Pontoon Trailer Tires & Wheels

Many trailer manufacturers pay little attention to the construction or quality of tires. This is especially prevalent in the pontoon trailer business where some pontoon trailers are used only for storage and often don’t go down the road very far. It’s inattention to detail on the part of some manufacturers while smaller undercapitalized trailer builders skimp on tires because they are such an expense. We maintain inventories of all styles of pontoon trailer tires and can match specific tires to your pontoon trailer to fit your needs. If you’ve got a lightweight pontoon boat and your not going far, perhaps tires aren’t too important. If you have a large boat with a build in gas tank and a big engine you had better pay attention to the tires.

There are two things you want in pontoon trailer tires, weight carrying capacity and cool running. On Heavy Duty single axle models we use 13” D range tires with a capacity of #1610 each or #3220 on a single axle trailer. IF the trailer frame weights #700 our single axle trailer tires can carry #2520. Our tandem axle trailers use a 13” tire with a C rating and a carrying capacity of #1380 or #5520. If the tandem trailer frame weights about #1000, the C range tires on a tandem axle trailer have a carrying capacity of #4520.

Pontoon trailers are usually traveling on hot summer days; the larger the tires the less rotation per minute and less heat build up. Larger tires run cooler than smaller tires. That’s why we put 13” tires on most of our trailers that will carry heavier loads. They run cooler than 8”, 10” or 12” tires.

Most pontoon trailer tires are “bias” tires. For more information search the internet for bias versus radial tires. There are hundreds of posts and everyone seems to agree that radial tires are better. But, radials are more expensive and if you tow infrequent, bias tires are probably just fine. If on the other hand your talking your boat on long runs in hot weather, you might want to invest in radial tires.

Radial tires are clearly superior to bias ply tires. Bias ply tires haven’t been used on cars since 1983. Even for individuals who are not towing much, there are benefits to radials. We have a generation of consumers who don’t have experience with anything but radial tires. It’s a scandal that pontoon trailer companies are still using bias ply tires. If we didn’t have competitors we’d raise the price of each trailer and make radials standard. Weathering on bias ply tires is our biggest customer complaint.

Bias and Radial Tire Comparison
More rubber on the road, runs cooler
On radial tires the sidewalls and tread are independent. Sidewall flexing is not transmitted to the tread. It provides:
  • A flat, stable and wider footprint on the ground.
  • Less distortion of the contact point surface.
  • Better pressure distribution and reduced friction on the ground.
  • Longer tire life.
  • Excellent traction
  • Improved handling and fuel economy.
  • More resistance to cuts, punctures and tears.
  • Radials do not experience weathering on the sidewalls.
bias vs radial tire comparison
Weathering on side walls on bias ply tires is an ongoing complaint. The tire companies claim that the little “cuts” are just cosmetic. People call and tell us their side walls are cracking and we have to tell them, that’s a characteristic of bias ply tires. We have a generation of consumers who don’t have any experience with anything but radial tires. But when you check the tires on your two year old trailer that sat outside during the winter, and see cracks in the side wall, you’ll be concerned. Tire companies will tell you it’s not a warranty issue. We check every new tire for weathering and return probably 40 a year to our supplier. Our tire supplier squawked at first, because they don’t consider the weathering a defect. We learned that they just restock the ones we return and sent them to our competitors. We’ll try and sell you radial tires, but if you buy a pontoon trailer from us with bias ply tires, it won’t leave out lot with weathered tires.

Aluminum pontoon trailer wheels
White "spoke" wheels Galvanized rims Aluminum wheels w/chrome nuts
When we started trailersforpontoons we made galvanized rims standard on our pontoon trailers. Galvanized rims shine almost like chrome when new and they won’t rust. The price of galvanized rims has increased and to keep our trailers prices competitive we no longer make them standard, we now use the common, white spoke rim, that everyone else uses. But, we still carry the galvanized rims and for just a few dollars more per trailer, you can dress up the appearance of your pontoon trailer. We also stock aluminum rims with chrome lug nuts and trim pieces, but they do add quite a bit of cost.

For Information Call

(877)294-3395 or (574)294-3386