First long tow

well, I am planning my first long towing trip with my 270. I have only towed my boat back and forth from the the marina one or twice a year. But I plan on towing it about 800 miles one way to enjoy Geers Fairy down in Arkansas.
My tow vichical is an F350 dully so I should be good.
Just looking for some advice.
Trailer is in great shape everything on it is new. But still a little nervous.  Any advice is welcome. 

Big Al - 2006 - 270 Express Crusier

Home port: Hammond Ind.


  • Glassguy54Glassguy54 Member Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    We recently towed our 246 from Iowa to Table Rock Lake in Southern Missouri. Last year we towed it to Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee. Not sure what the terrain is like around Greers Ferry Lake, but its likely similar to Table Rock and Dale Hollow, that is to say once you get off the interstate and start heading toward your resort & marina the roads are steep, twisty and narrow and without shoulders and its white knuckle diving. It also seems most launch ramps are down very steep inclines with very limited space for maneuvering. I think they are mostly designed for Bass boats. Very high pucker factor involved even with just a 246!!! I hate it. Best of luck to you and I hope all goes well.
  • randy56randy56 Newburgh INMember Posts: 2,975 ✭✭✭✭
    Grease wheel bearings before you leave, and before you head back, Have a great and safe trip! you willl be fine, great tow truck.
    Boat Name : 

  • 212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,540 ✭✭✭✭✭
    get an IR heat sensing gun, and when you stop shoot the tires.... look for hot spots or non-uniform temperatures across the tread/footprint... shoot the wheel bearings and look for uniformity... hot spots are tell-tale that something bad is about to happen- alignment, bad belt or out of balance, or separating tread... there isn't a better tool to use to predict impending issue... 

    that^, and- if you cover the boat, don't rely on snaps... tie it down.. 

    oh... and grease the ball and socket... a lot of people don't do that... 
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 5,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Don't forget to let the trailer cool down before you launch the boat.
    2008 330EC
  • rinker270nbrinker270nb Member Posts: 199 ✭✭✭
    I tow my 270 on a triple axle trailer, I will put a strap from the bow u bolt to the trailer, keeps it from bouncing.  I will sometimes run a strap across transom cleats and secure it to the trailer.

    As I am bit over legal width and not carrying permits, I hope these measures help convice the police that I am a safe driver and they wait for the next less-safe driver.  Good luck, all good advice from other posters. 
  • dan342dan342 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    when in doubt throttle out! safe trip!!
  • jhofmannjhofmann ConnecticutMember Posts: 430 ✭✭✭
    aerro3113 has a good point about cool down, Hot hubs going into cold water can suck in water as they cool, although buddy bearing type hubs will have spring pressure pushing to help keep out water. The main concern is hot brake rotors contacting cold water which can cause them to warp.
  • NavyCTRCNavyCTRC Pensacola, FLMember Posts: 303 ✭✭✭
    I agree on checking the temp of the hubs and tires, I always check mine after the first 40-50 miles of highway driving and again at every stop.  I just use the two finger test, if either hub or tire is too hot to leave two fingers on for a minute or so, it's too hot and something is wrong!  If you don't have permits, don't travel at night!  Cops will know you don't have permits if they see a large boat going down the road after dark.  Oversize loads are always daylight only.  Have a great trip!!
  • bigal6030bigal6030 Member Posts: 157 ✭✭
    Thanks that's some good advice. I do plan on getting permits. No big deal I can get perfits through an outfit that works with BoatUS

    Big Al - 2006 - 270 Express Crusier

    Home port: Hammond Ind.

  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 4,400 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I used Mercury Permits via BoatUS when I hauled my 280EC from Baltimore to Pittsburgh. They were great to work with.
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • NavyCTRCNavyCTRC Pensacola, FLMember Posts: 303 ✭✭✭
    I towed my 300 to KY Lake and then back to FL, no permits, 10'6" beam and 14' high on the trailer.
  • AlswaggAlswagg Member Posts: 2,797 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Breaking the law is no joke.  
  • frodo13056frodo13056 Channahon, ILMember Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Just an FYI - if you do use the finger method, make sure you use the backside of your fingers in case whatever you are checking is hot enough to burn. You burn the fronts of your fingers and they become pretty useless for hours. Best bet is to get what Drew suggested with the IR temperature gun - I carry one on my boat and on my tow vehicle. 
    When I tow my 320 here's my list:
    1) I have two spare tires / rims - just in case.
    2) Aluminium high lift floor jack - very handy for changing flats and very handy when hooking and unhooking the trailer from the tow vehicle and you can actually move the trailer with the boat on it around a bit to align the trailer tounge and tow ball.
    3) If you've never changed a flat on a multi-axle trailer, you probably don't realize that once a tire fails on a trailer, it most likely shreds itself to pieces at 60 mph. Once the tire shreds, you may not be able to break the torque on the lug nuts since the failed tire will not be resting on the ground. The non-failed tire will support the boat / trailer and the failed tire will simply spin when you try to remove the lug nuts. That's where having various 2x4 and 2x6 lengths of wood come in very handy - you can lift the trailer high enough with the floor Jack to place multiple pieces of wood under the failed tire if needed to get the lug nuts off. The lengths of wood also come in very handy for blocking the trailer to keep it from rolling. The wood blocks also come in very handy if your tow vehicle has a high hitch - the floor Jack may not have enough lift to get the trailer tounge higher than the tow ball.
    3) tools - you can never carry enough tools. At a minimum, you want to have a tire iron with the correct lug size usually 3/4 or 13/16 lug nuts. I carry one of the tee handle types that has the 4 different lug sizes built in - you can get much better torque using the tee handle. I also check every nut/bolt combo on the trailer - suspension, bunks , wheels, etc. prior to towing. Check lug nuts multiple times.
    4) Some flat fixer, a good 12v air compressor and a good tire pressure gauge. If you do happen to find a low tire, the faster you can get it aired up the less likely it will severely fail - heat build up with low air pressure tires will destroy them very quickly.
    5) I also use a bow / front cleat tie downs to prevent the bow from moving up / down while towing on less than stellar roads. You get the bow oscilliating and you can get into trouble in a hurry. I don't draw the tie downs super tight - just enough to keep the bow on the bow roller.
    6) Grease / grease gun. Consider getting a spare hub / seal / bearing setup just in case. 
    All of the above, I've learned the hard way of what happens if you are not prepared :-)
  • 212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,540 ✭✭✭✭✭
    eff a jack..... this thing ROCKS:  

    and Al: 

    I shot the sheriff (but I did not shoot the deputy).... I swear it was in self defense... he tried to shoot me down... so I shot him... I shot him down.... (thank me later when that song has been stuck in your head for days)... :) 
  • 212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,540 ✭✭✭✭✭
    well... I get that people don't get my humor.... so..... 

    DON'T USE THAT THING I LINKED!!!!!  it sure looks cool, but it will break your heart and possibly your legs.... 

    and Al, I DIDN'T shoot the sheriff... (but i may have shot the deputy)
  • NavyCTRCNavyCTRC Pensacola, FLMember Posts: 303 ✭✭✭
    Al - not joking, everyone in FL takes certain liberties while towing, especially the ones simply designed to fill the government coffers with $$$.  That said, the laws are designed to keep people safe - right?  I always ensured my equipment was in tip top shape and tow below the legal speed limits, extra straps, extra reflectors, extra lights.  I didn't take time and $$$ away to obtain an extra piece of paper, I can't count the number of times I've seen so much worse wobbling down the highway.  Trucks and trailers that shouldn't even be on the road, much less the interstate.  I take responsibility for my safety and those around me, permit or no permit and if I would have been cited for not carrying an extra piece of paper along, I would take responsibility for that too. 

    Most of the trip is in Alabama.  While coming back down last year, we stopped for the night at a hotel, parked the truck and boat out front as the desk clerk said she would be there all night.  Long story short, the boat was robbed, removed all my electronics, stereo, speakers, fishing gear, etc..etc..over $5000 worth.  When the police arrived, I figured I would get a ticket for being too wide, locals first, then sheriff and finally state trooper showed up.  Not ONE of those fine law enforcement officers found any need to even question the width or height of my boat.  Most of them even said, "nice boat". 

    I don't think width permits were originally designed for the owner/operator moving his own equipment down the road, they were designed for commercial drivers (and filling the gov't coffers) moving someone else's equipment.  Somehow, owner/operators got caught up in this scheme and nobody has bothered to fix the error.
  • 06Rinker27006Rinker270 Washington, DCMember Posts: 1,248 ✭✭✭
    @NavyCTRC did the B$%tards get caught and didnt insurance cover you?
    06 Rinker 270
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLMember Posts: 6,698 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just past a var and boat on the side of the road, two fire tire gone and looka like it caught fire somehow?
  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 4,400 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Alswagg said:
    Breaking the law is no joke.  
    I agree!!! Earl Faust used to tow the 342's from the factory to Pittsburgh with no permits. He did it for years and never got caught. Some people are very lucky!!!
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • NavyCTRCNavyCTRC Pensacola, FLMember Posts: 303 ✭✭✭
    Forgot to finish that off: We ended up getting SOME of our stuff back, the very smart intellectuals who robbed me were drunk and high and trying to make a quick buck so they posted on Facebook all the great stuff they had for sale!!! Brainiacs....The locals made one call to the FBI and picked them up.  But I am still missing some high end offshore fishing equipment and a few other items plus all my electronics had been CUT out instead of just pulling off the wires the idiots cut everything, took a week for me to fix that stuff.  Also, had a bottle of tequila on there that I picked up on a trip to Cozumel that set me back a couple hundred bucks.  I was saving it for a special occasion, that one really ticked me off.  I think he ended up getting a six or seven year sentence, be out in three unless Obama pardoned him too!!!
  • pault1216pault1216 Indianapolis, INMember Posts: 206 ✭✭✭
    Lots of good advice. Could have used a 2nd spare on a double blow out on my 270. As a retired law enforcement officer I can tell you most officers don't want to mess with over size trailers or even notice unless the boat has twin drives. My research indicates that if you have no permits and have an accident, your insurance most likely won't cover it. Good to check before you tow. As for the comment from Navy, the officers would not likely (it would be a stretch here in Indiana to do it) have issued a ticket if it was parked and not in operation on a public highway. Good luck.-Paul
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