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boat trailers: rollers or bunk


dogfishHUNTER

Question

i am wondering which style of boat traiiler is better.like which are more durable? which ones load the easiest? which kind has better support for a boat? thanks ahead of time for your input

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For years my dad's had a bunk trailer. It worked fine at good launches, but if the launch was shallow or crooked it made it a bit harder. Last year we got a new boat/trailer. Its a roller and we can load and unload probably twice as fast now. One drawback to the roller trialer is at steep launches you need to keep it chained until it hits the water to keep the boat from rolling of early.

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thanks for the info. Also which one would be cheaper?

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Im not sure what sort of price difference there is.

Also, bunk trailers support your boat alot more than rollers. Bunks can be loaded and unloaded easily too, if you have one that you can just drive the boat on and off of like all those fancy walleye and bass boats.

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You can also drive up a roller trailer, but why would you?

Another thing nice about rollers is you don't need to float the boot to push it off, you can just slide it.

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Other than the fact bunks might be cheaper there is no reasion I can think of to not buy a roller trailer. Just watch it when you launch. Smooth as silk on and off. Its a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.As far as support for the boat, you'll find that if you don't tow at 75 miles an hour down crappy roads the rollers will support it just fine.

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I would go with a bunk or a bunk trailer, maybe a bunk.

When I bought my boat it came standard with a roller trailer. I had them put it on a bunk trailer instead. There was no cost difference. I know that some dealers will charge slightly more for one (can't remember which one, but I believe the bunks were slightly more on a few quotes I was given). But the amount is slight if you get charged at all.

As far as loading or unloading faster with a roller trailer...I fish solo more often than not. I could not load or unload any faster with a roller trailer than I do with my bunk trailer. It simply wouldn't be possible. I back up my boat until the bunks are just barely in the water (only the back of the bunks, probably about 12 inches of my bunks). I get out of my truck, unhook the boat, have a 20 foot rope attached to the front, give it a push and it slides into the water with ease and I tie it up to the dock. I'm sure a roller trailer would be just as quick. But it couldn't be any quicker.

Loading my boat. I back up the same distance. The back of the bunks are barely in the water. I drive the boat up the bunks at a slow speed until I bump (gently) the front of my trailer, hook it up, hop out of the boat and drive away. Again, it couldn't be any quicker.

The ONLY advantage I see to a roller trailer is if you want to launch at any VERY shallow ramps. The DNR does a great job maintaining most landings. So I haven't run into a landing that's been an issue for my bunk trailer yet. But all the lakes that I fish have fair to good landings, which is plenty good enough for my boat/trailer.

A couple things I do. About 3 or 4 times a year, I spray my bunks with a silicone spray. This keeps the bunks in good shape. But the reason I do it is so that I CAN slide the boat off the trailer as easily as I could with rollers. It may not seem like it's possible. But trust me, it pushes off just as easily as rollers do after you've sprayed the bunks.

When you're loading your boat, go slowly and let the trailer bunks center the boat. You can hit your trailer at any kind of angle and still get it centered. Just put her in neutral if you have to until it straightens out a bit and then give it some gas. With the silicone sprayed bunks, you'll probably have to leave the motor in gear while you hook it to the trailer. Otherwise you'll slide right back off the trailer (just like you would with rollers!).

I have a 1650 Fish Hawk, so this next thing I do is simple. If you have a heavier boat it may not be as easy, but I'm sure it's still pretty easy....If you aren't centered on the trailer after you pull out, no worries. Because you've sprayed your bunks, the boat will slide easily on the carpet. Get on the side of the boat at the rear of the trailer and give it a nudge to center it. That's all it takes is a nudge, you don't have to throw out your back. Can you do this with a roller trailer? How many times have you seen people back in again after loading to get their boat centered? Or how many times have you seen a boat on a roller trailer going down the road and it's not even close to centered?

I will never own a roller trailer. Bunks are better for your boat. I don't think there's much debate about that. (some people will argue that, but not many) Look at your high end fishing boats. What's under them, rollers or bunks? Bunks. Look at your lower end fishing boats, what's under them, rollers or bunks? Usually rollers. Why is this? Something to think about....

No offense meant to anyone, but roller trailers are simply easier to sell people on. Inexperienced boaters will be way more likely to believe that roller trailers are better because they're on rollers. Your boat will roll on them. How simple! You can't roll a boat on bunks. They must be harder to use. Sorry, not at all!

My brother and I bought boats at the same time. I have a bunk trailer and he has rollers. I've had plenty of experience with both trailers now. My brother has the best roller trailer that I've ever seen. It's a very nice trailer. And I'm even more convinced now than I was at the time that bunks are the way to go. There are some good roller trailers out there. I'm not saying they're bad. I just don't see why anyone would want rollers if they've used both kinds of trailers.

But I won't go on anymore here, I've gone on long enough.

Go with a bunk trailer. I doubt that you'll regret it!

Aaron

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Ditto to what Aaron said. The nicest thing about a bunk is the ease of centering the boat on the trailer. I use my dads old bayliner bass boat with a bunk trailer and when I unload and load it I have never had to use the crank(does that thing even work?) wink.gif Just drive on and back off. easy-peasey-japaneasy.

Good luck.

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I like the bunk style better myself... my trailer tilts if the landing is that shallow...

I replaced my bunks with roller bunks to add the ease of launching.. like any roller trailer, it will roll off before it hits the water if I detatch the strap before backing.

Another bonus to the roller bunks is I dont have to replace the bunk carpeting every so many years.. the rollers on the *roller bunks* have not worn out in the last 10 years.

I have no problem driving my boat onto the trailer with bunks... I see more people having problems with rollers.

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I use to own a 99 Warrior and it had a bunk trailer which turned out to be the best trailer I've ever used! You could drive that boat on from any angle and it would center perfect every time! I bought a 2003 1775 Pro-V three weeks ago and it also came with a bunk trailer which has turned out to be the worst piece of s*** I've ever owned. The boat never goes on straight and you litteraly have only 1 inch on each side of the boat between the wheel wells so if your off by 2 inches the rig sits on top of the wheel well! I've never felt like such an (Contact US Regarding This Word) in my life trying to put the rig on the trailer the first time!!! Good Luck! P.S. If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

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for centering the boat on the trailer would'nt guide ons do the trick? also i heard from a buddy that the carpeted guide ons would scrath his boat, you know it would put white marks on it.

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My last 2 boats have had really nice roller trailers, but as I get bigger, heavier boats, and trailer them longer distances, I start to worry about what the rollers might be doing to my hull (not enough support). I'm going to get a bunk trailer for my next boat.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Next time you have your boat off the trailer walk down the bunks. You'll find out how much support a bunk trailer has as it flexs under your feet in the unsupported areas.

Lets look at loading and unloading. If every boat landing dropped off into water deep enough to partly float a boat the benefits of a roller trail would be nil but thats not the case at a lot of landings, at least not on the lakes I fish. Imagine pushing off a boat with a 2% slope thats not in the water with a bunk trailer. That same task using a roller trailer is a breeze.

The biggest problem I've seen with guys loading a boat onto a roller trailer is they back into the water too far. All you need is the rear rollers in the water at most. For that reason bunk trailer are better for drive on loading but again if the landing is shallow your not going to be doing that.

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I agree that if you have a good enough fairly deep landing, a bunk is the way to go. But if you have some shallower ones, like in Southern MN, it's hard to back you trailer in far enough to get it off.

Driving on with rollers is easy too, if you know what you're doing, it will come on straight every time. Some people do have trouble with it though.

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I think for smaller boats, rollers are fine. Or if you fish lakes that have shallow acesses.

Yes bunks do give more support, but roller trailers now days have plenty of support too.

I think bunks are easier to power load. I used to power load with my old roller and it took

a few times to get the feel of it and get it straight the first try. In the wind it was a little tougher.

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