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Old 06-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #1
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Porta bote - Successfully mounted on Travel Trailer

I purchased a portabote this spring and found there was very little information or examples of how folks actually mounted these things using the official portabote mounting brackets.

When I searched or asked on forums, many people suggested carrying it on the tow vehicle, or mounting on the roof of the tt or under the belly. None of those was really an option. The portabote site had instructions, but they were pretty sparce and didn't answer many questions.

After hearing back from several folks, I made the plunge and did the mount.
Since there may be others that have questions like I did, I've uploaded some photos that show the process I used to address problems like:
> *mounting to contour shape of the aluminum siding
> *how to keep aluminum siding from crushing when no stud in area.
> *how to spread the load over a wider area
> *how to keep my spouse happy about me drilling and cutting holes
> in her new travel trailer.

1st photo - front bracket showing plastic backer board cut to match contour of RV siding.
2nd photo - rear mount test fit (this was mounted through an existing stud and inside bolts were hidden from view under the sink cabinet.
3rd photo - front bracket did not hit a stud, so had to cut interior wall and insert a "cripple stud" to keep aluminum siding from crushing.
4th photo - used 3/4" oak boards to span between existing studs and to cover the cripple stud.
5th photo - the finished job!

Hope this helps others
Attached Thumbnails
Contour work - front bracket.jpg   Rear bracket test mount.jpg   Front bracket - cut wallboard and inserted cripple stud to prevent crushing of alum. siding..jpg   Front bracket finished interior.  Oak boards span between studs for added support.jpg   Finished and mounted.jpg  

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
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Wow! I would not have the nerve to tackle that on a used unit, never-mind a new one. Great job! What is your trailer width with the boat attached?
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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What is that? A kayak?
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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It's a rigid hull skiff that folds up for hauling around as pictured. You mount an outboard on the back and go.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin Pond Hunter View Post
Wow! I would not have the nerve to tackle that on a used unit, never-mind a new one. Great job! What is your trailer width with the boat attached?
Width of trailer is 96". The portabote, mounting rack and spacers add about another 6 inches. Total = 102. Still legal in my state (but just barely!)
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ladywendolyn View Post
What is that? A kayak?
No it is a regular shaped boat. The wife and I like to fish when we camp, but for the past several years, we've been confined to fishing from shore. Porta bote is essentially a foldable rowboat. They come in 8, 10, 12 and 14 foot lengths and will take an outboard of up to about 6 hp (although we just use a trolling motor to get around with ours.)

Here's a guy unfolding one and setting it up in 4 minutes.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
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really smartly attached. i wished that i could also do the same. i wanted to know that how did you attached it, can you explain me in detail. i am also planning to buy a boat so that me and my brother can go to a trip with these boats and surf. can we carry 2 boats with our RV? i would appreciate and will be thankful for your help.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by drakelouis29 View Post
really smartly attached. i wished that i could also do the same. i wanted to know that how did you attached it, can you explain me in detail. i am also planning to buy a boat so that me and my brother can go to a trip with these boats and surf. can we carry 2 boats with our RV? i would appreciate and will be thankful for your help.
I don't know how much detail you want or need.
1. Figure out what size portabote you will want or need 8, 10, 12 or 14 foot.
2. Remember, the longer the boat, the more clear space you need on your RV to mount it. It cannot cover vents like frig or furnace (or your water hookups if you want to use them with the boat mounted).
3. Determine the distance between the front and rear mounts - this will vary depending upon what size boat you have.
4. I suppose it is possible to mount 2 boats on one RV, although I wouldn't mount them both on the same side. And mounting on the curb side will likely mean that you won't be able to use your entrance door until you remove the boat. Also, the RV mount adds about 8" to the width of your RV. Mounting on both sides would add 16" and probably make your RV exceed the legal width allowed in your state.
5. Determine location of rear mount - this should be on a stud in the RV wall. Use a studfinder on the inside of the RV to determine where the studs are.
6. Once you have the location of the rear mounting bracket identified, measure to determine where the front mounting bracket will need to be located. This will likely not be on a stud unless you are really lucky.
7. If you have an aluminum sided RV, you will need to add a stud behind the front bracket, or the siding will crush when you tighten the bolts. You might not have to do this for a fiberglass sided RV, but I would suggest it anyway. Cut a hole in the interior wall and insert a 2 x 2 stud and anchor it to the floor or whatever you can attach it to.
8. Also if you have an aluminum sided RV, you may want to use a contour tool to transfer the shape of the siding to your backer board. This will ensure a good fit and help avoid crushing the siding with a flat board against a contoured siding.
9. Before drilling any holes or cutting into any walls...measure, measure and measure again. You don't want a lot of holes in the wrong places.
10. Use a backer board behind the mounting brackets to keep the boat a bit away from your RV siding. I'd suggest at least 1" backer (mine was smaller and I should have gone with a wider one)
11. Drill the holes slightly larger than your bolts.
12. I used 3 1/2 inch #8 bolts, nuts, washers and lockwashers. These are the hardest and strongest. You don't want a cheap #2 bolt snapping off as you are heading down the highway.
13. I also used boards on the inside of the RV to help spread the load (and on the front mount, to bridge between the two RV studs that are 16 inch on center. This can be scrap wood if you don't care about appearance or if the backer is hidden behind cabinetry. Or you can use nice finished wood that matches your cabinets (as shown in the pictures I posted).
That's about all I can help with. It is difficult to make that first drill hole, but once you get past that, it works out well if you've done a good job of measuring and thinking it through. Take your time and do a lot of thinking about what you want to do and how you want to do it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #9
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How wide and high are the brackets?
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:31 PM   #10
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Looks good enjoy your camper and bote!
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