Get those tubers out of your truck!

It’ll be summer before you know it, and if you’re contemplating a trip to New Braunfels for a ride on the river, be aware of some new changes to the law there regarding tuber transport.

Tubers who enjoy an exhilarating ride in the back of an outfitter’s pickup to reach the Guadalupe or Comal River may be disappointed this year. The open-air rides won’t be allowed.

The ban on using truck beds to shuttle tubers is just one of several new rules the New Braunfels City Council recently approved to improve regulation of river outfitters and keep tubers safe.


On March 8, council members approved 18 rules regarding water-recreation shuttle services, including the ban on their use of pickups as shuttles. Though in Texas it is legal for people 18 and older to ride in the back of a pickup, New Braunfels Mayor Bruce Boyer said the change addresses a potential safety issue for some revelers.

“People are tired. People may have, perhaps, lost their inhibitions to some extent,” Boyer said of tubers exiting the river. “We haven’t had a lot of incidents with regard to this, but it really only takes one severe incident … for it to become a huge problem.”

By 2011, the city also will require that all shuttles be designed by the manufacturer to transport passengers. The change will rule out makeshift shuttles crafted from other types of vehicles.

Word to the wise – watch out for non-standard tuber shuttles. Not that anyone should need to be told that, but there you have it.

One more thing:

Vacationers who want to rent a home in residential New Braunfels may face more limited options. The hot-button issue of short-term rentals has bobbed up during recent council meetings.

The dispute pits those who want to tap into tourist dollars by renting out their homes against those who have been appalled by what they see as disruptive carousing by some visitors. Some residents said they have seen visitors litter, strip off clothing, or urinate in bushes.

We generally like to stay at the Schlitterbahn when we visit New Braunfels. Those of you who have done one of these short-term rentals, take note. The issue is scheduled to be discussed by New Braunfels’ city council in early April.

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