The ultimate guide to Pontoon Boat Camping for 2023

Pontoon Boat Camping

When we hear the word camping, our thoughts immediately go towards setting up a tent, lighting up a bonfire, sitting in a circle and eating s’mores, sleeping in a sleeping bag, and many more activities. However, nowadays, people have come up with a new type of camping, and it is known as car camping. Bet you didn’t hear about this before, now, did you?

Car camping is basically taking your car camping and using it as a part of camping. This car camping activity is somewhat of an elegant type of camping when compared to backpacking camping.

But what if, you could take a step further and enjoy a more luxurious version of camping? We present to you, The Magnificent Pontoon Boat Camping! Now, we understand that you are new to this area, but fear not my friend, as I will help you and guide you to victory! Well then, without further delay, let’s get started.

A guide to Pontoon Boat Camping

If you are new to pontoon boat camping, then definitely take help from the guide . An experienced guide can help you more in pontoon boat camping to make it more special for you. Having a couple of years of experience in traveling to different sites as well as driving the pontoon boat successfully will certainly assist you to take your journey to a new height.

A guide to Pontoon Boat Camping

What is Pontoon Boat camping?

Well, Pontoon boats are a kind of boat that is used for on-water camping. Basically, you will be camping but not on land instead of on seawater. This is a very unusual type of camping, nonetheless still very much interesting and entertaining. Usually, posh people tend to camp in such ways, but you should also at least try this once in a lifetime.

Types of Pontoon boats

There are different types of Pontoon boats. Some are suitable for friends, some are suitable for family, some are suitable for couples and some are suitable for relatives. So, why don’t we dive in and get to know the different types of pontoon boats?

Bimini Tops:

Well, not many would recognize a Bimini, but they are basically a type of shade that takes the help of a metal frame to stand upright and provide some cover from the hot sun. You will find a Bimini top on a pontoon boat that was bought between the last 5-10 years since most of the pontoon boats have them.

However, very few might not have a Bimini top which you can, later on, add it by yourself with the help of a professional. They come in 2 different forms, which are fixed onto the boat or a reversible one that you can put on and take off anytime you want.

A reversible one has its perks since it covers the sides as well, and it uses an electric motor to put the top on and take it off with the help of a button, whereas fixed tops are there permanently but only on the top side, leaving the sides open for sunlight attacks. They come in multiple shapes and sizes so that you can easily choose which one is best for your pontoon boat.

Double Deck Model:

Well, we all like the word double. Double cheeseburger, double decker bus, double, double stuffed Oreos and the list goes on. Now, when you hear the term double-deck model, you will instantly like it since it means it will have twice the space compared to a normal pontoon boat. Since it’s a double deck, you can just climb onto the second floor and easily get a magnificent view of the water floor and your surroundings. Once you are done admiring the marvelous view, you can slide down through the water slide and head back down to the first floor while enjoying yourself.

This kind of model is able to provide more protection from the attacks of the sunlight and keep your skin cool. Now, what about its spacing? How many people can it fit? Well, it definitely isn’t a single-digit number, so you can fit at least 10-15 people in it without any hassle. Comparatively, this one is cheaper since you can fit more people within a reasonable amount and get your money’s worth.

Bennington S 188 SL:

This vehicle is capable of running at 60 horsepower outboard while still giving you $4500 on extra customizations and enhancements. However, you might not need to add more items inside as the boat already has a magnificent build inside it starting with a sofa to starboard, an L-shaped lounger aft, a 10’ Bimini top, laced with a vinyl flooring, and many more exclusive items which you won’t find on most boats.

The boat doesn’t weigh much which is around 1600 pounds letting you easily trailer it around. It also has an 8’0” beam.

Pond King Champ:

This vehicle can go up to 3.5 horsepower or you can attach an electric motor to it and start cruising around the pond. This might not be too fancy but it is the perfect boat for 2 people. This boat is the best when it comes to prices as it only costs $3,199 and you can add anything you like on the inside.

This boat weighs 650 pounds, which is barely anything compared to the other boats. This one has a kick rail that is 6” long and comes with a deck beam of 4’7”

Lowe Ultra 200 Cruise:

This boat will have your undivided attention if you love water sports. This one runs on 115 horsepower and has a space of 21’4” in it so better pack up your racing shoes. This boat can cost you up to a grand total of $24,000 whilst leaving money out for water skis and all kinds of water activities. If you are worried about the sun, then the Bimini top will take all your worries away and protect you from the sun.

This boat isn’t just one longboard, as it comes with an aft swim platform that has a four-step deboarding ladder to it. It can easily fit in 10 people without any problem, so you can go ahead and call your friends and family right away!.

What kind of gear is required for pontoon boat camping?

To make it easier, we are going to list the items that are essential for pontoon camping.

Food and water:

The most important item that a person needs are definitely food and water, or else they won’t survive and will die due to hunger and thirst. Packing food and water is the first and foremost task one should do. You can either prepare food early on or buy ready-made dry food that won’t expire for the next couple of days. Now, if you choose to home cook meals then cook them earlier and then put them in the freezer or vacuum-sealed bags and freeze them so that they don’t get worse for the next couple of days.

Now, to re-heat your frozen food, you will definitely need a stove and some pots & pans. What if I told you there is a way to re-heat your food without spending much effort? Well, usually in a normal situation, we will take the food out of the bags, put them in the pot, and then heat it up on top of a stove. However, let’s twist that situation a bit and instead of putting the food on the pot, you can just put some water on the stove and wait for it to heat up.

Once it’s boiling hot, take the freezer bag with frozen food inside and carefully dip it in the boiling water. Don’t drop it from a heightened distance, as that will cause the boiling water to splash, which might land on you or someone nearby and cause severe burns. Now that you have slowly and carefully dipped it in the boiling water, your food will get defrosted in no time, and you don’t even have to clean the pot since it was just water.

Of course, you need to re-hydrate yourself from time to time, and what is the best way to do that other than drinking fresh water. Make sure to take 2-3 packs of fresh bottled water with you while you depart. You might ask why not just fill up the bottle with the water on which the pontoon boat is floating? And the answer to that question is a simple one. Unclean water. This water contains various types of bacteria, parasites, and fish feces. And if your pontoon boat is on the sea, then you might end up drinking salt water, which is harmful to our bodies as

  1. Our body cannot handle that much amount of salt, which leads to the kidney not being able to properly filter the water and cause kidney failure.
  2. Drinking salt water makes our body more dehydrated instead of hydrating it.

Blanket and pillow:

When it comes to relaxing and sleeping, a pillow and blanket is a must item. Without a pillow, your head won’t get the proper comfort it needs and without a blanket, you will shiver like a Nokia phone vibrating during a call. So, don’t forget to get a pillow and blanket and if you can, take multiples.


Light is essential because without it, how will you see what’s in front of you or around you? You can bring a few torchlights and maybe pack in a headlamp or two. You can also get light stands, which you can set up in one place, and will light up the whole area.

Sleeping bag:

Sleeping is one of the main activities that all creatures carry out. It is when someone goes unconscious for several hours and gets a lot of rest. Now, you obviously can’t sleep on the plain cold ground, as it is rigid and cold. You won’t be able to relax properly at all. This is why a sleeping bag will come in handy in such cases. Just roll it out and spread it on the ground, and you got yourself a nice comfy bed for the time being.

Where is the best location for Pontoon Boat Camping?

Well,  the best option would be a lake and make sure that they are surrounded by forest-type environments which will provide a sort of primitive camping atmosphere because what’s the point of camping if there is a camping atmosphere to feel it. You can do any type of park that has a big lake in it, but then again, humans nearby might be loud, and you won’t get that peaceful camping experience. You can also go to a place outside the city, preferably a forest, which has a big lake inside it, and experiences a wonderful Pontoon boat camping there.  

Best location for Pontoon Boat Camping

However, just a lake and some forest-type surroundings aren’t going to help your pontoon boat camping trip. Where will you set up camp? On Atlantis? You need to do some research about the area where you will be setting up camp. You need to check on the availability of freshwater sources, food shops nearby, gas stations, and most important lavatories for both males and females. Furthermore, you also need to make sure about the safety, security, and privacy of the area where you will be setting up your camp. 

Pontoon camping package

Now then, let us move on to the next section, which seems to be a list of all the items present in a pontoon camping package. Well then, what are we waiting for? Let’s get to it

Radio system:

This kind of radio is very important if you plan on going out to the sea, since you may never know when your boat might stop working due to any malfunctions. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry. They are usually attached to the boat so that it is easier to communicate with other nearby boats and towers onshore.


Well, all kinds of boats have an anchor on them whether it’s a cruise ship, cargo ship or even a small pontoon boat. The anchor is dropped down into the water, which helps the boat to stay steady in one spot without drifting away somewhere else due to its heavyweight. However, you mustn’t drop the anchor on shallow, as it might cause trouble for the passengers when they will try to get off the boat.

Life Vests:

Life vests are one of the fundamental items that one must have in a boat. It doesn’t matter if the boat is on deepwater so somewhat shallow water, it is important to have life vests on board, and better yet if the passengers are wearing them. You never know when any dangerous situation might arise which can lead to someone falling onto the water.

You will have a few minutes before your arm muscles get sore, and you will start to drown. A life vest will keep you floating for a really long time till you get help or swim to shore safely.

First Aid Kits:

Another fundamental item that should be present on a boat is a first aid kit. They contain all the necessary items in it just in case someone cuts their hand, twists an ankle, or even has migraines. While they do take up quite some space, they are essential for our safety because you never know when you might get hurt. Better safe than sorry. They will be available in a spot that can be accessible for everyone onboard.

How much does a pontoon boat camping package cost?

Since we covered up the items that are already present and set on a pontoon boat, then let us hop onto the accounting section, which is how much does a pontoon boat camping package costs?

Well, the answer to that is very simple, since it mainly depends on the number of people on this trip. The cheapest package you might find will be $1000. You won’t find any cheaper than that unless it’s your friend that operates the business.

And the most expensive package will cost you around $10,000. In some places, you might even find more than $10,000, which is usually for only the elite class people and the sheikhs.

Why do pontoons make ideal camping vehicles?

Now, given the fact we are done with the money talks, let us run towards a different topic and that would be why do pontoons make ideal camping vehicles? Without further ado, let’s go

For starters, pontoons are no ordinary vehicle. They are vehicles but on water, on which you can camp. Doesn’t that sound fascinating? They cost much less when compared to RVs on land. You can also save yourself a lot of trouble by camping on the water since they don’t need any permits and have no restrictions when compared to camping on the land. You can fish anytime you want, unlike land camping, where you have to look for a lake or river to fish.  Some might wonder, when is the best time to go pontoon boat camping? Well, in my opinion, I would say during the summertime since you don’t have to worry about the weather. Why not?

Pontoons make ideal camping vehicles

It is because no matter how hot it is, your face and body will be constantly hitting the natural wind as the boat goes forward. In addition to that, you will get splashed with water randomly and get wet, and even though you might feel cold, at least you will be able to relish the day. However, the only problem you might find is that they don’t come with lavatories. But worry not, as we can combat this issue by making a small separate space, turning it into a closed room, and installing a small Porta Potty to handle your business. Other than that, I think Pontoon Boat camping is a spectacular experience.

Where to buy a pontoon boat for camping?

Well, it’s not that hard, and you certainly don’t need to go to the black market to get one. However, sellers won’t just simply come to you for selling. You need to search around a bit and find out where they sell. The most common place where you can buy is at the docks, where there will be sellers selling pontoon boats and other boats left and right. You can negotiate an understanding price with the seller and if he has a big heart, then he might even include some add-ons without any additional costs.

Now, some might not feel comfortable buying from sellers due to their high prices, well, in that case, you can just go to a specific company that manufactures pontoon boats and order from them directly without any hassle. You will get a fresh brand-new boat on which you can still smell the fresh paint and wood smell.

A new boat can come in handy if you are planning to go on a pontoon boat camping with your boss, your superiors or even your parents-in-law. However, you might be new in town and might not know where the boat sellers and manufacturers are located. Well, in that case, you can go to a boat auction and just auction one from there, but then you need to be posted and have a lot of silver in order to get one. Coming to the last option, and this is probably the easiest and the laziest one that would be to look online.

You don’t need to drive to certain places and look around and talk to different salespeople. All you need is a computer and a credit card, and you can just lie down on your sofa and go through several websites and easily make a purchase without any effort. The only downfall to this way is that there can be scammers trying to steal your money. You need to be on the lookout for that or else you will be left with an empty card and no boat. 

  • Now, while buying a boat, you can’t just look at the details on a paper and just agree to it and hand them over the cash. No! You need to do some tests starting with, the sea test where you take the boat for some test runs to see how smoothly it operates without any malfunctions and check if there are any damages on the boat.
  • Secondly, it is better to buy a boat during the off-season as you can get it for less and a better price and save money on that part. For example; a boat that is priced at $5000 can be purchased at $3000 if you get it during the off-season. 
  • Thirdly, unless you are into the latest and most expensive models, then you can take a step back and buy an older model. Just like cars and electronics, sellers will give you the older model for a discounted price and remove the leftovers.

However, the most important detail that you need to pay attention to is the contract and its options. You mustn’t sign it without reading properly because some details might vary compared to what the salesperson told, such as the warranty, insurance, Engine model, etc. Therefore, you need to pay attention and read the contract carefully and thoroughly before signing anything.


Q1: How to camp on a pontoon boat?

Ans: There are several ways to camp on a pontoon boat. You can sleep in the main cabin, on the deck, or in the bow. You can also use the pontoon as your home base for exploring nearby waterways.

Q2: Can you put a tent on a pontoon boat?

Ans: Tent camping on a pontoon boat is a popular way to explore new areas. However, there are a few things you need to know before setting up camp. First, make sure the pontoon boat has enough room for the tent and all of your gear. Second, be sure to check the weather forecast in advance. Pontoon boats can get very wet if it rains heavily while you’re camping. Finally, make sure to have a designated place on the pontoon where you will set up your tent.

Q3: Can you spend the night on a pontoon boat?

Ans: Pontoon boats are popular for a few reasons. They’re easy to operate and very stable. You can spend the day on the water and then spend the night on the boat without having to worry about getting back on land. Depending on your location, pontoon boats may be able to accommodate up to 12 people.

Q4: How do you travel by a pontoon boat?

Ans: To use a pontoon boat, first find the correct size for your vessel and make sure the straps are in good condition. Larger vessels can accommodate more people, while smaller boats are better for recreation or fishing trips. Once you’re ready to go, anchor your pontoon boat in deep water and tie down the ropes. If you’re using a rental fleet, follow the instructions of your captain.


Well, we don’t have all day to discuss, so we need to wrap up and let you start packing up for your pontoon boat trip. If I had to rate my pontoon boat camping experience, I would use these words. Amazing, Spectacular, and Most fun trip ever. Therefore, I would suggest the same for you to go ahead and do it. You can take your parents and your grandparents and let them enjoy it. They don’t cost much, so you can get one budget-friendly package and still experience all kinds of activities on board. Now I think it’s time for you to go Pontoon Boat Camping and experience a fabulous trip.

1 thought on “The ultimate guide to Pontoon Boat Camping for 2023”

  1. Pingback: Pontoon Boat Enclosure:Keep Your Watercraft Protected AND Safe

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top