Looking for recommendations on electric trailer dolly

Bryan E

Newbie
Mar 20, 2021
3
2
62
92007
Name
Bryan David Edwards
Boat
15' Boston Whaler Super Sport 1988
Just picked up a Hewescraft 160 Sportsman. It's proving to be a lot more tricky and difficult to maneuver in and out of my alley garage than my Boston Whaler 15 supersport. For a 16' boat the Hewescraft is a beast. Looking online I'm thinking a good solution would be a battery-powered trailer dolly. There's a number of options out there but I'm not finding much in the way of credible reviews or testimonials. The ParkIt360 product looks pretty good but it's about $2K and so not something to be purchased without doing a little investigating. Figured I'd ask the BD crew and see if anyone has any recommendations or experience with these things. Thanks!
 
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ShadowX

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Oct 10, 2010
2,982
4,558
Los Angeles
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Anonymous
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None
I got the power mover AC5 unit and it has ben a workhorse. If you have enough distance from an AC outlet, its less headache than dealing with batteries. The company used to be called Power Mover. You can get even for $500 if you get a used unit.

 
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Jul 14, 2005
378
27
so.cal
Name
Spark
Boat
210 Triumph center console
I got the power mover AC5 unit and it has ben a workhorse. If you have enough distance from an AC outlet, its less headache than dealing with batteries. The company used to be called Power Mover. You can get even for $500 if you get a used unit.

Parkit. 360.
 
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Airbike

Newbie
Jul 23, 2015
84
136
SoCal
Name
Dan
Boat
NA
I've been using a Trailer Valet for past 5 years and it works great for me.
Can use manual crank or use their adaptor for cordless drill.
Standard model works for my 21' boat/trailer
They have a XL one for bigger if needed.
 
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openclass

Slam
  • May 28, 2009
    892
    1,128
    Larkspur
    Name
    Rick
    Boat
    Parker 2820
    A front bumper hitch would give you extreme maneuverability and you could confidently put the boat in some pretty tight areas. Probably would save you a grand over those powered dolly things. img_6911.jpg
     
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    ShadowX

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Oct 10, 2010
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    Anonymous
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    None
    A front bumper hitch would give you extreme maneuverability and you could confidently put the boat in some pretty tight areas. Probably would save you a grand over those powered dolly things.View attachment 1339895

    This is definitely the way to go if your curb or driveway has a channel for drainage. Many of the power movers will bottom out or has traction issues if the surfaces are not even or if its sandy. It will also struggle with a large 20+ foot boat if you are trying to get it up a ramp. If the power mover loses power when it goes up a ramp, it will come right down because it has no power brakes. I have traction issues in some parts of the driveway.

    A 1/2 horsepower power mover will never beat a 150+ HP car engine. My buddy using his front hitch is able to push his boat up a 10-15 degree driveway ramp with no problems. He has only around 12 inches of clearance on each side of the driveway.

    I agree with openclass, putting on a front hitch is the preferred option first. The power mover is only when you have no other choice and the driveway conditions allow you to use it.
     
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    Crowman

    Member
    Mar 3, 2017
    450
    511
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    Crowman
    Boat
    YES
    Just picked up a Hewescraft 160 Sportsman. It's proving to be a lot more tricky and difficult to maneuver in and out of my alley garage than my Boston Whaler 15 supersport. For a 16' boat the Hewescraft is a beast. Looking online I'm thinking a good solution would be a battery-powered trailer dolly. There's a number of options out there but I'm not finding much in the way of credible reviews or testimonials. The ParkIt360 product looks pretty good but it's about $2K and so not something to be purchased without doing a little investigating. Figured I'd ask the BD crew and see if anyone has any recommendations or experience with these things. Thanks!
    If you get one look for a brand that has the wheels separated on either side of the frame instead of the ones that have both wheels together in the center of the frame. The wide one is more stable when trying to turn tighter corners. I don't have a brand recommendation but I would get a corded model as a 14ga, 100 foot extension cord will do the job.
     
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    FishingFiend

    Almost A Member
    Nov 5, 2003
    245
    469
    SoCal
    Name
    FishingFiend
    Boat
    Cayman 226
    Sounds like the Trailer valet 5x would work for the size of you boat, but it's not battery powered. I have a barely used unit for sale if interested.

     
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    john beerling

    Almost A Member
    Jun 9, 2008
    130
    386
    So Cal
    Name
    john
    Boat
    Robalo Cayman 226
    Hands down, get a Power Caster. Locally made, family business owned and operated. Been in business for decades. Built like a tank, and will last forever. Careful with the Trailer Valet. I tried to save a few bucks and purchased one. It’s a death trap as it will fall over. After repeated efforts to make it work, almost got crushed on multiple times. Eventually returned the product. You’ll never hear a single complaint about the Power Caster. My old tourn partner has one over 35 years, and works perfect.
     
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    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
    10,028
    9,272
    Mission Viejo
    Name
    MarkT
    Boat
    Blazer Bay 1860
    How about a quad ATV with a trailer hitch? Will manouver your boat into tight spaces and conquer dunes the rest of the time!
     
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    rock lobster

    rock lobster
    Sep 10, 2003
    124
    42
    63
    Bonsal
    Visit site
    Name
    steve
    Boat
    20 skippy
    I have the battery powered Parkit 360 which works great with my 20 skipjack. As long as its fairly level.The 360 can be hooked up to your trailer brakes if needed. You have to tighten the hitch connection or it will tip on you. I found its it only drawback. I always have the trailer jack about an inch of the surface in case its not tight enough. Oh yes the price too. I picked up mine on craigslist for $600 which I thought was reasonable.

    Steve
     
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    jondavies

    Newbie
    Jan 30, 2012
    43
    21
    Pasadena
    Name
    jon
    Boat
    Sea Ox
    I use a front hitch (awesome for pushing up a long sloping drive). The amount of control is amazing. I have 6" clearance either side and it is no sweat. For a while I backed it in. That was stressful.

    However, when i get to the back yard (flatter ground) I use a Power Caster PC1 to push the boat as I have to make a tighter turn and there isn't clearance for the truck. Power Casters are great and the company is great to deal with (local to me).

    It's a dance but it works. I have 24' and 18' boats.
     
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    T Shark

    Member
    Jun 15, 2007
    405
    134
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    Name
    Michael
    Boat
    My Medication
    Trailer valet is an awesome tool. I use it to move my 26' toy hauler that is fully loaded into my back yard as its to tight to do with the truck. It moves the trailer with ease up a slight grade using a cordless drill. No batteries to deal with or cords getting in the way. Cant say enough about this product.
     
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    Bryan E

    Newbie
    Mar 20, 2021
    3
    2
    62
    92007
    Name
    Bryan David Edwards
    Boat
    15' Boston Whaler Super Sport 1988
    Hey all, thanks so much for all the thoughtful recommendations and advice. Sorry for not getting back sooner but holidays, travel and family took center stage. I've definitely got more options to consider now! I was having a hard time visualizing the front hitch but the photo that Openclass posted was really helpful. Just need to see if I can retrofit one on my Xterra. My next thing to do on the power dolly option is to really assess the details of my alley and driveway and see what kind of obstacles and challenges it might pose. It's a hodgepodge of surfaces and there's some incline and I want to make sure it can navigate it all. The other thing that ShadowX brought to my attention is what could happen if you lose power and there's no braking mechanism. That's kind of what got me looking into this in the first place. The night I brought my boat home I figured I could muscle it up the driveway like I do with my Whaler and with the help of my tiny wife. Just about took out the neighbors fence when we lost control! Thanks again, everybody. Much appreciated. Happy holidays!
     
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    Bryan E

    Newbie
    Mar 20, 2021
    3
    2
    62
    92007
    Name
    Bryan David Edwards
    Boat
    15' Boston Whaler Super Sport 1988
    Update: Weighed all my options and settled on a front hitch for my Xterra. All in with the class 3 hitch and the adjustable height ball mount I'm in it for around $300. So far so good! It's amazing how much more steering control you have from the front. The only downside is the fire drill I have to do when I pull into my alley and then have to unhitch from the back, turn the car around, then line up and hitch up front. It's way easier having a spotter to help you line up but most times I'm a one-man band so its just a matter of getting "systemitized" to be as quick as possible. Thanks again for all the suggestions.
    IMG_6178.JPG
    IMG_6202.jpeg
    IMG_6200.JPG
     
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    jondavies

    Newbie
    Jan 30, 2012
    43
    21
    Pasadena
    Name
    jon
    Boat
    Sea Ox
    Update: Weighed all my options and settled on a front hitch for my Xterra. All in with the class 3 hitch and the adjustable height ball mount I'm in it for around $300. So far so good! It's amazing how much more steering control you have from the front. The only downside is the fire drill I have to do when I pull into my alley and then have to unhitch from the back, turn the car around, then line up and hitch up front. It's way easier having a spotter to help you line up but most times I'm a one-man band so its just a matter of getting "systemitized" to be as quick as possible. Thanks again for all the suggestions.
    View attachment 1348605View attachment 1348606View attachment 1348607
    Get a cheap backup camera and mount it on the front bumper so you can see the ball and the hitch line up. Pretty sure i have seen ones that sync to your phone with minimal installation. Worth their weight in gold when you are working solo. Another cheap option is the foam balls on the magnetic wands but technology is more fun lol.
     
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    Bryan E
    Bryan E
    I was just watching a friend of mine backing up to hitch up his boat and was stunned at how accurate he was in lining it up. Finally realized he had a backup camera. I hadn't even thought about a backup camera that I could install that could wireless connect to my iphone. That is definitely something I'm going to look into. Thanks!
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