About Single Axle Pontoon Trailers

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small pontoon boat trailerPeople who have smaller boats often don’t pay much attention to trailers. An old pontoon that doesn’t weigh 1000 lbs. with a small engine often can be transported on a cheap, poorly built trailer. However, if you have a modern 18’ to 21’ pontoon you must be aware that newer boats can be heavy. Many trailer manufacturers simply “make up” the carrying capacity of their single axle trailers. Don’t believe it? One well known brand uses a 2800 lb. axle. A pontoon trailer that weights 700 lbs. reduces the carrying capacity to 2100 lbs. Yet this trailer is rated higher. Or another company uses 12” C range tires with a capacity of 1045 lbs. each. These two tires can carry 2090 lbs. Subtract the weight of the trailer and the carrying capacity is 1490 lbs. If you’re just buying a trailer for storage, only towing a couple of miles, you’ll probably be fine. If you travel more than just a few miles, the tires will wear prematurely and you’ll overwork the hubs and bearings.
 
Minitoon pontoon boat trailer 
 
So called Mini-Toons are becoming increasingly popular. They are generally smaller, 12’ to 16’, pontoon boats, 6’ to 8’ wide. They usually aren’t very heavy (under 1500 lb.) and many of our strength features may not be that important. But many small pontoon owners tow frequently and want a strong trailer. Our Light Duty 16’ or 18’ models are adjustable to fit 8’ to 6’ wide pontoons. Even the smaller model has three cross braces and a reinforced tongue. We have real fenders and a winch stand that you can actually use to climb up onto the boat. We use 12” radial tires and 7” riser brackets on our light duty trailers to keep them riding low and capable of launching in shallow water.  
 
20' Sylvan on PT20/13
 
20’ Sylvan/Smoker/Starcraft on our single axle PT-20/13. This boat is a triple tube “sport tube”. The center tube doesn’t necessary need to be supported because the engine is supported on a transom. This package weighs about 2400 lbs. Our 2600 lbs. single axle trailer with 13” tires can handle it, but if the owner was traveling, he would benefit from a tandem.
 
Bennington pontoon boat on trailer
 
20’ Bennington with a 50 HP engine on our single axle PT-20/13. This Bennington and Sylvan (above) are popular boats. Our 2600 lbs. single axle trailer fits and carry's the weight beautifully. Many single axle trailers for 20’ pontoons have capacities of only 1800 to 2200 lbs. If your not traveling that might be okay, but you really should know and understand the limitations of your trailer.
 
18 foot bennington pontoon on trailer
18’ Bennington on our single axle PT-18 LT. Bennington is usually thought of as big luxurious pontoons but this 18’ package has everything on it in a smaller reasonably priced, boat. This package with a 25 HP engine weight about 1400 lbs. Our 1800 lbs. single axle trailer with 12” tires can handle it. This trailer was sold for storage. The customer isn’t planning on traveling. The PT-20/13 with 13” tires, 4” frame and 2600 lbs. capacity would be a better choice if the customer was going places.
 
We won’t sell a single axle trailer in the center lift version. They are just too dangerous. These pages are about small pontoons so we wanted to show a small pontoon on a center lift trailer, but again we only sell center lift trailers with tandem axles. They aren’t as tippy as single axle and ultimately much safer.
 
18' Tracker on an LL-18
 
18’ Tracker on an LL-18. This was a difficult pontoon to fit. It’s an 18’ pontoon but has large 25” diameter pontoons. Fortunately our 18’ narrow trailer with 43” width fits between the pontoons. The transom on this 18’ pontoon is the same one they use on larger pontoons. Almost 6’ long, it would interfere with the stern on most center lift pontoon trailers. But NOT our LL-18T. It has an extra deep stern throat.
 
 
This customer was hauling his boat and trailer 300 miles from suburban Chicago to northern Wisconsin. The tandem axle Lo-Loader with four tires on the ground got it there and it fit in the garage.
 
poor fitting trailer to pontoon boatWe frequently hear complaints that some boat dealers don’t know much about trailers. Here’s an example that’s difficult to understand or even explain and unfortunately it’s one of our trailers. This is a new Bennington 18’ pontoon sold by a dealer on our PT-22/13. This large volume dealer in southern Wisconsin sent his new boat customer down the road on a trailer that was four feet too long. Note where the winch stand is, it should be 3’-4’ closer to the tow vehicle. The 22’ trailer costs about $150 more than the 20’ trailer so there is no logical reason why the dealer would give the customer a longer trailer. The customer contacted us after reading our pontoontrailers101 web site. He couldn’t get enough tongue weight and the trailer fishtailed when he traveled. Trailers needs to fit the size of the boat, but this is the way the new boat and trailer was sold, by a marine industry professional.
 
proper pontoon trailer fit poor fir pontoon trailer
PROPER FIT
The boat is foreward on the trailer
BAD FIT
The boat is 3' - 4' back on the trailer

Compare this picture to the images of the 20’ Sylvan and other 20’ Bennington. The trailer on the right is too long for the boat.
 

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