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Trailer for Pontoon Boat

1925 Views 19 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Mumbles
After a rather traumatic bicep tendon tear yanking my Skykomish Sunrise off the roof rack of my Volvo, I have decided to go the trailer route. Actually, I tried to yank it off but it didn't move, so my tendon snapped sounding like a popping paper bag. While the small folding utility trailers and other small utility trailers look appealing, their 12" tire size has me worried about trailering long freeway distances. The trailer salesfolks say 15" wheels are a necessity as the 12" tires are not able to be run long distances at freeway speeds. Can anyone give me some sound, unbiased advice? Best suggestions for trailering my 11' x 5' pontoon boat? Only got one good arm left...
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Sorry to hear about your injury. I have used three sizes of trailer tires. I used 8 or 10 inch wheels/tires (can't remember which) for about 8 years hauling my pram all over the place. I went freeway speeds while towing it all the time. I loaded it down with hundreds of pounds of camping/fishing gear. I always carried a spare and used it about once a year. I used it hard and it never let me down. That being said, if I were to do it over, I would get bigger ones. The cattle guards were tough on that particular size. I did sell it to upgrade my trailer and decided to put 13 inch wheels on my new trailer, which seems perfect. I had a trailer with 15 inch wheels for one of my boats and which turned out to be much more than I ever needed. For a 100 lb pontoon boat, 12, 13, or 14 inch wheels should be just fine for you.
I've pulled trailer's many thousands of miles with 8" and 12" wheels, and never had a problem in over 40-years with them. Simply keep new grease in the hubs often.

If I built a new trailer... I'd go with 13" wheels, lots of cars have them and they drive all over the USA with no issues.
I have one of these and find it a really good solution for pontoons and rafts. It is shipped unassembled and you put it together-very nice riding trailer!

I've used an 8' trailer with 12" wheels to haul my pontoon boats for 6 years +/-. It's usually got a Southfork and my buddies boat which is much bigger, plus the cooler and gear boxes. It's rated for either 1,000 or 1,200 LBS. not sure. I use it about 12 to 15 times a year. I've had it all over the state, including the Ronde, Chopaka and Dry Falls. It's made by Snow Bear and I bought it at Costco, for like $600, if memory serves. I've always thought that it was cheap for all the use I've gotten out of it. I have the bearings greased every other year and so far no issues. Knock on wood. I'm not sure if Costco still sells them, but you can find a retailer from their site. I've been TOTALLY happy with it.

Good luck with the wing!

I have 12" tires on my shorelander trailer and have had it since 1996. No problems with the 12" tires. I had one problem with the tires when I had Les snab replace them. One tire kept loosing presure and the tire lost it's tread. We caught it before it blew out. Only problem with Les snab is they give you warranty paper work for your trailer tires but they dont come with a warranty! Will never buy from them again..
watch craigslist . All you need is a good utility trailer. Stay away from the bolt together harbor freight trailers.
BDD, you were a lucky man. Think about it. When you with your 15" tires are doing 60 mph, what are those little 8" tires ding to keep up? I've been messing with boats and trailers since before 1970 and have personal knowledge of way too many accidents caused by too small tires and wheels.
Thanks, guys. Lots of good info here. Common theme everywhere is regularly greasing the hubs. Guess it's time to get a trailer hitch!
Yeah - saw several folks who recommend them.
Anyone use one of these kit trailers? I'm considering one for my 12' pontoon boat as well.
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/...00356494?cm_sp=Xsells-_-Manual-_-Product Page
Ed, that looks like a good trailer platform. If you want to know what I did to protect the decking on mine pm me. Jim
We've sold the bolt together trailers in a past and thought the same way about the "value." Well, what we found was they're cheap pieces of junk and they're all (from Northern Freight to Northern Tool, to who ever) made in the same place by the same company just sold under different names. The part about grease them often? Yep, every trip. The distributor I talked with many years ago laughed and said "about every 100 miles due to the speed the little tires go) The bearings, once you replace them with a quality bearing makes it a little better. But, as it was said, those little wheels are screamin' while you're car tires are ploding along. Lot's of heat build up. Buy a quaity trailer, probably about $1,000 and you can use it for other things as well. After 13 years of learning everything that we DIDN'T want in a trailer we ended up having ours built by a company in Wenatchee to our specs. 13" tires, box frame. So, I guess my .02 is to go quality and you don't have to worry about trying to find Chinese bearings (or carrying a couple extras and the tools and the jack) in the middle of nowhere and ruining your trip.

Jim Wheeler
Spring Creek Prams
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I got a trailer to pull my ATV around. It is 8' X4" with a tilt at the axles. It has 8" sides but a piece of plywood would cover over the sides to make a platform for a toon. I paid $450.00, complete with it altogether. It has 15" wheels.. The deck is a wire mesh.
Buy good bearings and keep them in grease. 20k miles is about average. I run mine 12" 530 width) at 75 mph for 2500 miles in each direction doing the boating thing to FL, TX, WA. With a flat deck, it's easier to launch from the lower height.
Old Man,
Where did you get yours?
Another option is an easypacker. I don't have one of these, but they look interesting. An alternative to a trailer for sure. Perhaps someone on the board has direct experience with one.


I had a knock off version for my 8' boat. It worked well, sold it with that boat. My biggest down side to it was that it blocked the rear gate of my Pathfinder. Boat had to come off first and go back on last or your access to the back of your rig is blocked.
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