Bunk Vs Roller Trailer- How They Differ In 2023

Reviewed By Boatsbuilding Expert

There are two main types of boat trailers on the market, Bunk Vs Roller Trailer.

The main difference between Boat Trailer Roller and Bunk is their structure. Boat Trailer Roller has a series of rollers that support the boat’s hull, while Bunk has a series of cross beams that the boat rests on.

Rollers are typically better for boats with a smooth hull, as the rollers will provide support and minimize friction. Bunks are typically better for boats with a rougher hull, as the bunk will provide more support and grip.
Another difference between the two types of trailers is how they load onto the trailer. Rollers typically load from the front or rear of the trailer, while bunks typically load from the side.
Finally, rollers are typically less expensive than bunks. This is because they’re simpler in design and construction. Bunks are typically more expensive, but they offer more support and stability for your boat.
This can be a significant difference between a roller boat trailer vs bunk, especially if you’re loading your boat by yourself. If you have a larger boat or one that’s difficult to load, bunks may be the better option.

When choosing between a boat trailer roller bunk,  it’s important to consider your boat,

Your budget and how you’ll be loading your roller boat trailers.

With this information in mind, you can make the best decision for your needs.

What Is A Bunk Trailer?

There are generally fishermen who buy bunk trailers as they offer an elegant solution.

In other words, there is less space between the axles, making maintenance easier compared with a roller-trailer.

What Is A Bunk Trailer

The price of Bunker Trailers can be lower than Rolling Trailers.

In this way, they appeal to fishermen with limited budgets. Bunk trailers can be useful for regaining your vehicle. You’re only necessary to put the boat into its container.

Bunk barges are generally less expensive than rollers.

Advantage of Bunk Trailers

Roller trailers are that they can be used in narrower waterways (since the boat rests on the bunks rather than the rollers) and are less likely to damage the boat if it is dropped onto the trailer.
The advantage of bunk trailers is that they can support a large boat weight capacity.
Many boat trailer manufacturers use this type of trailer roller for their products because of the high load capacity and durability.
Bunk trailers are also more common than roller trailers in most areas since many companies have used them for years to deliver boats, RVs, and other large items.
This means that you may have an easier time finding a bunk trailer to rent or buy than a roller trailer.

Disadvantage Of Bunk Trailers

The main disadvantage of bunk trailers is that they are more difficult to launch and recover, particularly with high freeboard boats,
As the boat needs to be lowered down onto the bunks. Bunk trailers with integral launching ramps, such as the ‘Stingray’ trailer, are available, which overcome this problem.
The boat designs where the propeller is housed in a skeg or similar structure behind the rudder can be difficult to recover with a bunk.
The main disadvantage of boating on bunks is that if it is necessary to transport the boat on a steeply graded vehicle hoist, the boat will need to be supported by slings under the hull. This can damage the bottom of boats with integral bottoms, particularly fiberglass hulls.

Trailer Keel Pads For Bunk Boat

These are placed under the keel beam to help protect it from damage. They also provide a buffer between the boat and the trailer, making loading and unloading easier.

Just like with keel rollers, there are many different types of keel pads available. You’ll need to select ones that are compatible with the width of your beam and the diameter of your rollers.

It’s also important to choose keel pads that are made from durable materials. This will help ensure they last for many years, even with heavy use.

Once you have the right keel pads in place, you can be confident that your trailer is well-protected. This will give you peace of mind when transporting your boat, knowing that it is safe from harm.

What Is Roller Trailer?

Bunk Vs Roller Trailer

Roller Trailer is widely recognized for its modern style.

They are easier to manage than trailers because there is easy access even to salt water.

The roller makes towing simpler when it is backed by a trailer winch.

Because there are moving parts, the motor needs frequent maintenance, like removing the machine’s wheels for repair and maintaining them in a clean condition for good health.

Advantages Of A Roller Trailer

The roller trailer is that they are easier to launch and recover as the boat sits on top of the rollers rather than being lowered down onto bunks.
This is particularly important for boats with a high freeboard (the distance from the waterline to the deck), such as speedboats and cabin cruisers.
Rollers also make it easier to move the boat sideways for a “two-point turn” maneuver when turning around in a narrow space.

Disadvantage Of A Roller Trailer

The main disadvantage of a roller trailer is that it can be more dangerous than bunk trailers,
Since the boat may slide off the rollers while being transported on the road, especially if brakes are not applied correctly or at all.
Roller trailers are more likely to suffer damage if the boat is dropped on the trailer during launching or retrieval since concrete bunks act as shock absorbers, dampening some of the impacts.

Trailer Keel Rollers

These are the supporting beams that run along the bottom of the trailer and provide stability during travel. The rollers help to keep the boat level and supported, making it easier to load and unload.

There are many types of keel rollers available on the market, each designed for a specific type of boat. It is important to choose the right ones for your vessel to ensure safe and easy transport.

Some of the things you’ll need to consider when selecting keel rollers are the width of the beam, the diameter of the roller, and the material it is made from.

You’ll also want to ensure that the rollers are spaced evenly along the length of the trailer.

Once you have the right keel rollers installed, you’ll be able to load and unload your boat with ease.

This will make it easier to enjoy your time on the water, knowing that your vessel is safe and secure.

Can You Change A Bunk Trailer To A Roller?

Bunk Vs Roller Trailer

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably asked yourself this question at least once: can you change a bunk trailer to a roller? The answer, unfortunately, is no.

Bunk trailers are designed specifically for hauling boats and other watercraft, and as such, they cannot be converted into rollers.

If you’re in the market for a new trailer, there are plenty of great options out there that will suit your needs.

So, if you’re in the market for a new trailer, don’t despair – there’s sure to be something out there that’s perfect for you.

What Are The Rollers On A Boat Trailer Called?

Bunk Vs Roller Trailer

The rollers on a boat trailer are called bunks. Bunks are designed to support the boat’s hull and keep it level while in transit. Many trailers have two or four bunks, depending on the size and weight of the boat.

Boat trailers with four bunks are typically used for larger boats, while two-bunk trailers are typically used for smaller boats.

If you’re not sure what size trailer you need, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional before making your purchase.

Why Do Bunk Trailers Have Rollers?

Bunk trailers have rollers to help support the boat’s weight and keep it level while in transit. Many trailers have two or four bunks, depending on the size and weight of the boat.

Boat trailers with four bunks are typically used for larger boats, while two-bunk trailers are typically used for smaller boats.

If you’re not sure what size trailer you need, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional before making your purchase.

How Do I Change My Boat Trailer From Bunks To Rollers?

You may have bought your boat trailer secondhand, and it came with bunks instead of rollers. Or, you might have had a change of heart about which type of support system you prefer for your hull. No matter the reason, it is possible to convert your bunk-style boat trailer to one that uses rollers instead. Here is a quick guide on how to make the switch.

Decide on the type and number of rollers you need. You will likely need at least four, but more may be necessary depending on the size and weight of your boat. Be sure to purchase high-quality, marine-grade rollers that can withstand saltwater exposure.
Remove the bunks from your trailer. This will likely involve unscrewing them from the frame. If they are welded on, you may need to cut them off.
Clean the area where the bunks were attached so that it is free of debris and rust.
Attach the new rollers to the trailer frame using bolts, washers, and nuts. Make sure they are secured tightly.
Place your boat onto the trailer, ensuring the hull rests securely on the rollers. You may need to adjust their position until the boat is balanced and stable.

Now you know how to change your boat trailer from bunks to rollers.

This simple modification can make launching and loading your boat much easier, and it can also help protect your hull from scratches and dents.

Give it a try the next time you take your boat out on the water!

How To Install Keel Roller On Boat Trailer

Bunk Vs Roller Trailer
Park your boat trailer on a level surface and chock the wheels to prevent it from rolling.
Use a tape measure to determine the placement of the keel roller on the trailer’s frame. The roller should be placed as close to the front of the trailer as possible without interfering with the winch or other components.
Mark the location of the roller on the trailer’s frame with a pencil.
Drill a hole at each of the marks made in step 2 using a drill bit that is slightly smaller in diameter than the mounting bolts for the keel roller.
Place the keel roller on the trailer frame and align the holes in the roller with the holes drilled in the frame.
Insert a bolt through each hole and secure the bolts with nuts. Tighten the nuts until they are snug, but do not overtighten them.
Repeat steps 2 through 6 for each additional keel roller that is to be installed on the trailer.

The number of bunks that are submerged depends on the size and weight of your boat. For smaller boats, four bunks may be sufficient.

For larger boats, you may need more bunks to provide adequate support.

Be sure to consult with a marine specialist before making any changes to your boat trailer.

How To Re Carpet Boat Trailer Bunks?

If your boat trailer bunks look a bit worse for wear, it might be time to give them a facelift. Replacing the carpet on your trailer bunks is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to do this.

You’ll just need to make sure you have the right tools and supplies before you get started.

Here’s what you’ll need to re-carpet your boat trailer bunks:

Marine-grade carpeting
Heavy-duty carpet adhesive
Utility knife
Measuring tape
Pencil or marker
Straight edge (ruler or level)

Replacing the carpet on your boat trailer bunks is a quick and easy way to give them a fresh, new look. With just a few supplies and some time, you can have your trailer.

Bunk Trailer Vs Roller Trailer Conclusion

So, now that you know the difference between a roller trailer and a bunk trailer,

Which one will you choose for your needs?

The answer, of course, is that it depends on what you need!

The bunk vs roller has their own benefits and drawbacks,

So it’s important to weigh them all before making a decision.

If you are looking for an easy way to launch and recover your boat, then a roller trailer is the way to go.

But if you want to have more freedom in where you can stop, load, and unload your boat, then a bunk trailer is the way to go.

But if you’re still not sure which one to get for your boating lifestyle,

Then the best solution is that you try both out by renting them first before deciding.

After all, it’s better to make the smart choice than make the wrong one!

Bunk Vs Roller Trailer FAQS

How should a dog sit on a roller?

Installing your boat on a trailer is not a waste. It requires a strong boat anchor to ensure the boat remains correctly fixed to it. A good place to anchor is the hull position. If not, your boat is prone to breaking or scratching during a minor accident.

Do boat trailers need rollers?

For those who feel inadequate safety under their boat trailer and don’t like getting on board because they don’t know where your boat is, rollers are recommended.

Can you change a bunk trailer to a roller?

Yes. You can allow Rollo trailer conversion to wood and rolling furniture. The roller bunks are attached to their roller frame by roller and are designed by JP Gage, and are supplied. Please install these angles on the boat’s hull because this is stationery in any case.

How to replace a roller on a boat trailer

1. Using a wrench or socket, loosen the bolts that hold the roller in place.
2. Remove the old roller and insert the new one in its place.
3. Tighten the bolts to secure the new roller in place.
4. Test the trailer to ensure the new roller is working properly.
If you have any questions or concerns, consult a professional for assistance.

How to roll a boat?

The best way to roll a boat will vary depending on the size and type of boat you have. Some tips on rolling a boat include using a winch or pulley system to lift the boat onto its side, then rolling it onto a dolly or trailer. You may also need to remove any seats, canvas covers or other items from the boat before beginning the process.

How to install roller bunks on a boat trailer?

Remove the old bunks from your trailer. If they are held on with bolts, unscrew them and set them aside. Otherwise, if they are welded on, cut them off with a power tool. Measure the length and width of your boat hull.
You’ll need to know these dimensions to purchase the correct size and quantity of roller bunks.
Purchase new roller bunks. You can find these at most boating or marine supply stores. Be sure to get bunks that are long enough to support your boat’s hull and that have a width that will fit snugly against the hull’s sides.
Install the new bunks. Most bunks will come with installation hardware, such as brackets or U-bolts. Follow the instructions that come with your particular bunks. In general, you’ll need first to attach the brackets to the trailer frame using screws or bolts. Then, position the bunk over the bracket and secure it in place using the provided hardware.
Fred Apstein
Fred Apstein is a man of many talents. He studied at Sustainable Community Development and Royal Roads University, but what he loves to do is sailing, building boats, cooking seafood, and picking up the pieces when things go wrong! He's been in business for over 40 years with no refrigeration on his sailboats - that means food drying and pickling became necessary skills