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Old 12-09-2015, 01:03   #16
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

Back in college we would travel to regattas and sleep on whatever boat we were racing. But I can't think of anything more uncomfortable than trying to sleep on a trailer sailor on the trailer. Plus trying to climb up a ladder after a night of drinking sounds like a terrible idea. Better to covert the trailer into some sort of rudimentary sleeping accommodations.
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Old 12-09-2015, 02:44   #17
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

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Old 12-09-2015, 05:09   #18
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

Thanks for the real world experience mstrebe and waikikin! I think I'm leaning towards stumble's side though, it sounds like it might be more trouble than it's worth, especially as my use case is going to be pretty limited, at least for the next couple of years, to short, white water seeking overnights. Weavis-that video certainly shows how it should be done! Another argument for a mobo over a sailboat.

Mstrebe-love that Philadelphia story. That city as a whole doesn't deal too well with new sights. When I was a teenager, I used to race bicycles, and every year I did a fun ride from DC up to northern New England, crashing at friends' along the way. This was, of course, before smart phones, and en route to my brother's, I took a wrong turn into West Philly, got lost, and called my brother for a pickup. I'm standing there next to my bike, waiting, dressed in a one-piece blue and red spandex with a white mesh bib, when an older fellow clutching a bottle comes up to me and says "Boy (I was 16), that's a nice ass, where can I get me an ass like that?" Needless to say, I got a running start on the bike and didn't stop pedaling until my brother pulled up behind me with his truck!


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Old 12-09-2015, 06:55   #19
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

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Very similar to my pontoon boat idea.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:14   #20
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

Valhalla-I met a couple in Bahia Honda, FL Keys who had put a full canvas wrap on their pontoon boat. Every year they drove it down from Georgia in the late spring, docked it in the park, and spent the day reading, paddle boarding, and fishing. Great people. I'm not sure how many places besides Florida have NPS campgrounds and marinas combined into one entity (the pontoon boat didn't have a head or plumbed water visible, and I believe they used the campground facilities), but I met a number of people who brought their small liveaboards to Bahia Honda on a trailer every year and loved it!


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Old 12-09-2015, 07:30   #21
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

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Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
One other possibility-how about a small motor cruiser like a c dory 22 (similar to valhalla's pontoon boat idea)? Take the outboard(s) off when used as a camper, and I'm left with a pretty compact, lightweight trailer. And at home, I have a zippy little boat for times when there's just not enough time to sail there. No mast in the way, easier to get on and off, but still bad for the hull? And of course there's still the trailer issues, maybe solved with frequent maintenance?
We've traveled long distances towing our CD22 Cruiser, and our present 26' cruiser, and camping along the way. Mainly between Utah and either Puget Sound or Prince Rupert BC. Also between big western lakes. Boat and trailer hold up just fine - but if you're putting lots of miles on the trailer it will require regular maintenance. Certainly less living space than a similar weight travel trailer, but it works if the objective is to be able to go boating.

We avoid using the head or porta-potty in the boat, staying at campgrounds (most other than Forest Service) which have head and shower facilities. One way to be able to wash hands, clean a few dishes, etc without draining onto the campground is to put a plastic tub in the sink, then empty it in the campground's sink for such. With our larger boat we hook up shore power, and keep our batteries charged and fridge running. In 24 years I've found one campground which would not allow us - many are surprised, however.

Get a copy of the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory. It'll help you choose where to camp, and let you call ahead to make reservations. With the CD22 it's easy, but if your rig is longer you may need to confirm that you can easily get in and out of the campground.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:47   #22
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Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

Thanks for sharing your experience, New Moon-sounds like you've had a lot of adventures on your C dory 22! Great to hear that you have only ever had one issue getting a campsite space.


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Old 12-09-2015, 09:37   #23
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

In 94 I bought a Macgregor 25. I hooked it up to my small 75 Datsun Pickup, and hauled it from the center of Oregon down across California, Then across Arizona and New Mexico, then across Texas and Mexico, to Belize. My friend and I camped in the boat for the whole two week trip. We had no problem with the boat and trailer. The pickup ran like a top and that little four banger never missed a beat. If we would have had a fold up mast it would have been just really comfortable. We spent 6 weeks sailing in Belize and Guatamala. It was a ball. Mac
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:43   #24
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

We agree with most that was said previously. The biggest issue with camping on a sailboat on the trailer is space. All that stuff that is normally up above when you are on the water (boom, sails, rigging, windex, etc.) is down in the cabin when you are trailering. We are currently doing the truck camper, towing our 25 ft Seaward. We have never been turned away from an RV Park. When we make reservations we usually click the Truck/trailer option in the on-line form and then tell them what we have in the "remarks" section. Most pull through sites work except we usually are too far forward to connect the sewer dump to the camper and have to use the dump station on our way out.

As regards to what trailering does to a boat, yes it does cause some wear and tear in places you wouldn't see on a boat that is kept in a slip but not enough to make me not do it. Sailboats, and boats in general are towed millions of miles each year all around the world. Its just another skill set you have to learn.
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:09   #25
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

In my trailer sailer days we would sometimes tow our 24' trailer sailer to inland lakes in New Zealand. At first we slept in the boat and launched the next day. The trouble was it was freezing cold as the wind blew around the hull. Also access was only reasonably OK up a stern boarding ladder. The mast lying along the boat tended to get in the way. When we repeated the trips I always launched the boat to sleep in it which was a lot warmer than sleeping in it on shore.
A good trailer should stand up to long distances just fine.
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Old 12-09-2015, 13:50   #26
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

Hi brownsoarsman,
I've travelled the country a few times boatcamping. I loved it! Use drive thru campsites and let them know I'm staying aboard. Some campgrounds are just getting elite in their ways. Nothing over 10 years old in a lot of places for anything, including motorhomes, 5th wheels... The climbing is the issue so I went to the swing keels. My Venture of Newport was a blast. My friends Mac 25 was very roomy and light. The Catalina 25 with poptop was my favorite. Don't go with keel, like my Catalina 27. Way to big. Launching with the swing was easy. My 23 motorsailor, diesel with wheel was really fun and always a campground gathering, lots of visitors bearing beer and great conversation. I used pickup because I carried a motorcycle in bed and did these with a 6 cylinder, towing package of 5000 lbs. The Mac motorsailor is a great trailer boat but pricey, however the 19 Mac, if you can find one, is perfect because it has a mast that breaks and can be stowed below. Forgot max engine but fast. Tandem axles for sure and buddy bearings. I never had a problem anywhere and those Macs are so easy to trailer, launch, raise mast, mast raising systems and funner than one might think to sail. Of course these don't replace my cruising sailboat, but camping is great and cheap. I'm looking to go again soon myself. Good luck. PM me if I can help. Ps. The Wal-Marts never had a problem and shopping at night was easy and a lot of other campers to hang with for free.
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Old 12-09-2015, 14:27   #27
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

I have done it a couple of times (MacGregor26X) and it does work. Biggest problem is getting in and out using the swim ladder.
The upsides are solid hard walls and roof, no fear of rain and instant setup. Looking out and seeing a skunk wander through the campsite gave me mixed feelings, glad to be inside hard cover but worried if fiberglass would hold skunk stench.
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Old 12-09-2015, 16:11   #28
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

My 2 cents worth... Be aware of any gravel roads pulling a boat that is gel coated. It was a very expensive lesson for me pulling a nice speedboat into Lake Powell from the highlands of northern Arizona. It literally looked like someone had taken a BB gun to it.
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Old 12-09-2015, 19:00   #29
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

I have a Ranger R-25 tug - not a sail boat, but a small, trailer capable power boat. I have used her on the water so far - dry stacked when not in use - but am planing toward some trailing to distant lakes - and living on board during the overnight stops.

A couple of shortcomings:

1. The head fittings are quite different - the Ranger uses vacuum to empty the holding tank where trailers use gravity. After about a week of overnights, you are full of #$%^, unless you dump on the grass.

2. The shower gray water is just expelled over the side - kind of impolite, but not as bad as the holding tank.

3. The air conditioning and heat are water cooled - just won't work in a campsite.

But, the boat is comfortable, the galley is comfortable, and there is lots of space.
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Old 12-09-2015, 19:41   #30
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Re: Trailor sailer as a camper? The Boaterhome

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Very similar to my pontoon boat idea.
Very slick bit of gear that & probably worth every cent but expensive(to me) with the range starting at around 113k Australian pretty ok if you're a cashed up superanuant looking to enjoy their time left.

My Son has a teardrop camper he built as part of his final year at high school, the difference(it had to have one as the design aspect of the course) is that the teardrop pod at 11' x 5' self unloads just using the rise and fall on the jockey wheel.... & you can remove the trailer for other use, that trailer is a flat top with a nice hardwood deck that can be used as the "porch" when camping with it keeping off the sand/dirt whatever could equally have been a boat trailer and he did consider making the camper amphibious but wanted a bit more simplicity for the project and could later load a punt/john boat if wanted, the trailer is around an ideal size for motor bikes and other objects. The principle of unloading is... let the jockey wheel forward down all the way and fit legs to the rear of camper pod.... then jack the front of trailer right up and fit legs forward to the pod- these reach out beyond the width of the wheels and guards then level out the jockey wheel/trailer and extract the trailer for other use, the legs also incorperate jacking screws for uneven ground. have seen pics of similar arrangements where four jockey wheels are fitted up to the camper and can be moved around.
The point is that the concept of lifting could be applied to a range of items with appropriate cradles etc potentially making use of one towed vehicle for a range of purpose without compromising function of items.

The pod was built of ply and timber, I would have preferred in composite but it had to be built within a 17-18 year olds skill set, he fabbed up the trailer & I welded it out. The whole thing cost around 4-4.5k without accounting labour
Regards from Jeff.
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