Overland Boat Trailer??

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Sasquatch SC

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Okay folks - here is what I’m thinking about tinkering on now... my boat trailer.

This is my boat & trailer:

IMG_0663.JPG

Her name is the “Suboataru.”
I drive a Subaru, named the boat after the car.
It’s an aluminum boat. 15’ centerline length, 5½’ beam width. Yamaha 15hp 4-stroke tiller steer motor. 6 gallon fuel tank & a cranking battery in the bilge area at the transom. Casting deck modification on the front half. Deep cycle battery, tackle, & fishing gear are stored under the casting deck. Minn Kota trolling motor on the bow.

The trailer is a 2017 model EZ Loader. It is about 18’ from the tongue to the rear frame. Solid single thru-axle, some dinky little leaf springs, plastic fenders, & little ST175/80R13 tires on self-lubricating hubs.

So I’m thinking I need to go w/ some of these “axle-less” suspension kits. The plastic fenders are going to need to go & I’m probably going to need some bigger wheels & tires?

I’m really just pissing in the wind here because I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t know where to start. I’m wondering how far could I actually take it?

I know how to hook up & pull a trailer. I’ve been towing fishing boats as long as I’ve had a drivers license. However, until I joined OB, I never even considered customizing a trailer or anything about it. Now, I’ve got my vehicle built up & I’m planning trips. But I’m also looking at these places that have some awesome lakes nearby. Right now though, I cringe when I think about my trailer being off pavement. The damn thing makes so much creaking & groaning even when it is on pavement. Help me try to make an Overland boat trailer.
 
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Jku Ben

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Sorry I can’t be of any help but sounds like a great topic. Interested to see your outcome. Good luck.
 

Flipper

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I dont understand what you are doing. Just beafing up the trailer? I have the same trailer. 1st trailer tires are not the same a truck/SUV tires. They are not radials. Running no fenders in most states is illegal.Sound like you are going spend a lot of money just for axle ground clearance. I have taken my rig many places and never had a issue with the trailer although I do carry two spares and a extra hub assy.
 

Sasquatch SC

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I dont understand what you are doing. Just beafing up the trailer? I have the same trailer. 1st trailer tires are not the same a truck/SUV tires. They are not radials. Running no fenders in most states is illegal.Sound like you are going spend a lot of money just for axle ground clearance. I have taken my rig many places and never had a issue with the trailer although I do carry two spares and a extra hub assy.
Beefing up the trailer, and adding more handy stuff. I would replace the fenders w/ something larger & more sturdy because I definitely wouldn’t want road debris hitting the boat. Maybe figure out a way to put a platform w/ a RTT above the boat. I’m thinking something like an Overland Trailer that also carries a boat. I’m not so worried about axle ground clearance as I am about reducing it from jumping on bumps & being unwieldy on rougher terrain.
 
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IMO what your asking is not feasible. Boat trailers are set up for easy launch & easy loading by the height of the trailers. To add taller tires, axle-less axle like a Trimbin would only add for problems of launching & loading the boat @ ramps. The boat trailer is designed & constructed for a purpose of most public launch ramps angles. You never mention the beam size I'm guess it could be 36" to 48" across the bottom of the transom. The other is how would the boat travel on rough dirt roads from bouncing & dealing with wash board graded roads. Lots of reality factors to re-figure.
 
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TOTA

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IMO what your asking is not feasible. Boat trailers are set up for easy launch & easy loading by the height of the trailers. To add taller tires, axle-less axle like a Trimbin would only add for problems of launching & loading the boat @ ramps. The boat trailer is designed & constructed for a purpose of most public launch ramps angles. You never mention the beam size I'm guess it could be 36" to 48" across the bottom of the transom. The other is how would the boat travel on rough dirt roads from bouncing & dealing with wash board graded roads. Lots of reality factors to re-figure.
I agree with Don. Also the higher you make the trailer the farther out in the water you'll have to back. Boat trailers are low for a reason. They're made for driving down a paved road not for off roading. I'm afraid you'd be creating more problems for yourself than it's worth. Having said that maybe I'm not understanding what all your trying to accomplish. It would be nice to have a combo camping/ boating setup but I'm just not sure how you'd get that done. Maybe if you could put a rtt on your vehicle and pull the boat trailer as it is? I'll be interested to see what you come up with.
 

Farmjeepwrangler

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You got me thinking. Due to the boats length and other things that cannot be modified without losing function as a boat trailer. You will be limited to fire roads. You could increase your “off road” ability by adding new fenders timberline suspension and 15 inch rims. That would be where I started. Use the boat to hold gear, and sleep in a tent. For myself I just bring a canoe outfitted for fishing on my trailer.
 
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Sasquatch SC

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You got me thinking. Due to the boats length and other things that cannot be modified without losing function as a boat trailer. You will be limited to fire roads. You could increase your “off road” ability by adding new fenders timberline suspension and 15 inch rims. That would be where I started. Use the boat to hold gear, and sleep in a tent. For myself I just bring a canoe outfitted for fishing on my trailer.
I’m not necessarily wanting to tow my boat down a trail. But to get it to a campsite down some forestry roads? Absolutely. I still think there are things that can be worked around. As an example, an electric trailer winch along w/ rollers on the back of the trailer would compensate for the higher trailer stance & wouldn’t make it necessary to back so far down the ramp. However, don’t think I can adapt this trailer. I’m thinking I will need to start from the ground up. Plus, I’m not the first 1 to think about this. I present to you this courtesy of the Overland pioneers down under...

IMG_2236.JPG

That boat is a lot deeper hull & a lot heavier than my own. Independent trailer suspension. Better tires. Rollers instead of traditional trailer bunks. Electric load winch. RTT above the boat. They even have storage boxes near the tongue & you can see the mounting hardware for propane & jerry cans.

So, it can definitely be done. Now I just gotta figure out how to make it happen.
 
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Sasquatch SC

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I sold my jon boat and bought 2 kayaks just for this reason . Now i just throw em in the bed strap em down and im ready to go
I still do a good bit of kayak fishing, but on bigger bodies of water, not everyone is as kind to paddlers as I try to be. Plus we have some of these amazing, super deep mountain lakes with some epic waterfalls & even more epic lake brown and rainbow trout fishing. I don't know how to fly fish (I do fully intend to learn ASAP). But I do like fishing for lake trout while trolling with swimmer lures. I use my kayak for late season bass (after most of the pleasure boaters are off the water) and for red drums in the coastal creeks. My boat has a 5½' beam and with the smart tabs it makes it so I have an extremely shallow draft. I had a bigger motor on but changed over to a smaller one that is better tuned with a 4 blade aluminum prop to reduce weight to keep a very shallow draft. With optimal trim and weight distribution, I can top out on plane at about 20 knots. At idle throttle I can get through depths of 18" without changing anything. If I trim up I can get through 12" water. That opens up a lot of places for me to get through to the source rivers and creeks that feed into lakes. It also lets me zip around on the leeward areas of the barrier islands along the intercoastal waterway and around the Outer Banks with cooperative weather.

I am currently looking into the starting point on this. I already use a transom saver for the outboard. It is basically a removable bar that attaches to the trailer and supports the outboard and keeps it immobile during transit. I am starting this at the back of the trailer and moving forward. So I am currently researching different load rollers and extendable/retractable bunks. So basically, the loading bunks for the trailer will need to be further out than what I use now. That would reduce how far the trailer actually has to go down the ramp for launch and retrieval.
 

TOTA

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Holy cow now that's a sweet setup. I think you are correct that you would have to start from the ground up vs trying to modify the current one. I'm looking forward to seeing what ideas you come up with.
 

Sasquatch SC

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Holy cow now that's a sweet setup. I think you are correct that you would have to start from the ground up vs trying to modify the current one. I'm looking forward to seeing what ideas you come up with.
I’m excited to give it a go. I’ve started a diagram & parts list. I want to get a set of rock sliders & skid plates for my Subie still which is going to be a pretty big hit in the wallet.

I need a sponsor!!
 
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Salty4Life

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As already said, raising the height of the boat trailer will mean you will need to back farther down the ramp to launch and load. The first problem is that the ramp that might have been long enough now isn’t. The second problem is that your tires may end up in the slick stuff and you will launch your vehicle too.
 

Sasquatch SC

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As already said, raising the height of the boat trailer will mean you will need to back farther down the ramp to launch and load. The first problem is that the ramp that might have been long enough now isn’t. The second problem is that your tires may end up in the slick stuff and you will launch your vehicle too.
Not if you make the trailer longer, slightly sloped, and w/ an electric trailer winch.
 

Salty4Life

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Not if you make the trailer longer, slightly sloped, and w/ an electric trailer winch.
It would be easier to just use a roller trailer instead of bunks. Back up most of the way and roll off. You will not be able to drive up, the boat will need to be winched all the way up. Electric boat trailer winches are not reliable. I saw them fail so much they really aren’t used anymore.
 

Sasquatch SC

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It would be easier to just use a roller trailer instead of bunks. Back up most of the way and roll off. You will not be able to drive up, the boat will need to be winched all the way up. Electric boat trailer winches are not reliable. I saw them fail so much they really aren’t used anymore.
Rollers are definitely the idea, but I’m not sure what to call a bunch of rollers. A pod? W/ the way this trailer could be set up, it could use a regular Warn recovery winch w/ a deep cycle battery.
 

Salty4Life

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What lakes are you going to where you would even need such a trailer? They probably wouldn’t have ramps. So that leads to a whole different consideration of the trailer getting stuck in the silt.
 
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Sasquatch SC

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All the lakes I am planning on going to have ramps. For waterways without a ramp, I generally don't want to use that boat and I use a kayak or canoe.