Towing Boat behind Caravan

Submitted: Friday, Dec 02, 2005 at 15:11
ThreadID: 122351 Views:3844 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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yes .. right .. :)) ..
well we all know that the axle distance on caravans is a legal thing and made to keep
them within the scope of drivers with simple car license. what if you are not happy with
a little dinghy on the top of your car or caravan or on the back of the ute ...
what if one wants to tow a boat trailer behind the caravan .. well not a good idea with
dual axle in the middle with all the movement in the back .. ?
is there a way to make a caravan with "long wheel base" and tow a boat trailer behind it ?
yes I have a heavy vehicle license (articulated) .. or does anybody have a good idea
for a boat lift onto a GMC ... the problem is the length though ... the pickup is 2m and the
boat would need to go right on top .. not very economical (wind resistance) and easy ..
possible though as far as weight is concerend ... anyway ..
Since we have decided now for the towing vehicle (independent of the boat question for varius reasons - but not yet purchased) I am trying to get my head around that problem ..
I have a lift solution for one of the boat options in question (an inflatable 3.5m jet boat at 300kg) but Id like to go a bit longer and rigid hull and thats where the head scratching starts ??? ... please don't call me crazy but when you expect to live with the rig and all equipment for at least 3-5 years on the road and are used to certain standards then its a problem :)) .. and no I donot want to pull a semi trailer :))) ...
any ideas ???
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Reply By: Bushtracker - Friday, Dec 02, 2005 at 18:59

Friday, Dec 02, 2005 at 18:59
Hello gmd,
Do not know who you are, but we had a similar call in the office last week, that someone took on the phone... Will assume that this is yourself... Anyway, here is the help you need: An the answer from Bushtracker that takes care of many many Fisherman types per year.... And we have explored every wild idea from the thousand before you, in all kinds of styles...

Answer: It's not going to happen. No way, zero, nada, nothing.... Never mind it would never pass the ADR, never mind you would battle with length rules and all kinds of legal problems, I won't even get into the hurtles to jump on all of the Transport Design Rules..
But it would also be totally non-functional off the road, when you had to negotiate washouts or jumpups and the like, and you would have no reverse abilities. It would also be unsafe on the highway with too much "whip" potential if you had to avoid an accident or road hazard in front of you at high speed... It would be dangerous, too heavy for the overall length on the end of the whip for the wheelbase of the tow vehicle, the tail would wag the dog so to speak, if you had to make a sudden radical hazard avoidance move at high speed, things would get out of control too easy...... Trust me: It is just not going to happen.....

HOWEVER: DON'T GIVE UP... THE ANSWER HAS SOME ADDED SIDE BENEFITS THAT YOU MIGHT NOT BE AWARE OF: First of all there are some quite good boat loaders to go on the truck, whether the truck is a GMC or Chev, or Ford or Dodge, no matter. An added benefit is that the boat upside down with the bow forward is an excellent aerodynamic wind break for towing the van! Now I have even heard some feedback that the boat on top, towing the van, tow vehicle got BETTER fuel economy. It is the same principle on air-dams for the trucks, it slips throught the air easier, particularly when fighting a headwind.

THEN: We would install folding Bulldog boat trailers on the front of 500mm extended a-frames, and a few jerry can holders alongside, quite often. The reason is that you do not want to be loading a salty boat on and off your nice truck everyday, so you only do it once. Then the rest of the two or ten, weeks in the Fish Camp, you tow your boat back and forth on the little Bulldog trailer assembled. This is what works well...

If your boat requirements are larger than what could go on the truck? Compromise, or go out on hired boats, as it would be too big to get into the great private little spots anyway... Suggest a moderate sized possibly covered bow, maybe even high sided like the 5 meter Quintrex Dory that I have. All around great boat, could go modestly off shore, good in high seas, unsinkable, I think takes a 50hp motor but a 15 or 20 is adequate to plane with a couple of people, safe high sided for high seas and crocs that might want to come over the rail, and would suit your problem right down to the ground... Good roller assembly, even a 12v winch to pull it up on top, problem solved. And the Dory can go aground on oyster shell or croc teeth without a drama, unlike an inflatable... That is why I abandoned my own 12' Zodiac surf rescue inflatable, idea does not work well around crocs and oyster up north where the good fish are... The Dory or other alloy boat, can actually help your fuel economy, and would suggest that this is the only answer

Nothing else will do long term. And believe me they have tried... Even big trucks pulling the boat inside a pantec back, but so limits them from getting into the good places, they might as well not have bothered...

Regards from the voice of experience, the Ranger does this kind of exploration and research full time...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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AnswerID: 567515

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 02, 2005 at 22:27

Friday, Dec 02, 2005 at 22:27
nope wasnt me .. thanks for the answer
AnswerID: 567516

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 02, 2005 at 22:59

Friday, Dec 02, 2005 at 22:59
After reading your answer it's pretty much what I have expected ..
I am not really happy about a small allu boat .. and no outborder for me ..
I am not a fisherman .. I do scuba diving and underwater photography
the length of the boat is not the real problem .. 15feet or so is fine and a flat
(low) boat is fine .. but I want a jet drive .. no propellor ..
ok .. I will investigate further what my options are ...
thanks for the continuing help
AnswerID: 567517

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 00:03

Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 00:03
Hello gmd,
Life is a compromise, it is not a perfect world.... But I have 20 years on yachts worldwide, and an Advanced Open Water Dive Ticket if it is not expired now so I know where you are coming from. I have dived over much of the Pacific and in the Caribean. For portability and weight, you might have to give up on the big jet boat idea, and go with a cage on the outboard prop. If you go the frog fin on top for easy planing in shallow water, and cage on the prop, like the surf rescue boats and some commercial dive boats, it performs much like a jet boat and is safe as well. It will not quite go in as shallow of water, but we are cutting hairs in only inches of water difference.. For travel and portability, even for your specialized needs, I still think this is the only practical answer with good living quarters and lifestyle of a Bushtracker behind...

The only other thing possibility is to consider a bigger truck with a jet boat up in the bed, winched in place... For instance I carry 5 horses, tonne of feed, two tonnes of fuel and water, tonne of tools, tonne of tack, and more, in the extreme of 4x4 vehicles a dual cab Mack truck. You could get a smaller version like the little Isuzu 4x4 trucks, and put anything you wanted in the back, a full jet boat for instance, even on a tilt tray bed. The little commercial trucks are not expensive, in fact they are about the same money as high end normal tow vehicles only you get much more truck. You might think about that as I have done. Some travel with a Bushtracker on the back of the truck, but you are height restricted then when off the track. Rather than towing the boat with the height of the Bushtracker on the truck, you would be better off with the lower profile boat on the truck towing the Bushtracker still. Then you can leave the camp set up while you go launch and retrieve the boat...

That is the problem with the Bushtracker on a 4x4 truck, besides too high, you have to break camp and put everything away just to take a short drive.
Better to just disconnect to go fishing or into town for a jug of milk.. Ha!

Cheers from the Ranger... Back on the trail.

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Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 00:39

Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 00:39
yeah .. well .. compromise .. true in a way .. hard to argue otherwise ..
but one tries as hard as one can ... I follow your argument in general ..
there is the way of a larger truck but then again travel comfort is much
lower .. well the compromise again :)) ...
we were also thinking to travel with a lighter accomodation and a boat
first .. like a slide on camper with the clear disadvantage of much lower
living comfort but then again with way more flexibility as far as the boat goes
and then leave the boat behind for a few more years coming but I know myself :)
I have to get to 80 first before I stop diving .. lol ...
well we will see .. we still have a few years to experiment on shorter trips until
we settle for the long haul ..
thanks again
AnswerID: 567518

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 01:16

Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 01:16
Air seats in a truck go a long ways for comfort.... My Mack is more comfortable, safe, and loaded, than my Landcruisers... And commercial gear is cheaper than civilian luxury stuff.. Bought an air seat from a wrecking yard for $500 for the passenger side of my last truck a Misubishi. Running costs? My Mack can carry 5000 km in fuel.. I fuel up cheap in bulk fuel depots on the coast, no paying the Outback prices for fuel.. Not sure my rig isn't one of the cheapest and most comfortable luxurious tow vehicles pulling a Bushtracker out there...

As to accommodations, poor living quarters ruins anyones prospects for success. Lifestyle is the key to long term happiness. Slide on camper?? What, are you 21 years old? Don't think that option would last long in practice...

Good luck on your decisions... We will probably see you here, sooner or later, Lifestyle is everything...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 01:27

Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 01:27
yeay yeah especially when I see my own and my wifes habits
with all sorts of gadgets and bits and pieces :)) ...
I guess your right that its too much of a compromise to go slide on :)) ..
but .. we go through all options .. almost :)) ...

AnswerID: 567519

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