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Old 07-13-2014, 10:43 AM   #1
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Boats & RV Parks

My wife & I are considering getting a 21' Key West boat to pull behind our 40' Dutch Star & a question came up concerning how we would get the boat in the water once we got where we were going?

I know some of the places we stay don't have a marina but they have a boat ramp & I've never seen a coach backing a boat into the water.

We are new @ this & thought we could get some good feedback from this site. I'm sure there is someone here that pulls a boat behind their RV & has to deal with getting it in & out of the water even when the body of water may be a few miles from where the RV will be parked.


John & Rebecca

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Old 07-13-2014, 10:55 AM   #2
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I have a friend that pulls a 29ft Sea Dory behind his 40ft coach, he offers another boater a few bucks to launch his boat. Most of the time they do it for free. Takes a good size truck for his. He has done this with his coach providing there is enough room to turn.

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Old 07-13-2014, 11:10 AM   #3
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I've seen plenty of RVs launch boats. The biggest issue is dunking the exhaust, and maybe the fan, depending on how the slope of the ramp is. Maybe fabricate a "stack" for wham you launch?

I'd think you'd also want the brakes in great condition. My hydraulic-brake beaver would be a bit marginal backing down a slick ramp and launching a boat, but an air brake coach should be OK.

You might want to extend the tongue on the trailer about 3 feet, with a shallow ramp, that would make a big difference.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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I have thought about this several times as we always have to follow the RV with the pickup pulling the boat. I just am not comfortable that when the ramp gets wet and generally with a fairly steep incline the RV could handle pulling the boat out without spinning the tires or simply not having enough muscle. I would like to try it but just don't have the courage to do so.

My grandfather was a fairly serious individual and was always telling us how to do things right and how he would do it (you probably get the picture). Well he went in partners with my uncle (his son) on a boat and motorhome back in the 60's.

He was backing the boat down the ramp into the water and when the boat got a few feet into the water and started to float, it started to drift away since it had been untied from the trailer and no one holding onto the roap. Grandad hopped out of the RV and ran back to grab the boat before it drifted too far and you guessed it. He forgot to put the RV into park and it just kept going out in the lake and had 2 or 3 feet of water inside it before they finally got it out. My uncle said it was (almost) worth it just to see granddad face and realize the fact that he wasn't perfect and could make mistakes like the rest of us.

The story got better and better each year, and brought many laughs to our family get together over the years. Hopefully none of us have that good of a story to tell.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:31 PM   #5
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It can be done!

We have a Class A just over 37' long and an Express Cruiser that is usually towed by our pick-up for day trips.

We only launch with the RV when we are away from home, so we don't have to take 2 vehicles.

The RV never gets anywhere near the water due to the long overhang of the RV...and being a gasser, the exhaust terminates just forward of the rear axle. For a DP, I would venture that this would be a concern. Maybe needing a temporary stack of some kind(?)

Our biggest issue is turn around at the boat ramp. But, unlike towing a car, backing a regular trailer is easy with the back-up camera.

The boat nose hook is never disconnected until the boat floats off the trailer bunks and the RV driver never leaves the RV's drivers seat...but that is just the way we do it.
When you do it, you will often have an audience waiting for disaster, but we always disappoint in that department

Be safe and best luck

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Old 07-13-2014, 02:36 PM   #6
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I launch our 23'boat with or 39' rv. The rear tires never touch the water. Just plan your you'd launch so you have enough room to get turned around to back up.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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Check with the park you are going to. The one we winter in will dunk and pull your boat for a small fee. We have friends there with fivers that would willingly use their diesel dually trucks to launch anything we had but how many times would we feel comfortable asking? BTW the launch ramp there is short and narrow so using the MH to launch is out of the question.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the great advice. They are all great suggestions.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:35 PM   #9
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I have launched my 18' sailboat using our class A in a lake launch. It's a gasser so the exhaust is well forward. It's probably best if you are familiar with the ramp before you go but most will have ample space for a large rig. Or as was mentioned, you could probably hire it done by another boater depending on where you are. Many marinas will do it for you as well for a fee.

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Old 07-14-2014, 01:19 PM   #10
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I have seen motorhomes with a front mounted hitch for launching a boat. Last one I saw was a good sized gasser. Years ago I had a 23' sailboat and the trailer tongue would extend for launching...
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:07 PM   #11
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We launch our 18' ski boat withe our 34' Journey. Just remember to never turn off your rv engine while launching. Have never had an issue. Have fun.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:38 PM   #12
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A few years ago I saw a very nice class A right up to the windows in Canyon Lake, AZ. He'd been trying to launch a nice run about and something went wrong. Sorry I didn't get any pictures as this topic comes up periodically on the forum. Just think hard. How much is your rig worth? Remember, everything has to go perfectly right each time you launch and recover and only one thing needs to go wrong for it to get very expensive. By the way, the Canyon Lake boat was floating fine nearby. At least that part went right. LOL
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:45 PM   #13
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I've wondered how much of a boat ramp an E450 can climb (assuming good traction).
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
A few years ago I saw a very nice class A right up to the windows in Canyon Lake, AZ. He'd been trying to launch a nice run about and something went wrong. Sorry I didn't get any pictures as this topic comes up periodically on the forum.
Could it have been this one?


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