Whether zipping around the lake or sea, personal watercrafts, often called jet skis, offer some of the most fun you can have on the water. We know that toy haulers are great for motorcycles, ATVs, and more, but is it possible to get a jet ski in a toy hauler? We're happy to report that you can. We've done the research, and here's how to do it:
To load a jet ski in a toy hauler, you should load it and the trailer together. The job is made much easier by using a winch. Please follow these steps:
- Secure a winch in your toy hauler garage.
- Get the trailer in place and attach it to the winch.
- Guide the trailer up the ramp as the winch pulls it.
- Secure the trailer in the garage.
Let's look at each of these steps in more detail, including helpful videos, so that you'll be able to do it safely and confidently. We will also cover questions about jet ski dollies, loading two jet skis, and launching your jet ski solo. Read on to learn all about it!
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Getting a jet ski into a toy hauler
Let's take a look at each of the steps in detail.
1. Secure a winch in your toy hauler garage
While not completely necessary, the job of loading and unloading a jet ski and trailer will be much easier if you install a winch in your toy hauler's garage. Rolling jet ski trailers by hand on a flat surface is easy, but some toy haulers have steep ramps. Even for two people, safely pulling a loaded trailer up the ramp can be a challenge.
Electric winches are ideal for this job, but hand-cranked winches can also work. Be sure your winch has a rating high enough for the combined weight of your trailer and jet ski.
The video below gives an example of how to install a winch in a toy hauler garage.
2. Get the trailer in place and attach it to the winch
Be sure to attach the winch to the frame of the trailer for the most security. Be sure that the jet ski is secured to the trailer as well.
3. Guide the trailer up the ramp while using the winch to pull it
Slow and steady is the name of the game here. If your winch has a remote control, it is even easier to guide your jet ski in on your own.
You can see this, as well as the previous steps, in action in the video below.
4. Secure the trailer in the garage
Now you can secure the trailer in the garage. Be sure to use strong straps and evenly distribute the tension in all directions, so the trailer doesn't move around while you're on the road.
These ratchet straps from Rhino USA have an impressive break strength of 5,208 lbs. Properly used, they'll last a lifetime and keep your trailer in place with ease.
How to Get Two Jet Skis in a Toy Hauler
While you can load a single jet ski trailer into a toy hauler the way we've described, things are more complicated for two jet skis. Trailers that hold two jet skis are too wide or too long for the vast majority of toy hauler garages.
Most jet skis themselves are also too wide or long to fit two in a single toy hauler garage, though there are some exceptions. The standing Jet Ski SX-R by Kawasaki has a width of 30.1", which is narrow enough to fit two in most toy hauler garages. Still, be sure to double-check the dimensions of the cargo area in your toy hauler.
To store it, you can use a toy hauler dolly, such as the one below from CE Smith. These dollies are less stable than a trailer, so take extra precautions when securing them in the garage.
While jet skis and dollies are often on the lighter side of toy hauler cargo, it is always essential to make sure your toy hauler has a high enough weight limit for them. This is especially true when you are bringing more than one and any extra cargo too. Check out our article, "How Much Weight Can a Toy Hauler Carry?" for more information.
How to Get a Jet Ski on a Dolly
The process of getting a jet ski from a trailer to a dolly doesn't have to be complicated. One of the most frustrating problems is that the dollies tend to move as you slide the jet ski on them.
To avoid this, simply use a strap to connect the dolly to the trailer. Make sure the support bars are lined up. Always transfer your jet ski in a slow, controlled manner.
See the process of transferring a jet ski to a dolly in the video below.
Best Tie-Downs for Jet Ski
If you have extras, the same heavy-duty straps you use to tie down your trailer or dolly can be used to secure your jet ski. However, if you need more, you can afford to go with a lighter-duty option as long as it still has a high enough break strength for your watercraft.
These ratchet straps from Aerofast have a break strength of 1,800 lbs which is enough for even large jet skis. They also have a third floating hook, which can be used to tie down the rear of the jet ski. Additionally, they are 8' in length, so you won't have to worry about them running out of rope.
Another good option for tying down your jet ski, these straps come from WavesRX. Their break strength is a little less, at 1,200 lbs, but that is plenty for most jet skis. WavesRX also makes other great products like beach anchors and docking ropes.
How to Launch a Jet Ski Alone
While it's easiest to launch a jet ski with two or more people, it can be done by yourself as well. A solo launch is simple to perform in just a few steps with a little planning and know-how.
1. Park the ramp and prepare your jet ski
Before taking your jet ski down the ramp, you'll want to park nearby so you can prepare it for launch.
Double-check your safety gear to make sure everything is still in order. You can put on your life jacket now to ensure that you don't forget it and have to go back later.
2. Back your trailer up to the ramp
Reverse slowly up to the ramp. Continue to back the trailer into the water until just the rear of your jet ski begins floating. Make sure you put the parking brakes on so your vehicle stays in place.
By this time, you likely have your toy hauler detached and set up in a campsite. In this case, you will be trailering your jet ski with your truck or another vehicle.
However, if you are launching your jet ski directly from your toy hauler, leave extra space. You will need enough room for your toy hauler ramp as well as the jet ski trailer. It takes some trial and error to get the distance right, but it will get easier each time with practice.
3. Step up on your jet ski as you push it off the trailer
At this point, you can remove the safety chain. Step onto the jet ski as you push it further into the water. This motion might feel a little awkward the first few times. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do it smoothly and naturally.
4. Motor your jet ski to the beach
Once you can see the water is more than three feet deep, you can turn on the engine. Motor your way to the beach, but be sure to turn off the engine as you approach or anywhere the water is shallower than three feet. Dismount and pull your jet ski securely onto the beach.
In some places, the water around the ramp and beech might be too shallow to start your engine. If this is the case, simply walk your jet ski from the ramp to the beach.
5. Go back and park your vehicle
While it's tempting to set off in the water right away, there's still one more step. Head back and park your vehicle so that the ramp is clear for others.
Now you'll be set to have some fun in the sun!
Watch the video below to see the full process of a solo launch.
It's hard to imagine a more perfect combination for an outdoor getaway than a toy hauler and a jet ski. The tranquility of the outdoors, the comfort of an RV, and the excitement of a jet ski are a recipe for the ideal trip, whether for a weekend or a week away.
Now that you know more about loading and securing your jet ski, as well as launching it, the only thing left to do is get out there and enjoy it.
Happy camping and smooth sailing!
To learn more about toy haulers and how to tow them, check out our article, "What Size Truck Do I Need for Towing a Toy Hauler?"