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The Best Pontoon Trailer Guides

Pontoons are wide and heavy, making them difficult to load and unload in a trailer. The best pontoon trailer guides save the day! They make it simple to center the pontoon on the platform, and when it is time to launch the boat, you can easily position it at the correct depth and spot.

best pontoon trailer guides

With plenty of options for pontoon trailer guides, it is difficult to decide what to buy. Start by determining what is compatible with your trailer and boat. Consider the different types and materials available. Make sure that it is easy to use as well. It is important that you read reviews from other people and learn from their real-life experiences.

If you are clueless about what pontoon trailer guide to buy, this article will help you make the right choice. I will walk you through some top products and delineate their most notable features.

Top 10 Pontoon Trailer Guide Reviews

1. Extreme Max 3005.3783 Pontoon Trailer Guide

Aside from easily getting a pontoon on and off a trailer, this guide also prevents users from loading too deep. They work in high-impact environments, such as when there are strong winds and currents.

The construction of the guide-ons is notable. The frame is made of 2.5-inch industrial-grade steel. It has a non-marking PVC coating, which will prevent scuffs and dirt on your boat. It is zinc-coated, so it possesses corrosion resistance.

I have used several pontoon guides in the past, and a common problem for me is complicated installation. Thankfully, I do not experience it with this model. It’s safe to say that the assembly is a breeze. Thanks to its direct-to-frame mounting, I do not need to cut or drill. Repositioning the guide is also easy.

Aside from being easy to install, the kit is holistically complete. Everything you need is included. The mounting hardware is suitable for three-feet high and two-feet wide trailers.

Why bother making DIY pontoon trailer guides when there are cheap options that you can buy? This is one of the most affordable guides on my list, making it ideal for budget-conscious buyers. Even if it is economical, its quality and performance are top-notch.

However, take note that these pontoon guide-ons are built only for small and lightweight boats. The welds are weak and will snap easily with a heavy load.
Pros
  • Works even in harsh environments
  • Made of strong industrial-grade steel
  • Mounts directly on the frame for hassle-free installation
  • Includes a standard hardware kit
  • A great choice for people on a budget
Cons
  • Weak welds for heavy loads
This budget-friendly pontoon trailer guide is made of industrial-strength steel. It conveniently mounts directly on the frame and comes with the necessary assembly hardware.

2. C.E. Smith Trailer 27671 Pontoon Board Guide

When evaluating options for the right pontoon bunk trailer guides, this is one product you should not miss. Despite its affordable price tag, it packs plenty of notable features, including those in its higher-end counterparts.

My favorite thing about this is its galvanized steel construction. It comes with a tough coating that protects against corrosion. The hardware, including bolts and lock nuts, is zinc-plated. It has a thin outer coating that acts as a physical barrier against external elements that cause damage as well.

The versatility of this bunk board guide-on is also impressive. It is compatible with l-beam, channel, and box frames. The height is adjustable, so I can attach it 24 to 36 inches above the frame. It is compatible with frames with a height of 4.25 inches and a width of three inches.

This set of pontoon boat trailer bunk guides comes with two 24-inch carpeted bunk boards. Compared to rollers, a major advantage of carpeted bunks is that they provide a sort of buffer between the metal and boat, preventing it from sliding when it is on the trailer.

Nonetheless, one of the problems with this product is that it isn’t for strong winds and currents. The guide easily bends under pressure, so it is best to use it only in calm conditions.
Pros
  • Affordable even if it has impressive features
  • Has a galvanized steel for corrosion-resistance
  • Compatible with different frame types and sizes
  • Carpeted bunk boards help the boat stay in its position
Cons
  • Not designed for tough conditions
Designed for calm waters, this boat trailer guide pad has carpeted bunk boards with an adjustable height. The frame, meanwhile, has galvanized construction and the hardware is zinc-coated.

3. VE-VE Inc. T-923-G Pontoon Trailer Guide

Centering a boat on the trailer is often a struggle for many people. This product offers the perfect solution. These boat trailer roller guides do not only help center the boat’s position but also launch the boat in the correct water depth.

One thing that I like about this product is that it offers inside and outside adjustments. I can customize its size depending on the width and height of my pontoon boat. It ensures a snug fit to maintain my boat at the center of the trailer. I am not worried that the boat will move when I want it to be stable.

I am also a big fan of its construction. It has gusseted plates and welded tubes, which offer incredible strength. It is hot-dipped galvanized, meaning that it protects against rust and corrosion. This makes it ideal even for saltwater use. The fasteners, on the other hand, have zinc plating.

These pontoon trailer guide-ons are a great option for those looking for versatility. The plate has four-corner slots, which allow flexible mounting in crossmembers with a width of two to three inches. Additionally, it has an adjustable 13-inch roller assembly, which can be set at a maximum height of 29.5 inches.

If there’s one thing that needs improvement, it is the design of the bolts. They are sticking out, which can cause a deep cut on the pontoon and damage the surface.
Pros
  • Allows adjustments in and out to accommodate different boats
  • Steel posts have added gussets to enhance strength
  • Galvanized finish makes it safe even for saltwater applications
  • The plates have slots on four corners for adjustability
Cons
  • Bolts can damage the boat
From the gusseted posts to galvanized finish, this pontoon loading guide makes users exclaim: impressive!

4. Tie Down Engineering 86467 Trailer Guide

If you are looking for durable pontoon boat trailer loading guides, this is a great option. With its high-impact construction, it remains functional and withstands even harsh environments, such as when there are strong winds or stubborn currents.

This guide-on looks and feels very solid. It has a sturdy hot-dipped galvanized steel post, which is a special treatment procedure that strengthens the metal to prevent corrosion and other external problems.

Aside from having a sturdy post, it is covered in non-marking PVC. I like how it is molded to stay in place. If you are like me and dislike seeing unsightly marks on a pontoon boat, you will be glad to have this PVC cover.

If you have no experience in installing a trailer guide, do not fret! It comes with all the necessary mounting hardware and installation, all of which takes as little as ten minutes. It is already inclusive of the necessary bolts, which will make mounting the bracket a breeze. The bolts are attached to the side of the frame, eliminating the need for drilling or cutting.

While it is a minor issue, a drawback of this trailer guide is that it has poor packaging. I wish that the manufacturer can improve this to avoid scratches, dents, and other damages that happen during shipping.
Pros
  • High-impact construction tackles strong winds and currents
  • The post is made of hot-dipped galvanized steel
  • Has a non-marking PVC cover
  • Easy installation even for novices
Cons
  • Poor packaging damages the product in transit
From the sturdy galvanized steel post to its ease of installation, there are plenty of reasons to choose this pontoon boat guide for trailers.

5. C.E. Smith 27670 Guide-On Post Pontoon

The price of this product is perhaps its best merit. This is one of the cheapest products on this buying guide, making it a great option if you are on a budget. While it is economical, I am confident of its quality since it is made by a reputable brand.

This set of two pontoon trailer guide rails are made of 16-gauge pre-galvanized steel. The 1.5-inch square post provides the support needed by the boat as it loads and unloads on the trailer. It is also protected against corrosion. Even if the galvanized coating is thin, it shields against external damages.

Aside from the steel post, it is also impressive because it comes with a white PVC. At 22 inches, it is tall enough to be easily seen in the water to guide the boat as it moves on and off the trailer. Plus, it is easy to see even in murky waters. The PVC helps me extend my vision.

I also like how these pontoon and jon boat trailer guides are a breeze to install. It took me roughly half an hour to complete the assembly. I did not experience any complications. Best of all, it is inclusive of the mounting hardware needed.

Despite the incredible construction of the steel post, it can be quite flimsy when you have a large pontoon. I recommend using this only if you have a small boat to avoid compromising the guide’s structural integrity.
Pros
  • One of the cheapest guides on this list
  • Made of 16-gauge pre-galvanized steel
  • Has easily visible white PVC
  • The installation takes less than 30 minutes
Cons
  • The post can bend easily
While it is affordable, this is an impressive trailer guide with pre-galvanized steel construction and white PVC.

6. Extreme Max 3005.2175 Trailer Guide

This trailer guide-on is 45-inch tall, which is high enough to accommodate different pontoons while remaining visible in the water. The steel support beam is only 40 inches, but there is an additional five inches from the slip-on PVC with an end cap.

I am confident that this guide will withstand many years of use. The steel post feels very solid, which is made better by its gusseted corners. The latter provides a sort of reinforcement, allowing it to endure heavy loads. This is unlike others that bend easily.

Like many of the pontoon loader guide rails in this guide, it is also easy to install. With the bolt-on design, the assembly is a snap. I don’t have to drill! Within minutes, the guide is ready and I can start loading my boat.

It is also a good option because of its versatility. The design is compatible with both bunk and roller-style trailers. It can fit frames with a height of up to 4.5 inches and a width of up to 3 inches.

Before purchasing this trailer guide-on, please note that it is only for freshwater use. It does not protect against rust and corrosion in brackish or saltwater.
Pros
  • Comes with a high post to support even tall pontoons
  • The corners have gusseted brackets to improve strength
  • Bolt-on installation allows quick assembly
  • Works on both roller and bunk-style trailers
Cons
  • Not for brackish or saltwater
In sum, these Extreme Max pontoon trailer guides have a sturdy steel support beam and an additional PVC pipe for increased visibility.

7. C.E. Smith 27672 Pontoon Guide

If you struggle with loading a pontoon boat and launching it into the water, this product offers the perfect solution. It is from a trusted brand but it is economical, making it perfect even for entry-level guide-ons.

The guide-on has sturdy galvanized steel. It also has a thick coating that protects against corrosion, which is important since the guide is exposed to outdoor elements. The mounting hardware, on the other hand, has zinc plating. Even if it is thin, it is better than not having anything at all.

Aside from the metal post, there are rubber rollers. These are the ones that are in contact with the boat. Since they are made of rubber, I am confident that they are gentle on my pontoon, minimizing the possibility of scratches and damages.

These pontoon trailer guide rollers are effortless to install. Even if you are a first-timer, I am sure that you will not have a hard time assembling. After a few minutes, it is ready and I can load or unload my boat without a problem.

However, while I appreciate how the manufacturer includes the mounting hardware, the quality is subpar. The U-bolts, for instance, look flimsy out of the box. I suggest that you replace it with after-market hardware.
Pros
  • A galvanized steel post resists corrosion
  • Includes hardware with zinc plating
  • Easy assembly even if you are a first-timer
  • Affordable entry-level guide-ons
Cons
  • The quality of included hardware can be better
This pontoon quickloader has a metal steel post with rubber rollers that are robust enough to hold my pontoon without damaging the surface.

8. VE-VE Inc. T-922-G Pontoon Trailer Guide

I have seen a lot of pontoon guides, and many of them are made in China. With this model, I am confident about the quality since it is American-made. I am sure that it passed stringent tests to deliver exceptional quality, even to the most discerning buyers.

The post has a strong 18-inch steel tube. To add, there is a 22-inch PVC cover with end caps that go on top of the steel. With the PVC, user-friendly markers are included, which makes it easily visible even when the water isn’t clear.

Many of the PVC pipes have caps that end up shooting or floating because of the pressure from the air and water. This product has an intelligent design as it comes with vented caps, which prevents the tube from floating once it is in the water.

More so, the steel that goes inside the PVC pipe is hot-dipped galvanized. This is an innovative treatment that covers the metal with a protective coating. In turn, it is suitable even for saltwater use.

Another reason why I like this model is because it offers several adjustments. It is a good choice for EZ loader pontoon trailer guides because I can customize the width to accommodate different trailers. I also like how it has a plate with slots on the four corners to change the mounting position depending on the width of the crossmembers.

The galvanized construction is a plus, and I wish I can say the same thing about the hardware, especially the U-bolts. Unfortunately, they are only zinc-plated. More so, with a limited height of 22 inches, it is not for large or tall pontoons.
Pros
  • American-made to guarantee quality
  • The steel post has hot-dipped galvanized construction for saltwater use
  • Easy-to-adjust width for different trailers
  • Vented caps prevent the tube from floating
Cons
  • Hardware can easily corrode and rust
  • Not for oversized pontoons
Designed for small pontoons, these trailer guides have a hot-dipped galvanized steel post, complemented by a white PVC with vented caps that prevent the tube from floating.

9. Extreme Max 3005.3837 Trailer Guide

The reputation of the manufacturer is a good enough reason to choose these horizontal pontoon trailer guides. It is a bit expensive, but the cost is justifiable. Even when you are loading a boat at night, things can be easy with the help of this guide-on.

As a bunk-style guide-on, it offers both vertical and horizontal adjustment, making it compatible with different pontoons. The vertical position is customizable at a height of 19 to 25 inches. It has a vertical arm that sits at 96 degrees. The arms will allow an adjustment of up to 19 or 21 inches, depending on the width of the trailer frame.

Most, if not all, users hate complicated installations. Fortunately, this product offers simple direct-to-frame mounting. It has all the hardware you will need to mount the guide on the frame without drilling. This also means that it is easy to reposition when necessary.

Designed to be used in freshwater, the steel components are coated with zinc. This creates an invisible shield against oxidation to prevent damages to the post. Even the hardware is built for marine applications.

I also appreciate how it is padded with carpet. It creates a buffer between the metal post and my pontoon boat. By minimizing friction, there is a lesser likelihood that my boat will have scratches.

While it looks sturdy, I am a bit worried that there is only one bolt holding the brace. This might end up compromising strength, especially under a hefty load.
Pros
  • Offers vertical and horizontal adjustment
  • Mounts directly on the frame to simplify installation
  • Has zinc coating for corrosion resistance in freshwater
  • Comes with carpet padding for added traction
Cons
  • A single bolt holds the brace
To conclude, this trailer guide has an adjustable vertical and horizontal position, direct-to-frame mounting, and a zinc coating.

10. Tie Down Engineering 86468 Guide

Wrapping up my recommendations for the most affordable guides for pontoon boat trailers is another product from a top-notch company. Despite that, it is light on the wallet. One thing that makes it stand out from the other products in this guide is its bright-orange end cap. Even when backing up the trailer, it is highly visible, which makes loading and unloading effortless.

Once it is submerged, the PVC guide will rise, making it visible in the water. It reaches a maximum height of 36 inches. From the original height of 24 inches, it has an additional 12 inch for effortless viewing.

Like other guide trailers in this guide, it is also versatile. With the different adjustments possible, it accommodates trailer crossmembers with heights of two, three, and four inches. However, in terms of the width, it is only suitable for a two-inch trailer crossmember.

The guide post is made of 16-gauge steel, which is known for being durable. The tube is also galvanized to protect against external elements. It is covered by a pipe with a diameter of two inches and a height of 20 inches. The square steel post, on the other hand, is 1.5 inches.

Nonetheless, take note that this is built only for small pontoons. If you have a large boat, choose a strong trailer guide.
Pros
  • Has a bright orange cap that improves visibility
  • Floating design makes it useful in the water
  • Made of 16-gauge steel for durability
  • Mounts on crossmembers of different heights
Cons
  • Not strong enough for large boats
This trailer guide has bright-orange caps for easy visibility and a floating design that rises automatically once the trailer is submerged.

Buyer’s Guide

pontoon-trailer-guides

Do not bother making homemade pontoon guides. For the best quality, buy from one of the most trusted manufacturers. If you are overwhelmed with too many options, below are the most important considerations.

Type of Pontoon Boat Guides

Pontoon guides are available in different shapes and sizes. Pick one that is suitable for your boat or trailer. Below are the most common types available:

  • Bunk Guides: They are often in the form of carpeted wood that offers several adjustments to fit a pontoon boat. It is a great choice for large boats, but it may not be as tall as post guides.
  • Post Guides: As the name implies, it is in the form of a post, usually made of sturdy metal with a PVC pipe fitment. The non-marking PVC prevents scratches on the pontoon. They are tall, making them effective visual markers even in the water.
  • Roller Guides: This is almost identical to post guides, but the main difference is that it has rollers. They are perfect even for large vessels. They also often have non-marking rubber for pontoon surface protection.

Material

The durability of pontoon guides will depend on the material used. The best ones are made of hot-dipped galvanized steel, which is ideal for both fresh and saltwater use. Post-type guides will have a PVC pipe and a vented end cap. Bunk guides, on the other hand, have carpeted wood. It is also important to have non-marking rubber.

Some models such as the pontoon Easy On-Boat Valet-pontoon guide on have floats for high visibility. I love them because they are easy to spot even in the water.

Adjustability

For versatility, choose pontoon guides that offer height and width adjustments. This way, you can easily change the position of the guides to suit different boats and trailers. There are even some that automatically rise from the water for better visibility.

Care and Maintenance

pontoon-guide-ons

To make the most out of your pontoon trailer guide, here are some of the best things you can do:

  • Use only on the environment the manufacturer recommends. Most models are only for freshwater use. Others have galvanized finish, ideal for brackish or saltwater.
  • Do not position the guides too close to the pontoon. Leave a little space. This will prevent unnecessary friction. The more friction there is, the more the pressure will be on the guide, making it crack or bend.
  • Wash the trailer guides immediately, especially after using them in saltwater. Dirt is harder to remove once it hardens. Not to mention, even with premium construction, prolonged exposure to saltwater is not good.

How to Set Up and Use

It might seem intimidating for first-timers, but setting up a pontoon boat trailer guide is straightforward. Follow the steps below.

  • Start by deciding where to install the guides. You can install it on the front or back crossmember. Depending on the size of the boat, you can also install it in the middle.
  • Fasten the trailer guides to the desired position. In most cases, it includes U-bolts, which will allow quick installation without drilling or cutting. Use the nuts and bolts provided to secure the position of the guide.
  • Adjust the position of the trailer guide to fit the boat. Many will have adjustable widths and heights to ensure a snug fit.

Conclusion

From convenience to safety, using the best pontoon trailer guides deliver a plethora of benefits. It is a must-have item for easy loading and launching of your pontoon boat. Consider the products mentioned above. They are from some of the most reputable brands with tons of innovative features that allow them to stand out.