Fold up Porta Bote and Motor

When we lived in coastal Texas, we always had a boat or kayaks for fishing so when we retired and knew we would be traveling in our truck camper we needed a new plan.  The kayaks weren’t an option because we wanted solar panels and an extra storage unit on top of the camper.

Huge sites at Diamond Lake

Our set up allows us to get into the woods

At a Houston boat show we saw the fold up Porta-Bote and it was a eureka moment.  We evaluated several inflatable options of boats and kayaks but the fold-up boat was the winner.  It took over a year planning how we would carry it, the motor, and the seats etc.

We purchased a 12′ Porta-Bote which is 7″ thick and weighs 78 lbs.  When set up, it has a beam of 60″, a capacity of over 600#, and can carry 4 people.  It is very stable, virtually indestructible, and rides great.  We did purchase the brackets for mounting it on the outside of the camper and the wheels so we could easily pull it by hand to whatever water we were near.

Doesn’t’ add too much width

After we solved how to carry the boat,

we needed to come-up with a way to carry the 6  hp, 4-
stroke Suzuki motor. After days of moving the motor to different places on the truck and
the camper we settled on mounting the motor to the ladder on the back of the camper.

Uses the ladder for stability and bumper plate for strength

Uses the ladder for stability and bumper plate for strength

We didn’t want the weight of the motor on the ladder while we were driving
and our TC ladder is hinged so the ladder can be folded up to
allow access to the generator. To support the weight of the motor on the bumper, we welded two pieces of ¼ steel to make a platform
for the skag to rest on.  (Thanks to my friend Rick for the ideas, help and welding.) Then we bolted the steel plate into the rear bumper and added a
piece of tire tread to help cushion the motor. Next we added two steel bars to the plate
and the lower part of the ladder to make sure the ladder did not move/fold up while
driving. Lastly we took some channel bar and cut it to fit the ladder and mounted it high
enough so that the motor would rest on the steel plate and be held in place by the channel
bar.  Everything was primed (2x) and painted. To help hold the motor in place and ensure
it doesn’t fall off while driving I measured and cut two pieces of plastic coated stainless
steel wire, made loops on each end so that a lock could be added to the cable.
I marked the place the motors skag sits on the tire tread and after 17 months of traveling it has never moved.

boat and motor

We love having a way to get out and explore on the water.  Also, we get a TON of questions every time we pull in near a lake and set up.

2 Responses to Fold up Porta Bote and Motor

  1. Gerry Day says:

    I found your solution for mounting the motor mount very interesting. Do you have any more detail on the Suzuki mount and where you store the seats? I have a 14′ porta bote and had it mounted similar to yours but haven’t figured out how to mount my 6hp Suzuki. I have a fixed ladder that doesn’t fold up. I also have a trolling motor and will eventually carry that as well. Any more detailed photos would be appreciated.

    • gconthemove says:

      Gerry:

      I am seriously behind in updating the blog with our new camper and set up. If you need more detailed pictures of how we used to carry the motor on the ladder, I can email them to you. We now carry the motor in the ‘back seat’ of the truck (we really took the back seat out and it is all storage now). We also carry the trolling motor, seats, fishing tackle etc in a Thule on top of the camper and the boat is on top of the camper as well. We had to install another set of rails but it was easy. You can let me know what type of pictures will help you see more detail.

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