Traveling with pontoon: inflated or deflated?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by eJohn, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. eJohn New Member

    Posts: 12
    Bellevue, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    :confused: Looking for thoughts/experience here. I travel with my pontoons alot. Usually inflated either on top of my rig or in my little trailer. Going from home here in Leavenworth to Bend, OR or Merritt, BC, there are a lot of ups and downs and changes in temperature that cause pretty significant changes in air pressure in the tubes, which I watch and adjust carefully. Here's the question, is it better in the long run for the pontoons to deflate them for the long hauls? Deflating and folding causes stress on the bladder and can weaken the valve seal, but keeping inflated on these long runs subjects them to pressure changes and the beating of the wind at highway speeds. Appreciate it if anyone has thoughts or experience to offer up.
  2. Stephen Rice Senior Member

    Posts: 1,479
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I think you would be alright if you left them inflated but not fully like you said the changes in temp would cause the air pressure to change. I usually take mine deflated only because I don't have a rig to where I can carry it inflated. Instead of folding the pontoons though I will roll them to keep the creases to a minimum.
  3. OPfisher I

    Posts: 86
    gig harbor
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have a honda accord and I just rolle down the windows and run a rope around the thing and tie it down compleatley inflated.
  4. tippet hardcore flyfishing addict

    Posts: 113
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I leave mine mostly inflated, but let out enough air to accommodate going over mountain passes or to higher elevation. This gets you on the water faster and causes less wear and tear on the tubes.
  5. Troutguy Member

    Posts: 48
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I usually let most of the air out and then lay it in the back of the rig. Word of caution: If you put them in a trailer with sides on it make sure that it doesn't rub the sides. I have a friend that wore a hole in his carrying it inflated from bouncing up and down on a long trip.

  6. Tony Mull Member

    Posts: 832
    Lake Stevens, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    overinflation is a very bad thing, just check your owners manual. i have witnessed one and heard of two other pontoons which burst going over the coq. pass in BC. that particular pass is a very fast gain in elevation which may be part to blame or maybe they were just weak spots. my own experience was with a float tube that i left inflated going over the same pass as well as surrey pass farther on. in that case the valve stem worked its way out and allowed the tube to deflate. i think the main danger would be to the stitching not the bladders. it has to shorten the life of the threads. personally i always break down my southfork when going through passes, but i just strap it on top of the truck if i'm not. i use a blower to quickly inflate each toon, attach to the frame, and then top off with a few strokes on the hand pump to get them tight. takes just a couple of minutes for each side. even when i've had to hand pump it only takes about 100 strokes on each side and maybe twice the time. i spend more time untangling my line.
  7. Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    Posts: 1,028
    TriCities, WA
    Ratings: +99 / 0
    Do the valves on the pontoons give under pressure and let some air out? I started hanging my pontoon in the garage this year and have noticed that in the hot weather they inflate to nearly full, and then as it cools down they have much less air in them than when I hung it up. I did hang them partially deflated, but there is less air in them now than when I put it up.

    Wayne :confused:
  8. Trout Master Active Member

    The valves do not release pressure if they build up pressure!!!!!! Heat = expansion, cold = contraction. Higher altitudes does incress the pressure.
    Try cleaning the valves with a bent 90deg angled q tip .But keep the tip dry.
    Sometimes dirt will get in when inflating and get caught on the rubber seat of the valve. Mine stays inflated 24 / 7 and has been for 6 years now. I clean the outsides with a product called 303 . Keeps the uv rays from destroying the tubes. Plus I keep it coverd with a tarp when not in use.
  9. woodway Squeaky Reel

    Posts: 108
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Deflated. Only takes a few minutes to pump them up and strap em on. Plus in the winter operating the hand pump warms me up before I get on the water. :thumb:
  10. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,744
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,704 / 0
    Just don't let them sit in the sun too long. Had one of the first South Forks that were out(vinal cover) and when I wasn't using it I had it in the yard deflated but it was in the sun. It swelled up and split a seam. It don't take much when they are in the sun.

    It's something to think about.

  11. eJohn New Member

    Posts: 12
    Bellevue, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks - good feedback. I think my conclusion is to break down just for the long runs, keeping the folding to a minimum. Just need to get a 12v blower for inflating on the other side. Good fishing everyone.
  12. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,892
    Ratings: +206 / 0
    Old Man:

    He was talking about pontoon boats, what are you talking (wishing) about?

  13. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,744
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,704 / 0

    So was I, bawling: I have had a few pontoon boats in my life time :p