Unlike many accessories and add-ons, a jet ski trailer is a must-have for most jet ski owners. Unless you live on a private dock or lake, you most likely need to trailer your ski to your favorite ski spots.
Even if you do have regular access to water, storing your jet ski in water is not a good idea, as it leads to growth on the hull, sun and water damage, and the potential for rot or infestation by bugs.
Most PWC trailers have adjustable bunks and an adjustable bow stop that accommodate many different sizes of ski and PWC. However, for those enthusiasts who have very customized rides, a typical PWC trailer may not be sufficient.
We put together this article on custom jet ski trailers to help you decide whether a custom PWC trailer is right for you.
In this article, we’ll talk about the typical cost of a custom PWC trailer, the average size, and weight capacity, where you can buy them, and what other add-ons you might want to consider when building out your own custom trailer.
- 1 PWC Trailer Features
- 2 Custom Jet Ski Trailer Specifications
- 3 Custom Jet Ski Trailer Price
- 4 Where Can I Buy a Custom Jet Ski Trailer?
- 5 Conclusion
PWC Trailer Features
Before you start customizing your own PWC trailer, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the components of a trailer, what each part does, and how it can be customized.
Tires and Wheels
Usually, the weight capacity for a PWC trailer is determined by the size and rating of the wheels and tires. A standard trailer designed for a single small craft has 10-inch diameter wheels, whereas a trailer with more capacity usually has 13-inch wheels. When you are towing more than one craft, the tires and wheels will need to be scaled up accordingly to handle the additional load.
A trailer for a single 3-passenger ski might weigh between 210 and 275 pounds, while a double trailer can weigh up to 500 pounds. Don’t forget that you’ll need to add the trailer weight to the dry weight of the jet ski, plus all fuel, water, and any items in storage to get the total weight of the load. Ideally, a double trailer carrying two 3-passenger skis should not weigh more than 3,000 pounds.
PWC trailer frames come in a couple of different shapes and sizes. A trailer with dipped frame cross members or a v-shaped trailer is preferred by many because it allows the ski to be closer to the water when it is launched, making launching from shallow ramps very easy.
Frames are made of either steel or aluminum. Aluminum is preferred in coastal areas because it is more resistant to corrosion from salt water. If you plan to launch your ski from a saltwater boat ramp frequently, we advise choosing aluminum for your frame.
If aesthetics are important to you, you might prefer a steel trailer, which often comes painted to match the jet ski, or can be custom painted. Steel frames are also often dipped in a galvanizing coating that is resistant to corrosion.
Leaf springs are the cheaper type of spring, often made from aluminum and providing decent shock absorption on bumpy roads. The leaf spring is a simple form of spring composed of many layers of curved metal clamped together. They are prized by some for being less complicated and easier to fix than torsion springs.
Torsion springs are more expensive and many consider them to provide better absorption and allow the ski to sit lower to the ride while trailering. They include a coiled spring, unlike leaf springs, and are regarded to be more durable.
Not all jet ski trailers have brakes, however, brakes are a nice feature to have because they prevent the trailer from jackknifing in the event of an emergency stop. Additionally, depending on the weight of your trailer and load, your state may require you to have brakes on your trailer.
Look up the laws regulating trailer brakes in your state before deciding whether or not you want your custom trailer to have breaks.
There are two types of brakes on PWC trailers:
- electrically-activated brakes
- surge breaks
Two accessories that all dealers are required to provide along with a trailer are a tongue jack and a spare tire. They may seem unnecessary at first, but if you are designing your own custom trailer, make sure that these items are included. Sooner or later you will need both of them.
Custom Jet Ski Trailer Specifications
With these features in mind, let’s talk about the size and weight specifications for a custom jet ski trailer. These specs will vary greatly depending on how large your jet ski is and how many PWCs you intend to haul at one time. Note that it’s usually not recommended to attempt to tow more than two PWCs at once. Also, note that you will need to keep in mind the towing capacity of your vehicle before building out your trailer.
A typical trailer for a single, 3-passenger PWC is usually between 140 inches and 180 inches long and 55-65 inches wide. If you plan to tow two skis at once, the width will double and the length will also increase slightly (up to 170 inches) to maintain a good length-to-width ratio for towing.
Note that storing a double jet ski trailer in a single-car garage can be tricky because the widths of both are nearly the same and leave very little wiggle room.
If you plan to add accessories such as a gas can holder or storage box to your trailer, the length could increase as much as 50 inches.
A single jet ski trailer weighs between 175 and 250lbs. Aluminum trailers are slightly lighter than steel trailers, however, the difference is minimal and is not usually something people consider when choosing between the two materials.
A double jet ski trailer can weigh as much as 550lbs depending on the material and specifications.
Custom Jet Ski Trailer Price
A new, custom jet ski trailer runs anywhere from $700 to $9000 depending on the model, size, materials used, shocks, and add-ons. For single trailers with leaf shocks, cheaper parts, and minimal add-ons, the price will be closer to $1000-$2000. Double trailers with dipped frame cross members, torsion shocks, hot galvanizing, or a custom paint job might be closer to $9000.
The easiest way to find out how much your custom trailer will cost is to get a quote from your trailer manufacturer. Most trailer designers offer customizations to their base models or will be happy to put together a quote for a totally custom build for you.
Where Can I Buy a Custom Jet Ski Trailer?
Many trailer manufacturers are happy to work with clients to get the perfect build for their trailers. Even if you don’t plan to fully customize your trailer, manufacturers offer a list of options for customizing certain features or adding on specific components.
Below is a list of some of the best custom trailer manufacturers in the US.
Bear Trailer Sports
This California company is based out of Chatsworth, and is a full-service shop, offering custom builds, standard builds, repairs, and restoration. They specialize in boat and PWC trailers but also make top racks, military trailers, and car haulers.
Bear Trailer sports uses torsion springs on all of their custom trailers unless otherwise directed by the customer. They prime and powder coat all of their trailers for protection against corrosion, and equip all their trailers with waterproof LEDs good for at least 100,000 hours.
LoadMaster Trailer Co.
LoadMaster is an Ohio-based company specializing in custom-built PWC trailers and boat trailers. They are a family-owned business and have been operating since 1997 to provide and ship high-quality custom builds to customers across the United States.
Every trailer that LoadMaster builds is built to order and they have delivered thousands of custom jobs over the years. Their website has an easily accessible form where you can request a quote, and you can also browse their extensive list of customization options including wheels, bow stops, lighting, accessories, and frames.
Roy’s Trailer Country
Roy’s Trailer Country is an east coast trailer company based in Florida. They build trailers for all types of jobs, from farming to dump trailers, to enclosed trailers for living or storing goods. Their PWC trailer selection is limited, however, they have an excellent online customization wizard that allows you to build your own trailer and get a quote.
Roy’s Trailer Country has been in business since the 1970s and is a full-service shop, employing four full-time service techs who handle all repairs and custom fabrication. Roy will service their trailers for the life of the trailer and offers collision repairs, wiring repairs, and wiring repairs.
Building your own custom PWC trailer requires some research and forethought up-front to determine exactly what your needs are and which materials and processes will be right for you. Make sure to consider the size of your towing vehicle, the types of roads you will be driving on, and the type of water you will be launching your PWC into before settling on materials and add-ons.
Consider reaching out to your local trailer vendor for guidance. Most vendors offer customizable add-ons to their standard trailers, or will be happy to talk through the process and work with you to build a trailer that is perfect for your needs.
Do you have a custom jet ski trailer? Tell us about it in the comments!