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Boat Trailers – Bunk or Roller? HELP!


bobberal

Question

I was thinking of getting a bunk trailer this time. I have a roller trailer now and it never centers right the first time when I drive on, even on a perfect landing. confused.gif

My current boat is an 1800 Lund Fisherman.

I would like some input on the Pro and Cons of a Bunk vs. Roller…Anything you can share would be great.

My current trailer is a Karavan roller; I have had Shorelanders roller trailers in the past with the same problem.

This time I am thinking of buying an Eagle bunk.

Thanks

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Bunks might be great if you can always back in enough to float the boat off. Half the time I have to push mine off the trailer, so I'm glad for rollers.

As for going on crooked, how deep to you back in. Apparently a common mistake is going too deep. That's what the guy at spartan told me when I called.

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I have a Lund 1800 and I almost always drive up perfect every time. As delcecchi stated the key is to not back up too far. I back up to where the upper part of the last roller is just above the water.

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bunk trailers are great when its windy, it always aligns straight. also a bunk trailer, the boat will sit lower, so shallow acesses is not a problem, I have been able to launch in any lake.

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I'll agree with knoppers on his first sentence, 100%. Bunks are awesome for loading in the wind. I also like them when launching too because I can completely unstrap the boat and back it down in without worrying that it might roll off. Bunks almost always align perfectly if you just get the front of the boat centered when entering the trailer.

As for the shallow water access, I'd have to say a roller would be better. I've been on some shallow launches where I couldn't even launch the boat because I couldn't back it up far enough to get it into deep enough water. If I had a roller, I could have just let it roll off the trailer. Couldn't push hard enough with my bunk trailer though...almost busted a nut! blush.gif

I have since sold my boat, but the next one I get will definitely have a bunk trailer, without a doubt!

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For years I wrestled with the same question.....all I can say is after going "bunk" I have NO regrets. Too many unimproved ramps and landings have washouts or are uneven where your trailer wheels go into the water: with a bunk trailer that does'nt too much matter. I use to have a spartan classic roller trailer (with roller side guides) and readjusted their placement to about every possible postion. But those uneven landings was where I really would get flustered.

A friend of mine bought a brand new 1700 Lund Angler last year with a roller Shorelander(roller side guides on trailer rear)...... same troulbles. He added two carpeted bunk "pads"(8x10") on each side of the hull near the bow and also two more small side or gunnel guides nearer the front of trailer to help.

A bunk trailer will ride down bumpy Canadian roads better than a roller will. (less hopping) I can land my boat in those slow tapered landings as long as I have 12" of water. If you silicone your bunks on a warm sunny day, you'de be suprised how well your boat slides on/off.

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This is an old discussion like Ford/Chevy battles.

Many people like bunks, many rollers, and there are pro and cons for both.

If you can borrow a bunk trailer for a day you'll be able to check it out yourself, it might be just the way you load or backup trailer or some wrong with its assembly.

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I had rollers in the past, they were fine. I had a dealer talk me into bunks about 10 years ago and I'll never go back! Stable, and very good when the launches are crooked. If you fish w/ someone else, it is so nice to have one person back you in and you're off and running.

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I didn't have a choice to go with bunks so I am a roller guy. What I did was add the guide posts from the 'mans mall" and have no problem at all with centering my boat. An added pluss is that I can see where my trailer is all the time. Many of the lakes I fish have almost no landing just back into a mudhole and off load. I just get to tha waters edge unstrap everything except the bow line back in and stab on the brakes to unload the boat. I would not be able to do this at all with a bunk trailer as the water isn't deep enough.

so I'ts my opinion to go with the rollers.

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All good input, but I am beginning to think it's the Karavan Trailer, I am no rookie at this, and have landed or launched a boat, I would guess close to over 500 times. The best trailers I have had on my 6 boats, have been a bunk 15 years ago on my Alumacraft Lunker and a shorelander roller on my 94 Crestliner.

Are we all talking about a boat like an 1800, High freeboard Lund Fishermand? confused.gif

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I have a ProSport, very similar to your Fisherman, and have alot of the same issues as you do. My biggest issue tho is that when on the rollers, my boat sits below the top of the fenders. That wouldnt be a problem except that there is only an extra 1.5" on each side between the boat and fender, before sitting on top of the fender, so i have little/no "slop" factor. If its not just about right down the middle I'm on top of the fender, and its drop it back and recrank. I've spent time just loading and unloading at the dock to try and find the "perfect" way to load (and dont even get me started with dealing in side current/winds). I will strongly consider either a bunk or an extra wide trailer for my next boat.

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Explorer,

When my boat was new it sat between the wheel wells also. It sat so low that the keel at the bow would hit a cross member. I had the dealer move the rollers closer together which raised the boat. Now the splash rail is above the wheel wells and is more forgiving. When loading my boat I back the trailer in so the rollers on the back of the trailer are just out of water. I drive the boat on a few feet after hitting the rollers. Keeping it in gear, I reach over and attach the bow line. Get out, push it back a couple feet and crank it up. It centers itself. With me at the side console I can drive it further up and center it by turning the motor but I thing this puts undue sideways stress on the trailer. It is much easier as I described.

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I have the same rig and noticed that when I added a kicker it was harder to get on straight. One thing that has helped is to empty the front live well (pull plug out before docking) and fill up the rear, it just loads better.

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One thing that nobody has touched on is abuse on the hull. One of the biggest advantages of a bunk trailer is that the weight is well distributed from front to rear with no single spot taking the impacts of trailering. Most trailer makers these days are getting much better with the rollers, though, and there is more support where with them. Something to consider........

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I have a 1700 Explorer with a Shorlandr and have always had problems with it loading straight. I got the bunk style guide ons and they help. A lot of times the bow has to be shoved over for it align with the front bumper. Cabela's sells a "bow assist roller" in their catalog. Has anyone tried these?

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