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Trailerable Houseboats- towing a longer houseboat with a big truck

by Russell
(North Fort Myers, Florida)

Towing a large trailerable towable houseboat.

Towing a large trailerable towable houseboat.

I saw this houseboat launch off a modified trailer pulled by a Dually truck. I run over to the marina where I am staying and I helped him tie up.

The owner said he regularly towed it from up north down here to North Fort Myers. Last year he decided to leave it here in storage. It sits on a triple axle trailer and looks to be near 35 feet. I'll check later on the actual length and weight.

Now, I have been reading a lot of the trailerable stories and was wondering why everyone seems to want little houseboats?

Bigger = more comfort and more toys. A dually truck is a reasonable vehicle for towing and with a 4 door cab is quite comfortable driving.

I say, "Don't get a smaller boat, Get a BIGGER truck to tow with".

Russell, North Fort Myers, Florida

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Reply - Answer
Well Russell, I can see your point, why go small, when you can go longer, especially with a good sized tow vehicle.

If you find out the weight, let us know in the comments section.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their longer larger trailerable houseboat experiences.

Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Trailerable Houseboats- towing a longer houseboat with a big truck

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We LOVE our "Trailerable" houseboat
by: Dennis R.

We just spent the past 7 years lovingly restoring a 1980 Kayot 36x12 steel pontoon (former rental) houseboat.

We then modified a 36' dual tandem flat bed gooseneck trailer and added all new brake hubs and tires. Boat and trailer weighing in at 22,000 lbs, with Arizona Oversize Permits in hand we towed our boat 380 miles to Page, Arizona and launched on Lake Powell.

Our 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 dually cummins with automatic handled the trip well, keeping the speed around 40-45 mph. Our main concern, aside from overheating on grades, was controlling the load on downhills.

But surprisingly we found there was a "terminal velocity" of about 55-60 mph even on the 6% downhill grade out of Flagstaff, due to the large frontal surface area pushing so much wind.

It wasn't until we went to pull the boat out at the end of the trip that we discovered the "limits" of our automatic transmission. By the time we reached the top of the 1/4 mile long ramp, the transmission light came on and the transmission was burnt.

The truck managed to pull the load 3 miles back to our vacation home and we had to pay for a new transmission. Now we use the truck only to launch, leaving the hauling out to a local houseboat company.

A manual transmission probably would handle the load, but a better choice would be an upgraded tow vehicle geared to handle the dead pull up the long ramp.

All in all we LOVE our "trailerable" houseboat. Yes it's smaller but it saves LOTS of money in the long run. No mooring or dock fees, hull stays clean, easy engine maintenance, no storage fees (parked in our side yard).

Looking forward to many fun years ahead on board "Yachtzee". I would post pics, but can't figure out how on this site.

I wanted to share our towing experience, Dennis.

Towing a trailerable
by: Hereisfish

3rd houseboat I've owned and I lived fulltime on a 75 footer for 8 years. We sold the liveaboard for a trailerable 3 years ago and have never looked back. Get to meet a lot more people and see a lot more country.

Pulling a 35 footer, which weighs in at 9700#. Was pulling it with a Dodge 2500 single axle auto Hemi. It was ok but lakes and rivers usually hide behind big hills. Plenty of times more power would have been helpful.

Switched to a Ford dually with the 7.3 diesel 5 speed stick. This truck makes pulling a lot less scary. Earlier comment made note of pulling a wall. That's the kicker.

Remember at 70 MPH, there is a hurricane force wind blowing on your front door, sometimes for hours. All in all done....

Love having the trailerable.

Trailerable Houseboats
by: Steve Sanford

We had a 37 x 9 footer, was towed on a 46ft tag type trailer, boat weighed in at 14000#, The Problem is not the weight, it is the frontal area and drag.

0-40 no problem with big Dodge, low gears, 40-55, lots of power required, high trans and rear end temps, burned up tranny in truck, sold as is, and bought a FLD 120 to tow it with knowing that we were going to get a larger boat. Long story short, now we have a 55 ft Monark to tow behind it on a 53 ft trailer.

If you only spend limited time, or have limited people on board the smaller boats are great, and you can pull out for service (we pulled ours every winter for regular service which we did 150 miles away at our facility) and save on Marina fees during the winter when you don't use it.

Low Houseboat Prices - there's some real bargains around
by: Anonymous

I would have bought it for $2000.

Trailerable Houseboats - trailer and boat weight
by: Russell

Okay, I was told that the weight is just under 10,000. That's not to bad but I would want a pretty good truck to haul it with.

It sold a few days ago for under $2000. The owner wanted to get back to Ohio and did not feel like sitting around while people made partial offers, barters and trade offers. Not a bad price for a boat that you can tow, live in and travel in.

How Long Is Long?
by: jeffnick

New guy here. I tow a 28' 12,000lb Land-N-Sea with a Ford E350 van. The van engine only sports 300 hp. The rig is 32 feet from coupler to outdrive and has a 12' air draft on the trailer.

While I do consider this long, it is quite manageable. We've been from SC to Lake Powell in Utah twice @ 2,000 miles each way and too many trips to Florida to count.

The boat/trailer is very well behaved while towing even without the weight equalizing hitch or anti-sway bars. We use the boat as a camper, Wallydocking all nights on the road (overnighting in WalMart parking lots).

Google "Big Duck houseboat" for more info.

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