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  1. #1

    Galvanized vs aluminum trailer

    Im getting closer to making my waverunner purchase and im wondering: is a quality aluminum trailer better than a quality galvanized trailer? I know galvanized can rust so i figured aluminum would last longer but i had a dealer tell me they no longer offer aluminum trailers because they had issues with them snapping... any thoughts? Even if the aluminum snapping was an isolated issue, are they worth the extra money?


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Salt water or fresh water?

    How long do you hope to keep the same trailer?

    How much towing distance do you expect to do?

    Are you OK with paying more for nicer things?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Salt water or fresh water?

    How long do you hope to keep the same trailer?

    How much towing distance do you expect to do?

    Are you OK with paying more for nicer things?
    salt and fresh. Most likely will be mostly brackish water. Living where i do most travel distance will be less than 60 miles with an occasional 300 mile trip like once or twice a year tops. And yes im okay with paying more for nice things, as long as theres true value in spending the extra money. I mean aluminum or not i plan on going with a well known brand. I wouldnt put a new ski on junk. But after looking at both in person, ive seen both types that were built well. I have a harbor freight trailer i put together for like $300 and ive used that trailer to haul my motorcycles for 1000’s of miles over 4-5+ years... and everyone told me they were junk so im skeptical about spending 2-3x for a name or whatever

  4. #4
    Honestly i was sold on aluminum until a pwc specific shop said “we wont sell people aluminum because every 1000 we sold we got back 15 with catastrophic failure, like tongues snapping off”... didnt say a brand or anything but it made me second guess aluminum

  5. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dgiglio3087 View Post
    Honestly i was sold on aluminum until a pwc specific shop said “we wont sell people aluminum because every 1000 we sold we got back 15 with catastrophic failure, like tongues snapping off”... didnt say a brand or anything but it made me second guess aluminum
    Well, 15 per 1000 units is a 1.5% failure rate. Certainly not terrific, but even that rate means 98.5% did not have such failures.

    I have been buying and recommending Triton brand welded aluminum PWC trailers for about a decade. Bought several new and a few used, sold them as I sold my older watercraft. Currently I have a Triton WC2-2, previous to that was a Triton double Elite. Each racked up thousands of miles. No issues with frame cracking, certainly no tongues snapping off.

    My Triton Elite double trailer was kitted with a large trailer storage box, spare tire and other stuff. And sometimes a hitch-haul added to the side frame to carry even more stuff on longer trips. And I installed a 3 foot tongue extension with hinge. Which puts more stress on the factory tongue. Worked just fine.



    WC2-2 also got a tongue extension, additional aluminum decking and two storage boxes. Towed it about 4,000 miles in the first year, then added even more stuff.




    I do prefer the torsion axle trailer models. Smoother ride, and quieter. Less stuff to rust and rattle going down the road.

    The Elite designation with Triton meant that all the bolt hardware was stainless steel, which I also recommend. Not sure how Triton now assigns SS hardware within the current model names.

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  7. #6
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    I've owned both. With my latest (10th) ski, I decided to go with galvanized for the first time in 11 years as they are a few hundred cheaper. I usually buy and later sell the ski with trailer after around five years and have never had either to fail.

    I just had a friend, with a 2015 Triton aluminum trailer, break down beside the road and have to replace springs, axle, hubs and tires. Aluminum or galvanized frame wouldn't have made a difference to her!

    We're entirely in salt water here. She has her ski serviced twice a year and the dealer also services the trailer. If she did or did not always properly wash down and lube it is a question to be decided.

    I do buy with a torsion axle to avoid the spring problems.
    IMO, galvanized is good enough!

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  9. #7
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    Here is my honest opinion. I have both aluminum Triton and Galvanized both single and doubles. Both used in salt and freshwater. I have towed them each over 1000 miles one way. Although the question is al vs gal, but I would consider torsion suspension over any spring. Love the torsion for long distance towing, easy on skies and very quiet. Springs are noisy, bouncy and hard on skies. So, which ever you get, I would consider torsion axle if you can sing it. Remember though, both axles will be galvanized steel, so they will both rust over time. but springs will be the first to go.
    That being said, Aluminum is lighter, and generally rust free. They pull great and look good for years. However, I have found aluminum trailers will flex more than their steel counterpart especially towing heavy 2 ski loads. Be sensitive to loading excessive weights on tongues and be sure to setup your trailer so the axle is carrying the majority of the load, but still having decent tongue weight. The heavy loads that 2 skies will put decent stress on weld joints. However, if you intend on buying a single trailer, the aluminum trailer will be plenty strong for anything you can load on it.
    Galvanized trailers are a cheaper option. They are strong and do a great job especially if speed loading. However, they usually sold with galvanized hardware, U bolts, rims, and steel springs. All, over time will rust accelerated by salt water and may not look good in later years. There are a bunch of cheap trailers dealers sell. Search for brands that have a cradle style frame.

    My recommendations:
    Best Single ski trailer - Aluminum, torsion suspension and aluminum rims.
    Budget Single trailer - Galvanized, springs, SS hardware aluminum rims.

    Best double trailer - Aluminum, torsion suspension and aluminum rims. (13 inch wheels if possible)
    Budget double trailer - Galvanized, torsion suspension and aluminum rims.

    LED lights generally last longer. Good luck on your purchase.

    If on a strict budget, get a cheap trailer initially but be on the lookout for something better. There are good finds out there if you are patient.

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  11. #8
    Thanks for the advice/opinions guys! Very helpful

  12. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty Mouse View Post

    My recommendations:
    Best Single ski trailer - Aluminum, torsion suspension and aluminum rims.
    ....
    And stainless steel bolt hardware

  13. #10
    WaterDR's Avatar
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    Aluminum will never rust!! Galvanized will eventually lose it galvanized coating and rust. I have heard of aluminum breaking, but I wouldn’t do it any other way.

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