If you are hauling a pontoon it’s important to make sure to invest in the right carrier (in this case, trailer). In this quick guide, we will explain pontoon boat trailer length and the crucial points to understand before beginning the transportation of your beloved pontoon boat.
How Long Should a Pontoon Boat Trailer Be?
For the sake of simplicity, first-time or inexperienced pontoon boat owners might think of one of two things:
1. To buy a trailer that is identical in length to the pontoon boat itself
2. To buy a trailer that is a couple of feet longer just to give a little bit of allowance during travel.
Which one is right?
Well, it actually depends more on the following factors:
Type of Trailer
There are a lot of trailer manufacturers in the pontoon boat space and it is rather challenging to come up with a universal answer to how long a pontoon boat trailer should be for a specific boat.
One way to solve this dilemma is to understand the specifications of the trailer, the manufacturer’s recommendations, and the dimensions of your pontoon boat.
Most manufacturers utilize a mix of letters and numbers to comprise the actual product name and description. What you would typically get from this would be the variant (or generation), the length range that the trailer could accommodate, and the maximum weight that it could carry.
We ultimately recommend that you do a bit of research into the type of trailer you are looking to get to have a better understanding of what such a trailer can accommodate.
Take note of these numbers on the trailers product name/description and then find out the length of your pontoon.
The most common recommendation is to choose a trailer that is about 3 or 4 feet longer than the pontoon (example: a 21 foot long pontoon would need a 24-25 foot long trailer), and this is generally true. However, we still recommend going the extra mile and researching the actual trailer you intend to buy as there is no universal rule between different manufacturers.
Width and Weight of the Pontoon Boat
Sure, this guide may specifically address length, but it is also important to take a look at the width and the weight of the pontoon boat with regard to what a pontoon boat trailer can accommodate.
There are a lot of pontoon boats that are custom-built, making it slightly more challenging to classify into universal pontoon boat trailers (this is why there are adjustable trailers to reduce the variations in boat trailers produced).
As a compromise to custom pontoon boats and mass-produced pontoons with irregular specifications, you must know each measurement by heart and compare it to the recommendations of the manufacturer of the trailer to be sure that both the pontoon and the pontoon trailer are compatible.
Also check out our guide on boat trailer weights for more information.
The Type of Road Travelled
This may not be as important as the previously mentioned factors, but we still have to mention that the type of road travel should play into what type of pontoon trailer you are getting.
Why? Simply because a lot of pontoon boat trailer stock tires are rather small, which may compromise the integrity of the trailer and the boat itself during travel. You wouldn’t want your boat to fly off your trailer simply because of a couple of bumps in the road, do you?
This is why the tire size or wheel dimensions of the trailer must also be considered.
Can Pontoon Boat Trailer Length Be Adjusted?
Manufacturers of pontoon boat trailers can only do so much to accommodate the different shapes and sizes of pontoon boats these days, which is why trailer adjustment mechanisms have been integrated into premium trailers.
These adjustments can usually be done through a winch mechanism which can slide the platform forward and backward to a certain extent (usually just 2 to 3 feet longer or shorter).
However, if you can find a trailer length-adjustment mechanism that is perfect for your pontoon boat, we suggest going with that instead. This is to minimize moving parts and the likelihood of wear and tear degrading the quality of the trailer as a whole.
Pontoon boat trailer length might be silly or underrated, but it nevertheless helps to have guides such as this to make sure you are on the right path of understanding before making another hefty purchase. Hopefully, with this guide, you now have a better understanding of what to look for in pontoon boat trailers and not just to consider length, but all the other factors mentioned earlier.