How To Put A Houseboat On A Trailer

Owning a houseboat is a great feeling as you can travel with it anytime you want to. It is generally quite expensive but it is worth the money to many people. Finding a perfect houseboat for you can be difficult because of all the sizes and different models that are available for sale but if you do your proper research you are sure to find the perfect one. 

One of the problems that many houseboat owners face is the loading and unloading of the houseboat during the off-season or when they want to move it to a different lake or river. It is typically a difficult thing to do simply because of the size of the houseboat and it is important to get it done by a professional if you don’t know what you are doing in order to avoid any damages to the houseboat.

Steps Involved in trailering your houseboat

There are a few steps to be followed in order to ensure that the houseboat has been loaded successfully on the trailer. You must be sure that you take proper care of all the requirements in order to get the move done safely. 

It is not that difficult but utmost care is required. 

Following are the steps which may help you out in getting your houseboat on a trailer. 

Consult a Professional

One of the first things you should do if you are brand new to houseboats or putting one on a trailer is to consult a professional. It is important that you look for a moving company with great customer reviews to ensure that the move will be safe and done right. You can find one such company easily in your area but don’t rush into making the decision as you will want to go through the customer feedback before finalizing anything with them. 

Another thing that can be done is to go through their success rate, it will help you in knowing how precise their services are.

Don’t settle for cheaper prices but instead go for the quality. It is possible to get it done for a cheaper price but many things are taken care of by these companies so often cheaper doesn’t mean better. 

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You should also discuss with them in advance if they own a trailer which suits your requirements. The trailer must be big and strong enough to support the weight of your houseboat and they should also own all the equipment necessary to support the lifting of your boat. 

Even if you choose not to use a moving company you should always talk to people who have put a houseboat on a trailer before either at your local marina or even at the moving company. They will often be able to clear up any questions that you still have and point you in the right direction if hiring someone isn’t for you or in your budget. 

Make sure that the place is right

Usually, for putting a houseboat onto a trailer, a place is chosen which is both perfect for the houseboat and the trailer. There will normally be loading ramps that are specifically designed for trailers to be backed up into the water so you can put you houseboat right up on it. 

Not all lakes and rivers have these and some only have them at certain places so you will want to do your research ahead of time. 

If you are hiring a company to trailer your houseboat and move it they will typically tell you the best place to do this on your specific waterway. You can also ask the moving company where they get the boat from even if you aren’t using them to find the best place. 

This will also help you out in saving you some time and effort in trying to figure it out on your own.

Be sure the trailer is in the right position

The trailer must be long enough to get into the water perfectly while still being attached to the truck or vehicle that you are using to pull it. It is important that you take care that the trailer is into the water just enough to support the boat. The trailer must be backed up in the perfect way to ensure that the depth of the trailer is as if it’s too shallow the houseboat won’t get on it easily and too deep and your vehicle might get pulled into the water. 

Also, the trailer should have ropes or chains to attach the boat to it. Once this step is done properly, the rest of the procedure can be completed easily. The wheels of the trailer must have enough grip to ensure that they don’t slip while driving out of the water along with the boat back up the boat ramp. 

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One person should be in the vehicle during the whole procedure to ensure that everything is going well and can also assist the move by adjusting the trailer up or down the boat ramp. Then you should also have at least one other person helping to guide the houseboat driver and the vehicle driver as well. The person assisting should be an expert and capable of noticing and fixing any errors as soon as they happen. 

Small errors can turn big quite easily so being able to notice an error before it gets bad is important. 

Make sure the houseboat driver is good

The houseboat must be driven with perfection when putting it onto the trailer. The water will support the boat while driving it but the position will have to be perfect. Ideally you will want someone piloting the houseboat who has gone through this process before. 

Ideally when the houseboat is being maneuvered onto the trailer you will have a few extra people on the boat and on land to help guide your houseboat pilot as positioning is crucial but a good houseboat driver will be able to do it solo if necessary. 

If you are relatively new to houseboats it’s a good idea to not drive the houseboat yourself as the chances of messing up increase in this case. You can hire a professional pilot or even ask a friend at the marina to help you if they have been doing it for years. 

Not only do you have to position the houseboat perfectly you also have to make sure to not approach the trailer too fast or too slow or 

When I was fourteen my grandpa asked me to hop yo in the cab of his truck and pull it forward a little bit cause he was trying to hook a trailer to it. I tried to protest that I had never driven a car before but he said that all I had to do was put it in drive and lightly press the gas. 

So that’s what I did! 

Except in my inexperience my “light” press of the gas was really hard and his truck peeled out on the grass and went flying forward (thankfully not into anything). I put the truck in park, shut It off and he never asked me to drive his truck again! 

Obviously you don’t want this to be you when trailering your houseboat for the first time so the money or time spent getting a professional’s help or at least the help from someone experienced is well worth it. 

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Final Step

Once the houseboat is precisely over the trailer, it must be tied to the hook of the trailer so that it is secured to the trailer. The driver of the vehicle must then drive the trailer slowly out of the water and onto the parking lot. With this, the houseboat will successfully be up on the trailer! 

After this, you will want to use a few safety tools to ensure that the houseboat doesn’t fall off during the move. You can use ropes, straps, chains and other items to tie the houseboat safely to the trailer but you will want to be sure that it is secure before you ever leave the lot. 

Additional Tips

There are a few things to be taken care of to ensure that all the items inside the houseboat stay safe during the move. You must ensure that anything that is loose is removed before heading down the road as things flying around can easily damage your houseboat or even other items. 

Another thing to make sure of is that the doors and windows of the houseboat are locked properly. You don’t want them to fly open while you are going down the road as they will likely break and could pose a hazard to other drivers. 

You should also remove any valuable items inside the houseboat so you can make sure that they don’t get broken or damaged during the move. All electrical items must be kept in a way that they don’t get bumped or jostled by anything else that could cause them to get damaged. 


Loading a houseboat on a trailer is a difficult task which can be made considerably easier with the help of professionals. Consulting a professional is quite important in such a case as it is a delicate thing to move and is prone to damage if not done right. 

You should invest your money or time in either hiring a good company or learning from some people how exactly to move it to avoid any harm to your precious houseboat. 

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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