Trailer Bunk Carpet Alternative [Revealing the Best Option]

Are you a boat owner looking for the best option to replace your worn-out trailer bunk carpet? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the world of trailer bunk carpet alternatives and reveal …

Trailer Bunk Carpet Alternative

Are you a boat owner looking for the best option to replace your worn-out trailer bunk carpet? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the world of trailer bunk carpet alternatives and reveal the ultimate choice for your boating needs.

Whether you’re a seasoned boater or new to the world of boat trailers, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need.

Do You Need Carpet on Trailer Bunks?

First things first.

Before we dive into the world of alternatives, let’s address the question of whether you actually need carpet on your trailer bunks.

The short answer is no, you don’t need it. However, having carpet on your trailer bunks provides several benefits that can make your boating experience smoother and more enjoyable.

One of the primary reasons for having carpet on trailer bunks is to protect your boat’s hull.

The soft and cushioned surface of the carpet helps prevent scratches and damage to your boat when loading and unloading it onto the trailer. It also provides a stable surface for the boat to rest on during transportation, reducing the risk of shifting or sliding.

Moreover, carpet on trailer bunks slides acts as a barrier between the boat and the metal surface of the trailer. This barrier helps prevent galvanic corrosion, which can occur when dissimilar metals come into contact with each other.

Boat Trailer Bunk Padding
Boat Trailer Bunk Padding; Google Images caption

By using carpet, you create a protective layer that minimizes the potential for corrosion and extends the lifespan of your trailer and boat.

What Material Are Trailer Bunk Slides?

Now that we understand the importance of having carpet on trailer bunks, let’s explore the materials commonly used for trailer bunk slides.

Trailer bunk slides, also known as bunk glides or bunk slicks, are the components that allow your boat to slide smoothly onto the trailer. They are typically made of low-friction materials that reduce friction and make launching and retrieving your boat easier.

One popular material for trailer bunk slides is polypropylene.

This synthetic material offers excellent durability, low friction, and resistance to wear and tear. It provides a smooth surface for your boat to glide on, ensuring effortless loading and unloading. Polypropylene bunk slides are also resistant to chemicals and UV rays, making them a long-lasting option for your trailer bunks.

Another material commonly used for trailer bunk slides is Teflon. Teflon is a high-performance polymer known for its exceptional low-friction properties. It offers similar benefits to polypropylene, providing a smooth and slick surface for your boat to slide on. Teflon bunk slides are highly durable and can withstand heavy loads, making them an ideal choice for boaters seeking long-term reliability.

Can You Use Any Carpet for Boat Bunks?

Now, let’s address the question of whether any carpet will do for your boat bunks. While it may be tempting to repurpose any old carpet you have lying around, it’s important to choose a carpet specifically designed for marine applications.

Regular household or outdoor carpets may not have the necessary qualities to withstand the harsh marine environment.

When selecting carpet for boat bunks, there are a few key factors to consider.

1 First and foremost, choose a carpet that is marine-grade.

Marine-grade carpets are specifically designed to withstand the challenges of boating, such as exposure to water, sunlight, and chemicals. They are resistant to mold, mildew, and UV damage, ensuring longevity and performance.

#2 Additionally, opt for a carpet with a low-pile height.

A low-pile carpet provides a smooth surface for your boat to slide on, reducing friction and making loading and unloading easier. High-pile carpets can create more resistance, potentially leading to difficulties when launching or retrieving your boat.

#3 Lastly, consider a carpet with backing designed for marine use.

The backing plays a crucial role in preventing water absorption and promoting quick drying. Look for a carpet with a marine-grade backing that provides excellent water drainage and ensures your trailer bunks stay dry and moisture-free.

What Can I Use for Trailer Bunk Carpet?

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: the best alternative to trailer bunk carpet.

After some research, we believe that synthetic bunk carpet (polypropylene carpet) is the ultimate choice for your trailer bunks. Synthetic bunk carpet offers numerous advantages over traditional carpet options, making it a popular and reliable alternative.

One significant advantage of synthetic bunk carpet is its exceptional durability. Unlike natural fibers, synthetic materials are less prone to mold, mildew, and rotting. They can withstand prolonged exposure to water and moisture without deteriorating, ensuring a longer lifespan for your trailer bunks.

Synthetic bunk carpet is also resistant to UV damage, maintaining its color and integrity over time.

In terms of low-friction properties, synthetic bunk carpet excels. It provides a smooth and slick surface for your boat to slide on, minimizing resistance and facilitating effortless launching and retrieval. With synthetic bunk carpet, you can bid farewell to the frustration of struggling to load or unload your boat.

Another advantage of synthetic bunk carpet is its ease of maintenance.

It is relatively simple to clean and does not require excessive maintenance routines. Synthetic materials are less likely to retain dirt, debris, or fish scales, and they dry quickly, preventing the buildup of mold or odors.

To summarize, synthetic bunk carpet offers superior durability, low-friction properties, and easy maintenance, making it an excellent choice for replacing your trailer bunk carpet.

By investing in synthetic bunk carpet, you can enhance your boating experience and ensure the longevity of your boat and trailer.

Cuda Boat trailer bunk carpet

cuda boat trailer bunk carpet
Cuda boat trailer bunk carpet

CE Smith bunk carpet

ce smith bunk carpet
black boat bunk carpet by CE Smith

Benefits of Synthetic Bunk Carpet

Exceptional durabilitySynthetic materials are resistant to mold, mildew, and rotting, providing longevity for your trailer bunks.
Low-friction propertiesSynthetic bunk carpet offers a smooth and slick surface, reducing resistance and facilitating easy boat loading.
Easy maintenanceSynthetic materials are easy to clean, dry quickly, and resist dirt and debris, making maintenance a breeze.
UV resistantSynthetic bunk carpet withstands UV damage, ensuring color retention and integrity over time.
Moisture-resistant backingSynthetic bunk carpet comes with marine-grade backing, promoting water drainage and preventing moisture retention.

Trailer Bunk Carpet Alternative: Boat User Advice

One of the best ways to find answers is to ask for advice.

Here is a table summarizing the main points about trailer bunk carpet alternative shared by boat owners on the Internet:

Key Points
The person used indoor/outdoor carpet from Home Depot and it held up well. The only issue was the length limitation (12′ long) while needing 14′ for two bunks.
The person found indoor/outdoor carpeting as a cost-saving alternative for their bunks. They were considering using monel staples for installation.
Suggests using carpet runner for bunks, which is 3 ft wide and can be purchased in any length. Claims it works great.
Confirms the use of indoor/outdoor cloth-type carpet from Home Depot. Recommends using “u” shaped staples for better holding.
Raises concerns about using carpet runner due to water/moisture retention. Believes indoor/outdoor or marine carpet would be better.
Suggests buying a 5′ piece of 12′ carpet to have more than enough material. Advises against using regular staples due to rusting.
Shares personal experience of splicing and overlapping carpet sections with success, even with the boat sliding up and down.
Warns about using staples not suitable for pressure-treated lumber.
Recommends for great products and pricing.
Recommends Surfix slicks for boat trailer bunks, mentioning no problems with screws backing out.
Agrees on using Surfix and praises their quality and affordability.
Considers using a combination of Surfix and Caliber Marine Slides for different sections of their bunks based on weight distribution.
Highlights the benefits of using bunk slides and suggests making them from a sheet of Starboard or purchasing budget slides.
Suggests using surplus fire hose material for bunks.
Recommends making custom bunk slides from HDPE with counter sunk holes for attachment.
Shares a recommendation to use Trex composite lumber for bunk slides and advises using transom straps and keeping the bow hooked on the ramp.
Shares personal experience with worn bunk slicks and suggests installing bunk covers over carpeted bunks.
Shares their recent purchase of slicks from Surfix for front guide bunks, explaining the reason behind their choice.
Comments on the person’s plan to use slicks only on the front guide bunks and explains the reasoning behind it.
Mentions using Surfix slicks for front bunks instead of routering pieces of starboard. Gives reasons for using slicks.
Provides a link to with information on bunk covers. Mentions weight limits for aluminum and fiberglass boats.

Surfix Trailer Bunk Glides mentioned in the comments

More Popular Alternatives to Carpet

Trailer bunk carpet often has to endure harsh conditions that can lead to wear and tear over time.

However, there are several popular alternatives to carpet that can help you avoid these issues. Here are some of the most widely used materials and their unique features:


PVC is a popular choice for those looking for an alternative material for trailer bunks. It’s a durable thermoplastic polymer that is both strong and lightweight, making it easy to handle.

PVC material resists corrosion from saltwater and chemicals commonly found in marine environments, making it an excellent option for boat trailers. One of the biggest advantages of PVC is its easy-to-clean nature.

It’s resistant to mold, mildew, and bacterial growth, which means you won’t have to worry about any unpleasant odors or stains. Additionally, PVC can be customized with different colors or patterns to suit your preferences.


Rubber is another popular choice when it comes to alternative trailer bunk materials. Rubber bunks provide superior protection against scratches or dents on your boat hull while launching or driving onto the trailer. Rubber also offers excellent grip so your boat stays in place while being transported.

Rubber is a non-porous material that prevents water absorption and keeps odors at bay. Trailer bunk rubber is available with smooth or ridged surfaces depending on your preference – smooth surfaces may be used for boats without a lot of surface area in contact with the bunks while ridged surfaces may be more suitable for heavier boats with larger surface area contact.


Polypropylene provides similar benefits as rubber without being as heavy-duty. It’s made from non-toxic materials that don’t leave any color residue on your boat hull when wet which makes it convenient if you frequently launch in brackish waters.

Polypropylene is also an easy-to-clean material that resists mold and mildew growth.

It’s also resistant to UV rays, which means it won’t degrade as quickly under sunlight. Polypropylene bunks are also relatively inexpensive, making them a great option for budget-conscious boaters.

These are just some of the popular alternatives to carpet that you can use for your trailer bunks. Each one has unique features and benefits worth considering before deciding which one suits your needs best.

DIY Alternatives

Are you a DIY enthusiast? Do you love to tinker with things and create your own solutions? Then this section is for you!

There are plenty of creative DIY solutions that can be used as an alternative to trailer bunk carpet. The following are some of the most popular options that you can try out.

Pool Noodles

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy solution, pool noodles are a great option. These colorful foam tubes are readily available at most stores and can be easily cut to size using a knife or scissors.

All you need to do is place them on top of your trailer bunks and secure them in place with zip ties or duct tape. To implement this solution, start by measuring the length of your trailer bunks and then purchase enough pool noodles to cover them completely.

Once you have the pool noodles, cut them into sections that match the length of your bunks. Place the sections of pool noodle on top of each bunk and secure them in place with zip ties or duct tape.

Foam Padding

Another effective DIY solution is foam padding. This option provides more cushioning than pool noodles and is also easy to install.

You can purchase foam padding from any home improvement store or online retailer.

To implement this option, start by measuring the length of your trailer bunks and then purchase enough foam padding to cover them completely. Once you have the padding, cut it into sections that match the length of your bunks.

Place the sections of foam padding on top of each bunk and secure them in place with zip ties or duct tape.

These DIY options offer simplicity and cost-effectiveness over traditional carpet bunking material while still maintaining the durability needed for transporting watercraft safely through long distances or rough roads in different weather conditions!


When it comes to trailer bunk carpet alternatives, synthetic bunk carpet reigns supreme. Its exceptional durability, low-friction properties, and easy maintenance make it the ideal choice for boat owners seeking a reliable and long-lasting solution.

By opting for synthetic bunk carpet, you can protect your boat’s hull, reduce the risk of corrosion, and enjoy effortless loading and unloading.

Remember, when choosing carpet for your trailer bunks, opt for marine-grade options with a low pile height and appropriate backing. Investing in high-quality materials will pay off in the long run, ensuring that your boating adventures remain smooth and worry-free.

So, why wait? Upgrade your trailer bunks with synthetic bunk carpet and take your boating experience to the next level.

About the Author

author pic

Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.

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