Jump to content

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

Any advice for a LONG road trip with the boat?


jmack

Recommended Posts

I’m getting ready for a long road trip with the boat in a couple of months. Driving from Alabama to Lake Powell and back – around 3700 miles. We’re renting a houseboat and didn’t want to spend more for a towboat, plus we’re taking all of our boards and gear. Boat is a 2015 23LSV with tandem trailer. Tires are in great shape.

I’m no stranger to towing - we’ve done plenty of 4-6 hour trips, but obviously this a lot further than that. So, any advice for long distance towing? Here are a few items that I’ll have on board:

 

Spare Tire

Spare hub / bearing assembly

Spare spindle

Spare trailer brake pads

Air compressor

Tire Plug kit

Jack

Jack Stand

Lug wrench & Hand tools

Ratchet Straps

Zip ties / Duct tape, etc.

Extra fluids for truck & boat

Tools / Parts for wiring repair

 

Please don’t recommend that I not tow this far. We’re making the trip with the boat. Just looking for advice from others that could help us be well prepared.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Hi, you have it covered...you may want a crowbar.  I love your list. I have towed my whole boat life...20 years...and yes trailers are cheap CRAP...I use E Rated radial tires, not "trailer" rated tires, which tend to be crap.

If you do get a flat, the tire may grab your fender and pull it under the tire edge (folding it in)...in which case you may need to bend it back out to make room for the spare. This happened to me once. Luckily, the tow truck guy was good and he hooked my fender and pulled it out with the hook...but if he is not there, you may want a nice crow bar to do it.

Personally, I keep a little tool chest called my tire kit, and I also keep new valve stems and a valve stem wrench in it. Along with a little can of rubber cement which I coat my tire plug strip with prior to insertion...I also keep a razor in there to cut off the end of the plug after insertion...and a pliers and screwdriver to pry the nail or bolt up high enough to get a pliers on it and pull it out...

Speaking from experience here man...many issues encountered towing over the years.

Gary

Link to comment

drive slow and watch your transmission temp.  i'm from california and we ended up blowing a transmission a few years ago going to lake powell-outside temps at times were north of 120.  

Link to comment

What's the age of the trailer tires?  If they're more than 2-3 years old, I'd suggest a replacement.  The heat on the tarmac out here in the summer is ridiculous, and heat destroys tires, even tires that have good-looking tread and no obvious cracks.  Also, what's the load/speed rating of the existing tires?  Might want to invest in a set of Goodyear Endurance tires if you plan on clipping across TX and NM at speed.  They're 10 ply and load-range E.

Link to comment
29 minutes ago, gary_tenison said:

Hi, you have it covered...you may want a crowbar.  I love your list. I have towed my whole boat life...20 years...and yes trailers are cheap CRAP...I use E Rated radial tires, not "trailer" rated tires, which tend to be crap.

If you do get a flat, the tire may grab your fender and pull it under the tire edge (folding it in)...in which case you may need to bend it back out to make room for the spare. This happened to me once. Luckily, the tow truck guy was good and he hooked my fender and pulled it out with the hook...but if he is not there, you may want a nice crow bar to do it.

Personally, I keep a little tool chest called my tire kit, and I also keep new valve stems and a valve stem wrench in it. Along with a little can of rubber cement which I coat my tire plug strip with prior to insertion...I also keep a razor in there to cut off the end of the plug after insertion...and a pliers and screwdriver to pry the nail or bolt up high enough to get a pliers on it and pull it out...

Speaking from experience here man...many issues encountered towing over the years.

Gary

Thanks - good recommendations and I’ll be sure to throw in a crow bar. 

Link to comment
28 minutes ago, wilster said:

drive slow and watch your transmission temp.  i'm from california and we ended up blowing a transmission a few years ago going to lake powell-outside temps at times were north of 120.  

Driving slow may not be in the equation ;)

I’ll be sure to keep an eye on temps. Truck will be fully serviced with all fresh fluids including trans and rear end before we head out 👍🏼

Link to comment
21 minutes ago, jjackkrash said:

Maybe look into a AAA membership with an RV endorsement.   That should cover towed boats as well in case of a break down.  

Yes! We have AAA

Link to comment
21 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

What's the age of the trailer tires?  If they're more than 2-3 years old, I'd suggest a replacement.  The heat on the tarmac out here in the summer is ridiculous, and heat destroys tires, even tires that have good-looking tread and no obvious cracks.  Also, what's the load/speed rating of the existing tires?  Might want to invest in a set of Goodyear Endurance tires if you plan on clipping across TX and NM at speed.  They're 10 ply and load-range E.

Honestly not certain of the age of the tires. They may be the original ones - 5 years old (I’m the second owner). They appear to be in great shape, but I agree that looks can be deceiving. I lost 2 tires on one trip several years ago in 105° heat. I’ll have a good look at the load and speed rating as well.

Link to comment
8 minutes ago, jmack said:

Driving slow may not be in the equation ;)

I’ll be sure to keep an eye on temps. Truck will be fully serviced with all fresh fluids including trans and rear end before we head out 👍🏼

Check the speed rating on the trailer tires.  On many tires this won't be an issue, but some trailer tires are rated pretty slow and its a heat-buildup issue.  I would not push the tire limits too far on a long trip.  

 

Edit:  looks like this has already been covered, sorry.  

Edited by jjackkrash
Link to comment

I agree on new tires. Especially if they are original or the off brand junk that the trailer companies use. If you are uncertain of age, look at the DOT date code. It’s a 4 digit number that gives the week and year the tires were made. For this trip, I’d just replace them with Endurance. You’ll spend more $ from one blow out (and the damage done to the trailer) than 4 new tires. Not to mention the time you spend on the side of the road fixing a flat, then the stop for a new spare (or new tires on the road). 
 

You also need to inspect your wheel bearings. Despite the stupid sticker they put on the trailer, you still need to inspect and adjust annually with that system. 

Link to comment
58 minutes ago, jmack said:

Honestly not certain of the age of the tires. They may be the original ones - 5 years old (I’m the second owner). They appear to be in great shape, but I agree that looks can be deceiving. I lost 2 tires on one trip several years ago in 105° heat. I’ll have a good look at the load and speed rating as well.

I'd swap them with good ones, especially if you plan on using your boat as a cargo trailer like so many people tend to when towing long distances.  Get something that can handle the load and is speed rated for your use case.

Link to comment
21 minutes ago, RyanB said:

I agree on new tires. Especially if they are original or the off brand junk that the trailer companies use. If you are uncertain of age, look at the DOT date code. It’s a 4 digit number that gives the week and year the tires were made. For this trip, I’d just replace them with Endurance. You’ll spend more $ from one blow out (and the damage done to the trailer) than 4 new tires. Not to mention the time you spend on the side of the road fixing a flat, then the stop for a new spare (or new tires on the road). 
 

You also need to inspect your wheel bearings. Despite the stupid sticker they put on the trailer, you still need to inspect and adjust annually with that system. 

 

Agree on the bearings. I'll inspect them before we set out on the trip.

This is my first setup with oil bath bearings. What are everyone's thoughts on them? Reading some mixed reviews.....

Link to comment
18 minutes ago, jmack said:

 

Agree on the bearings. I'll inspect them before we set out on the trip.

This is my first setup with oil bath bearings. What are everyone's thoughts on them? Reading some mixed reviews.....

When I had trouble with the Vault, I had them taken off.  When I was "working" with Vault on my trailer troubles, they told me that with as much as I tow (over 5000 miles/year) that I need to inspect and adjust twice per season.

Link to comment
5 hours ago, REHinH20 said:

Wow, for $40, I'll stick with my stack of 2x6s.  I have had situations where I needed one more 2x6 to get high enough, so I looked around on the side of the road, and had to walk a whole 50 feet to pick up a short section of 4x4 that was lying there.  I don't tow a tandem any more without about five pieces of various lengths that I can stack however I need to.

Link to comment

Also, I recommend that you check the alignment of your trailer tires.  This can be hard to correct on some trailers, but it is worth the trouble to keep from scrubbing your tires away over one long trip.  I loaned out my toy hauler to a friend to go get stuff from both their parent's houses once.  I put brand new tires on it so they wouldn't have trouble on the road.  One trip to Alabama and another to New Mexico later, the trailer came back with nearly bald tires.  Great.

Check the alignment with a tape measure to check the distance from the center of the tow ball to the same point on each tire or wheel.  Each pair of tires should measure the same distance away from the ball.

Link to comment

1/2" electric impact and a hammer/mallet. I have blown a rear tire on the boat trailer and it will roll the fender up with it. Takes a hammer to beat it back down to put the spare on. Impact just make the tire swap so much easier and faster.

Link to comment
9 hours ago, jmack said:

I’m getting ready for a long road trip with the boat in a couple of months. Driving from Alabama to Lake Powell and back – around 3700 miles. We’re renting a houseboat and didn’t want to spend more for a towboat, plus we’re taking all of our boards and gear. Boat is a 2015 23LSV with tandem trailer. Tires are in great shape.

I’m no stranger to towing - we’ve done plenty of 4-6 hour trips, but obviously this a lot further than that. So, any advice for long distance towing? Here are a few items that I’ll have on board:

 

Spare Tire

Spare hub / bearing assembly

Spare spindle

Spare trailer brake pads

Air compressor

Tire Plug kit

Jack

Jack Stand

Lug wrench & Hand tools

Ratchet Straps

Zip ties / Duct tape, etc.

Extra fluids for truck & boat

Tools / Parts for wiring repair

 

Please don’t recommend that I not tow this far. We’re making the trip with the boat. Just looking for advice from others that could help us be well prepared.

What trailer do you have? Boat mate?

we are making a 13hr drive to Powell in a few weeks. Not quite as long as yours but I’m also debating the trailer replacement parts (hub/bearing/spindle) , curious if anyone has part numbers or retailers to order from. 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Stevo said:

What trailer do you have? Boat mate?

we are making a 13hr drive to Powell in a few weeks. Not quite as long as yours but I’m also debating the trailer replacement parts (hub/bearing/spindle) , curious if anyone has part numbers or retailers to order from. 

Etrailer.com.

Link to comment
48 minutes ago, justgary said:

Etrailer.com.

Yeah but without disassembling the trailer looking for part numbers . I unfortunately can’t search by 2017 Malibu trailer and get a list of replacement parts like I can with a boat mate trailer. 
 

Link to comment

If you blow a hub you’ll be out of commission for a long long time. The trailers aren’t easy to fix, unfortunately. I’ve seen two relatively new Malibu trailers fail recently and both owners were without the trailer for months.  

I recommend torquing your lug nuts before leaving. Then again before four return. Also, some of us have started traveling with these just to check hub temps at each stop...

Kizen LaserPro LP300 Infrared Thermometer Non-Contact Digital Laser Temperature Gun with LCD Display -58℉~1112℉(-50℃~600℃) Adjustable Emissivity (NOT FOR HUMANS) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VSHR9M6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_ZRIUEbTEQ5YDW

 

Link to comment
3 hours ago, Stevo said:

What trailer do you have? Boat mate?

we are making a 13hr drive to Powell in a few weeks. Not quite as long as yours but I’m also debating the trailer replacement parts (hub/bearing/spindle) , curious if anyone has part numbers or retailers to order from. 

Don’t forget the 5 gallon jug of diesel. 

D5D781ED-66D2-4DE5-82A0-019B4CBF4F94.jpeg

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...