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Old 03-26-2010, 04:26 PM   #1
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Porta-bote

Just ordered a 12'6" folding Porta-bote and am looking for ideas for mounting it under my 2001 Adventurer 35U. I really do not want to use the optional brackets that are available from the company. The idea of drilling 4 holes thru the slide out, just doesn't sit right with me. Has anyone come up with a different solution? I am also considering putting the bow of the bote thru the upper end of the ladder and making some type of bracket on the diagonal for the stern end. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:19 PM   #2
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I'm not sure of 100 pounds hanging on a ladder.

Consider what I did, and others, on a 5er. If you have the clearance, put some hanging rollers under the coach attached to the frame. Since the Porta-bote is only 4" thick when it is folded, you should only need a 5" hang. Terminate it at the back with a brace, and on the front put a hinged, locking brace.

Just a thought.

Edited: Do you have a TOAD? You could put it on a rack on the roof of the TOAD.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:32 PM   #3
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I drilled the holes and mounted it on the side of my Jayco Class C, but I'm with you and couldn't do it on my Winnebago. Unfortunately it's too tall to mount on the ladder, even crosswise. Also like Wayne said, not sure I'd trust the ladder with 60 pounds on it.

I mounted mine under the side of my rig (under the left bays) using eye bolts, brackets, and ratchet straps. I don't have the clearance to use rollers and it just barely fits between my wheels.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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I too would like to use an Porta bote to dunk in those out of the way lakes/streams while RVing. The Porta bote is a good choice...some sailors use them as dinghies and swear by them.

Not sure about mounting under the RV...I was just under mine (while lubing the chassis) and came to the conclusion, although the bote is fairly thin, I just couldn't find an area suitable. In addition to minimal gound clearance, the though of a chunk of road debris... could ruin your day as well as the bote's.

Although fairly rigid, there is enough flexing in the hull to be subjected to buffeting while in the air stream and would require additional intermediate tie down points to eleminate air getting 'under' the hull. Weighting in at around 55 lbs., the boat would be bulky to lift (even with help) to the roof of the RV...not to mention all the holes for mounting points. Too many points of entry for water and would not be an option for me.

The back of the RV is the only position that I can see that would reduce the buffeting so that minimal tie down points could be used. Your idea of using the ladder is a good one, you could sit the transom into a pocket bracket and then angle the bote at maybe 30 to 40 degrees with the bow terminating under the ladder. You could then 'bungie' the bow in downward tension using a ladder rung thus holding the transom into the lower pocket. That lower pocket could even be made of light weight nylon 'mesh'. If there were any buffeting of the hull (which I doubt), that could be eleminated with a couple of tennis balls between the RV and the hull or/and an additional mid-hull strap. I weight 225 lbs. and my ladder feels solid...should be stout enough for the Porta bote.

Good luck with the project and do let us know how you mount it and how well it works out (pics would be nice). Bob

If you do have a TOAD, Wayne M has it...why didn't I think of that?
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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We've gone the "mount on toad" route with our 12' Portabote. We had Yakima bars on it with bike racks already and added a pair of these: Yakima Products - BigStack

The Portabote fits knife-edge on the bars, and we strap it to the BigStack bars and the front and rear of the toad with the straps Yakima supplies.

We also did not want to drill holes in the sidewalls of our new coach, roof was out as it is too bulky to wrestle it up and down, under frame there's not enough clear space, and IMHO it's just too tall to mount on the rear, I was afraid that the end that stuck out (either the top or the bottom) would flex too much and cause problems.

When we want to take the Portabote without the toad we carry it inside the coach (opening the front slide allow us to get in and out easily). We carry the seats, transom, motors etc in the coach compartments anyway so the boat hull is the only thing we have to put inside the coach.

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Old 03-27-2010, 11:11 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the ideas. I will be getting the MH out of storage next week. I really don't think, I can mount it under the coach. I will look into building a bracket to hold the weight of the bote from the hitch and possible angle it under the ladder for support only. A couple of bungies around the bote and ladder should keep it from moving around while traveling. We also have a rack on the SUV (toad), so that will work, but not sure how to lock it there to keep it from sticky fingers. When I figure it out, I will enclose pictures. Happy camping.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:59 PM   #7
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I mounted mine on previous 36' Tropi-Cal UNDER the frame. I glued some large sponge rubber to the chassis rails and used two ratchet straps over the rails an around the boat. Plenty of clearance and the straps were solid. Carried it that way for 5 years without harm to the boat. My problem was I got lazy, and didn't want to crawl under to get it out as often as I would have if it had been more accessible. If I had it to do over....I'd have gone ahead and drilled the dang holes for the regular carrier - then sold the rig with the boat! Happy trails.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:45 PM   #8
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We mounted ours on the roof. Was easy enough to get up and down - just slid it over the edge.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:28 AM   #9
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I also mounted mine on the roof. I cut two pieces of wood, anout 2x2x20, to the contour of the roof, and primed and painted them, and installed on roof cross-members with S.S. screws and a generous layer of 3M 5200. Once cured, that stuff will hold, even without screws. Then I mounted the porta-boat metal brackets to the newly installed mounts, also using S.S. screws and 5200.

To get the boat on the roof, lay a towel or throw rug over the back cap; stand the boat up, leaning on the back, and with a length of dock-line tied to the boat, pull it up. I can do it myself, but DW helps, and it is easy. Takes 30 seconds to lift up, tilt, andd slide into the brackets.

Mine has been up there for about 7 years, with no problems other than the metal brackets from porta-boat rusted, and they need to be wire-brushed and painted.

I would not mount on the side of the RV, and I don't think there is room under it. I did see one guy's setup, where he had a home-made box mounted behind his slide, that the boat slid into. It stays clean, and when his slide was in, you could know he had a boat under there.
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Old 03-29-2010, 04:01 PM   #10
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Well after a whole night of laying awake and thinking about it, I came up with a plan "B". My living room slideout is 13 ft long. I think i will be able to mount it under the slide. I will have a heating contractor make up a cold air furnace duct (galvanizes) of 5x25x153" and closed on one end. After mounting the "duct" under the slide, I will fashion a locking cap on the other end. There is plenty of clearance under the slide and the added 5" will equal the exhaust distance to the ground. When the slide is in, it would be really difficult for anyone to "borrow" the bote, and with the slide out, the vent door would be locked. I think if the "duct" is painted black or a matching color of my RV, no one will even knowit is there. I will post pictures when finished and give more details of how it went. Thanks for all the ideas. See ya on the road!
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Old 03-29-2010, 04:24 PM   #11
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I'd give some serious thought to the structural integrity of the box, and how it will be mounted under the slide (and to exactly what will carry the weight).

I think I'd build something stronger than sheet metal, and wouldn't trust just mounting it with screws. If it breaks loose while you are rolling down the highway, you will certainly have a mess of trouble.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:03 AM   #12
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I carried one for two years 14' on top of my 31' motorhome, I parbuckled it up and down no problem for one person
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:27 AM   #13
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I have hauled a Port a Bote on the top of my Ford Ranger pick up truck for five years.
I have a ''cap' on the back over the bed of the truck. I built a rack out of exhaust tubing and bolted it to the cap. For five years I have hauled the boat ''assembled'' on top of the rack. The boat is assembled and loaded up side down on the rack with the seats and the transom in the boat. I have hauled the boat this way for about 80,000 miles. Willa and me can put it on top of the truck with no problem. I use the ''stretch'' method of tie down. One rope forward off the bow of the boat to the bumper and one rope backwards off the bow to the rack to pull the bow two ways, forward and backward and then a rope over the back of the boat. It works great. This boat is the greatest. Mine is 15 years old and it dont leak a drop.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:34 PM   #14
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I designed and had built a sheet metal box roughly 24"X4"X12' to hold the hull that I had mounted beneath the baggage compartments between the tires. Has a long door with piano hinge. Works great. Have not had a clearance problem.
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