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Old 06-24-2016, 07:53 AM   #1
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Tow/Launch/Recover a boat with a DP

It's not my boat, don't like boats as much as I like the money it takes to own a boat. It's my SIL's boat and she has nothing to pull it with. We're going to the lake and DW and SIL think it's a great idea to take the boat. Probably will tow/launch/recover the boat with our Suburban, but how many of you do T/L/R your 23' cuddy/tandem axel trailer with a DP?
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:20 AM   #2
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I assume you Cheetah has a 10K towing capacity, if so I think you could tow the boat. I would check to see what towing capacity is on the Suburban, I doubt it has the capacity but if you are only moving to put it in and take it out you might be able to do it. I would look at the boat ramp, if it is a steep ramp I'd be concerned about being able to stop, the brakes may lock up and the wheels will just slide.

Unless you are very good at backing a trailer putting a boat in with a DP is difficult. I tried putting in my 17' Whaler with my Class C, I should have sold admission tickets since all the spectators got a good laugh. I was all over the place but finally got it in. That was the first and last time that I tried.

One of my wifes friends was very good at backing a trailer with her ~38' Damon, I saw back her trailer through a narrow garage door.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:40 AM   #3
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I'll be towing our boat next weekend, should be a piece of cake. However, I would never try to launch. My daughter will with her pickup after she drops off her 5er.

I've seen boats get launched with class A gassers with the ball on the front, but rear launching is a dangerous game with all that expensive hardware back there. I watched a couple drown their running Onan Microlight generator in the back of their Coachman Class C and it was not a nice sound. The wave hit, the water receded, and the generator was no longer running and probably never did again.

The other complication is you are going to have to back down from the top. Usually the ramps aren't wide enough to make the swing, or if they are, there are 300 other people that aren't necessarily clear on what you are trying to do.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:41 AM   #4
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Boat launching with dp

Don't do it, to many DP'S have become Subs.

they don't like slippery ramps
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:45 AM   #5
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... I would look at the boat ramp, if it is a steep ramp I'd be concerned about being able to stop, the brakes may lock up and the wheels will just slide.....
I agree. Also it's not uncommon for boat ramps to have slime on them, especially near the water line. You'll have a lot of weight there to get stopped and started again on a wet, potentially slimy, surface.
At the very least walk all the way down to the water and get your feet wet.
You'll want to know how slick the surface is.
And you'll want to know where the concrete ends. I've been on ramps where the concrete ends a bit sooner than you'd think it would, especially at low tide. It really ruins the fun to drop the rear wheels off the pad. Saw that happen once, it was quite the show getting it pulled back out again. With an RV that's less of an issue than with a truck just because of length of overhang behind the rear wheels, but it's still something you'll want to know.

Personally I wouldn't do it, but then I've been accused of being over cautious.
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:15 AM   #6
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I used to tow and launch a 20' ski boat with a 26' Class C. But it manuevered well and could launch just like a normal vehicle.
We now have a DP and I would never even think about attempting with it. Most ramps we deal with are steep and have had crowns at the top which would most likely leave me high centered. Along with no way of actually backing it down unless from a long way off.
If we ever make it to a lake with the boat (which I actually gave to my nephew) we would tow the boat with the DP and the wife will drive the suburban which would be used for launching the boat.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:03 AM   #7
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Don't do it, to many DP'S have become Subs.

they don't like slippery ramps
Excellent point - done.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:04 AM   #8
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Excellent point - done.
ya I didn't even think about that.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:05 AM   #9
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Thanks guys, the mention of the slippery ramp and it's a done deal. THe Suburban is well able to handle this boat, and driving 2 vehicles is a small price to pay.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:06 AM   #10
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Sounds like the right plan. 👍
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Thanks guys, the mention of the slippery ramp and it's a done deal. THe Suburban is well able to handle this boat, and driving 2 vehicles is a small price to pay.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:16 AM   #11
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Well,
Much of the backing part is YOUR backing skills. I've been backing larger trucks, tankers, tractor trailers, small motorcycle trailers, motor homes and a whole lot more for years so, backing our boat is not an issue.

Now, yes, you can back your SIL's boat with your diesel. But, what's a major factor here is, the angle of the boat ramp. The steeper angle boat ramps will launch the boat way before the rear of your diesel rig will come close to the water, no big deal what so ever. But, the shallower ramps, will require that you back further into the water, to float the boat off the trailer. That's ok for the average pickup but, not so good for the average diesel pusher.

And, another point is, just how WIDE the ramp is. Take for instance, the Wahweap Marina boat ramp at Lake Powell. That ramp is about 40-50 yards wide. I've launched there many times with different motor homes.

Launching and retrieving with a large motorhome is not a preferred way, especially a D/P, to be sure but, depending on individual circumstances, it may have to be done 'cause there's no other way. Boat ramps can become a bit slippery, to say the least but, the more weight you have on your drive axle, the better chance you have of having more traction for launching and retrieving.

A lighter weighted axle has way more issues in retrieving. For instance, our GMC Sierra 1500 4x4, even with very moderate throttle, will spin the wheels (With brand new All Terrain tires) very easily. But, If I pop it into 4WD, it easily walks right out with or, without the boat on the trailer.

So, to answer your question, yes, you can tow the boat with ease. Launching it and retrieving it, will be up to you, based on your skills, ramp characteristics, space available for maneuvering etc. But, if you have a Suburban for the task(s), by all means, it's way easier.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:39 AM   #12
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I've launched and recovered my 22' boat with my 36' DP at the Ramp at Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell with no issues. the ramp is very wide and long and you can drive down the ramp, turn around and launch without real issue. the ramp is steep enough to float the boat well before the back of the DP even gets close to the water because of the long rear overhang.

I'd say it depends on the lake and the ramp situation more than anything else.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:44 PM   #13
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Well,
Much of the backing part is YOUR backing skills. I've been backing larger trucks, tankers, tractor trailers, small motorcycle trailers, motor homes and a whole lot more for years so, backing our boat is not an issue.

Now, yes, you can back your SIL's boat with your diesel. But, what's a major factor here is, the angle of the boat ramp. The steeper angle boat ramps will launch the boat way before the rear of your diesel rig will come close to the water, no big deal what so ever. But, the shallower ramps, will require that you back further into the water, to float the boat off the trailer. That's ok for the average pickup but, not so good for the average diesel pusher.

And, another point is, just how WIDE the ramp is. Take for instance, the Wahweap Marina boat ramp at Lake Powell. That ramp is about 40-50 yards wide. I've launched there many times with different motor homes.

Launching and retrieving with a large motorhome is not a preferred way, especially a D/P, to be sure but, depending on individual circumstances, it may have to be done 'cause there's no other way. Boat ramps can become a bit slippery, to say the least but, the more weight you have on your drive axle, the better chance you have of having more traction for launching and retrieving.

A lighter weighted axle has way more issues in retrieving. For instance, our GMC Sierra 1500 4x4, even with very moderate throttle, will spin the wheels (With brand new All Terrain tires) very easily. But, If I pop it into 4WD, it easily walks right out with or, without the boat on the trailer.

So, to answer your question, yes, you can tow the boat with ease. Launching it and retrieving it, will be up to you, based on your skills, ramp characteristics, space available for maneuvering etc. But, if you have a Suburban for the task(s), by all means, it's way easier.
Scott
Does Wahweap or Bullfrog have a launching service? Now that I can tow the boat behind the MH, I wouldn't mind returning to those places but I don't want to launch with the MH, even it if is easy. (DW doesn't drive either vehicle, so it gets complicated).
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:58 PM   #14
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Does Wahweap or Bullfrog have a launching service? Now that I can tow the boat behind the MH, I wouldn't mind returning to those places but I don't want to launch with the MH, even it if is easy. (DW doesn't drive either vehicle, so it gets complicated).
I can't say for certain that they have it or not, You could call Offshore Marina at Bullfrog and find out I'm sure. they do have a launching service for the larger house boats but not sure if they off a service for smaller boats.
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