Boat Ramp - how do you know

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

djw2112

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Posts
1,014
Location
East Texas
Was watching this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHTOm4MDSu4

I assume all those vehicles are a total loss, plus i am sure a huge tow bill that must be paid on the spot or they will put a lean on your vehicle.  What a bad way to totally ruin a family vacation and you might even have to put a second mortgage on your house to pay for it all.

But my question is how do you avoid this?  Do you just watch others load first?  What if noone is around, do you roll up your pants legs and walk the ramp to see how deep it goes or the condition?
 

Chakara

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Posts
230
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
I don't usually watch video's from forums that long - but with a "I can relate" due to close calls in the past it was fun to watch.

As to how to avoid my thoughts are:

1) know the traction you can expect below the water line.  (Algae is a bear)
2) Set brakes and be in park
3) Pay attention to drop offs that may be submerged

On an unfamiliar ramp - go very slow and careful - check everything your vehicle may touch.  Not always practical, but do what ya can and hope.  Beyond that, carry good insurance.

-Kyle
 

djw2112

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Posts
1,014
Location
East Texas
+1 Chakara

I also think it would be a good idea if you have a 4x4 to engage the 4x4 before you start down the ramp, i think 4x4 gearbox can go in reverse, i am not sure.
 

J32952

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Posts
121
Location
East Central Florida
djw2112 said:
.

But my question is how do you avoid this?  Do you just watch others load first?  What if noone is around, do you roll up your pants legs and walk the ramp to see how deep it goes or the condition?
While sliding down a ramp happens (often drivers error) a far more common situation for paved ramps is the end with a drop off.  Should you back trailer wheels off the end of ramp you may find the trailer frame stuck.  (Float off boat, use boat and/or bumpers/floating items to lift trailer frame up so you can drive it off).
  If others there, watch and ask locals.  Walk to ramp and get an idea of algae, slick mud, surface that may be slippery.  If there is a notice that ramps drops off - pay attention.  It's way easier to push a partial floating boat off, or winch on, then to deal with a trailer bottomed out. 
  Prepare your boat away from the ramp.  Please. CHECK YOUR TRANSOM DRAIN PLUG IS IN!    Put your coolers, rods, pfds etc into the boat away from the ramp.  Remove your strap or tie downs, away from the ramp.  When you get to the ramp you should be fully prepared.  Bow still hooked, one or 2 lines attached to cleats with someone holding as you back. Once on ramp in most cases you can release bow line (strap).
  If you are alone, as I most often em, I tie a line to a bow cleat and that line inside my pickup bed.  I back down fast, brake and boat slides off cleanly.  Pull forward just a bit, get out, grab the line in my truck bed and walk to dock and secure boat.
  OK, some basics:  1) when backing trailer always open your drivers window so you can hear what's going on around you.  2) back slowly (until you know ramp and how your boat launches)
    When you get back to ramp.. boat on trailer... Please pull away from ramp so others can use.  Away from the ramp remove your stuff, put on strap(s), etc etc
 

Prior member

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Posts
1,232
Our RV site is four sites down from the boat ramp, and we launch our kayaks or paddleboards there on a daily basis.
We have seen it all.

My advice is if you are launching at a ramp that you have never launched at before, park someplace out of the way and check it out first or just talk with a local.

One time a motor home went all the way in and they had to get it out with a crane because at a certain point the ramp drops off. The driver got out and for got to set the brake.

Two days ago some one backed their trailer wheels beyond where it drops off and they had to rig some winches to get it un stuck

Jack L
 

Joezeppy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Posts
2,517
Location
Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
Yikes! I've only launched a few small/light boats for friends and they did the work - I got to stay in the truck. I learned something new in this thread, though - that the ramp could drop off. Obviously I know the ramp has to end someplace but I guess I just assumed they were all like 100' long. Now I know!
 

kdbgoat

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Posts
6,329
Seems like a simple sign at the ramp showing where the ramp ends would be handy. Even a red mark on the dock would work.
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,264
Location
Where ever we park it!
I had seen this video before. It is interesting to note that in most cases the back wheels are not turning when the vehicle is pulled out, so the vehicle was in park. It could be a slippery ramp, or the owner had too much boat and not enough tow vehicle to launch with.  Often is a vehicle has no "positraction" rear diff, only one rear wheel has power to it, and if it starts to spin and lose traction with the ramp, will slide backwards with nothing to stop it. 

I have a boat that is well within the tow limits of my Jeep, and am always in 4WD when launching or retrieving the boat.  I have never had a problem, but I have seen some ugly stuff happen.
 

Back2PA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Posts
5,766
My favorite one is the van that was submerged and the wipers were on  ;) ;)


Probably not as funny to the owner  :-\
 

Roy M

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Posts
1,400
Location
southern British Columbia
That brings back a memory. My boss backed the trailer into the water, boat didn't float off so he backed in further. Still no joy but did he pull out to find out why? NOOOO! He backed further and the transom dropped under the surface. the trailer had reached the end of the ramp. Not being the smartest fish in the lake, he threw the truck in 4 lo and pulled the boat and trailer out minus the axle (customer's trailer). Then yelled at me for not putting the transom plug in. Needless to say I didn't work there long. ::)
 

J32952

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Posts
121
Location
East Central Florida
I could have made a fortune selling beer and popcorn on weekends at the local ramps.  Ramp Follies.  Played every weekend at your nearest boat ramp.  LOL
 

Hanr3

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Posts
392
Location
Central Illinois
I launch my boat a dozen times a month and have never seen these accidents. I have seen people slip and fall on the algae and I have fallen on the algae. Isn't fun.

Insurance will cover the towing bill, the vehicle, etc.
Most regulars at the ramp are willing to help out newbies and those willing to accept their help. Unusual for the ramp to end before the boat floats, unless the lake is experiencing a severe low water level. Typically there will be signs posted warning of the low water conditions. Low water conditions also expose submerged islands and there are people who beach their boat. The bugger issue is driving off the side of the ramp. There are ways to get the trailer back on the ramp without damaging the axle9s), but you need help...

Even professional fishermen have ramp issues.
His dog backed in the RV.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H4v-z31oh0
 

djw2112

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Posts
1,014
Location
East Texas
Hanr3 said:
Even professional fishermen have ramp issues.
His dog backed in the RV.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H4v-z31oh0

Yes there is a discussion here on that event -  many dont believe it was the dog at all  :)

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,119302.0.html

 

Forum statistics

Threads
123,879
Posts
1,257,548
Members
129,680
Latest member
CrosbyDave
Top Bottom