For anyone who owns or has owned a boat of any size, you know how difficult it can be to move your boat around. Whether hooking it up to your vehicle or storing it, getting the trailer into position is no easy task. Between the boat and the trailer, the weight is often quite heavy & can be tough to navigate, especially when moving into a small tight space.
Thankfully there are a few simple options that can help eliminate some of the physical stress associated with the hassle of trailer maneuvering. One of the best options available is the use of trailer dollies. These straightforward devices can help you move your boat trailer without requiring excessive exertion on your part.
Benefits of an Electric Trailer Dolly
Why do so many boat owners opt to invest in an electric trailer dolly? What makes electric trailer dollies so special? How are electric trailer dollies different compared to other types of dollies? Why are they more expensive than hand trailer dollies—and are they worth the cost?
These are some of the questions that would-be electric trailer dolly owners find themselves asking while trying to decide whether or not to buy one for their boating needs. Do you find yourself asking the same questions?
If you do, allow us to make this decision a little easier by breaking down the benefits of owning an electric trailer dolly:
Many boat owners stress about physically storing their boat and their trailer, but electric boat trailer dollies remove this stress. The freedom of movement that an electric trailer dolly provides means you can store your trailer just about anywhere.
Electric boat trailer dollies provide you with a much wider range of movement and maneuvering your trailer into tighter spots is made much easier. Now you don’t need to worry about backing your vehicle up into tight spaces.
Reduces your risk of injury:
Using a trailer dolly in general means that the risk of sustaining an injury—most significantly to your back—is greatly reduced. When using hand dollies, there is a lot of cranking involved which can strain your muscles. Electric trailer dollies reduce the risk of pain & injury even more.
Other than the fact that an electric trailer dolly will make transporting your boat to your trailer a breeze, the freedom of movement and minimal manual labor that an electric trailer dolly provides make it an extremely convenient tool to own.
Protects your investments:
There’s no denying it: boats are expensive and so are trailers. Using an electric trailer dolly helps to ensure that these investments won’t be damaged during loading and transportation. Who wouldn’t want to do all that they can to make sure their investments don’t come to any harm?
A worthwhile investment:
The materials used to construct electric trailer dollies are strong, durable, high-quality and ensure that the dolly will last a long time. Plus, other than helping to securely get your boat from ground or water to trailer, it’s an exceptionally handy tool to have in other circumstances that would normally require a fair amount of manual heavy lifting.
So now let’s take a look at 10 of the best boat trailer dollies on the market.
Here are our picks for the best boat trailer dollies you can buy:
1. MaxxHaul 70225 Trailer Dolly
The MaxxHaul 70225 Trailer Dolly is a small hand dolly that will help you quickly move your boat, utility trailers, jet-ski trailers & more with ease. The black powdered coated 70225 model has impressive features including:
- 600lb tongue weight capacity
- 12” pneumatic tires
- 1-7/8” chrome polished hitch ball
- Long handle for better maneuverability
Made of a heavy duty steel construction, this simple but practical dolly provides excellent load management and a virtually maintenance-free performance no matter what you’re moving.
2. Tow Tuff TMD-800C
The Tow Tuff TMD-800C Adjustable Trailer Dolly with Caster is a high quality hand dolly that is known for its impressive weight capacity and easy maneuverability. As with other Tow Tuff dollies, the TMD-800C comes with effective features such as:
- 800lb weight capacity
- 40” handle provides additional leverage
- 1-7/8” or larger ball hitch coupler
- 8” swivel caster
- Two 12” tires
The TMD-800C is designed to accommodate various sized trailers thanks to the adjustable height & 30” wheel base, which adds overall stability to your trailer dolly.
3. Tow Tuff TMD-1000C
Next in the Tow Tuff family is the Tow Tuff TMD-1000C Adjustable Trailer Dolly. This heavy duty adjustable hand dolly is ideal for moving a wide variety of boat, cargo or utility trailers. The TMD-1000C model includes features such as:
- 1000lb weight capacity
- 2” coupler or larger
- 10” swivel caster
- Two 16” tires
- Adjustable hitch ball height
Like the TMD-800C model, the TMD-1000C dolly has an impressive 30” wheel base which provides better stability and helps you safely maintain load balance.
4. Happybuy Electric Trailer Mover
The Happybuy Electric 350W/12V Trailer Mover is an electric trailer dolly which provides mechanical assistance in moving trailers, boats and caravans without requiring extra muscle power. It comes packed with ample features including:
- 5000lb weight capacity
- 600lb tongue weight capacity
- 350W/12V motor
- Forward & reverse gears
- Non-slip solid rubber wheels
Thanks to its compact design, this trailer mover is extremely maneuverable. It’s a perfect dolly to use in tight spaces like yards, driveways/carports and parks.
5. Trailer Valet RVR
The Trailer Valet RVR is a line of electric trailer dollies. They’re designed to help decrease the effort of moving your boats or trailers. They are available in various weight capacities (3500lb, 5500lb & 9000lb) and include impressive features such as:
- Max 990lb tongue weight capacity
- Heavy duty caterpillar treads
- 30 minute constant use runtime
- 2” & 2.5/16” ball hitch
- 2 & 4 gear motors for both single & dual axle trailers
The Valet RVR series also comes equipped with a long range remote control system which allows you to move your trailers with the touch of a button.
6. Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL Dolly
The Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL Dolly is marketed as the “toughest, most compact dolly trailer on the market.” The Trailer Valet XL shares the same great features as the other dollies in the Trailer line, but also comes with a few upgrades such as:
- 10,000lb weight capacity
- 1000lb tongue weight capacity
- Two 9” tires
- Patented hitch ball attachment
The XL is also equipped with Trailer’s “Posi-traction” technology which allows you to make tight turns and provides maximum traction & easy handling.
7. Trailer Valet 5X V211 Tongue Jack Dolly
Another of Trailer’s top rated dollies is the Trailer Valet 5X V211 Tongue Jack Dolly. This is a premier tongue jack dolly with a chain drive crank system which provides you with both power & flexibility in moving your boat or trailer. It is also packed with exceptional features including:
- 5000lb weight capacity
- 500lb tongue weight
- Corrosion resistant design
- 8” mounting bracket
- Rotating couple
The Valet 5X also has a patented drive system that employs both high & low drive gears, ensuring you get maximum maneuverability of your trailer.
8. Aquacarts Trailer Dolly
The Aquacarts Trailer Dolly is one of the strongest hand trailer dollies on the market. Known for its simplicity and size, the Aquacarts dolly trailer more than pulls it weight when it comes to moving your boat or trailers. It may be small but it doesn’t lack in features:
- 4000lb weight capacity
- 600lb trailer tongue weight capacity
- 1-7/8” ball hitch
- Long handle for better leverage
This Aquacarts dolly is designed to easily handle trailers of multiple sizes, including heavy front storage & double unit capacity trailers.
9. Parkit360 Force 5K B2 Motorized Trailer Dolly
The Parkit360 Force 5K B2 Motorized Trailer Dolly is another quality electric trailer dolly that sports a custom high powered motor, giving you optimum power & performance in moving your trailers or boats. Along with a durable body and frame, this dolly includes other features such as:
- 5000lb weight capacity
- 900lb tongue weight capacity
- 2” & 2-5/16” hitch balls
- 4” all terrain tires
- 1.5 – 2 hours continuous run time
The Force 5K B2 model is also equipped with a smart brake controller to help maintain both electric & surge brake ensuring your safety while operating the dolly.
10. Giantex Heavy Duty Utility Trailer Doll
The Giantex Heavy Duty Utility Trailer Dolly is another simple hand trailer dolly that provides easy maneuverability for all of your smaller trailer needs. It also includes features such as:
- 600lb weight capacity
- Two 10.5” pneumatic all terrain tires
- 1-7/8” & 2” ball hitch couplers
- Extra long handle
And while the Giantex is a relatively small dolly and therefore is best suited for smaller units, its heavy duty design will still help take the strain off your back when moving your trailer.
Things to Look For
There are a number of important things for you to consider when selecting the best boat trailer dolly for your needs:
- Weight capacity of the dolly
- Adjustable hitch height
- Appropriate tires
- Motorized or hand dolly
- Pre-assembled or assembly required
Let’s discuss some of this in detail.
As boats & trailers come in various sizes and weights, it’s extremely important to know exactly how much weight your dolly can manage. The weight capacity of trailer dollies is usually a two part measurement: trailer weight & tongue weight.
In simplest terms:
- Trailer weight is the gross total that your dolly can support
- Tongue weight is the amount of weight that can be applied to the ball hitch
Bottom line, the heavier the trailer, the stronger dolly you’ll need.
Since not all trailers and transport vehicles are the same height, it’s also imperative to have a dolly that has an adjustable hitch ball height. This simple mechanism can make all the difference in your trailer moving experience, allowing you to adjust the dolly height without having to strain yourself or try manipulate the trailer itself.
Another factor to consider for your trailer dolly is what type of tires are needed, based on the size of your trailer and whether you will be using it on flat or rough surfaces. Typical dolly tires are categorized as pneumatic, semi-pneumatic, or foam filled:
- Pneumatic tires are air filled, lighter weight, and usually less expensive, but they require more maintenance & monitoring in order to ensure optimum performance.
- Semi-pneumatic tires employ the use of solid rubber as well as an internal air pocket. They are less expensive but have more limitations on their use & wear.
- Foam filled or flat free tires are typically solid & lightweight providing similar cushion & bounce to their air filled counterparts, but are more expensive due to their composition.
It’s not pleasant realizing you may or may not have forgotten to properly lock your hitch down. Thankfully, that fear isn’t an issue when electric trailer dollies are concerned. You’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing the wheels will always be firmly locked into place.
Brakes are important and the braking system should always be considered. Boat trailer dollies with automatic brake systems are fantastic and come highly recommended by those who use them. With hand boat trailer dollies, oftentimes the brake kit is sold separately. Be mindful of this while you’re shopping around vetting the different options available to you.
Motorized vs Hand Dolly:
It’s also important to decide whether you want to use a manual/hand dolly or an elecric trailer dolly. While both perform the same basic functions and are available for various weight capacities, motorized dollies are typically more expensive.
If you don’t mind a bit of exertion or don’t want to deal with electronics, going with a standard hand dolly will be your best option. But if you want to be nearly hands free and still have the ease of maneuvering your trailer, then spending a little extra money on the electric trailer dolly will be well worth it.
Depending on the make, model, design & manufacturer of the trailer dolly, you may have to do some assembly. Most of the dollies that require assembly come with simple instructions, all the required components and are fairly easy to put together. Or if you prefer to have a fully constructed dolly that’s ready to go right away, there are multiple options on the market.
When you’re buying something as specific a product as a boat trailer dolly, stick with the brands you know. It’s advisable to rather spend a little extra cash on buying a boat trailer dolly from an industry-leading, established and reputable brand. It’s wiser than trying your luck with cheaper brands that could have a fly-by-night business model.
Not sure which brands to keep your eyes peeled for? No problem. That’s what we’re here for. Some of the brands that are behind some of the best boat trailer dollies on the market are Trailer Valet, Tow Tuff, MaxxHaul and Parkit. You can’t go wrong with purchasing boat-related equipment from one of these brands.
The price of a boat trailer dolly varies according to its type, features, brand, and manufacturer. The more expensive the boat trailer dolly, the more features it will have. Electric boat trailer dollies are more expensive than hand boat trailer dollies.
Boat trailer dollies that are low on features and simply do the job it’s intended to do can cost as little as $150, and up to half that amount when purchased secondhand. On the other end of the spectrum, feature-filled boat trailer dollies with large capacities can cost upwards of $700.
Do you have any questions? Well, we’ve got the answers! Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Can it be used over landscape rocks?
No, trailer dollies aren’t typically suited for usage on any surface other than those made from concrete, asphalt, tightly packed gravel and other hard ground. Only certain models from certain brands are able to tackle terrain such as rocky landscapes.
Will it work on grass?
Technically, yes, a trailer dolly will work on grass. However, there are many external factors that influence how well it will work so we advise exercising caution when trying this. For example, if the grass is soft and wet the wheels will sink into the soft ground & get stuck.
Can you change the ball size?
Yes, the ball size can be changed on most trailer dollies. Depending on the manufacturer, the ball size can be changed one of two ways: by swapping the ball out with a different sized ball or by purchasing a ball extender. Being able to change the ball size is an attractive feature because you can essentially use one boat trailer dolly on multiple trailers of different sizes.
Is the ball height adjustable?
This all depends on the brand you opt for. On some, the ball height is not adjustable while on others the ball’s height can be adjusted easily. If you opt for one that isn’t adjustable remember that the height of the trailer itself can be adjusted. Also, the ball size can be made either bigger or smaller so even if the ball height can’t be adjusted other components can be.
You’ve got your boat, you’ve got your trailer and now it’s time to move it. Whether you’re taking it out for some fun or simply storing it somewhere new, maneuvering your trailer can get very frustrating and stressful. You might find yourself spending extra time backing up or constantly trying to reposition your trailer. And that’s time you should be enjoying doing other activities.
Investing in a high quality trailer dolly is an excellent decision which will help improve your trailer moving experience. Trailer dollies come in a wide variety of makes & models, manual & motorized and are readily available for all budgets. And above we featured the best on the market.
By making one of these simple machines a standard part of your boating or trailer equipment, you’ll save yourself unnecessary pain & frustration. And ultimately you’ll find you have more time for new adventures!