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Old 06-18-2014, 10:47 PM   #1
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Interstate and a boat

We're new to this... We haven't punched the ticket yet, but we are looking towards living a "lifestyle". I've been corporate for the last 7 years or so. Moved around a lot... We live in Wisconsin by way of Louisiana, Tampa, Miami, Chicago, Cleveland, now Milwaukee. I purposely didn't tell you guys the city in Louisiana because you probably never heard of it. For those who might... Ok... Lafayette...

Anyway... Looking for a change... Sold our big house in Cleveland, and now we are renting in a nice place with everything taken care of... Love it! Now we want to enjoy these United States.

So... Here's my plan... Buy an Interstate. The 2015 Grand Tour looks the most appealing. Airstream quality and the benefit of having the galley on the camp side. I'm turning 40, so I'm still planning on working for the next 15 or so. But, we're not the all inclusive getaways to Cabo type of people. Lifestyle... Live free, have stories, see something cool with my 6 weeks of vacation each year. That's what we want... We have a 2 year old (the one and only child we want), and she's very good on the road. We travel a lot (via the sedan), so she's down with road tripping.

There's more... We also want a boat. So herein lies the question I pose to the experts out there... Any issues towing a boat with an Interstate? We're looking at a Bayliner 642? Some details... It weighs about 3000 lbs. I know the AI 3500 is rated to tow 5000 lbs.

Let me know your thoughts. I know this is very open ended without a lot of details. But I want a candid dialogue with guys that have been there, done that. Also... We don't want a tow vehicle.
We are sold on the Interstate. I can't see living without the convenience of having the coach amenities while on the road.

Looking forward to hear your thoughts...

Excuse any typos or grammar errors.. I'm drinking 18 year old Scotch and smoking a Cuban... Day dreaming about my Interstate!
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:32 AM   #2
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Sounds like a lovely and very doable plan.

Others who know more will be more specific, but it is my understanding that Interstates are built to tow.

Some tow trailers, so you should have no problem towing a boat.

You would want the galley on the camp side, where you can see what is going on outside, while you are cooking, preparing drinks, meals, etc.

Have fun planning, preparing and implementing.


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Old 06-19-2014, 07:00 AM   #3
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I towed a nineteen foot AS with my older model Interstae. No problem but no rocket ship either. Yea, you can do it, just be careful. Jim
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:11 AM   #4
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Hello from Lorain, Ohio!

I love your plan. The stream and the boat sound great and very doable.

I've always wondered how I could fit a small Sea Do jet boat on top of my suburban!!

I might step the thought down to a Hobie Adventure Islander kayak. Hmmmmm........
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:17 PM   #5
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I tow a Honda Fit hatchback behind my 2012 Interstate. The Honda has a curb weight of 2700 pounds and a gross weight of 3500 pounds. The Interstate tows the Honda like it wasn't even there. I don't even take a hit on the fuel economy, as long as I keep my speed down to around 60mph— 19mpg while towing is common for me. 18mpg in the summer when I have the dashboard air conditioner running full-blast. You should have no problem at all towing a 3000-pound boat trailer.

Handy hint— when towing the boat, load up your outdoor campsite gear in the boat so you don't have to carry it inside the Interstate. Barbecue grill, patio mat, lawn chairs, etc. Then when you get to your campsite, you unload the boat to set up camp, and the boat is then ready to go on the water. And while en route, you don't have the interior cluttered up with storing the gear that you'll never use inside. That's what I do with my toad; should work with a boat as well, if the boat has a cover.

BTW, since you mentioned the 2-year-old, I have yet to see an Interstate that had the right seatbelts for securing a child seat. Plan accordingly and make sure you get a child seat that will work in the Interstate.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchelf View Post
We're new to this... .........
So... Here's my plan... Buy an Interstate. The 2015 Grand Tour looks the most appealing. Airstream quality and the benefit of having the galley on the camp side. I'm turning 40, so I'm still planning on working for the next 15 or so. But, we're not the all inclusive getaways to Cabo type of people. Lifestyle... Live free, have stories, see something cool with my 6 weeks of vacation each year. That's what we want... We have a 2 year old (the one and only child we want), and she's very good on the road. We travel a lot (via the sedan), so she's down with road tripping.

...... Looking forward to hear your thoughts...
An Interstate can certainly tow the Bayliner you have in mind, but with a trailer and gear you will be about 14,000 lbs against a GCVW rating of 15,250 lbs. So it won't be fast as pointed out by zigzagguzzi. Make sure the boat trailer you use has it's own brakes.

Regarding the new Grand Tour floor plan (which I also like): there are only two seats up front and the front passenger seat is not suitable for a child due to the SRS airbags. The only other seats are way in back of the van. Although I like the GT layout as a camper it is a compromise for carrying passengers. We like the flexibility of our extended lounge model with seating for eight.

Enjoy your dreams of buying an Interstate -- mine went for about two years before I bought mine.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:18 PM   #7
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Towing it wouldn't be the issue. I think it would be tricky to navigate some of the boat ramps you would run into with the 24 foot sprinter plus the length of the boat.

Brannon
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:31 PM   #8
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Towing it wouldn't be the issue. I think it would be tricky to navigate some of the boat ramps you would run into with the 24 foot sprinter plus the length of the boat.

Brannon
Hadn't thought of the boat ramp issue. The generator tucked up underneath behind the rear axle— and hanging lower than the differential— could be a problem on some boat ramps, unless you LIKE putting your generator underwater. That will definitely limit the number of ramps you can use.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:36 PM   #9
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Towing it wouldn't be the issue. I think it would be tricky to navigate some of the boat ramps you would run into with the 24 foot sprinter plus the length of the boat.

Brannon
No trickier that pulling a boat with a crew cab long wheelbase pickup truck, which people do all the time.

In my experience when you launch a boat only the trailer wheels go into the water. I've never had to put the tow vehicle in the water. The generator is about 3 ft. in from back end of the van so there is little risk of getting it in the water.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:48 AM   #10
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No trickier that pulling a boat with a crew cab long wheelbase pickup truck, which people do all the time.

In my experience when you launch a boat only the trailer wheels go into the water. I've never had to put the tow vehicle in the water. The generator is about 3 ft. in from back end of the van so there is little risk of getting it in the water.
You've never launched at a ramp in Louisiana then. At some ramps here, you can't launch without getting the tow vehicle's rear wheels in the water.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:56 PM   #11
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You've never launched at a ramp in Louisiana then. At some ramps here, you can't launch without getting the tow vehicle's rear wheels in the water.
OK true -- I've only launched boats in Minnesota and Washington.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:41 AM   #12
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I have a 2006 sprinter conversion and like Protagonist said, there is no way my sprinter could launch a large boat at many of the ramps here in Michigan. Most of the time a pickup would have the rear wheels in the water - which in the sprinter would mean that the back bumper and rear compartment is in the water. There is also the question of the break in the top of the ramp - which with the tanks, fairings, trim and generator on the motorhome reducing the ground clearance, would be a hazard for bottoming out. I also think you're very close to the weight limits of your rig. I've done some towing of a utility trailer that weighs about 4000 pounds. Tows fine on the flat, but on the hills of Virginia and West Virginia it is foot to the floor all of the way. And barely keeping 45-50 MPH up some of the hills. The newer sprinters have a bit more power, but I think you'll be a bit underpowered with that rig - even though the new sprinter has more power than my 2006. I think it's a fun idea, but maybe not too practical. If you know where you'll be boating, it might be worth talking a look at the ramp there.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:51 AM   #13
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You've never launched at a ramp in Louisiana then. At some ramps here, you can't launch without getting the tow vehicle's rear wheels in the water.
Agreed, I've launched and had the TV backed well into the lake before being deep enough to drop the boat. That's been in Kentucky and Michigan's Houghton Lake. (17' is the deepest spot). Sometimes you can look around and find deeper ramps but it may take you out of the way a little.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:58 AM   #14
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Handy hint— when towing the boat, load up your outdoor campsite gear in the boat so you don't have to carry it inside the Interstate. Barbecue grill, patio mat, lawn chairs, etc. Then when you get to your campsite, you unload the boat to set up camp, and the boat is then ready to go on the water.
A word of caution on carrying stuff in the boat. Most boat trailers' capacity is for just the boat and a little extra. Grill, mat, aluminum chairs etc. are fine. I carry light bulky items in mine; box fan, skis, canvas chairs, small coolers. In a previous boat I carried heavier items and ended up bending the axle over time.
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