Why Pontoon Trailer Weights Are Important

The weight of the trailer is another important consideration. The carrying capacity of a trailer is based on the weight the axle can support and the weight rating of the tires. Tandem axle trailers usually have 4000+ lbs. plus axle capacity. Some cheap tires only carry 800 lb. so on a tandem axle trailer the capacity would only be 3200 lbs. The axles might support 4000 lbs, but the tires might only support 3200 lbs. The weight of the trailer is deducted from the capacity. A trailer with 3200 tires weighing 800 lbs. is capable of carrying 2400 lbs.

Some trailer manufacturers don’t think you’re going to travel, and skimp on tires, lights, and bracing. You can recognize these things by looking at the trailer. The same companies skimp on the strength of their frames by using thin-walled steel. Buyers often assume that all 4” or 5” trailer frames are made of “strong” steel, but they’re not.

Most people selling trailers won’t know anything about the steel. But by looking at the way the trailer is braced and the weight (on the title or in the literature) you’ll learn a lot.
Manufacturers not shown do not have their weight in their literature on websites.
Our PMI-224 with 4" brake frame is 1100 lbs.

Our PMI-224-SD with 5 frame is 1400 lbs.

Mid-America PT-24T with 4" frame 980 lbs.

Mid-America PT-24THD with 5" frame 1190 lbs.

EZ Loader™ TEZP-22-24 with 5" frame 1157 lbs.

Yacht Club™ P2435 with 4" frame is 1020 lbs.

Yacht Club™ P2444 with 5" frame is 1040 lbs.
The Yacht Club 5” frame is ONLY 20 lbs. heavier than their 4” frame. (?) Must be thin walled 5” steel.

Karavan™ 22-25 4" frame varies 900 lbs. to 1085 lbs.

Hoosier™ WFB-224 4" frame is 840 lbs.

Wolverine™ 24 TAB 4" frame is 720 lbs.

Genesis™ PT-24S 4" frame is 650 lbs.

Most reputable national companies 24’ tandem axle trailers weigh about 1,000 lbs. PLUS
Trailer tires, lights, and bunks weigh about the same. 10” or 12” tires might be lighter than 13” but these differences might only amount to 50 lbs. The Yacht Club 4” frame is 80 lb. less than the our 4” frame while the Yacht Club 5” frame is 60 lbs. lighter than our 4” frame. Our 5” frame weighs 360 lb. more than the Yacht Club 5” frame. If you pay extra for a 5” frame it’s pointless if it’s made of thin wall steel.

Weights are taken from the manufacturers’ websites or price lists. We were surprised by the light weight of the Wolverine and Genesis but the information is from their source. When a trailer weights half of competition, it seem odd. That trailer should cost a lot less, it has half the steel. Trailer weight is required on the statement of origin and it’s an important DOT number.

The weight of the trailer tells you how much steel you have supporting your pontoon. For a small pontoon with a small engine it might not matter. But if you have a 3500 lb. pontoon with a 400 HP engine the trailer weight is a guide to the strength of your trailer. Elsewhere we outline the stress, bucking and twisting, that affects pontoon trailers that doesn’t affect ordinary boat trailers. Carrying capacity is meaningless if you have a weak frame. A 5” frame is not a benefit if it’s made of thin walled steel.

overturned pontoon trailerWe say that you won’t have trouble on the road with a tandem axle trailer. This image is on the internet and this person certainly had problems. The trailer is one of those light-weight narrow axle wheelbase models.

We don’t want to frighten anyone, but you’ll be the one standing on the side of the road if you have trouble. You must pay attention to what you’re getting in a trailer. A wide axle trailer
(96” is best) and a trailer that weighs more than 650 lbs. would have probably prevented this.