How to Bring a Boat Along on Your RV Vacation

A majority of popular RV destinations involve water of some kind. Whether they are along a river, or a lake, or some other body of water, many people love the beauty and tranquility that comes with camping near water. If you would like to get out and play on that water using a watercraft, you will need to have a plan for how you are going to transport it to the campsite along with your RV. Fortunately, there are a few options available to you. Before you purchase an RV, or a watercraft for that matter, make sure you think about how the two will work together so you can get all of your gear safely to the campsite.

Can You Tow?

The first thing to think about when figuring out your watercraft ‘plan’ is whether or not you will be able to tow a boat or other watercraft on a trailer. Obviously, if you are already towing a RV trailer with your truck, you won’t be able to tow a boat at the same time. However, with a motorhome, you might be able to tow a boat depending on the size of both the motorhome and the boat, as well as any regulations in your state. You need to do research about the legality of towing a boat, and also how much weight your motorhome is able to pull. This can be a viable option for many RV’ers, but it is one that will need to be looked into carefully ahead of time.

RVing with a boat1If you aren’t going to be able to tow a boat along with your RV, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options to get out on the water. For those with a truck pulling a trailer, one of the best options is going to be putting the boat up on top of the truck. You might need to get a smaller boat with fewer features than you would have if you were pulling it on a trailer, but you still can bring a boat along for the trip. There are a variety of systems for getting a boat up on top of your truck, so look around on the market and locate one that will work best for your personal situation.

Consider a Camper

In the case of those who already own a large boat which must be towed – or are simply set on having a big boat to explore the water with – a camper that you can put on the back of your truck may be a good compromise. These are usually not a good choice for big families, but they work well if you are just traveling with a party of two. If you have a large enough truck, you should still be able to pull a good-sized boat while the camper is on the back of the truck, but research towing capacities ahead of time to be sure. Another advantage to picking a camper as your RV of choice is that they often retail for a good bit less than other RV options, so you can enjoy those savings – and maybe spend them on your boat!

Bring A Boat RVingSmaller Craft

When none of the options above are going to work for you and your situation, you can always consider smaller craft such as kayaks or small canoes. While those choices won’t give you the same capability on the water as a full-sized boat, they will allow you to have fun on the water and don’t require nearly as much in terms of space or towing capacity. A lightweight kayak can even be put on top of a small car with the right rack, or you might be able to fit it in the bed of your truck. As a last resort, you could look into inflatable watercraft options that can be deflated and stored away for the trip to and from the campground.

For water lovers, the RV experience won’t be complete without a way to get out and explore the bodies of water near your campsite. Using the ideas above, you should be able to figure out a method to get both your boat and your RV to the campsite in a safe and efficient manner. You might have to be a little creative and make a couple sacrifices along the way, but be flexible and settle on the right choice for you and your family.

  • Check your facts. Some (not all) states allow triple tow. There are maximum lenghts for the towing vehicle and the two trailers.

    Check the laws for the state you plan to travel. Most east coast states do not allow it.

  • We just tow the boat with a truck and I follow in the Class A RV with our bikes on a hitch bike rack. Depending on the size of your RV it can be hard to launch your boat. I prefer to have the RV set up at campsite and then able to take the boat and put in or out whenever and where ever I want.

  • Towing doubles is an option, in some states, but can get extremely unstable. Pulling a boat behind a 5th wheel is safer than behind a ball hitch.
    I put a 13 foot aluminum boat on the roof of my pickup, and put the motor in the back. I’m not only able to go fishing, I have an aerodynamic wedge in front of my trailer.

  • Another thought about towing or not.
    I have an RV Kayak Rack for our bikes and kayaks. It fits right in my 2″ receiver. It works great for me… I also manufacture the rack systems. They are the original Yakups brand vertical racks made for any Recreational Camping vehicle style using high quality adjustable stainless steel guards to fit your watercraft.

  • We have an inflatable Zodiac with a small outboard that we blow up wen we get there and deflate for the trip home.