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WESSTAR
05-07-2012, 02:49 PM
Hello all,
My wife and I are getting transfered to Elizabeth City, North Carolina from Sacramento, Ca. This will be our first long haul with our boat (normally we do 200 miles or less). I am Planning on staying at military bases all the way across we are taking the southern route and staying in Fort Hood Tx for a few days. Does anyone live there or has been there to tell me what the lakes are like? I would like to take some family out while we are there. I see that there is Beltan lake is really close to my family.

pmkkdx
05-07-2012, 03:48 PM
I live just down south of there but fairly familar with the entire area. How long will you be around central TX???

Lake Belton is a fairly nice, relatively long river channel and fairly deep thru the center when full. I am not sure where the level stands currently though. There are several public ramps on the south side with various marina's where gas is available. just checked here http://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/belton/ and it does appear to be close to full too. pretty wide open down closer to the dam (can get rough) but has short protected coves and pretty snaking up the main river channel to find decent water in various locations. We go there several times during the year when the highland lakes get low or overly crowded.

about 20 or so minutes to the south is Lake Stillhouse but again, not sure of where the level stands. just checked here http://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/stillhouse/ and it is only a couple feet below the full level, watch for underwater obstructions (stumps) as I am not overly familar in the recent couple decades.

Lake Georgetown is a nice smaller Corp of Engineers lake just west of Georgetown about 45 minutes to the south of the Ft. Hood area. It is right at the full mark as of this past weekend. 3 public ramps. http://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/georgetown/ ... use caution when going around the point by the swim beach, there is about a mile before potential large tree stumps from previous river bed, hard to tell with lake full.

A little over an hour to the southwest starts the head of the Highland Lakes chain ... Buchanan (still dangerously low for boating unless you know the lake extremely well), Inks (constant level, Inks Lake State park access), LBJ (constant level, numerous public ramps ~27-30 miles 1/4 mile wide river channel opening up wider farther down the lake, beware going up stream both the CO and Llano), Marble Falls (almost constant level, short river channel lake beware going up stream), Travis (still dangerously low unless you stay in middle of channel), Austin (constant level river channel snaking on down to Austin).

http://travis.uslakes.info/Level.asp can then check on non-Corp lakes for levels.

-V-
05-07-2012, 04:00 PM
Where do you plan on staying while at hood? The reason I say that is because I was stationed there from 00-05 before I was transfered. Some places you have to keep the boat covered and Not leave it alone. Killeen is a lower income type town Exspecially around the base entrances. If you are looking to go some where with the family, I would suggest Lake Austin. Lake Austin is just outside all the major interstates and since you are going cross country, I do not see any reason for you to travel up to Killeen. (except for the Class VI)

(oh, and Lake Austin is a constant level. tehy keep it controlled)

Belton is a nice lake but you have to watch out for young un-ruley Soldiers on the weekends, and lots of jet skis, they rent them right there at the docks.

now these accouts are from when I was there so it might of changed.

Hope this helps.

mayo93prostar
05-07-2012, 04:06 PM
Use tie down straps, check your tires and bearings, have two spare tires and jack and tools to change tires on the highway. Maybe an extra hub also. Do not overload the boat with stuff.

pmkkdx
05-07-2012, 05:19 PM
agree with -V- ... wouldn't want to leave my "stuff" out in the Killeen/Fort Hood, Copperas Cove area.

Lake Austin could be extremely busy on weekends due to Lake Travis being so low (many of public boat ramps closed) would be my only concern there.

AZX9
05-07-2012, 11:55 PM
Lived very close to Lake Belton. It's a nice lake. On the Dam end it's fairly clean as well. Although I lived one mile from the Belton ramp I would tow down to Lake Travis for the ambiance. With it being low I don't know. Not a big fan of Kileen. I wouldn't stay there. if your headed down I-10 I have heard that Canyon Lake north of San Antonio is real nice. No reason to go way out of the way to go to Kileen.

WESSTAR
05-08-2012, 09:11 PM
Thanks all for the write ups. We are planning on staying on base at Fort Hood with my brother in law and family. So I think it should be pretty safe for the boat and gear. We will be there for about 3 days in the begining of July. Planning on putting new tires on it for the trip.

-V-
05-08-2012, 09:55 PM
good luck and stay safe, I get transferred back down that way in July.

AZX9
05-08-2012, 11:22 PM
Belton over stillhouse.

thatsmrmastercraft
05-08-2012, 11:45 PM
I would consider new wheel bearings, and a pre-greased spare wheel bearing kit like this Cabelas unit.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Pre-Greased-Replacement-Hub-Kits/701816.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3D searchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProduc ts%26Ntt%3Dwheel%2Bbearing%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26WTz_l %3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=wheel+bearing&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

gatorguy
05-09-2012, 08:48 AM
Use tie down straps, check your tires and bearings, have two spare tires and jack and tools to change tires on the highway. Maybe an extra hub also. Do not overload the boat with stuff.

1+

Also I trailer with cover off, but then put it on when we stop overnight, or if we will be out of view of the boat for very long. Then just pray nobody messes with your stuff. Last long trip I took, I came across people actually getting into my boat twice in the same night. I almost slept in the boat with a gun, but figured for the $300 I spent on the flee bag hotel I was at least going to enjoy the crappy bed. Luckly nothing else happened.

maxpower220
05-09-2012, 04:06 PM
Make sure that you strap the boat to the trailer. I drove from San Diego to Pensacola, FL and the axle spring on one side of my MC trailer snapped on the I-10/I-12 split. At 70 mph, I went on Mr. Toads Wild Ride. The trailer cage on the boat protected the boat from any damage, and the 6000+ lbs of Chevy Avalanche kept me upright. My wife was following in her car, saw the whole thing, and freaked out.

AZX9
05-10-2012, 12:18 AM
That trailer looks as though its seen some ocean water. Did that cause corrosion leading to your issue?

Hopefully the OP has oil bath hubs. Only issue with bearings I have had were the grease style bearing buddies. Broke down on I-40 in BFOklahoma. Smoking fried out wheel bearing broke me down in a small town at 5:00 pm. Got patched up for a few hour ride into OKC. Ended up having to cut off a spindle at a trailer shop and have a new one welded back on. Trouble was it got welded on crooked. Wore out a tire on the way home from being misaligned for 12 hours on the road. That was the last boat I purchased where I shopped the boat and didn't pay much attention to the trailer. Last three boats with oil bath no issue.

maxpower220
05-12-2012, 08:00 AM
That trailer looks as though its seen some ocean water. Did that cause corrosion leading to your issue?

The left side spring pack snap apart where the axle centering pin was located. The spring packs on both sides looked fine (other than one being broken). Yes, the trailer had corrosion issues. However, I believe that heat, distance, speed,weight, and road conditions had more to do with the spring pack breaking than corrosion at the spring pack.

WESSTAR
05-13-2012, 11:19 PM
I like hearing all the stories from everyone. I will be doing a complete bearing check and regrease before we head out.

Next question who has some opinions or pros and cons about having the cover on the boat all the way across. We use ours only for longer hauls. I feel that it will protect better from all the road grime and should hold up just fine after I fix a few loose threads.

CantRepeat
05-14-2012, 07:30 AM
I like hearing all the stories from everyone. I will be doing a complete bearing check and regrease before we head out.

Next question who has some opinions or pros and cons about having the cover on the boat all the way across. We use ours only for longer hauls. I feel that it will protect better from all the road grime and should hold up just fine after I fix a few loose threads.


Cover off, it will rub on the gel coat and upholstery from the wind. If you have a tower wrap it in saran wrap. When you get to your destination just pull the wrap off with all the bugs on it.

93Prostar190
05-14-2012, 07:49 AM
I typically trailer with the cover off to spare the gel coat from some "cover rash" .... If I am towing and I want to use the cover due to rain or long distance, I ..... Please don't laugh ... I go to Costco and buy some of their Saran wrap ..... Any brand is fine. 1 large roll is plenty and I wrap the areas where the cover would touch the fiber glass .... Like a poor mans shrink wrap.

The area just below and above the rub rail, the windshield supports, tower legs, and cans.

Sounds silly but then I put the cover on and when I reach my destination not a single worry.

Have a safe,trip.

DooSPX
05-14-2012, 08:24 AM
That is not a bad idea 93Prostar190. Does the wrap stick to the boat due to heat??

93Prostar190
05-14-2012, 08:26 AM
That is not a bad idea 93Prostar190. Does the wrap stick to the boat due to heat??

I have used this method in August on my annual trips to Norris Lake ... temp in the 80's or so? I apply it the night before and take it off the next day and I have not had any issues like that ..... it has worked well for me, and only takes a 15 minutes or so.

DooSPX
05-14-2012, 08:27 AM
Thank you for the info, great tip!

WESSTAR
05-14-2012, 10:31 AM
That is a great idea thanks!! Now I have a reason to go to Costco and get a churro!

broncotw
05-14-2012, 10:49 AM
I just made a 26 hour trip from Fresno, California, to San Antonio, Texas.... We made sure the bearings on the trailor were packed with new grease, we ensured the boat's fuel tank was near empty, and we utilized a factory travel cover from MasterCraft (I saved to one my 2010TT came with).... We used an entire roll of duct tape to fasten the cover to the boat..... We also carried an entire set of tools and had a spare tire.... We encountered no problems at all...