7 Best Boat Trailer Dollies – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2019)

Most likely you have already struggled enough moving your boat trailer around by hand and finally decided to make your life easier. Wise decision. With the best boat trailer dolly for your needs, you’ll discover a lot of benefits that will make your passion for the water sports that much easier to enjoy.

But hold your horses! As straightforward as it might seem, there’s a surprising number of things to consider to get just the right dolly.

To make sure you go with the perfect choice, along with our extensive buyer’s guide we put together a list of objective and much useful dolly trailer reviews that will guarantee that the dolly you pick will indeed make your life easier.

Trailer dolly is only one of the things that we consider a must-have for every sailing enthusiast. If you want to see how else you can take better care of your reliable equipment, please make sure to check out our page dedicated to marine accessories and supplies.

PRODUCT DETAILS
MaxxHaul Tires Trailer Dolly With Pneumatic Tires

MaxxHaul Tires Trailer Dolly With Pneumatic Tires

  • Price : $
  • Dimensions : 42 x 14 x 6″
  • Weight : 30 pounds
  • Capacity : 600 pounds
  • Tire Size : 12 inch
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Tow Tuff Adjustable Trailer Dolly with Caster

Tow Tuff Adjustable Trailer Dolly with Caster

  • Price : $$$
  • Dimensions : 42 x 6 x 15″
  • Weight : 44.2 pounds
  • Capacity : 800 lb.
  • Tire Size : 12 inch
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Bonnlo Canoe/Kayak Carrier Trolley

Bonnlo Canoe/Kayak Carrier Trolley

  • Price : $
  • Dimensions : 27 1/2 x 12 x 16 1/4″
  • Weight : 8.8 lbs
  • Capacity : 165 lb.
  • Tire Size : 10 inch
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Trailer Valet Lift Jack

Trailer Valet Lift Jack

  • Price : $$$$$
  • Dimensions : 8 x 26 x 17″
  • Weight : 45 lbs
  • Capacity : 500 lbs
  • Tire Size : 9 inch
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Tow Tuff HD Dolly Adjustable Trailer Moves with Caster

Tow Tuff HD Dolly Adjustable Trailer Moves with Caster

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dimensions : 45.3 x 7.5 x 18.5″
  • Weight : 64 pounds
  • Capacity : 1000 lbs.
  • Tire Size : 16 inch
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MaxxHaul Towable Trailer Dolly

MaxxHaul Towable Trailer Dolly

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions : 42 x 14 x 6″
  • Weight : 29 pounds
  • Capacity : 600 lbs
  • Tire Size : 12 inch
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TMS Kayak/Canoe Dolly Trailer

TMS Kayak/Canoe Dolly Trailer

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions : 24 inch width
  • Weight : 9 pounds
  • Capacity : 150 LBS
  • Tire Size : 9-1/2 inch
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Top Best Boat Trailer Dolly Picks

Here are the most well-established products on the market that will undoubtedly offer you the best value for your money. Along with traditional trailer dollies, you will find some smart alternatives for canoe/kayaks, as well as lift jacks that will make hitching your trailer a breeze.

1. MaxxHaul Tires Trailer Dolly With Pneumatic Tires

MaxxHaul Tires Trailer Dolly With Pneumatic TiresLooking for great value for money and long-lasting durability? Then MaxxHaul’s dolly is among the finest (if not the finest) options to move your boat, utility or jet-ski trailers around. Simple and reliable design, all heavy-duty steel frame and black anti-rust coating guarantee it will serve you well for a long time.

The dolly tongue weight capacity is rated at 600 lbs so it can easily handle three to four times greater overall load. The 1 7/8″ ball receiver can accommodate bigger couplers, but can also be easily replaced with any standard aftermarket hitch ball.

The 12″ rubber tires allow the dolly to quickly overcome obstacles and perform well on various surfaces like dirt, gravel or grass.  You can also regulate the tire pressure to better handle lighter or heavier loads or to provide more surface area in contact with the ground. Keep in mind that overloading the dolly or too high of tire pressure can leave you with a flat and you would need to replace the whole wheel.

The long 40″ handle provides great leverage, and the 3/4″ in diameter shank is comfortable enough and comes with rubber handles that might feel a bit loose, but do the job.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Extremely durable and sturdy
  • Anti-corrosion coating

Cons:

  • Could be a bit challenging to assemble
  • Rubber handles feel a bit cheap
  • The hitch ball is not adjustable
  • Strong rubber smell out of the box

2. Tow Tuff Adjustable Trailer Dolly with Caster

Tow Tuff Adjustable Trailer Dolly with CasterA very capable and versatile dolly with adjustable hitch ball height and 1-8″ swivel caster for effortless maneuvering even in the tightest spaces.

The tongue max. weight is rated at 800 lbs, meaning the dolly can easily handle even tandem trailers weighing 3000-4000 lbs. The hitch ball height is adjustable from 16.5” to 25.5” and can accommodate 1 7/8” couplers or larger. The 12″ flat-free tires are filled with expanding foam, hold up well and perform equally good on gravel, dirt, grass and sandy surfaces. Keep in mind, that despite being flat-free, the foam tire can collapse when overloaded, but worry not as the wheels are covered by the 1-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.

The wider 30” wheelbase provides much appreciated additional stability and safety when turning. The leverage of the 40” handle makes moving trailers much easier and significantly reduces the stress on the lower back. The hammer tone powder coat finish offers excellent protection against rust and corrosion.

Pros:

  • Solid steel frame
  • Caster wheel
  • Adjustable hitch ball
  • Flat-free tires
  • Great load capacity
  • Long handle for good leverage
  • 1 year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Tire foam can collapse if overloaded
  • Slippery plastic hand grips

3. Bonnlo Canoe/Kayak Carrier Trolley

Bonnlo Canoe/Kayak Carrier TrolleyIf you have got a canoe or kayak, then you’ve missed Bonnlo’s trolley all along! Its ingenious design brings brilliant practicality and comes at an unbeatable price.

The super lightweight full aluminum construction weighs only 8.8 lbs and has a generous load capacity of 165 lb. It will easily carry any canoe, paddleboard or even a tandem 12 ft kayak to the water. And once you get to the water? Then you simply take off the wheels, store them in the kayak, fold the trolley and strap it on to the hull (with the included tie-down straps). Brilliant!

On the sand, the 3″ wide, full solid rubber tires provide a lot of surface area and won’t sink in as much. Full solid rubber tires on the other hand genuinely mean no-flat tires. Ever.

Four foam bumpers protect the hull from scratches, and the spring-loaded stand keep the dolly cart propped up for easy loading.

What you should watch out for is appropriately securing the hull to the dolly with the included straps and bungee cords. Otherwise, you risk the canoe/kayak slipping away and damaging the hull.

Pros:

  • Extremely practical
  • Great value for money
  • Durable, light-weight aluminum construction
  • Easy to store and carry
  • Rubber filled, flat-free tires
  • Cords and straps included
  • Kickstand
  • No rubber smell

Cons:

  • The hull needs to be very well secured with the straps

4. Trailer Valet Lift Jack

Trailer Valet Lift JackHow many times do you back up your truck until you finally hitch it to your trailer? Three, four times? And then maybe you call for some help? Lift jacks spare you all of the hassle allowing you to hitch the trailer on the first attempt with absolutely no help from others.

Attaching the trailer valet takes only a couple of minutes. Then you crank it up and steer toward the hitch ball. Simple as that! You can even store it in place, so you don’t have to attach it again once you’re back.

Tanks to the heavy duty construction this small little helper has a tongue weight capacity of 500 lbs and can effortlessly move 5000 lbs boat trailers around. Effortlessly because the patented gear mechanism does the heavy lifting for you. It even offers high and low gears and an automatic brake system if you lose grip.  The unique cranking system allows maneuvering even in the tightest space with up to 90° turning angle.

Keep in mind that such units are not meant to move your trailer over great distances, as you’ll be bending forward to be operating the gears. Furthermore, for the trailer valet to do its job, the weight needs to be falling on the tires for traction. Working it uphill could be challenging or impossible.

Pros:

  • The geared mechanism for effortless moving
  • High and low gear
  • 90° turning angle
  • Steel construction
  • Automatic braking system to keep it in place
  • Great loading capacity

Cons:

  • High price
  • Tires might lose grip in off-road conditions
  • For lighter trailers, the weight distribution needs to be towards the wheels

5. Tow Tuff HD Dolly Adjustable Trailer Moves with Caster

Tow Tuff HD Dolly Adjustable Trailer Moves with CasterThis is Tow Tuff’s heavy duty version of their two-wheeled dolly with a swivel caster. Intended for a larger boat or utility trailers, it has expanded tongue weight capacity of 1000 lbs. The two 16″ flat-free tires and the single 10″ swivel caster allow smooth steering even in challenging angles with the caster wheel serving as a kickstand to get some weight off your back.

The hitch ball height is adjustable from 21” to 33” and works with 2” couplers or higher, allowing you to accommodate a wide variety of trailers. It features the same solid steel frame with 30” wheelbase and powder coating to provide the great overall usability and long-lasting durability.  The 40″ handle provides excellent leverage, but bare in mind that when working with heavier trailers, the weight on the hitch ball can flip you forward. Like its smaller brother, Tow Tuff’s heavy duty dolly comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

Pros:

  • Solid steel frame
  • Great loading capacity
  • Easy steering
  • Adjustable 2’’ hitch ball
  • Anti-rust coating
  • Flat-free tires

Cons:

  • Requires more attention when working with greater loads
  • Moving heavy loads on uneven surfaces can be challenging

6. MaxxHaul Towable Trailer Dolly

MaxxHaul Towable Trailer DollyMaxxHaul’s patented dual-pull dolly is the perfect workhorse for any farm or ranch. It allows easy switching between manual and towing mode and can be attached to a small tractor or an ATV via the 5/8″ clevis connection. The 12″ in diameter and  4″ wide pneumatic knobby tires are equipped with solid steel rims and perform outstandingly even on challenging surfaces like soft ground or gravel roads.

The tongue weight capacity is rated at 600 lbs, and the long 43” handle provides excellent leverage. It features a handy 3-stage kickstand that can be fully folded when not used. The handles are also foldable and provide a greater turning radius. It comes with 1-7/8″ hitch ball that fits bigger couplers too, but can also be replaced with an aftermarket one.

Pros:

  • Solid steel frame
  • Manual/towing mode
  • Useful kickstand
  • Good tires for off-road scenarios
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Hitch ball is not adjustable
  • Confusing instructions
  • Hitch ball angle can make manual use challenging

7. TMS Kayak/Canoe Dolly Trailer

TMS Kayak/Canoe Dolly TrailerTMS are from the companies that understand their customers well and shows it in their products. Their take on the foldable kayak/canoe dollies comes with big 3-1/2″ wide tires for easy moving on sandy surfaces and a waterproof zip bag so you can safely film your sea adventures with your phone!

The sturdy, anodized stainless steel construction has top-grade anti-rust protection and will hold up to 150 lbs. It features a spring-loaded double-legged kickstand and thick foam bumpers to make loading your canoe or kayak a breeze. To make it even more comfortable, nylon straps prevent the cradle from opening too far. It also comes with a 12 ft long strap so that you can tie down the dolly on the hull and take it with you after removing and storing the wheels.

Pros:

  • Extremely practical
  • Great value for money
  • High-grade anti-rust protection
  • Easy to store and carry
  • Wide Tires
  • Kickstand

Cons:

  • Strong rubber smell
  • Pneumatic tires without air valves

Why Owning A Boat Trailer Dolly Is a Must

best boat trailer dollyMoving a couple of thousand-pound trailer by hand is a tremendously challenging task that can easily lead to property or even back damage. A good dolly can make this process much more comfortable and safer, with the best part being that it provides an excellent value for money and trustworthy reliability. There are plenty of benefits of investing in a boat trailer dolly and here are a few of them

  • Less weight on your back

The long trailer dolly handle provides excellent leverage and a much more favorable position for moving or maneuvering your trailer.

  • Easy maneuvering

You probably know how difficult it could be to get your trailer exactly where you need. A dolly would allow more precise maneuvers at various angles.

  • Great value for money

Thanks to dolly’s simple design, a sturdy and reliable one can be acquired without having to spend hundreds of dollars, and it will serve you well for the years to come.

However, all these benefits come along with the right dolly choice. If you underestimate factors like wheel type, load capacity or even the surface you’d be working with, you are quite likely to end up with a big paperweight in your garage. To make sure this doesn’t happen, we considered all aspects of a dolly purchase in this neat and useful buying guide.

Before getting started, you can also check out our reviews of best boat covers that will make sure your boat is indeed adequately stored.

Trailer Dolly Types

Let’s first have a look at what different options we have when it comes down to moving your boat trailer or canoe/kayak.

  • Two-wheeled dollies

This is the most bare-bone basic type of dollies consisting of a metal frame, two tires, and a hitch ball. They are great for lesser weights and provide outstanding value for money.

  • Three-wheeled dollies

This is a variation of the two-wheeled dolly that comes with a wheel caster. It dramatically improved maneuverability and allows angled approaches while moving the trailer and simultaneously serves as a kickstand to provide more stability.

  • Canoe/kayak dollies

These are technically a set of wheels for your canoe/kayak. Typically very lightweight and compact, they allow you to easily “slide” the canoe/kayak across the sand and can even be quickly disassembled to be taken into the water.

  • Lift jacks

This is your best friend if you are having troubles hitching your trailer to your truck. It serves as a guiding unit that helps you precisely navigate and hitch the boat trailer coupler to your vehicle. All by yourself and at first attempt.

Maximum Weight Capacity

It is probably the first thing that comes to mind when considering a dolly purchase and indeed is one of the most crucial aspects. However, as simple as it seems there is still a great deal of misconception surrounding it.

Here is how trailer dolly load capacity is measured and how to calculate how much capacity you would actually need.

Trailer Dolly Tongue Weight Capacity

This is how the dolly’s maximum load capacity is rated and should not be confused with Gross Trailer Weight. It specifies the maximum amount of weight the dolly’s tongue can take before the construction collapsing. Technically, this is the part of the trailer’s weight that is directly put on the dolly’s hitch ball.

Experts agree that trailer tongue weight should be somewhere between 9-15% of the Gross Trailer Weight, but this number may vary based on the weight distribution of your trailer. If you wonder about your tongue weight and how to measure it, there’s a simple way to do it without a special scale.

How To Measure Dolly Tongue Weight

All you would need is a bathroom scale and an improvised scaffolding to get the range at the height of the dolly’s hitch ball. Once you are ready, simply lay the trailer coupler on the bathroom scale. If the weight is off the chart and you still can’t decide, you should consider that for example, a 600lbs dolly can handle trailers of about 3000 to 4000 lbs without any problems.

Construction

Build materials are crucial for a solid and robust Dolley. If long-term reliability is priority number one for you, then you should definitely consider an all steel construction. Combined with anti-rust powder coating, you would have a dolly that will serve you well for a long time. Just keep in mind that powder coating, despite being the most practical option, is prompt to scratches.

Handle

The first thing that comes to mind should be “leverage.” The longer the handle, the higher the leverage would be and the easier it would be for you every time you hitch and move your trailer.

Another vital thing to consider is the handle grip. You can of course always use gloves, but well-fitting solid rubber grips are to be preferred as they would spare you the calloused hands.

Dolly Wheel and Tire Types

boat trailer dolly reviewsPicking the right tires for the job is crucial, and there’s a tradeoff that you should be aware of when making your decision.

Larger diameter wheels would generally overcome obstacles easier but would make it harder when pulling uphill. Larger width, on the other hand, would provide more surface in contact with the ground and more equal weight distribution, so the wheels don’t sink as much on softer surfaces. However, wider wheels also mean more friction on normal surfaces and would require more efforts to move around.

Therefore, if you are about to deal with grass or muddy/sandy ground you should definitely be looking for wider more “off-road” wheels. If you’ll be only maneuvering your boat trailer on the tarmac, standard width tires would be the better options.

When talking about tires, we must speak about pneumatic and flat-free tires. You might think, flat-free is always better, but not necessarily as you are about to find out.

  • Pneumatic Tires

These are like the typical bicycle-like tires and have an inner casing and air valves, and non-inflatable tires. The significant advantage of having air valves is that you can regulate the pressure for larger or smaller loads. In both cases, a flat tire is always a risk, especially if you overload the trolley. The good thing is that hardware stores often have spares.

  • Flat-free tires

Instead of with air, these tires are filled with expanding foam or solid rubber. You should keep in mind that foam-filled tires, unlike solid rubber ones, can still collapse if overloaded. Therefore, if going for foam tires, make sure they are covered by the dolly’s warranty.

  • Caster Wheel

Your invaluable friend when dealing with tight spaces and angled approaches. A caster wheel makes maneuvering tremendously easier and provides additional stability to the dolly. With the third wheel in place, it’s quite unlikely that the handle would lash back in your face under the load of the trailer.

Another good thing to keep in mind is that the trailer tires also make an enormous difference. With a wide array of options out there, we shortlisted only the top ones in our best boat trailer tire reviews for you to check out.

Hitch Ball

Another thing not to be overlooked is the hitch ball height and size. Dollies with adjustable ball height would allow you to accommodate a wider variety of trailers, but the hitch ball cannot be replaced. Nonetheless, a dolly with a 1-7/8 inch hitch ball, for instance, can still accommodate bigger couplers.

Fixed balls, on the other hand, can easily be replaced with any standard hitch from the hardware store. Just make sure the fixed ball height is okay for you.

Towing/Manual Mode

There are towable trailer dollies with a clevis connection that allows switching between towing and manual operation. This is an excellent alternative to motorized trailer dollies. This feature dramatically improves the overall practicality and usability of the dolly especially if you have an ATV or a small tractor. It’s a perfect option if you’ve got to deal with dirt, grass or uphill situations.

Safety Tips

A dolly can pose many hazards, and when not used accordingly it can even lead to a back injury instead of protecting you from one. So, to make sure that your dolly would make your life easier and not the other way around here are the top safety measures you should always stick to.

  • Use two-wheeled dollies for lighter loads only, and three- or four-wheeled for heavier trailers
  • Beware of the trailer weight flipping you forward or the dolly handle hitting you in the face under the weight of the trailer
  • Always push and don’t pull a dolly to minimize the chance of the trailer running you over
  • Create a habit of checking all welds for cracks or wear
  • Secure the load well with straps or heavy-duty nylon belts
  • Even though the dolly takes much weight off your back, you should always be wearing a back belt
  • Wear protective footwear to protect your toes from incidents

Maintenance

One of the great things about having a trailer dolly is that it requires little to no maintenance. Just make sure you store it away from direct sunlight to avoid rubber deterioration or hardening of the foam in foam-filled tires.

Another thing to watch out for is wear of the powder-coating. No matter how durable it is, over time it will start wearing off making the dolly susceptible to rusting. So, if you want it to serve you well for a really long time, repeating the powder coating once a few years is a good practice.

Best Boat Trailer Dolly Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICEDIMENSIONSWEIGHTCAPACITYTIRE SIZE
MaxxHaul Tires Trailer Dolly With Pneumatic Tires

$42 x 14 x 6″30 pounds600 pounds12 inch
Tow Tuff Adjustable Trailer Dolly with Caster

$$$42 x 6 x 15″44.2 pounds800 lb.12 inch
Bonnlo Canoe/Kayak Carrier Trolley

$27 1/2 x 12 x 16 1/4″8.8 lbs165 lb.10 inch
Trailer Valet Lift Jack

$$$$$8 x 26 x 17″45 lbs500 lbs9 inch
Tow Tuff HD Dolly Adjustable Trailer Moves with Caster

$$$$45.3 x 7.5 x 18.5″64 pounds1000 lbs.16 inch
MaxxHaul Towable Trailer Dolly

$$42 x 14 x 6″29 pounds600 lbs12 inch
TMS Kayak/Canoe Dolly Trailer

$24 inch width9 pounds150 LBS9-1/2 inch

Wrap Up

The information above will most certainly help you pick the best boat trailer dolly for your needs.

However, there is one thing you should not forget. No matter the dolly, the laws of physics still apply. Moving a 4000 lbs trailer around manually would also require significant efforts. Uphill elevation would naturally make it even more difficult. Grass or soft ground would further add to the challenge. These rules are universal, and you should be perfectly clear with them when making your decision. Therefore, when going through our boat trailer dolly reviews, keep that in mind.

Where to start? We suggest you first answering the question of how much weight do you actually want to move around. Leaving a good 20-30% unutilized load capacity of what you are planning is always a wise move. If you’ll be using it regularly, a solid steel frame is your safest bet. Reconsider the surfaces and spaces you are going to be working with and pick the right set of wheels. Don’t forget to account for your own physical limitations and if you think it might be too much for you to handle, consider alternatives like a towing dolly. Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!

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