Tips for Pontoon Boat Camping: An Ultimate Checklist

Tips for Pontoon Boat Camping_ An Ultimate Checklist


When summer rolls around, two activities often pop up on our radar: boating and camping. Each is fun in its own way, but have you ever thought about combining them? That’s where pontoon boat camping comes into play! If you own a pontoon boat, you have a ticket to wonderful camping adventures that many others might miss. Imagine camping on a quiet beach, a small island, or even on the boat itself — the sights and sounds are bound to beat anything a fancy hotel can offer. 

Although this kind of camping is basic, with no amenities like electricity, showers, or bathrooms, your pontoon boat acts like a little piece of home on the water. You can carry some comforts to make your camping trip as simple or as comfy as possible. 

This guide will provide a handy checklist and tips to make camping trips in pontoon boats for sale a fantastic and smooth experience. So, read on!

Why Pontoon Boats are Ideal for Camping? 

Pontoon boats are a smart choice for camping on the water as they’re less costly than big motorhomes. One of the nice things about sleeping on board is that you don’t have to worry about permits or booking spots at campsites on land. 

Turning pontoons into comfy floating campsites is easy with a full enclosure. This turns your pontoon into a big tent, which you can use in all kinds of weather. So even if it’s raining, you can still enjoy your time on the water. This cover can help you make the most of short boating seasons, adding a few more weeks of pure fun.

Most pontoons have big benches or loungers at the back that can be used as beds, and there’s usually space at the front to fit a queen-size air mattress. For a home-away-from-home experience, there are pontoons with cabins, mirroring a compact houseboat, making sleeping on the pontoon boat a delightful escapade. These models flaunt charming amenities like a sun deck on top of the cabin. 

Moreover, pontoons allow easy installation of a myriad of accessories to elevate your comfort, such as a rail-mounted grill for hassle-free cooking.If your boat has an entertainment center, cleaning up is easy. If there’s no sink, a simple pump dispenser with water or moist towels can help clean hands and faces.

With just a few simple changes, your pontoon boat becomes a great place for camping, letting you enjoy a fun blend of outdoor camping and water adventure.

Dreaming of Unforgettable Camping Trips?
Explore Our Range of Pontoon Boats for Sale from Premier Watersports!

Visit Now!

Prepare for Your Pontoon Boat Camping Trip

The idea of hopping onto your pontoon boat with friends and family and sailing off into the sunset might sound tempting, but a good camping trip requires some preparation. This doesn’t just mean planning your route, but also making sure you have all the equipment you need, starting with the pontoon boat itself.

Select the Right Boat for Camping

Pontoon boats are indeed a fantastic choice for boat camping adventures due to their spaciousness and versatility. However, selecting the right one for your camping trip should be well-considered. 

Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Size and Capacity: The size of the pontoon boats that you’ll need largely depends on the number of people you plan to bring along. Pontoons range from smaller, 16-foot models to larger, 25-foot ones or bigger. A smaller pontoon might be cozy for a couple or a small family, while a larger pontoon can accommodate larger groups, offering more space for movement, relaxation, and storage.
  • Budget: Pontoon boats for sale come in various price ranges. Considering your budget while ensuring the boat meets your camping needs is essential. Besides the initial cost, consider the maintenance, fuel, and storage costs. Also, check with your trusted Nashville boat dealer if the pontoon boat includes essential features or if you’ll need to make additional purchases to outfit it for camping.
  • Layout and Features: Pontoons with open floor plans offer flexibility, allowing you to set up sleeping, cooking, and lounging areas easily. Look for features like comfy seating that can double as beds, adequate storage compartments, a changing room, and possibly a built-in grill or cooking area.
  • Hull Design: The shallow hull of a pontoon is ideal for pulling up close to shore, but also consider the stability and ride quality, especially if you’ll be navigating choppy waters.

Also, before buying Pontoon boats for sale in Nashville, check the local regulations regarding boat size, engine power, and any licensing or training required to operate a pontoon boat. Taking the time to select the right pontoon boat can significantly enhance your camping experience, ensuring many memorable adventures on the water.

Picking Your Campsite Wisely

The thrill of camping brings with it a promise of endless possibilities, especially when a pontoon boat is your companion. Whether on land or gently rocking on calm waters, your campsite becomes a haven of serenity. However, choosing the right spot might seem challenging, given the array of choices. Fortunately, the growing trend of boat camping opens doors to numerous enchanting spots.

As you embark on the quest to find the perfect campsite, be mindful of local laws and regulations. Some places may have restrictions against camping or overnight anchoring, while others might necessitate a prior booking. The journey of discovering that ideal campsite can be as exhilarating as the camping itself, and with boat camping gaining traction, you’re bound to find a picturesque spot to anchor down for the night.

Prepping Your Boat for Camping

Prepping Your Boat for Camping

Venturing into the heart of nature on your pontoon boat is an exciting endeavor. To ensure a pleasant experience, prepping your boat adequately for the camping journey is crucial. Here’s a more detailed rundown of things to consider:

  • Anchor System: Invest in a reliable, high-quality anchor to ensure your boat remains stable and stationary through the night. A well-anchored boat will provide a peaceful sleep without worrying about drifting away.
  • Meal Preparation: Opt for pre-cooked and frozen meals packed in vacuum sealers or freezer bags. This strategy not only saves you from the hassle of cooking but also from cleaning up afterward. Ensure the bags are heat-resistant for safe reheating. A portable stove or a grill can also be part of your culinary setup for a delightful outdoor cooking experience.
  • Storage Solutions: Use waterproof bags or containers to dry your clothes, bedding, and other essentials. Neatly tuck them away during the day to maintain a clutter-free cockpit, enhancing the overall camping vibe.
  • Personal Hygiene: Baby wipes are a quick and easy solution for freshening up. For a more thorough cleanse, consider bringing a portable shower. Pop-up changing rooms provide privacy and convenience, making personal care routines comfortable even amid nature.
  • Bug and Insect Protection: Don’t let bugs ruin your adventure. If the area is known for its insect population, arm yourself with effective bug sprays and consider bringing along some mosquito nets.
  • Fire-starting Equipment: If your camping adventure includes a shore-side bonfire, ensure you have reliable fire-starting materials. Waterproof matches, lighters, or firestarters can make igniting a fire a breeze.
  • Safety Gear: Your boat should be equipped with all the necessary safety gear, including life vests, a first-aid kit, fire extinguishers, and communication devices. It’s imperative to adhere to all safety guidelines for a secure and enjoyable camping experience.
  • Navigation and Communication: Ensure your boat’s navigation system is working perfectly and have updated maps. Reliable communication devices are crucial for emergencies and staying in touch if your group decides to split up for different activities.
  • Weather Protection: Prepare for unexpected weather changes with rain gear, extra blankets, and a Bimini top or full enclosure to shield from rain or excessive sun.

Getting a Pontoon Trailer

If you don’t already own a pontoon trailer, various options are available, including roller trailers and bunk trailers. The right choice depends on your needs, the distance you plan to travel, and how comfortable you are with trailering. Trailers make transporting your pontoon to and from your starting point a breeze, setting the stage for a memorable camping adventure on the water.

Exciting Things to Do on Pontoon Boat Camping 

Exciting Things to Do on Pontoon Boat Camping

Once you’ve planned your camping trip and got your boat ready, it’s time to plan some fun activities to enjoy while camping. 

Here are some ideas to keep everyone entertained: 

Fishing: Pontoon boats are often dubbed as fishing boats thanks to their user-friendly features, perfect for angling. With a stable platform and ample space, they are ideal for casting a line into the water. Fishing is a serene yet thrilling activity, allowing you to connect with nature while awaiting that exciting tug on the line. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the tranquility of fishing on a pontoon boat is an experience unlike any other. 

Grilling on the Pontoon: The fun doesn’t stop once you’ve reeled in your catch. It’s now time for a lakeside feast! Pontoons often come with grill mounts, allowing you to install a grill securely. Grilling your fresh catch on the pontoon is a unique joy, the aroma of grilled fish mingling with the fresh lake breeze. It’s not just about cooking; it’s an event.

The simplicity of grilling also means less time fussing over a stove and more time enjoying the great outdoors with loved ones. It’s about making memories, from catching the fish to cooking and finally savoring it amidst laughter and good conversation.

Playing Card Games: Card games are a classic way to entertain everyone. They are easy to learn, fun to play, and perfect for spending time with family and friends. A deck of cards is portable, and waterproof options are available, ensuring your card-playing isn’t interrupted by the outdoor elements. There are various games to play on the pontoon boat such as Uno, Pictionary, Spades, or a simple game of Go Fish to ensure hours of entertainment.

Making a Bonfire: On the nights you decide to camp on the shore, a bonfire is a fantastic choice. Gathering around a fire, sharing stories, roasting marshmallows, and enjoying the stars is enjoyable. Check the rules about making fires in your chosen camping area, and always prioritize safety when dealing with open flames. 

These activities add excitement, relaxation, and bonding to your boat camping adventure, ensuring an enjoyable and memorable experience for all.

Get Ready for Your Camping Adventure with Pontoon Boats for Sale

Pontoon boats for sale are excellent for outdoor adventures. Camping on a pontoon boat might not have all the luxuries of a resort, but it’s more affordable, fun, and provides a unique experience amidst nature. It’s a fantastic way to bond with family and friends away from crowded vacation spots.

Ready to embark on your pontoon camping journey? Premier Watersports is your go-to Nashville boat dealer, ensuring you find the perfect pontoon boat for your adventures. Premier Watersports has a vast variety of boats for sale to suit every need and budget. Whether you’re looking for a simple, compact pontoon or a larger, more luxurious model, we have it all. 

Our expert team is dedicated to guiding you through our selection to find the boat that meets your camping and recreational needs. Additionally, we offer excellent customer service before, during, and after your purchase. We also provide maintenance services to keep your pontoon boat in top condition for many upcoming camping trips.

So, without further delay, visit us, explore our extensive range of pontoon boats, and set sail on a camping adventure like no other!