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Old 04-17-2005, 10:13 PM
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Default Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

How do you load and unload your boat on your roller trailer? Do you:

(i) Just back the trailer in to the bottom of the tire rims or a bit more so that the axle stays out of the water; or

(ii) Submerge a large portion of the trailer?

If you just back the trailer in a little bit, have you ever had any problems such as the boat coming off the trailer too fast or the receiver pulling off the hitch ball?

My dealer recommends just backing the trailer in a little bit to avoid corrosion, but the boat comes off the trailer pretty fast, and if I use the clutch on the power winch to slow the boat it puts a lot of stress on the trailer and tow vehicle.

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-18-2005, 06:17 AM
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Default RE: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

Y9ouo should always have a line of sufficient length either secured ot the trailer or the dock/ramp as a retrival line of the boat goes too far and gets away from you and your helper (if you have a helper).

I've used roller trailers, bunck trailers and many different boats/trailer combinations and generall find that it helps to let the buoyancy take the loat off the trailer and then move the boat aft. I do not want to oversimpify things but have found that generally when the top of the forward most tire is just submerged, the boat goes off/comes on easily. YMMV but this is a starting point/rule-of-thumb.

Do not be overly ambitious but once the weight of the boat is off the trailer, a firm yet not too abrubt applicaiton of the brakes will set her free.

I usually disconnect the trailer winch line. If, for whatever reason, you are leaving the trailer winch (if hand crank variety) attached while launching, be sure to KEEP EVERYONES HANDS, FINGERS, ETCETERA AWAY FROM THE WINCH !

On some baots/trailers I have use a second winch with a block at the aft of the trailer to gently pull the boat off.

My opinion, use buoyancy to deal with gravity and let her gently glide right off.
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Old 04-18-2005, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

I've had both roller and bunk trailers and, although less so with the roller trailer, with either one have had to submerge much of the trailer when launching/retrieving. This varies with ramp steepness. In my opinion, the trailer is the expendable item and trailer maintenance an expectation. The last thing I want to do is damage the boat trying not to get the trailer wet. Just my opinion.

Bill
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:18 AM
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Default RE: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

I hear you about floating the boat off. My dealer, however, recommends not dunking the trailer. I have done it that was but am concerned about the stress on the trailer, tow vehicle, boat, me, etc. so I wanted to see whether many others loaded/unloaded without dunking the trailer.
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Old 04-18-2005, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

I have several ramps within 5 minutes of my home and there isn't one of them that I could launch the boat without getting the trailer wheels wet. I agress with the trailer being expendable, but it doesn't have to be. Hose it down when your done with it and keep the wheel bearings greased. If the bearings start to grumble, change them out. As long as your trailer is galvanized or aluminum I wouldn't worry much about it. Then again there is always that trailer with the retractable bed that was posted on THT a while back.

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Old 04-18-2005, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

I have a pretty heavy boat with a roller trailer and a power winch. I back in until the water touches the rim of the front tire. This keeps the brakes and both bearings out of the water. Then I let it off slowly using the winch brake, as long as you don't let it go fast it will not jerk the truck. I then walk down the trailer and unhook the boat. i do have some hold a rope which is connected to the front and rear cleats - it makes controling the boat easier and make it a little longer so you can tie it up. It easy and it has worked with no problem for me.
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

Does your trailer have pivots on the rear sets of rollers so that the bow of the boat tilts fairly high up in the air?

You load and unload pretty much the way I do it (except that I have only one set of tires). I have had some problems recently so I am trying to get a handle on whether most people dunk their roller trailers or keep them out of the water.

I know your Hydra-sports is a heavy (and nice looking!) boat.
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Old 04-18-2005, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

Back down the ramp at not more than 15mph watching the towing vehicle rear wheel (driver side). When the wheel get wet, hit the brakes! The boat will come off. Good idea to have tied a rope between the boat and the trailer! Get out and tie the boat to something, pull the trailer up and off the ramp.

have a nice boating day!
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

15mph??, better hope there's no slime on the ramp or the tow vehicle is gonna get wet!!

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Old 04-18-2005, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

Do they make periscopes for SUVs or pickups??

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Old 04-18-2005, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

I launch alot alone - slow and steady is the name of the game. Depending on the slope of the ramp a boat can be floated of the trailer without getting the wheels wet, but not always. I would rather give my boat a gentle launch rather than trying to keep my trailer dry. I kind of figure that is what it is for.

I have an galvanizied EZ Loader trailer that has a flushing system to flush the inside of the framing of the trailer. I use it everytime my boat is in the salt.

I know alot of guys that dunk their boats in local freshwater lakes on the way home. Get their boats and trailers all in one wack.

Steve
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Old 04-19-2005, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

I find I get a better launch at 16-17 mph

Cheers... Tyee.
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Old 04-19-2005, 05:38 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

Slow and easy.
Dunk the trailer.
Rinse and maintain the trailer.
Don't submerge the truck!
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Old 04-19-2005, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

That's why I just put the boat in the back of my pickup.....
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

Frank 007 - yes I have rear pivots on the rear rollers and even with a single you should not need to get the brakes on the trailer wet - just back down to the edge of the rim. Those people that back down and hit the brakes are asking for trouble. I have poly rollers and the boat would fly so fast off the trailer it would pull someone in - not smart. I can launch it by myself with the way I described above. Sort thru the crap as many people like to provide crap answers - not sure why they waste their time. There is a pic of the trailer in the albums if aI remember correctly.
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Old 04-19-2005, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

Pellicot,

My boat comes off the trailer real easy, so I don't need to back down the ramp at speed.

My questions stem from the trailer hitch coming off the ball last fall. I assumed I didn't get the receiver on the ball properly even though I had checked it just before I backed down the ramp. A few more uneventful loads and unloads. Then this past weekend, the receiver came off the ball again. There is no question that the receiver had been seated on the ball completely and the connectors tightened under the ball. Because of last Fall's event, I triple-check the connection every time I attach the trailer to the vehicle. Good thing I had safety chains on or the trailer would have been in the water and nice people nearby with their own boats to help pull the trailer back up and reconnect the trailer to the truck!!

I have a new SUV since September and thus a different ball that I used the prior three years. I need to measure the new ball against the old one to see if they are the same size and if the shape is at all different. The receiver is stamped - 1 7/8' 50 mm 2" - and I have a 2" ball, so I should be ok there. I also will check the receiver carefully for wear and/or other malfunction.

Two events like this in the past 6 months is too much (out of a dozen loads or so). So far, no one hurt and no damage that I have noticed. I willl satisfy myself as to the ball and the receiver and exchange the trailer for a bunk trailer if I have any questions. The ramps I used are excellent, so it is not a question of something unusual regarding the ramp.

My intent with my original post was just to confirm whether others with roller trailers are loading/unloading without submerging the trailer as that would seem to put a lot of stress on the whole receiver/ ball/ trailer hitch when all of the boat's weight shifts to the rear of the trailer.

Does anyone else with a roller trailer avoid submerging the trailer when loading/unloading?

Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2005, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

I think you have a problem with the ball size or coupler. Mine is a 2 5/16" and I have no problem at all. In fact I was jacking the trailer up to change out a front tire and the back of the 3/4 ton Suburban is even pulled up - the ball did not come off and that's where the stree would be. If you sink the roller trailer you might as well save some $ up front and get the bunk trailer.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Load/Unload Roller Trailer How-To

If your trailer coupler is coming undone from the ball then something is not lining up. You have to be very careful when attaching the trailer to the ball. Alot of times even when it looks and feels like the coupler is connected its really just resting on the ball. As you back down the ramp the stress goes from straight down on the ball to back and up and the coupler simply lifts off.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:29 AM
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Default WARNING!!!

YOU RISK DAMAGING YOUR BOAT IF YOU DISCONNECT THE WINCH / BOW EYE LINE BEFORE THE TRAILER IS IN THE WATER!!!!!

THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE ON ROLLER TYPE TRAILERS!!!

IMHFO, and perhaps my west coast ramps are alot steeper, this is one of the stupidest things Ive read on this site so far. "Go 15 mph and slam on the brakes." In fact I think Willy should delete those responses. I dunno maybe I mis read something? Maybe it was a joke?

I have seen at least four or five boats stuck half way down a dry ramp due to some new boat owner, or someone getting bad advice anyway, that disconnected the bow eye winch line and backed down the ramp. The boat comes off well before the water line and basically has to be drug into the water causing MAJOR glass damage scraping keel all the way down the ramp.

On larger boats (maybe greater then 24 or so feet) you need to take care as a previous poster stated that the winch handle does not bite you. Thats where an electric winch is golden. On smaller boats if the transom is slightly floating up youll be ok as long as you take your time with the winch keeping pressure on it while you slowly let out line.

Again, I would never in a million - Sorry, I will learn to watch my language -ing years ESPECIALLY on a roller trailer disconnect the bow lines and back down a ramp.


Mi
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:41 AM
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Default RE: WARNING!!!

Quote:
MiHungLo - 4/19/2005 11:29 AM

YOU RISK DAMAGING YOUR BOAT IF YOU DISCONNECT THE WINCH / BOW EYE LINE BEFORE THE TRAILER IS IN THE WATER!!!!!

THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE ON ROLLER TYPE TRAILERS!!!

IMHFO, and perhaps my west coast ramps are alot steeper, this is one of the stupidest things Ive read on this site so far. "Go 15 mph and slam on the brakes." In fact I think Willy should delete those responses. I dunno maybe I mis read something? Maybe it was a joke?

I have seen at least four or five boats stuck half way down a dry ramp due to some new boat owner, or someone getting bad advice anyway, that disconnected the bow eye winch line and backed down the ramp. The boat comes off well before the water line and basically has to be drug into the water causing MAJOR glass damage scraping keel all the way down the ramp.

On larger boats (maybe greater then 24 or so feet) you need to take care as a previous poster stated that the winch handle does not bite you. Thats where an electric winch is golden. On smaller boats if the transom is slightly floating up youll be ok as long as you take your time with the winch keeping pressure on it while you slowly let out line.

Again, I would never in a million - Sorry, I will learn to watch my language -ing years ESPECIALLY on a roller trailer disconnect the bow lines and back down a ramp.


Mi
You are absoultely right here and it makes sense to point out the incorrect responses (whether they are joking or not) given that someone may try following their advice. The posters may deal with bunk trailers and shallow ramps. You need only a small push by hand to get a boat rolling off a decent roller trailer.

The safety chain stays on until I back down the ramp and get ready to let the boat go into the water. The winch cable stays attached to the boat until the boat is floating in the water free of the trailer. I also hold a line that is attached to the bow cleat (with plenty of length as I could not stop the boat once it starts rolling backwards). Unless I am alone, someone holds a line attached to a stern cleat (if alone, I tie the stern line (again with plenty of scope) off to the dock at the ramp).
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