Trailorboat question; camper-topping & carrying the boat. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-09-2020, 11:07 AM   #1
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Trailorboat question; camper-topping & carrying the boat.

Have played with this now and find that there's a risk of the 90lb boat going right over & off one side during loading/unloading; there's just not much to grab. I'm wondering about strong glass suction handles as a help during unloading particularly.
Then getting the boat to the water; anyone found a dolly they like?
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:35 AM   #2
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Until I rig up some kind of a crane my 105 pound 8 foot dinghy is not going on the top of my truck anymore. Im in my mid 70s and fear injury. Once on the ground my wife and I can manage it holding the gunwales.


A solution that I wont chose but might interest you is: https://boatloader.com/index.html
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Old 07-09-2020, 03:02 PM   #3
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Might try these; used for handling heavy large glass panels. https://www.amazon.com/glass-suction...ft+large+glass
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Old 07-09-2020, 03:44 PM   #4
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Yes; be careful!

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Originally Posted by minke View Post
Until I rig up some kind of a crane my 105 pound 8 foot dinghy is not going on the top of my truck anymore. Im in my mid 70s and fear injury. Once on the ground my wife and I can manage it holding the gunwales.


A solution that I wont chose but might interest you is: https://boatloader.com/index.html
Our backs are worth more than our boats :-).
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Old 07-09-2020, 03:49 PM   #5
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Agree!

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Might try these; used for handling heavy large glass panels. https://www.amazon.com/glass-suction...ft+large+glass
Agree! Something like this to give a grip if she starts to topple to one side or the other during topping/on-off the camper-roof, since I have a 12-year old on the other side and accidents can happen.
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Old 07-10-2020, 01:51 PM   #6
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Peta, on the INSIDE of the gunwales, can a couple of sturdy handles be attached? If so, say two handles on port and starboard side and two more in the stern would give you spots where you and your partner could securely hold onto and control the boat while lowering it from the roof. Just a thought.

Second thought: a pair of 2x6 boards at the rear to be used as a skeletonized "ramp". Might allow you to ease the boat down off the roof and, even aid in getting the boat back up onto the roof.

Last thought: are you familiar with "Forearm Forklift straps? One set of these allow two people to carry weight of bulky items more easily than if they simply tried to manhandle said bulky item.

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Old 07-10-2020, 05:28 PM   #7
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Boat On Top

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Originally Posted by Peta View Post
Have played with this now and find that there's a risk of the 90lb boat going right over & off one side during loading/unloading; there's just not much to grab. I'm wondering about strong glass suction handles as a help during unloading particularly.
Then getting the boat to the water; anyone found a dolly they like?
I have been working through some solutions. Are you working on car top or trailer top?
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Old 07-10-2020, 09:45 PM   #8
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Then getting the boat to the water; anyone found a dolly they like?
Lots of choices here. I used to run a chain through both wheels on mine and lock it to a tree when launching.


https://www.amazon.com/canoe-dolly/s?k=canoe+dolly
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:50 PM   #9
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Thanks, everyone! I used some of these great ideas.

Thank you for all the great ideas! I've ordered one of the canoe dollies from the link above, and a couple of heavy duty suction handles similar to the one in the link further above, so we can get a grip on the boat as we lift it on and off the camper roof, then flip it right-side-up (over easy) and roll her down to the water. There's not really space to put handles inside the gunwales; they're very narrow, so i'll try the suction handles.... very carefully.

I'll have to give it all a try out next weekend, after the handle and dolly arrive this week.

Will let you know how we go! Thanks again for the brain-power.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:01 PM   #10
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Nice part about a dolly to roll the boat down to the water is you can put all the needed junk in it and not make a bunch of trips. I used to load my 17 ft canoe with a 12v battery, fishfinder, tackle box, fishing rods, oars, life jackets, anchor, anchor cranker, and 2 dogs! Oh - and beer.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:36 PM   #11
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Good one, Charlie.

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Nice part about a dolly to roll the boat down to the water is you can put all the needed junk in it and not make a bunch of trips. I used to load my 17 ft canoe with a 12v battery, fishfinder, tackle box, fishing rods, oars, life jackets, anchor, anchor cranker, and 2 dogs! Oh - and beer.
Haha; that sounds like quite the perfect day on the water! I did think about getting transom wheels that you bolt on the transom and roll the boat to the water upside-down, but figure I'm better flipping it first and using an under-hull dolly so that I can do exactly the same; fill it up and let the boat do the schlepping for me.
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Old 07-18-2020, 11:10 AM   #12
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Have played with this now and find that there's a risk of the 90lb boat going right over & off one side during loading/unloading; there's just not much to grab. I'm wondering about strong glass suction handles as a help during unloading particularly.
Then getting the boat to the water; anyone found a dolly they like?
My solution: put the boat in the back seat of a supercab Pickup. I have a Bombard AX-2 inflatable with a slatted floor. It rolls up in a duffel sized carrying bag and sits on top of the 30 lb. 2.5 hp Suzuki Outboard, in one side of the back seat of my 2005 Ford Supercab. The boat is about 50 lbs. and inflates in about 10 minutes with a foot pump. It would be faster with a 12 volt pump. Great rig for fly fishing and easy to launch for one person; no dolly needed. My buddy has a nice tin boat with a power rig to lift it on top of his pickup rack, which is nice, but the lift costs more than I paid for my boat!

A inflatable boat is an interesting alternative solution to dealing with a big heavy hard bottom boat. If you have never tried one, give it a whirl. You will amazed by their inherent stability, light weight and ease of climbing aboard, while swimming.
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:19 PM   #13
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You can roll up an inflatable boat and stash it inside your tow vehicle.

They come in a wide variety of configurations.

A 12 volt pump takes the work out of it.
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:42 PM   #14
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Trailorboat question; camper-topping & carrying the boat.

Were drifting out to sea here. The OP has a replica Trailorboat, which is a teardrop-sized trailer with a dinghy-sized boat that fits upside down on top. The question is how to grab the boat securely when loading and unloading.

Personally, I wouldnt trust suction cups. Id rather have permanent grab handles securely attached to the gunwales. Cant say how you might do that without looking closely at the boat.
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:47 PM   #15
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Are there seats? If there are tie lines to them. They'd better be soundly attached. And, and, remember where the center of gravity is!
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:31 PM   #16
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Drifting out to sea, haha... I wish!

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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Were drifting out to sea here. The OP has a replica Trailorboat, which is a teardrop-sized trailer with a dinghy-sized boat that fits upside down on top. The question is how to grab the boat securely when loading and unloading.

Personally, I wouldnt trust suction cups. Id rather have permanent grab handles securely attached to the gunwales. Cant say how you might do that without looking closely at the boat.
Jon, you are correct, it's solving the Trailorboat issue that I'm working on. (Trailorboat image attached, so it will make more sense). I do have an inflatable kayak and love that for it's convenience, as others are noting. Back to the Trailorboat; I have installed the new "commercial strength" suction cups on my fridge and freezer doors this week, as they are pretty resistant, esp. the fridge (got to pull hard to break the airtight seal; good for dieting) . So far, so good. Next week, I'm trying on the boat... one hand on a handle, the other under the gunwales, port and starboard (she's upside down going on and off the camper).

I DO LIKE the idea of tying something to the seat! Easy to do and good backup if the suction gives out. Might try that!! One suction handle, one seat rope each side.

Yes, center of gravity on this boat is to the front, forward of where the seats are. Will play with that on the dolly to get a good balance point.

I do wish there were a lot more trailorboats around, but bit by bit I think I'll get this solved and onto the water! I appreciate everyone's thoughts and input; you are a great sounding board.

Best, Peta
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:40 PM   #17
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Love inflatables, too.

A inflatable boat is an interesting alternative solution to dealing with a big heavy hard bottom boat. If you have never tried one, give it a whirl. You will amazed by their inherent stability, light weight and ease of climbing aboard, while swimming.[/QUOTE]

For sure! When we couldn't quite get the boat down to the river (no dolly, long narrow pot-holed trail), we blew up the kayak as backup & had a ton of fun still. I am looking forward to having the boat for fishing & rowning, and the kayak for paddling and touring, or swimming... yes, easy water entry. I don't think I want to try a water entry with the rowboat .
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:28 AM   #18
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Jon, you are correct, it's solving the Trailorboat issue that I'm working on. (Trailorboat image attached, so it will make more sense). I do have an inflatable kayak and love that for it's convenience, as others are noting. Back to the Trailorboat; I have installed the new "commercial strength" suction cups on my fridge and freezer doors this week, as they are pretty resistant, esp. the fridge (got to pull hard to break the airtight seal; good for dieting) . So far, so good. Next week, I'm trying on the boat... one hand on a handle, the other under the gunwales, port and starboard (she's upside down going on and off the camper).

I DO LIKE the idea of tying something to the seat! Easy to do and good backup if the suction gives out. Might try that!! One suction handle, one seat rope each side.

Yes, center of gravity on this boat is to the front, forward of where the seats are. Will play with that on the dolly to get a good balance point.

I do wish there were a lot more trailorboats around, but bit by bit I think I'll get this solved and onto the water! I appreciate everyone's thoughts and input; you are a great sounding board.

Best, Peta
My bad, now I understand what a trailorboat is, after seeing the picture. I had thought this post was carrying a car top type boat, in general. When I go fishing in the BC interior ( I live on the BC coast), I am always surprised at how few Zodiacs and other inflatable boats I see, while people are struggling and wrestling heavy "car top" boats down to the lake. In addition to the Boler, I have a pop-top truck camper that cannot accommodate a car top boat so the Zodiac type boat has worked great for me.

The trailorboat looks very cool and retro. I can see why you have it and want to make launching more practical. Have fun with it!
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:58 AM   #19
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Trailorboat question; camper-topping & carrying the boat.

Lots of wind where I like to boat, so I have a strong preference for sit-inside kayaks. Very easy to control and stable with a low center of mass. Inflatables and anything with a high freeboard are harder to manage in the wind. Ive used just about every kind of human-powered boat there is, and I love my kayaks: a 10 Dagger Bayou recreational kayak and a 16 Perception Carolina touring kayak. At 33# and 45# respectively, loading and unloading is manageable with one person, easy with two.

The best boat does really depend on where and how you use it.

Now Im drifting...
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Old 07-19-2020, 12:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by greenghost45 View Post
My bad, now I understand what a trailorboat is, after seeing the picture. I had thought this post was carrying a car top type boat, in general. When I go fishing in the BC interior ( I live on the BC coast), I am always surprised at how few Zodiacs and other inflatable boats I see, while people are struggling and wrestling heavy "car top" boats down to the lake. In addition to the Boler, I have a pop-top truck camper that cannot accommodate a car top boat so the Zodiac type boat has worked great for me.

The trailorboat looks very cool and retro. I can see why you have it and want to make launching more practical. Have fun with it!
No bad! I didn't have a pic posted here, and Trailorboats are rare, so it was hard to tell what I was trying to solve.

Looks like we who love fiberglass campers, also love the water. Just goes with camping and enjoying the outdoors, I think!!!
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