Raft/Pontoon TRAILER or HITCH carrier?

Hey Guys,

I am in the process of purchasing a SKOOKUM Steelheader 10' Pontoon. While it will fit in the bed of my Dodge when partially deflated, I would like to purchase something more conveniant. I was looking at a cheaper harbor freight utility trailer OR the hitch carriers that they make for the pontoons\ boats which stands them up on end.

Which one would you opt for and why? Thank you for your time! -Chris


Nude to the board
Just get an electric pump. They blow up your toons so fast that it is not big deal to deflate them. Much less expensive than the other two options and very easy. You just need to top them off with a few pumps using a hand pump after using the electric pump. I used to think my K-pump was one of the best purchases I ever made, but after getting an electric pump I simply wonder what took me so long. I got mine at marine supply and it was about $70, still working great (just a little loud but it is for such a short time).



Active Member
Some of the advantages of a pontoon boat over a drift boat are the portability, lightweight, storage flexibility, and lower cost. However, for the bigger boats such as a 10 footer you are considering, a trailer is nice. Having a full time job, being a small business owner, being involved with my kids' scouting, sports, and church activities, my fishing time is valuable and so I prefer the convenience of having my boat ready to fish on a trailer so that I can go fishing at a moment's notice. But you need a place to put it, there is the initial cost, some maintenance involved, and it will cost you to license it annually. For some, a trailer is worth those costs. For others, a trailer is not an option (e.g., apartment) or not worth the costs.

Lots of guys use trailers from Harbor Freight and have had good success. I personally wanted a little more quality; but that is me. I want something that is going to last and something I don't have to worry about when I'm on the road. I would be leery of getting a trailer with 8 inch tires/wheels and making long trips or using it on rough terrain.

I have no experience with the hitch carriers.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Concern with a hitch carrier is that your pontoon tube tips will be pretty close to the ground [read: rough terrain and potholes for the rear wheels will make the tips drag the ground]. The tips in the air will be very high above most vehicle profiles and catch a lot of wind.

I had one with my 8' pontoon and it worked well, but I did bottom out my tips a few times. Two extra feet vertical would concern me a bit.

How about throwing a set of kayak rollers on each side and roll it atop your roof? Less overall height on your vehicle and a better profile?
You bring up a very valid point, Mubles, as well as the aforementioned information..12' toons would be impossible on a hitch carrier. Looks like its on top of the tanneau cover or small trailer...hmmmmm

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