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Bill W

New-to-me'Bu purchase likely - Looking for WISDOM from The Crew

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Bill W

It looks like I'll be towing my new-to-me 2002 Wakesetter VLX back from Charlotte, NC this Saturday - MY FIRST 'BU!!! Yahoo.gifYahoo.gifYahoo.gif

I have many questions so I'm looking for wisdom and input on ASAP as we are leaving Friday AM for the drive down.

1) Tow with the tower up right? Probably should wax that thing before hitting the road (found in another thread). Note to self - take wax.

2) The 'bu has a custom cover with snaps all the way around, will that stay on or come-off and beat the living daylights out of the boat at trailering speeds (don't know the make of the cover). So tow with or without customer cover?

3) I should remove and store the bimini securely for trailering - not leave up - right?

4) And remove and store both racks as well?

Not having traliered before or for that matter towed for any real distance...

5) What are the key items to focus on to ensure a safe trip back (to Ohio-about 750 miles while towing).

6) Lots of steep mountain-like roads on US 77 through WV... kind of concerned about that... Shocking.gif

Sorry about all the newbie questions but why not leverage all of the experiences from this huge pool of knowledge instead of re-inventing the wheel for myself.

Lastly - I have and will continue to use search and read what I can but if I can get in all in one place I may have "an ice-cube's chance in an oven" in successfully completing this trip and keeping the boat, trailer and 4-Runner all intact!

Edited by Bill W

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grnautique

Bill

Congrats on your purchase, I figured you would have a boat within a few weeks of the ski clinic but better late than never. As for the tow back home, why don't you consider getting the boat shrink wrapped? Thats the way the manufacturers do it when they ship boats. If not, I would leave the cover off, take everything off the boat you can. Make sure the tires are well inflated, hubs are greased and brakes are in good shape. Also I would make sure you carry a spare tire and good jack and the right size lug wrench just in case. Do that and you should be fine.

Good luck,

Craig

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bobofthenorth
It looks like I'll be towing my new-to-me 2002 Wakesetter VLX back from Charlotte, NC this Saturday - MY FIRST 'BU!!! Yahoo.gifYahoo.gifYahoo.gif

Lastly - I have and will continue to use search and read what I can but if I can get in all in one place I may have "an ice-cube's chance in an oven" in successfully completing this trip and keeping the boat, trailer and 4-Runner all intact!

Congratulations on your new baby. You'll get lots of advice. I've spent plenty of miles towing as have many others here but remember most of the advice we give is still worth approximately what you paid for it. Crazy.gif

I would leave the tower up & waxing it first is probably a good idea. I leave the racks on mine - YMMV.

A snap-on cover is a mooring cover only. DO NOT tow with it on. The bimini needs to be securely stowed.

The Toyota specs indicate that you should be well within the towing capacity of a current 4 Runner. Nevertheless, keep your speed down. Watch the downhill grades because that Wakesetter could easily take charge of the situation. Don't depend on the brakes to slow you down - use a lower gear for descending hills - the old trucker rule was to descend in the same gear you would ascend the hill. Take your time and make sure you get home to enjoy your new toy.

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gonorth

I'd make sure you have an extra rope or chain on the bow eye to the trailer in case the winch or strap fails. Also be sure you have the stern tied down to the trailer. Most of the other advice I would have given is in the prior thread.

I am assumeing your trailer has surge brakes. That means anytime the trailer has more forward momentum than the toyota the brakes will apply. Pretty obvuis, but if ou back up on flat or uphill ground the brakes will apply and if working properly will pretty much stop the toyota in its tracks. There is an override gizmo in the hitch assembly that when engaged will disable the brakes for backing up. If not obvious ask the previous owner.

Do you have decent mud flaps on the Toyota, you should. You don't want to throw crap on that nice hull.

Enjoy your new boat!

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JungleJim

Bill,

Although we don't have to tow very far one of the tips I was given for keeping your tower & speakers looking good was to leave it up and wrap it up with Glad Kitchen cling wrap. Once done wrapping it up real good just take some electrical tape and give it a few wraps to keep any loose ends from flapping. When you arrive just unwrap and presto... no bug guts/dirt on the tower!

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LS-One

Dude, don't be so overly concerned. 750 miles isn't like going around the world. I have made the trip from Cali to Utah (715 miles one way) to Lake Powell more times than I can count. Its all good, even if you don't take every anal precaution mentioned, you, your boat, and vehicle, will live to see another day.

PS many of those trips were done with a 4- runner and a V-6 Toyota pickup.

Keep in touch. :)

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edwin

Congrats on the new ride....my thoughts

Tower up for sure, will probably get bugs on it regardless of the wax

I'd check with the current owner regarding the cover. I had a snap on towing cover on my SLXi that worked like a champ. I've attached a pic as an example. I rarely tow w/o a cover...especially helpful around the Midwest with all the asphalt paving they're doing on the highways.

I'd take the bimini down and lay it on the floor of the boat...saves 750 miles of flapping.

Racks are fine up there, just will have to clean em a bit when you get home.

Towing - nice and steady works well, things can turn south in a hurry especially with a mid sized tow vehicle like the 4Runner. I'd probably keep the truck out of OD, especially in the hills. I'd much rather spin an extra 250-400 rpms than have the engine lugging and transmission shifting back and forth.

Enjoy the trip!!!

Edited by edwin

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J_Gled

Hijack on(assuming you haven't seen or driven the boat). Test drive the boat before you commit to the purchase. Hijack off.

Make sure your insurance is intact for your trip. Every state is different. Your chances of an accident are probably higher on the road than on the water.

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Baddog

If you have very little experience towing anything, there are two key rules:

#1. REMEMBER you are towing something back there.

#2. Turn WAY wider than you normally do with nothing back there

and most importantly:

#3. If you are going to want to pass people while towing, you are going to need a couple more cylinders. There IS no replacement for displacment.

One other thing, as mentioned above, the trailer has brakes. Make sure they actually work. I towed my tailer for 1-1/2 seasons before I realized they weren't working. BIG difference when they do.

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mrothwell

Tower up.

If the racks are quick connect, I'd take them off, but otherwise leave them on.

Bimini off

I had a snap on cover for my SLxi, and as previously mentioned, It was a towing cover. I hated putting it on because of soooo many snaps, and in general hated the hardware on my boat, but it was sure nice for road trips. I just assumed that all snap on covers were for towing.

Oh, congrats on the new boat.

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stewart

Same comments as others. Tower up, b-racks in place, bimini in boat (don't like all the bugs on the canvas) and cover on. If the cover looks like an issue while towing romove it. But more than likely it will be ok.

Make sure the bearing hubs are greased and or full.

And Lastly, Wipe that silly grin off your face as your driving home. Your jaws are going to hurt when you get home! :)

Congrats on the new boat and Good Luck on your drive home Rockon.gif

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Mike00LXI
It looks like I'll be towing my new-to-me 2002 Wakesetter VLX back from Charlotte, NC this Saturday - MY FIRST 'BU!!! Yahoo.gifYahoo.gifYahoo.gif

I have many questions so I'm looking for wisdom and input on ASAP as we are leaving Friday AM for the drive down.

1) Tow with the tower up right? Probably should wax that thing before hitting the road (found in another thread). Note to self - take wax.

2) The 'bu has a custom cover with snaps all the way around, will that stay on or come-off and beat the living daylights out of the boat at trailering speeds (don't know the make of the cover). So tow with or without customer cover?

3) I should remove and store the bimini securely for trailering - not leave up - right?

4) And remove and store both racks as well?

Not having traliered before or for that matter towed for any real distance...

5) What are the key items to focus on to ensure a safe trip back (to Ohio-about 750 miles while towing).

6) Lots of steep mountain-like roads on US 77 through WV... kind of concerned about that... Shocking.gif

Sorry about all the newbie questions but why not leverage all of the experiences from this huge pool of knowledge instead of re-inventing the wheel for myself.

Lastly - I have and will continue to use search and read what I can but if I can get in all in one place I may have "an ice-cube's chance in an oven" in successfully completing this trip and keeping the boat, trailer and 4-Runner all intact!

1) Yes

2) If the cover fits tight you are fine, if it's loose and flaps tow without it.

3 & 4) depends on how much time you want to spend cleaning up bugs when you get home

5) Check the trailer tires for tread depth, check tire pressure, check the hubs for grease and check the trailer tongue for the brake fluid level.

6) As long as you have a truck with enough power and good brakes you'll be fine. Just take it slow.

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Pondking

It looks like I'll be towing my new-to-me 2002 Wakesetter VLX back from Charlotte, NC this Saturday - MY FIRST 'BU!!! Yahoo.gifYahoo.gifYahoo.gif

Lastly - I have and will continue to use search and read what I can but if I can get in all in one place I may have "an ice-cube's chance in an oven" in successfully completing this trip and keeping the boat, trailer and 4-Runner all intact!

Congratulations on your new baby. You'll get lots of advice. I've spent plenty of miles towing as have many others here but remember most of the advice we give is still worth approximately what you paid for it. Crazy.gif

I would leave the tower up & waxing it first is probably a good idea. I leave the racks on mine - YMMV.

A snap-on cover is a mooring cover only. DO NOT tow with it on. The bimini needs to be securely stowed.

The Toyota specs indicate that you should be well within the towing capacity of a current 4 Runner. Nevertheless, keep your speed down. Watch the downhill grades because that Wakesetter could easily take charge of the situation. Don't depend on the brakes to slow you down - use a lower gear for descending hills - the old trucker rule was to descend in the same gear you would ascend the hill. Take your time and make sure you get home to enjoy your new toy.

Congrats on the nu bu. Listen to Bob about the hills and breaks, use them sparingly through the moutain passes going downhill and gear down.

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jgutzy

I'm guessing the Bu is sitting on a tandem axle trailer, if so the trailer should be level when coupled to the 4Runner. If you don't have enough tongue weight (force down) on the trailer hitch coupler you could end up with the trailer swaying or bucking. I tow a 92 Bu with an 03 Expedition and need a 6 1/2 inch drop hitch to get the trailer level and enough tongue weight to stop the bucking and swaying. Local Wal-mart auto department has the 1, 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and 5 1/4 inch drop couplers to slide into the 2 inch receiver hitch mounted to your 4runner.

Careful you don't drag the rear of the trailer/prop guard going into and out of parking lots.

Check that all your lights are working properly on the trailer.

True trailer tires run higher air pressure than passenger car tires. ST-series trailer tires run 50psi where your typical P-series passenger car tire runs 32 to 35 psi. Check to see if you have ST or P series tires and run the correct air pressure for the type of tire. Some people put passenger car tires on a trailer to save money.

example:

ST205-75-15 trailer rated tire 50 or 55 psi max pressure

P205-75-15 passenger car tire 32 to 35 psi max pressure

Good luck

Jim

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Lakenut

Take te bimini off and lay it in the floor of the boat. Flapping and bugs aren't the best on the boot for 750 miles. Ditto the thoughts on greasing the bearings. Don't be in a hurry, especially in a smaller vehicle. I would look at the cost of renting a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton truck. Might be worth the $$$. Especially for 750 miles.

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Bill W

Thanks Craig and everyone, all the info and perspective is very helpful. And what silly grin stewart? Tongue.gifYahoo.gifSurprised.gif

A little more info...

Boat is coming from 2year new Malibu dealer as a trade so it was reportedly inspected, engine PSI tested, etc from the servicing standpoint.

'Bu is on a single axle Boatmate with surge breaks.

4-Runner is an '03 with the V8 rated at 7300 lbs (lots of torque)

Have a 2" drop / 3/4" rise hitch plate for the trip

Will get an extra strap for the front

Great info on the lower gear (4th is max = not uding OD during the return trip)

Check tire pressure for the trailer, check the trailer lights, breaks (how?) and check the hubs for grease (should I take hub grease?).

The cover issues seems to be play it by ear depending on it's condititon and how "flappy" it is/might be

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bobofthenorth
'Bu is on a single axle Boatmate with surge breaks.

Great info on the lower gear (4th is max = not uding OD during the return trip)

Check tire pressure for the trailer, check the trailer lights, breaks (how?) and check the hubs for grease (should I take hub grease?).

If its on a single axle trailer then that is all the more reason to be concerned about the hubs being properly & recently greased. There's nothing quite like watching a trailer wheel pass you. Other than pulling them & doing them yourself there is no real way to tell whether they have been properly greased. Unless you know the guy that purpostedly did them, the fact that they were recently greased doesn't necessarily mean anything. After you go about half an hour stop and put your hand on the hubs. Cool is best - slightly warm is OK - too hot to touch is bad news. No point taking grease unless you plan to pull them & do them yourself. After the first check then check them regularly every couple of hours.

The point about having tongue weight was a really good bit of advice. If you get on the road and it seems like the boat is trying to boss you around then try to move some weight into the front of the boat - ie. increase the tongue weight.

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ilovetrains

brakes - those things you use to stop

breaks - what happens when you do not use the brakes

Sorry, pet peave.

I would go with racks, bimini and speakers (if equipped) OFF for that long a trip. Even a snap on trailering cover might get loose going that far, but then would be nice to not have to spend a half day scrubbing the interior when you get home.

DO NOT be afraid to be "that guy" in the right lane going slow up the mountain passes. Screw the people driving by, they are not making your truck and boat payments.

Make the dealer do the trailer maintenance. A single axle trailer is not ideal for that boat. Tell them you want brand new bearings installed before you hook it up. They will do it.

Stop every 100 miles or 2 hours just to walk around. When you get used to towing you won't need to do this, but it is worth the piece of mind.

Keep an eye out for truck stops. Will be easier to pull through to re-fuel and in the event of emergency they will be the only people around who might be able to help you out.

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Lakenut

If the trailer has buddy bearings it should be a visual check to see if they have enough grease. If not have the dealer do it before you get there.

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Big Dubya

'Bu is on a single axle Boatmate with surge breaks.

Great info on the lower gear (4th is max = not uding OD during the return trip)

Check tire pressure for the trailer, check the trailer lights, breaks (how?) and check the hubs for grease (should I take hub grease?).

If its on a single axle trailer then that is all the more reason to be concerned about the hubs being properly & recently greased. There's nothing quite like watching a trailer wheel pass you. Other than pulling them & doing them yourself there is no real way to tell whether they have been properly greased. Unless you know the guy that purpostedly did them, the fact that they were recently greased doesn't necessarily mean anything. After you go about half an hour stop and put your hand on the hubs. Cool is best - slightly warm is OK - too hot to touch is bad news. No point taking grease unless you plan to pull them & do them yourself. After the first check then check them regularly every couple of hours.

The point about having tongue weight was a really good bit of advice. If you get on the road and it seems like the boat is trying to boss you around then try to move some weight into the front of the boat - ie. increase the tongue weight.

Good advice!

it won't hurt to bring a grease-gun with marine grade bearing grease (assuming the hubs have Bearing Buddies), you'll need it eventually anyway between packing jobs.

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ilovetrains

quick note on tongue weight:

tongue weight should equal 10-15% (no more, NO less) of the total trailer wieght.

Usually a wagging trailer (the rear of the trailer wanting to step out side to side) is not enough tongue weight.

The trailer pushing (making the rear of the tow vehicle push out in a turn) is too much tongue weight.

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gonorth

Your axle may not have true bearing buddies in the sense that you can see how 'full' they are but good chance they have a grease fitting on them. If you grease be sure to quit pumping when it comes out the seals, just before then is better. Might have to pull an end cap to get to the fittings tho and sometimes that means removing the whole wheel depending on your wheel and hub caps. Some axles actually have this fitting on the axle behind the wheel, in the area where the axle bolts to the spring or trailer frame. As mentioned I don't think it would be unreasonable for the dealer to do a complete bearing grease job for you for free. Remove, repack, replace seals. About an hour or less work on a single axle trailer and max $20 in parts. Ask him to do that before you leave home for the trip.

For wraping your tower, some of the office supply stores sell rolls of that stretch wrap stuff (like saran wrap but heavier) that lumber yards often use to keep loads together. I think if you wrap the tower, speakers, etc with that you would get home really clean, they only fray in the wind where you end the wrap so use the electrical tape thing on that end to help hold it in place. Again, the dealer probably has this and might just let you use theirs and then you could return your nice new roll when you get home.

Edited by GONORTH

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ilovetrains
Your axle may not have true bearing buddies in the sense that you can see how 'full' they are but good chance they have a grease fitting on them. If you grease be sure to quit pumping when it comes out the seals, just before then is better. Might have to pull an end cap to get to the fittings tho and sometimes that means removing the whole wheel depending on your wheel and hub caps. Some axles actually have this fitting on the axle behind the wheel, in the area where the axle bolts to the spring or trailer frame. As mentioned I don't think it would be unreasonable for the dealer to do a complete bearing grease job for you for free. Remove, repack, replace seals. About an hour or less work on a single axle trailer and max $20 in parts. Ask him to do that before you leave home for the trip.

For wraping your tower, some of the office supply stores sell rolls of that stretch wrap stuff (like saran wrap but heavier) that lumber yards often use to keep loads together. I think if you wrap the tower, speakers, etc with that you would get home really clean, they only fray in the wind where you end the wrap so use the electrical tape thing on that end to help hold it in place. Again, the dealer probably has this and might just let you use theirs and then you could return your nice new roll when you get home.

We bought a bunch of that stuff from U-Haul when we were moving and wrapped all kinds of stuff together. Worked great. I still have a roll somewhere, I am going to try that on the next long haul. Would be nice to get there and not have dead bugs falling on everyone when we are the lake.

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BlastRlxi
quick note on tongue weight:

tongue weight should equal 10-15% (no more, NO less) of the total trailer wieght.

Usually a wagging trailer (the rear of the trailer wanting to step out side to side) is not enough tongue weight.

The trailer pushing (making the rear of the tow vehicle push out in a turn) is too much tongue weight.

While this is true for travel trailers, the tongue weight for a boat trailer should be between 5-10%.

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DUKENO1

Congrats on the new boat! Did you get it at Powersports in Cornelius,NC? Just curious....bought mine their this past spring. They are good guys. Good luck on your trip! Make sure you have a five prong wiring harness for your trailer...if you have four you will not be able to back the trailer without the trailer brakes locking up!

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