How Fast Can You Drive with A Jet Ski Trailer?


This question can be a tricky one.  There are states that have different speed limits for pulling trailers than what they are for just driving your vehicle down the highway.  Know the requirements and the laws in the state that you plan on pulling your jet ski trailer in or through if you are going on vacation.  The speed limits for pulling trailers are normally slower than that for the vehicles that are not pulling trailers. 

How fast can you drive with a jet ski trailer?

How fast you can drive with a jet ski trailer will depend on your manufacturer, state, tires, and confidence. Before you plan on towing on the freeway, make sure to check with your trailer manufacturer, state you will be towing in, as well as your tire speed rating to determine maximum speed.

Determining your PWC Trailer Maximum Speed

Trailer Manufacturer

There are some trailer tires that have a recommended maximum speed.  Know what your trailer tires maximum speed is that the manufacturer considers safe for them.  Some trailer tire manufacturers recommend max speed be around 60 miles per hour. 

Be aware and make sure the stay within the range. There are reasons that this is recommended.  The tires rolling on the pavement will increase heat and friction between your tires and the roadway.  If you are traveling at a higher rate of speed, this increases the heat on the tires possibly causing the tires to blow out.  This could cause a serious accident.

State Trailer Towing Speed Limit

In most states you can tow a PWC at the same speed as driving a car, but in some it can differ. Make sure to find out what the maximum speed limit in your state is before you start towing.

Tire Speed Rating

Your trailer tires will have a speed rating. Make sure to determine this before you tow. The tires on my jet ski trailer are M rated which means I can go a maximum speed of 81 mph. Make sure to buy quality tires as doing a quick tire search online brought me to some cheap “jet ski trailer” tires with only a D rating which is up to 40 mph.

Confidence while Driving

Have you pulled many trailers before?  This is a question that you need to ask yourself, if you have experience pulling a trailer, then as long as your trailer is hooked up properly and your load is evenly on your trailer, you should not have any problems. You will be able to drive faster than someone that has not pulled a trailer before.

If you have never pulled a trailer, it is wise to have someone that has this experience to check out your trailer and your load to make sure you are prepared to safely pull one.  Make sure you are properly connected with your safety chains in place. You should then start off at a slower pace, knowing that you have full control of your trailer.  Then if you are comfortable and not having trouble with any control issues, slowly increase your speed until you have reached the legal speed limit or the limit of your tires on your trailer, whichever is the lowest speed.

What to Watch For While Towing a Jet Ski Trailer

A single axle trailer can have some play in their steering and will want to go back and forth a couple of inches.  This can be made worse if your trailer is loaded with other items besides your jet ski and the balance may not be near the front as much as possible. It could also be worse if your balance is off all to one side.

Make sure that your weight is balanced and that you are prepared for the little wiggle that smaller trailers sometimes want to offer.  Also be aware if you are on the roadways with motorhomes or semi-trucks with trailers, when they are passing you, they create wind as they go by.  This could also cause your trailer to sway.

If you do have trailer sway, don’t slam on the brakes, just lower your speed gradually and remain calm. It should iron itself out quickly.

Double Trailers

These are bigger and heavier trailers.  They will haul 2 jet skis side by side.  When you are in this situation, you need to know if they are sticking out on the sides of your vehicle, or if your vehicle is wider than the double trailers. 

Your speeds will vary depending upon the width of the road and the traffic in certain areas.  Some of these trailers may be able to be purchased with double axles, meaning that they will be more solid on the straight roadways, but may not be as easy to turn or to park in smaller parking areas.  With them being more solid on the roadways, they will not have the wiggle that the single axles will have, and most drivers can maintain a little faster speed. The main thing is to make sure you are traveling and driving a safe speed within the law and getting to your destination safely.

Rougher Roads

When driving on rougher, narrower roads like towards some lakes, you would not want to drive pulling your jet ski trailer at a fast rate of speed.  Many of these roads have curves and dips in them. Sometimes when you are driving too fast and go into a dip in the road, this could cause a sudden sway or even the hitch to come off the ball because of the pressure that it will put on your hitch.  That is one of the reasons that safety chains are installed and should always be used.

This could create a bad situation and cause damage to your vehicle, trailer, and your jet ski.  Using common sense, might slow you down, but save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

Highway Driving

When you are driving on the highway, most drivers will be able to travel close to the normal speeds.  If you are an experienced driver and know how to pull a trailer as long as you are aware of your recommended tire speed and know in that state if your jet ski trailer qualifies for a reduced speed, you should be able to drive the speed limit. 

If traveling any distance, it is recommended to take periodic breaks and check your trailer, making sure your tie down straps and covers have not come loose from the wind.  The wind coming off of your vehicle and hitting your jet ski trailer does not always play nice with your covers and straps.  Make sure that everything is secure at all stops and do a check on your tires to make sure they are holding proper air pressure and that your bearings are not getting too hot.

Inexperienced Drivers

Even on the highways, if you are an inexperienced driver and have not had any or much experience in pulling a trailer, relax and do not feel the pressure to drive faster than your abilities will allow.  It is better to get to your destination safely and enjoy the rest of your trip even if it takes you a bit longer to get there.  You will gain experience as you drive and pull your trailer more and with that experience, you can then increase your speed and drive faster for the next trip or two. 

Conclusion

A driver’s ability, the weight load that your vehicle can comfortably handle, state laws, tire recommendations, wind conditions, and road conditions all affect the tricky question of how fast you can drive with a jet ski trailer. 

There are many variables that can make a difference in the speed that you can safely drive pulling your jet ski trailer.  These variables can be different depending upon the driver and what vehicle he is using to pull the jet ski.  While there are other variables that can depend upon the weather and the roads that you are traveling on. 

Someone going on the interstate can probably drive the speed limit with no problems, but if you are on two-lane narrower roads, the speed will not be as fast, and more caution will need to be taken.  The main factor is to drive the speed that you are comfortable with and know that the lake is not going anywhere and will be there if it takes you an hour longer to get there safely. 

Eric

I have been an avid boater / jet ski fanatic since I was a kid.

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