. 

 

Bearing buddies are a good thing to have if you don't already have them.  Most people think the purpose of them is to "auto" grease the bearing for you.  This only partly true, they DO keep constant positive pressure on the cavity that has the bearings and grease, so they force the grease to the bearings. 

 

But the other main purpose for the positive pressure, is that when you drive to the ramp, the bearings will be warm, you dip the trailer in the water and the rapid cooling causes a vacuum (if you don't have bearing buddies), which sucks lake water into the bearing cavity, greatly decreasing the life of the components.

 

The other benefit is they keep you from over greasing the bearings.  If you put too much in, the grease purges out a weep hole and the buddy self regulates the pressure of the cavity.  Just a couple squirts every so often to top off the buddy and that's all you need. 

 

I keep the grease gun in the boat so I know where it's at when I need it.

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Are you sure you do not have a short safety chain bolted to the trailer on the vertical frame behind the strap winch and on the end of it should be a hook, which hooks on to the bow hook.

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On 7/6/2019 at 8:19 AM, OnthePotomac said:

Are you sure you do not have a short safety chain bolted to the trailer on the vertical frame behind the strap winch and on the end of it should be a hook, which hooks on to the bow hook.

My trailer does not have that, no. 

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Safety chain is a must even for a drive a mile down the road. Anything could cause a failure and the last thing you want is a missile flying off the back of your trailer.  After a ride like that I would grab some lunch or breakfast and let the bearings cool off they'll be pretty warm after a ride like that. I would be over prepared for a trip like this. Spare bearings that fit your boat, something to inflate tires, tools etc. You can get any shop to replace a bearing but if you have to order a part in you're SOL. Get proper rest I will try and find the pictures from a kid I know that dosed off and put his tracker in a ditch. Pretty much brand new boat totalled out, flew off the trailer and through the median.

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On 7/2/2019 at 7:59 AM, BassNJake said:

Great advice has already been given to you.

I make sure to carry some slime, a floor jack and a couple of jack stands with me.

The floor jack is quick and easy and carrys a pretty small footprint when stored away.

The jack stands are a life saver if you need them, I went thru an accident site and somehow managed to flatten both trailer tires.

 

Also pack all your tools last.

I packed them first so they would be out of the way.

Well at 2:30am on the side of the highway, I had to unload 1/2 the truck just to get to what I needed.

 

A bottle jack has an even smaller footprint. Also, I'd keep a small chunk of 4x4 wood on hand for extra height

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11 hours ago, tbone1993 said:

Safety chain is a must even for a drive a mile down the road. Anything could cause a failure and the last thing you want is a missile flying off the back of your trailer.  After a ride like that I would grab some lunch or breakfast and let the bearings cool off they'll be pretty warm after a ride like that. I would be over prepared for a trip like this. Spare bearings that fit your boat, something to inflate tires, tools etc. You can get any shop to replace a bearing but if you have to order a part in you're SOL. Get proper rest I will try and find the pictures from a kid I know that dosed off and put his tracker in a ditch. Pretty much brand new boat totalled out, flew off the trailer and through the median.

I didn't know they had safety chains for keeping the boat on the trailer. I also have a Bass Tracker that does not have a safety chain. I have never seen a trailer with safety chains for a bass boat. I could understand using them for larger runabouts and other bigger boats.

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My Bear trailer with my G3 175 came with the safety chain on it.

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