pontoon trailers - travel tips

Pontoon Trailer Travel Tips

To begin, think for just a moment: you’re going to tow your pontoon boat that normally doesn’t travel much over 15 MPH down the highway at 55+ MPH. Things that don’t blow out at 15 MPH will at 55 MPH. Remove or stow life jackets, fishing gear, etc. Fold the pontoon top back and secure it. Be sure that seat cushion tops are secure.trailer coupler

Secure the coupler to the tow ball Make certain that the trailer ball is properly latched onto the hitch ball. Most trailering accidents occur from the trailer ball not being properly secured. Modern couplers do not “jump or jar” off the trailer ball. Most couplers have a hole through them. Putting a bolt or clip through the hole will confirm that the coupler is latched down properly. Reach under the neck of the ball and feel the throat of the trailer ball just to assure that it’s properly fastened.
tie down points
tie downs

The obvious reason to secure your pontoon to the trailer is so that it won’t slide off. But there is another important reason, especially on larger boats with bigger engines. Larger boats tend to “buck” as you travel. On pontoons with larger engines this can put tremendous stress on the stern bunk brackets. A set of inexpensive ratchet straps can save you a lot of grief.
busted lugs and weathered tires
Take a look at the tires
Few people ever check air pressure in trailer tires, but you should, especially if you tow infrequently. Bias ply tires can lose air due to temperature extremes. You should make a visual inspection of the tires, watching for weathering. Check the lug nuts. They can work loose in the first couple of trips but after that they should stay on securely. As you’re towing, be cognizant of changes in the “road feel” of your trailer. A vibration could be telling you something in going on with the tires.

Check the lights and the license plate Many lighting problems are caused by incandescent bulbs popping when submerged in water. After you pull your boat from the lake, make sure you didn’t pop the bulbs. Better yet, replace the old style lights with LED so you won’t have tolicense plate bracket worry. Check that you didn’t lose your license plate at the boat ramp. Some trailers use stamped
steel or plastic license plate brackets. On steep ramps they scrape your license plate off when launching or retrieving.

These are generalized tips for pontoon trailer towing. Primarily geared to towing bunk style pontoon trailers, but applicable to center lift trailers as well. Secure your contents. Check the coupler. Secure your boat to the trailer. Check out the tires and lights.

If you are new to towing there is a wealth of information on the internet. Simply search Trailer Towing or Trailer Towing Tips.