Pontoon Trailer Load and Wind Guides

We are frequently asked to make a recommendation on the need for trailer load or wind guides. If the trailer market wasn’t so competitive we’d make them standard. But on quiet inland lakes they often aren’t needed. Yet if you retrieve your pontoon on a windy day or if you boat on a lake with wave action, you will ultimately want them.
About Load Guides for Pontoons

We’ve sold pontoon trailer guide on’s for 20 years and handled whatever type our trailer manufacturers offered. One company supplied angled load guides, another has straight ones, and another manufacturer that didn’t have many cross members on the trailer had 10’ long load guides. One boasted that his were super strong. As prices increased we started thinking about making our own. We investigated which kind of load guide was the best and discovered that no one had really ever looked into this before. Here’s what we found.

Angled are better than straight. - Many pontoons have spray shields welded on the nose cone of the pontoon. Angled load guides help prevent damaging the pontoon spray shields.

The height is important. - If too tall even angled guides can interfere with the spray fins. But they need to be tall enough to hit the lower portion of pontoon tube but no taller.

To much strength is not a benefit. - Load guides should be sacrificial. If you come in too hard you want the load guide to give, not the expensive pontoon tube.

Most load guides bunks are wood covered by carpet. - The carpet frequently gets scuffed and can quickly deteriorate. We decided to make ours plastic.

Individual load guides are preferable to bunks. - You can move individual load guides up and down on the trailer frame. If you launch in shallow water you want them in the stern. If you launch on a deep ramp, you want them forward.

pontoon trailer load guides pontoon tube spray shields
Our load guides are low enough to clear most spray shields. Even the shield to the left that angles down
isn’t a problem. Other taller load guides will catch these two spray shields every time.
Mounting Pontoon Trailer Load GuidesMounting Pontoon Trailer Load Guidesload guide damaging pontoon
If you launch in shallower water, put the first load guides on the back. If you generally launch in deeper put the first set on load guides on the second cross member. In deeper water load guides in the back are sometimes submerged and don’t do any good.  (On the right)  A “really” strong load guide. Too tall and reinforced in the left side for strength. Ours would break first.

Pontoon Trailer Load Guides
Purchased with a new Trailer  $125.00* set of four.

Load Guides can also be purchsed individually in our trailer parts store
Click Here to go to our pontoon trailer parts store.


brackets for pontoon trailerMounting the Pontoon Load Guide to the Trailer Frame


Our pontoon load guides are made to fit our standard 2” x 3” or 4” trailer frame. They mount with a 2 1/2” x 4 1/2” U bolt. Larger trailers sometimes have a 2” x 5” frame and mount with a 2 1/2” x 5 1/2” U bolt. If you’re ordering our load guides for a trailer other than ours, double check the size of your frame. We supply either size U bolts, but different brands of trailers may have different size frames.

Installing Pontoon Trailer Guides

Before installing your Load Guides from Trailers for Pontoons, a moment considering where you launch will help you make a better installation.
Our trailers have four to six cross members.

pt-20 pontoon trailer There are many places to mount load guides.

1. Back cross member
2. Second from back
3. Third from back
4. Front cross member
mounting pontoon boat load guidesIf you launch on a relatively shallow ramp, mount one pair of load guides on the back cross member (1). If you often launch on a deep ramp, mount the back guides on the second (2) cross member from the back as seen to the left.  On deep ramps, guides mounted on the back may be beneath the water and do you no good. The second set should usually be on the third (3) or on larger trailers (with more cross members) the front (4). Generally speaking load guides mounted too far forward don’t do anything because the pontoon is already onto the trailer.
installing load guides on a pontoon trailer

Trailer load guides should be mounted 2” to 4” inches away from the pontoon tube. The boat in the image to the left was set up by a marine dealer but it’s wrong. The load guides are tight against the tubes.
It’s the trailer owner’s responsibility to make sure that your trailer is set up properly.
load guide measurements

When you buy a trailer from Trailers for Pontoons we install the load guides but we tell you that they may need to be adjusted. We make a guess at where they should be but with 19”, 21” ,23” and 25” diameter tubes, it’s best to adjust the load guides with the boat on the trailer.
Trailer Load Guides on Other Brands of Trailers
We sell trailer load guides as after market items, but sometimes customers are disappointed when they get ready to install them. The two brands of trailers shown below only have a back cross member. The only place you can mount load guides on trailers made this way is on the back cross member and on a deep ramp they do no good.
pontoon trailer pontoon trailer
pontoon trailerThis is a bad example of load guides on a competitive brand of trailer. By the time you’re half way on the trailer, the load guides don’t do any good. Yet this trailer was sold by a boat dealer set up this way. Throughout this web site it may seem that I’m critical of marine dealers. That’s not the case at all but I can’t emphasis strongly enough that the consumer should know enough about trailers to recognize when something isn’t right. Otherwise you’ll be at the ramp with your boat on the trailer crooked or the pontoon tube stuck on the fender.
bunk style load guides
“Bunk Style” load guides are popular in the southern market. The ramps are generally deeper. But as you can see your boat isn’t nudged on until you are several feet onto the trailer. In the shallow northern lakes moveable load guides work better because you can put them on the back frame.

For Information Call

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