If you plan on transporting your boat or water toys with a trailer, there’s no sane alternative to an electric trailer dolly. These small yet powerful devices are the tugboats of the trailer world. They’ll quickly and efficiently align your trailer to your vehicle. In doing so, they reduce hours of back-breaking labor into a quick, simple procedure.
If you’ve already attempted this song and dance by hand, you can skip ahead to our top three electric trailer dollies. If not, read along to discover the importance of owning an electric trailer dolly and find out exactly what to consider when picking one out.
The Best Electric trailer dollies go as follows:
Top Three Best Electric Trailer Dollies Reviews
As rated by customers.
1. Trailer Valet 5X Trailer Dolly
The Trailer Valet 5X features a patented drive system with a combination of high and low gears. The system is so efficient it can be folded up in a matter of seconds. Despite its compact size, it is capable of moving trailers that weigh as much as 5,000 pounds. What’s more, it can move trailers with a tongue weight of 500 pounds.
The Trailer Valet boasts an 8-inch mounting bracket. As such, it is compatible with most trailers. It also features a rotating coupling. The coupling can be used to attach the trailer dolly to the side of a trailer frame. When you are ready to remove the dolly, all you have to do is swivel it down.
The 5X also boasts a jack function. The jack can be used to raise a trailer to unhook it from a ball. This makes it easier to hitch and unhitch loads that are not perfectly level. Since this is one of our biggest frustrations when it comes to hitching a load, we were happy to see that the manufacturer considered it.
As if that’s not enough, the dolly’s steering handle is equipped with an automatic braking system. This system enables users to lock their trailer in place. You can also adjust the gear system to produce an adequate amount of torque. With dual 85-PSI tires, you’ll have no trouble getting your haul from one spot to the next.
This trailer dolly comes with a generous 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. What’s more, it’s backed by 300 hours of corrosion resistance. Customers agree that this electric trailer dolly is built to last. However, some consumers have reported issues with the wheels. A few customers even said that the wheels slipped backward when pulling a heavy load uphill. We tried the 5X on a slope that was less than 2-inches (per the manufacturer’s recommendation) and experienced no issues. However, we wouldn’t risk using the Valet on a hill.
With all that said, this beast was able to pull our 2,000-pound boat up a modest incline. We simply made sure to put enough weight on the tongue. With the 5X on our side, we were able to cut our moving and alignment time in half.
We were pleasantly surprised by the level of control that the 5X offered. We were able to make sharp turns and precise adjustments without any resistance. Unlike the Trailer Valet RVR, it puts you right at the helm.
While the 5 requires manual cranking, you can easily convert it into a motorized dolly by purchasing a drill attachment. This enables you to use a battery-powered or corded drill to increase the dolly’s hauling power and speed.
We feel that the Trailer Valet 5X is the perfect towing device for boat owners. Its small size yet incredible towing capacity set it miles apart from the competition. The manufacturer is a cult favorite. The 5X has a low price and a generous warranty. As such, there’s little that should deter a consumer from adding this portable land-loving tugboat into their arsenal of weekend toys. With that said, if you want a dolly that doesn’t require manual cranking, we recommend upgrading to the RVR.
- Patented drive system
- High and low drive gears
- Folds up and down within seconds
- Moves up 5,000 pounds or 500-pound tongue
- 1-year manufacturing warranty
- 300 hours of corrosion resistance
- Tires slip on steep inclines
- Weak inner tubes
2. Trailer Valet XL Trailer Dolly
The extra-large Trailer Valet offers an impressive amount of pulling power. This beast of a machine can pull up to 10,000 pounds on a flat, packed surface. It even includes a complimentary drill attachment for times when you need to pump up the power. What’s more, a built-in automatic braking system keeps the machine and your trailer from rolling away.
The Trailer Valet XL is suitable for hauling trailers that way as much as 10,000 pounds. You can even adjust between high and low gears depending on the weight of the load you’re carrying. The drill attachment also serves to increase the XL’s strength. It is compatible with most standard 18 to 20-volt cordless drills. However, Trailer Valet goes out of their way to recommend Dewalt. As consumers, we take this recommendation with a grain of salt.
We love that this trailer dolly features a durable steel foundation. What’s more, its black powder coating and zinc-nickel plating ensure us that it’s a good choice for briny ocean water and the likes. It even features Trailer Valet’ flagship 300-hour salt spray rating. As such, we’d be happy to bring this dolly along for nearly any waterside adventure.
Customers are pleased with Trailer Valet’s tire improvements. The XL includes a pair of never-flat rubber tires. While these tires don’t do an excellent job on steep inclines, they can haul anything over flat earth. Just be sure to consult with the manufacturer before attempting to use this device on a surface with a slope greater than 2 inches. Too much strain can put you in a precarious situation.
We think the XL is a great trailer dolly for large boats and other sizable aquatic vessels. It’s easy to control and offers plenty of road-top traction. The braking system is a nice safety feature that’s missing from many models. While the XL doesn’t have the greatest tongue weight capacity, it’s an adequate size for medium to large loads.
If you want a budget-friendly dolly that will save you from the stress of hitching your boat, then go ahead and order the Trailer Valet XL. After reading through countless customer reviews, it’s safe to say that this is a device that will stick with you.
The XL also features an automatic braking system. The system can hold a hefty trailer in place. All you need to do is press the handle down to lock it. Then, lift it to release. At just under $1,000, you’d be hard-pressed to find a mechanical trailer dolly with a greater hauling capacity than the Trailer Valet XL.
- Never-flat rubber tires
- Drill attachment for improved cranking power
- Automatic brake
- Steel construction with black powder coating
- Zinc-nickel plating fends off rust
- 300-hour corrosion resistance
- 10,000-pound of pulling power
- Does not perform well on slopes
3. Trailer Valet RVR
Last but not least, the Trailer Valet RVR offers impressive remote towing power. The device features an upright trailer hitch atop a custom a small mechanical base that resembles a miniature military tank or all-terrain robot. The movements of the wireless trailer dolly are input through a long-range remote control. Users can operate the remote control at a distance as great as 40 feet. This enables them to walk around their trailer and inspect it from all angles. In doing so, they can avoid the intermittent interruptions that are so common with manually operated trailer dollies.
The dolly has a robotic base with two strips of heavy duty caterpillar tread. The caterpillar tread does an excellent job of gripping hard, flat surfaces. However, it struggles a little on slopes and rocky terrain. We tested the dolly on everything from asphalt to gravel. It performed well on both stable and shifty surfaces.
The RVR5 can move a trailer 29.5 feet per minute. Without a load, it travels a little faster. It is capable of traipsing over 23 feet of the ground every minute. The RVR5 a hauling capacity of 5,500 pounds and a vertical tongue weight of 660 pounds. However, there are two other models. Together, the dollies have a towing capacity that ranges from 3,500 to 9,000 pounds.
The RVR trailer dollies come with either two or 4 planetary gear motors. These push the gears that spin the heavy duty caterpillar treads. Their ceaseless power is evident in their ginormous towing capacities. As you can see in thisvideo., the tiny, unassuming RVR doesn’t even struggle to pull a large Airstream travel trailer.
It’s worth noting that the RVR also comes with a set of interchangeable hitch balls. The 2 and 2 5/16-inch balls make it easy to attach the trailer dolly to most trailer couplers. Most consumers found it easy to attach and remove the balls from the Valet’s base. The RVR3, which is the smallest model, even comes with a mounting bracket. This can be used to attach the RVR3 to the side of a trailer.
We tested the RVR out on a few different trailers. Despite the trailers’ obvious weight disparities, we didn’t notice a change in the RVR’s performance. It continued to offer slow, steady pulling power. Despite its heavy loads, it responded rapidly to momentary changes of direction. The manufacturer is quick to warn potential customers that more pulling power isn’t always better. It is best to stick with the RVR model that offers a towing capacity that is closest to the weight of your trailer. After all, the RVR9 may not be the best match for a lightweight haul.
Customers felt that the Trailer Valet RVR was slow yet efficient. Many customers claimed that it took their RVR several minutes to move a trailer just a few feet. Nevertheless, most customers are pleased with the way the RVR grips the ground. What’s more, they feel that it offers adequate pulling power.
While you need to pay a surplus for this remote-controlled trailer dolly, it’s a welcome convenience. For many trailer owners, untethered hauling power is a priceless commodity. We felt that the RVR saved us from a lot of stress and back-breaking labor. Whether you’re dealing with a motorhome, a food truck, or a fishing boat, you’ll be happy to have it one your side!
- 5,500 pounds of hauling power (3,500 and 9,000-pound options are also available)
- 660-pound vertical tongue
- Dual ball bearings come with the base
- Remote control
- Heavy duty caterpillar treads
- 3-minute automatic shutoff
- Comes with a storage bag
- Charger included
- Struggles on slopes
How to Choose the Best Electric Dolly Trailer
What is a Trailer Dolly?
Trailer dollies are mechanical devices that are used to move trailers and RVs. Most trailer dollies are capable of towing anywhere from 2,000 to 1,000 pounds. Despite their power, trailer dollies are usually small enough to strap onto a towable rig. Trailer dollies are either manually cranked or powered by an internal motor.
Manual trailer dollies feature hand cranks or pumps. These dollies make it easier to move and maneuver a trailer. However, they can be physically taxing. For one, you need to use plenty of elbow grease to get these trailers moving. You may also need to crouch over to crank a manual dolly. Whenever possible, we recommend opting for a motorized trailer dolly.
Some manual trailer dollies come equipped with drill attachments. These attachments enable users to use a cordless or electrical power drill to move the mechanisms inside of the dolly.
Last but not least, some trailer dollies are equipped with electric motors. Motorized dollies are the easiest to use. Nevertheless, they are typically more expensive.
Trailer dollies connect to trailers via ball mounts. Most trailers can be attached to 2 or 2 5/16 inch ball mount. However, there are also 1 7/8 and 3-inch ball mounts on some trailers. Some trailer dollies come with interchangeable ball mounts. These are the best option for people who own multiple trailers.
Your trailer dolly must have a built-in jack. A swiveling jack enables you to lift your trailer to hitch it to your vehicle. A jack enables you to adjust the height of your trailer and position it for easy mounting.
Some trailer dollies come with a trailer coupling. A coupling enables users to attach their dolly to the side of a trailer wall. This is ideal for when you are taking your trailer on an extended trip.
If you’ve ever attempted to move a boat trailer around, you already know that they are heavy and cumbersome. Dolly trailers make it easier for people to hitch their trailer to a vehicle. However, dollies are only as good as their navigation system.
Every trailer dolly has a preset weight capacity. This is the maximum amount of weight that the trailer can pull. A dolly that is pushed beyond its weight limit may break or fail to move. As such, it is extremely important to choose a dolly with a weight capacity that is compatible with your trailer.
Tongue Weight Capacity
A dolly’s tongue weight is the amount of weight that is transferred directly onto the dolly via the trailer’s tongue. Use the previous link to calculate your trailer’s tongue weight.
If you’re using your trailer dolly to transport a watercraft, we recommend opting for a device with a durable, salt-resistant powder coating. The minerals and salts in water can cause rust and corrosion on a dolly’s metal parts.
Powder coatings are more durable than traditional metal coatings. They provide metal with a protective layer. It’s also important that a dolly has resilient joints. Strong welded joints ensure that a dolly can withstand intense pressure.
Trailer dolly wheels need to be extremely resilient. We recommend opting for wheels with deep treads and flat-resistant inner tubes. Inferior tires can lead to extremely dangerous situations. Always check the pressure in your dolly’s tires before towing a heavy load.
Most trailer dollies don’t require regular upkeep. However, we recommend checking your dolly’s tire pressure to ensure that it is ready for towing. Make sure that each tire has an adequate PSI. What’s more, ensure that the tire lugs are tight and the tire tread is not worn.
We also recommend using a little lubricant on your dolly’s joints. This will eliminate any noise. What’s more, it will keep the tires and gears in good working condition.
Why Purchase an Electric Trailer Dolly?
Many boat owners don’t realize what they’re missing by not owning a trailer dolly. However, maneuvering and moving a trailer dolly can put a huge damper on aquatic adventures. The process can be time-consuming, frustrating, and stressful. If you’re working alone, it can feel like aligning your trailer and vehicle is an impossible task.
A high-quality trailer dolly will dramatically improve your towing experience. Before you rule out these tools, consider the fact that there are several different options on the market. Manual models are best for trailer owners on a limited budget. Meanwhile, motorized trailer dollies offer ample power for a few more bucks.
Add one of these machines to your boating equipment and reap the immediate benefits of your decision!
FAQs About Trailer Dollies
What should I look for in a trailer dolly handle?
A trailer dolly handle should offer you a substantial amount of leverage. You don’t want to be bending over backward just to maneuver your boat trailer a few feet. Find a trailer dolly with slip-resistant grips. Otherwise, go all out and purchase a remote-controlled trailer dolly, such as the Trailer Valet RVR.
Should I be concerned with the quality of my trailer dolly’s wheels?
Consumers often complain that their trailer dolly’s wheels aren’t cut out to carry their load. You can avoid common tire issues by opting for pneumatic or flat-free tires. Pneumatic tires consist of an inner tube filled with air and a heavy rubber tread. It’s important to regulate the PSI of pneumatic tires, as poor tire pressure can result in a dangerous flat. On the other hand, flat-free tires have solid interiors. There’s no need to add air or worry about flats.
If any of your tires should fail, you can always purchase replacements.
Do trailer dollies work on slopes?
All too often, we see consumer complaints about trailer dollies failing to make it up steep slopes. Most manufacturers set clear usage guidelines in their user manuals. Usually, it is not a good idea to maneuver a large load up a hill. If this is something you expect to do regularly, make sure to choose a dolly that’s up for the task!
What are some common safety concerns related to trailer dollies?
Many people don’t pay proper attention to trailer dolly safety requirements. Always read your trailer dolly user manual before attempting to maneuver a heavy load. Follow all protocols. What’s more, always wear protective shoes and clothing.
Trailers can flip over or come loose. Don’t put all of your trust in a trailer dolly. While these machines usually live up to their promises, there’s no reason to partake in potentially risky behavior. Check your trailer dolly for cracks and other defects. What’s more, secure your tow load before attempting to move it. Make sure to lock your dolly in place when you are not actively moving it. You can’t be too cautious when manipulating loads that way thousands of pounds!
If you’re willing to shell out big bucks, you cannot go wrong with the Trailer Valet RVR. This impressive wireless dolly enables you to move your trailer from a distance of 40 feet. It comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and offers up to 30 minutes of power per charge. The remote control navigator enables you to inspect the area around your trailer as it is being moved. With four planetary gear motors and rugged caterpillar treads, the RVR is a match for nearly any terrain. It even comes with a set of interchangeable hitch mounts.
Of course, both the Trailer Valet XL and the Trailer Valet 5X V211 are great alternatives. Be sure to pick a trailer dolly that meets all of your towing requirements and fits within your budget. With a trailer dolly, you can finally move and hitch your trailer without committing to hours of back-breaking labor. If that means more time on the water, sign us up!