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Me and 3 close friends, two of which are PFF lurkers, are going to Marathon for the opening week of lobster season. My first Key's trip. We are pulling my 22'ft skiff down that has a factory dry weight of 2,550 lbs.+ rigging. We will use the boat to hold some gear for the ride. The trailer is tip-top. I'm picking it up today from Eddie English, who went over it and installed 4 new tires and all new brakes. It has a 35-gallon gas tank that is under the center console. Should I pull the boat full or closer to empty? Does it matter?
 

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Bearded Brotula
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Are you worried about your truck's weight capacity or fuel economy?
 

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Get a SunPass and use the toll roads where you can, much less traffic, use the app WAZE to monitor traffic and stoppages, it will re-route you if there's a problem, it's also better than running a radar detector for knowing where the speed traps are.
 

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I would take couple of spare trailer tires. Also look up the speed rating on the tires that are the trailer currently. A lot of those 14 and 15" trailer tires are only rated for around 70mph and sometimes less. Things can get ugly if you pull them for extended periods over their speed rating....unfortunately I know from experience.
 

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If you've had Eddie English go over the trailer and have new tires, you should be good. Word of advice, if you only have one spare and you blow a tire, your next stop should be to a tire shop to get the spare replaced. I pulled a 22' Pathfinder few years back to Big Pine Key with a 2011 Ecoboost. Truck did fine and you'll likely average ~10 MPG. Get a Sunpass and use the turnpike. Have fun!
 

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My buddy just pulled is 36 Yellowfin down and back from Marathon, with is wife and three kids. He said it was "Real Bad!!" the traffic around Orlando, had them screwed up several hours on the way down and back
 

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I would make sure your tongue weight is good and most of the boat weight is over the axels. Spare tire or two, 4 way, impact driver and a bottle jack. Pack your bearings if Eddie didn't and maybe a spare spindle. Murphy's Law, what ever is going to go wrong your not going to have it. Drive slow and good luck!
 

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I've been using Veteran's/Suncoast Parkway through Crystal River for years. Four-lane down through Perry and on down. Very little traffic. It's a toll road and ends at the Tampa Airport, where you can pick up I-75 and cross the bay. Lot less stressful, especially towing a boat. I-75 on down to Naples, then the Alley to the Keys.
 

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It costs me about 450 to pull my boat to Okeechobee and back but that's a 2500 diesel. Gas down there is comparable to up here but where I was at NO ONE carried ethanol free gas. So I had to fill my boat up twice with supreme.
 

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Made that trip to key west a hundred times. Leave it full fuel stay under speed limit. Go I 10 to 75 75 toward Naples exit at Collier Blvd south to 41 left across state, alligator alley turn south or right at 997 it will end at us 1. South on 1 to destination. Fill after exiting 75 a walmart on right fuel also at 41 at aligator alley. Watch the canals for gators. Don't take tole road across state you will wind up way north of 997 and you will be on us 1, at ft lauderdale and miami traffic Alley. Map it out so you know what to expect. Oh forgot stop at frute stands on 997 and get mangos they are the best. Get me 5 or so on way back. $$ for mine. Safe trip. Loved being stationed KW 69-73
 

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Even with a new trailer I'd take 2 bearing kits, two spares and a grease gun. Every 2 or 3 hours, stop, do a visual, feel everything for heat and add grease if necessary. On a trip like that there is nothing worse than having to leave your boat beside the road to go hunt for bearings or tires. Trust me on that.
 

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Hauled my 22 Pathfinder in ’18 and ‘20. Once from Louisiana and once from Texas. Wanted to do the manatee thing in Crystal river for my mom so went the 221 to 98 route. Then to Naples to Cudjoe key. Seemed like that route was better than 10 to 75 on second trip. I had gotten new tires/rims also but spent extra money on 8 ply. Took both older tires/rims as spares. Floor jack and battery power impact for lugs. I have oil bath hubs, so only spare hub and oil. Drove for 3-4 hrs then stop for a few to feel hubs/tires and stretch legs. Drove an Expedition both times so most of all gear was in vehicle. Hated loading/unloading all the tools and extra gear, but sure was nice knowing I had it.
Love that place. My dad at 77 is ready for another trip.
Hope weather is good for your trip and safe travels.
 
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