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Thread: Boat Puller

  1. #1
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    Default Boat Puller

    I'm working towards putting together a package of a 20 ft Sea Runner and a small cabover camper. I am looking for suggestions on what I should be looking at in a P/U. Diesel or gas engine and how big?
    I plan on fishing Whittier, Seward and Homer.
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    RD

  2. #2

    Default 3/4 ton

    or 1 ton. Diesel will get you through the pass better and better highway mileage....BUT the original purchase price is more than $4K higher than the same truck with the base engine and the diesel prices are really whacky right now (more than gas).

    A few friends have the Ford V-10 and are reasonably happy with them.

  3. #3

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    For the ramp, automatic transmission and 4 wheel drive.

    I have been doing what you propose to do for about 5 years - with a F250 diesel, an old F250 diesel. It seems a little tired going up Turnagain Pass sometimes, but it does quite well going back down.

    With the camper on the truck, a F350 would be have been better. A retrofit with a leveling kit might help.

  4. #4
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    Default nice set up

    I run a dodge 2500 crew cab/long bed pwrd by a cummins, 9.5ft Fleetwood/Elkhorn and a 20' SeaRunner soft top. For the most part we fish Homer once or twice and Whittier 8-10 times a year.

    I've not done Seward but it's just a personal choice... (don't like the swells)

    This set up runs great, decent mileage and fairly comfortable.

    Remember the older campers are mostly long bed.

    I added rear airbags to the truck, an extra battery to the camper and an aluminum rack above the soft top boat... All additions well worth the money... Oh and I lug a honda 2000w generator for stand alone power (when needed).

    Gas vs diesel is a personal preference. This is my second diesel... Don't think I'll ever tow with anything else.

    Unless you go bigger than 10' camper or slide outs and such a 3/4 ton should be plenty...

    good luck and have fun!

    Ultimately I'd love to have more boat and more camper. If I did I'd need more truck... And ultimately it would all cost more money. Get what you can afford and make it work.

  5. #5

    Default

    Gosh I'm feeling inadequate with my little truck. I pull my 20' glass boat with a Ford Ranger (V6 4.0 Liter). It's probably heavier than a comparable aluminum boat too. I just needed a truck that I could use as a daily driver and tow the boat too. That truck does just fine towing the boat, although I would like to see some beefier brakes on the ranger, probably a design problem more than anything.

    I would think you could get by just fine with a 1/2 ton pickup pulling a 20' aluminum boat. You could also check the manufacturer's towing capacity of the trucks online, and compare that to the weight of the boat. My .02.

  6. #6

    Default Oops

    Didn't realize you were talking about a cabover camper, I was thinking something smaller. You would want a bigger rig for that work.

  7. #7
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    Default tru enuff....

    I may have read more into his post then I needed to... Enough truck to tow such a boat is really not much truck. However, when you start adding campers and terms like GVRW you quickly over load even a heavy duty truck.

  8. #8
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    Default funny

    looks like we both re-read and re-visited our statements...

  9. #9

    Talking Diesel/10ft camper/Sea Sport/=Giant hitch!

    Overloading your stuff is the Alaskan way! I investigated this topic until I made it a reality. Something I found encouraging long ago when I was setting up my stuff, is that basicly the "ballistics" of the F250 and F350 Super Duty Diesel crossover somewhat; If you have the bigger truck your overall is the same as with the smaller, because you still have to haul the bigger truck, if that makes sense, dually not included. I wanted to get airbags thinking it would help on my F250, but found it unnecssary -the truck didn't squat or get affected by the camper. (This info varified by some truck shops, not just me...) I have a Diesel, extended cab, long bed, with a 10ft camper, and the camper ain't light! I got the biggest tires/sidewall strength that would fit without a lift kit, and that makes a huge difference in the feel, -no mush! My truck is a stick shift and makes going down hills much more controlled and no one can drive it up the Whittier ramps but me, so theft is not an issue when backed into the water, ha ha. (I must shut it off, in gear, brake locked, on the ramp, the parking break won't hold it all, she creeps!) The important thing is to get a giant hitch extension, double arm with chains on the side, new frame mount under the truck, make it bullet proof, because your blind in the truck, you want it all there when you arrive at your destination!

  10. #10
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    Default What myers said!!

    Ditto what myers said!! I run with 4 other guys that do EXACTLY what you are going to do, and we ALL run deisels. And there is a good representation of the big three among us (chevy, dodge, ford) Admittedly the chevy seems to perform the best STOCK. But with small additions(less then $1000) the aftermarket products really make a big difference with the dodge and ford, and even the chevy!! I would have to agree with the above posts, I think you need AT LEAST a 3/4 ton. The ford is a 1 ton dually, which is a very nice truck, and with the after market products is a towing beast, but this really not totally required. I run a 3/4 ton and it is perfect. But like said above, make sure you have the big hitch!! Trailer craft or six robless will set you up right! Be safe and have fun!

  11. #11
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    Default Boat Stopper

    It is nice to have the power to fly up Turnagain Pass or out of Seward but stopping all that mass has been my greatest concern. Surge brakes on the trailer and at least a 3/4 ton truck/suburban has worked well for me."Boat Stopper"

  12. #12
    Member akfun's Avatar
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    Default

    i use to tow my 20 searunner with a bronco, last year i broke down and bought a new dodge 2500 with there new 6.7 diesel and 6 speed auto. it takes some getting use to, diesels do not drive or tow like gas. no hunting for gears and no downshifting unless its a really big hill. my truck does not downshift coming up eagleriver hill but does on turnagainpass. but my bronco was getting 4mpg where my new truck tows between 14-17mpg. if you do go with a diesel it will tow likke there is nothing there and gets better mileage. reason i went with a dodge is because of the maintence does not recommend rebuid untill 300,000 miles,last truck i will ever buy unless someone hits it. test drive everything before you buy and be happy with it. diesels will give you more noticible hp/torq for the money you use to upgrade. all of the new diesels are alot quieter and easier to drive( they ride alot like a car not a tank) do your research and homework before you buy. if your going to get a new one, let me know before you go, i know guys at most of the dealers and might be able to get you a nicer discount. got mine 11,000 below sticker. just plan to walk off atleast one time. good luck on your quest. p.s. find weight of camper and boat while doing research. i have been pulled over and trailer weight and gvw was looked at last year.

  13. #13
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default

    So - the diesels do fine up in Alaska? I might move to Anchorage and will need to get a new truck...would like a diesel, but am worried about gelling and starting in cold cold weather....Guess anchorage isn't that different than Denver as far as climate goes......but I would be going up to Fairbanks often.....are they okay there also if you use #2 with an additive?

  14. #14
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Strokin' in fairbanks

    Not a problem...'03 F-250 6.0 here...

  15. #15
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    Default Bigger is better

    I run a 2003 F-350 with a 6.0 power stroke. I have a 12 foot Caribou slide-in truck camper and pull a 20ft Wooldridge Extra plus, with a 250 Evinrude jet.
    My rig has been up and down the Alaska Highway 4 times now and I have never had an issue with power or weight. I do have air bags on the truck to "level" out the boat and camper. The only bad thing: Cost of diesel now.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Default

    I run a 2006 Dodge 2500 Cummins shortbed, Fleetwood Angler cabover (lighter than most), and tow a Wooldridge Alaskan. I added airbags to feel better on the Glenn where it is still twisty and off camber. Great setup.

    I went from a 99 F250 with a 5.4 and gained about 6 MPG and my truck is still breaking in. Getting better every tank of fuel.

  17. #17

    Default fuel mileage

    Akfun,

    Are you using a calculator on the fuel mileage? I've owned all three makes of diesels, and none of them would do better than 10 mpg towing my 30' sea runner. Last truck was the 5.9 cummings and towing the boat with my Big Foot camper, it ran from 8 to 9.5. I just switched to a chevy w/ 6.0 gas. I got a slip in Seward and decided with fuel prices and the fact that in the winter the cab of the diesel would not get warm until I was at work, that I could do w/out the diesel. Have not had the camper on it or towed the boat yet, so we'll see how it does.

  18. #18
    Member akfun's Avatar
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    Default

    yes mileage is hand calculated and it does well with the 6 speed auto. 60-65 mph there and back sits between 1500-1700 rpm, but i only have 6000 miles on the truck... so hopefull it will get better until they comeout with a programer.

  19. #19
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    So - the diesels do fine up in Alaska? I might move to Anchorage and will need to get a new truck...would like a diesel, but am worried about gelling and starting in cold cold weather....Guess anchorage isn't that different than Denver as far as climate goes......but I would be going up to Fairbanks often.....are they okay there also if you use #2 with an additive?

    We run #1 all winter. Usually start blending in Sept. They start blending once we hit around 30*f and usuaully by the end of April they are dropping straight #2 back in the tanks at the stations.

    I have never seen a gel issue here in Alaska in 11 years of living here and running diesels. I run additive about every 4th or 5th tank. The change over to ULSF was no big deal here as we ran the drier #1 for the better part of 5 months.


    I have both a 7.3 and the 6.0 Fords both 6 speed manuals and both haul the mail. I dumped my surge brakes for a electric over hydraulic setup. Never could get the reverse lockout to work right, tired of getting out to relock, etc. Love using the trailer's stopping ability backing down the ramp. Upgraded my 21' North River to disc brakes 2 seasons ago and I am looking at doing the same for the triple axle. A huge differance in getting things whoa'd quickly.

  20. #20
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    Default

    I'm of the opinion that if you commute with your truck and your commute is of sufficient length to fully heat the engine, then go with diesel. If you tow all of the time, go with diesel. If you cannot bear to live another day unless you are capable of clearing Turnagain pass at 70mph, get a diesel. If you use your truck for work and rack up lots of miles, go with diesel. If your truck is used for infrequent commuting or short distance commuting, I'm thinking you'd rather chew up a gas motor than a diesel.

    No question that diesel is more satisfying to tow with. In order to make the same horsepower that a diesel is making at 2500 rpm, you have to let a gas engine rev up to 4000+ (in general). This is, well, noisy, and it sounds like you are straining the engine. With the diesel, you don't get the big RPM spikes and therefore the engine doesn't sound like it's working hard (even though it is!).

    I'm thinking that unless you're putting 30000+ miles per year on your rig, with the relative price of fuel, you'll have a heck of a time getting a diesel to pay out if comparing new trucks. Used trucks are another story - it's a lot easier for me to let someone else eat the big initial depreciation.

    The big question is gearing. Diesel truck makers seem to have settled in on one rearend ratio for their single-rear-wheel trucks. I don't know if they still have options for gas engines. If you buy gas, be certain to get the lowest (highest numerically) ratio you can get.

    Don't sweat boat ramps if you choose a stick shift. No big deal.

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