Should My Boat Trailer be Level?

It’s another gorgeous day for boating on Lake Travis, and I can’t wait to unload the week’s stress off my mind. After I’ve hitched up my new boat and trailer to my truck, I couldn’t help but notice she was sitting a bit on the low side. But I was so anxious to get my boat in the water that I just about left it as-is. After all, how important is it that my boat trailer should be level? You might be as surprised as I was to know the answer!

Keeping it Level

When you tow a boat trailer – or any trailer for that matter – the trailer needs to be as level as possible before you take off for your destination. This is because the weight needs to be evenly distributed across the trailer axles to allow for proper handling and tracking. A good rule of thumb to remember is:

“The weight on your trailer hitch ball after the rig is leveled, should be 7-12% of the total weight of your boat and trailer.”

Towing an un-level trailer can be dangerous and hard to control as it can result in unnecessary sway, fishtailing, premature tire wear, excessive gas consumption and quite possibly cause an accident. Additionally, you should ensure the trailer tires are always properly inflated and in peak condition to handle the load. Trailer safety chains are a must and should be correctly cris-crossed.

Single Axles

Leveling your single axle trailer isn’t the make it or break it deal as it is for a dual axle if the level is off by a couple of inches. But that’s not to say you should cast common sense and safety to the wind. You should strive to be as level as possible to improve handling, decrease excessive wear and tear and be safe. If the level is off by just an inch, however, there’s no need to bite your nails.

Some speculate a little high is okay to allow for adding more stuff in the boat or gas up after it’s loaded, preventing it from going too low. However, that can be avoided if you complete all of your loading prior to hooking up your rig. If your trailer tongue is sitting low, there will be too much weight on your hitch ball – and your vehicle.

Tandem and Torsion Axles

Level weight distribution on tandem axle trailers is imperative, and an absolute must with torsion axles. Towing high on multiple axles can shift additional weight to the rear axle(s) – resulting in dangerous excessive wear on tires and suspension components. It has even been known to cause braking problems.

Adjustable Hitches

If you lack the talent it takes to level your trailer as I clearly do, then an adjustable hitch may help. Adjustable hitches are also great if you tow several trailer types at different heights due to the adjustable hitch pin that can adjust according to height.

Ready to hit the lake? Whether you own several boats or want to rent one for a few hours, contact us today!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: