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Viking11

Trailering to Florida

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We will be trailering our 2013 264 Sunesta from New Jersey to the warm waters of Florida for a month! I can't wait to boat on the intracoastal. We 'll be taking 2-3 days to get down there. Any tips from any seasoned Chaparral snowbirds out there?

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Check your trailer lights for connections and operation.

The trailer tires pressure should match manufactors' recommendation and wheel bearings need checking.

Trailer ball lock or anti theif chains to protect your rig at night in the motel parking lot.

Good fitting shipping cover to protect the gel oat and the interior.

Keys and registration for the boat.

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Thanks for the helpful information. I appreciate your recommendations especially about the wheel bearings and protecting the gel coat. We have about 2,500 miles on our Sea Lion trailer but will definitely get the bearings checked out. Now just hope Mother Nature cooperates and make a safe getaway from winter!

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My Ins. Co. told me that I am covered in every state BUT Florida. I asked "why?" They said because of the high theft there. That I would need to call them and add a rider to the policy. You might want to check yours.

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We will be trailering our 2013 264 Sunesta from New Jersey to the warm waters of Florida for a month! I can't wait to boat on the intracoastal. We 'll be taking 2-3 days to get down there. Any tips from any seasoned Chaparral snowbirds out there?

That's quite a hike, are you sure it'll take 2-3 days? That might be the case, I think, if you do it non-stop. But trailering a boat (and a 26-27ftr) slows you down a bit so it might take a little bit longer I would think? Either way, staying down there for a month is definitely worth trailering the boat down there to enjoy it in those fabulous waters. We were just down there for 10 days between Miami and the Keys and it was an absolute blast and a half. We were wishing we brought the 276 with us but not being familiar with the waters and area in general made it easier to be ok with the fact that we didn't bring it with us.

Should be a blast, though. The Intracoastal is definitely on my bucket list, but most likely in a bigger boat.

What part of Florida are you going to?

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Big Fun has a good list there. Something I would add would be a good spare or two. One spare without question, but consider a second. The 2 times I've had tire failures, the other tire on the same side soon followed. The first time I got the tire replaced at the next exit with a tire shop so I effectively had another spare, and the second time it happened, I had bought an additional spare. I don't think it's an issue for local towing, but when I tow long distance I throw that additional spare in the bed of the truck. The theory is that when you pop a tire, the other tire on that side picks up most of its load because the suspension won't drop the rim all the way to the ground to pick up the full weight. So what happens is you end up overloading that tire. I guess the combination of speed and weight (and in my case FL summer heat) damages the remaining tire on that side to the point that it increases the chance that it will fail. There are people on both sides of the argument, but since it has happened to me on 2 different trailers (boat trailer and enclosed trailer), I consider that extra spare as cheap insurance on a long trip through the middle of nowhere.

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I will be checking on the insurance and the extra spare-thanks! I purchased a trailer-aid that lifts the good tire so you can change the bad one on the same side. Has anyone used this? Without boat, we've done this trip in one day many times when the kids were younger (and so was I!!). This trip will be 50-55mph in the right lane-no need to rush. Final destination is Vero Beach w/ a slip. Hopefully 72 and sunny! Thxx

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Which type of trailer aid? The ramp type or the cam type that goes on the axle? The cam type didn't lift mine high enough to lift the other axle and I've never tried the ramp type. I would recommend giving it a shot before you hit the road to see if it works for your trailer. Take a pic and let us know how it goes.

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It looks like trailer aid will work well! As long as not done on grass/mud, it lifts about 4.5 inches which is enough to change a tire. Thanks for your comments.

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Nice! That's so much better than laying in tall grass and mud on the side of the road with trucks/cars wizzing past at 80mph fighting with trying to get a jack under the axle.

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The weather sucks in central florida right now, but compare to up north no complaints

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The Intracoastal is definitely on my bucket list, but most likely in a bigger boat.

What? The ICW is a calm, narrow water way for the most part...you'd be fine in a whaler lol unless you mean driving the whole way.

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You really need to take the boat to the keys...watch your charts and follow channel markers, but you have to check out Alligator Reef, Sombrero Reef, Indian Key State Park, Key West, etc. Florida is good, but the keys are 100x better IMO. Other than that, be sure to flush out your motor after use and spray off your boat really well. Also, make sure your trailer wheel bearings are okay (I just blew one out) and also check your tires really well.

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Back in NJ😁😁 Great trip! No issues trailering boat other than usual wackos on 95; Was in Vero for 4 weeks; beautiful weather, great wildlife-Dolphins, manatees, egrets etc, many sailboats preparing to cross the gulfstream to Bahamas, very cool-still had a job when I got back! Boating season in a few short weeks. All is well...

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I didn't get to do the Keys this year, but were heading to Destin instead. We have 2 couples joining us so were looking forward to it.

Of course I'm pulling the boat :)

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Destin is nice, especially for boating. If you're up for a bit of a drive, here are a couple of my favorite spots there (since you didn't ask ;) ) . Over by the bridge from Ft Walton Beach to Okaloosa Island is a pizza shop/bar called Helen Back Pizza. Great place to pull the boat up, dock and grab a snack and a beverage on their deck overlooking your boat. Or head down to Navarre (probably better to trailer down there) to Juana's Pagoda at the (south) base of the Navarre bridge. One of the nicest ramps I've found. Juana's is a nice spot to pull up on the beach, play some volleyball, listen to some music, grab some grub (and beverages) and relax. Then drive about 5 minutes east of the bridge and there's miles of open beach on the south side of the sound that you will have all to yourself. We miss it. The boating around Destin (like everything else) is busier, but Crab Island (by the bridge on the West end of Destin) can be fun too.

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