kayak trailerKayak Trailers!

Find kayak trailer guides, information, reviews and articles to make your kayak trailer choice as smooth as possible. If you have any questions please use our message board and well get back to you as soon as possible!

 

I couldn’t believe that there was a site dedicated expressly to kayak trailers. Nor could I believe how helpful you were without even knowing me! This site is an amazing source of info, recommend to anyone looking to buy a kayak trailer! Robert

Kayaking Instructor, Vancouver Island

Kayak Trailer Buyer Guide

kayak trailer

I’m going to go on a lim here and say there’s nothing on the net that gives you any concrete buying advice for kayak trailers. So seeing as were first were going to make this as amazing and detailed as possible for everyone out there.

Firstly let’s start with some kayak trailer fluffing to get you excited 🙂

We all know that kayak trailers are by far the fastest, most convenient and easiest way for transporting a kayak. This includes transport on highways and sometimes beat roads to lakes, rivers and the ocean. A trailer also acts as an immediate storage area to allow you to avoid moving and struggling with putting your kayak on top of your car (50% back pain reduction, yeah!). Coming back from a long trip becomes easy when all you need to do is mount your kayak on the trailer and cover it for the next trip.

Start With These Questions

Here are a few easy Kayak Trailer questions to start with to help you select your best kayak trailer

1. How many kayaks do you have, how much do they weigh
2. How much will my kayak trailer weigh, can my car engine support it
3. Is my kayak trailer street legal?
4. How smooth is the road I’ll be driving?

 

kayaktrailers1. How many kayaks do you have, how much do they weigh
Your first consideration is probably the most obvious. How many kayaks will my kayak trailer be tugging along? A lot of trailers have been created to specifically tow one kayak, however others that you may see can handle up to 4,6 + kayaks. You’re going to need to consider how many kayaks your taking for the trip, if it’s a family trip you may have 4 and the choice could get a little easier.

2. How much will my kayak trailer weigh, can my car engine support it
The next consideration is how much is your kayak trailer is going to weigh. Now this is very important because it relates to how suitable the kayak trailer will be to a smaller car and its smaller engine. It’s also a biggie since you don’t want your car to get stuck on a uphill for all those stick drivers. A trailer may be rated to hold the proper weight but even if this is true you also have to realize that the heavier the trailer, the lower your mileage is going to be. A lighter trailer could reduce your mileage but you may lose out in the durability and strength of a heavier one due to its material quality and possibly lose the durability for off-road driving.

kayak-trailer-brakes3. Is my kayak trailer street legal?
If you choose to tow your kayak on a road you’re going to have to make certain that the trailer is legal on a street. The considerations here come from having the axle, wheels, tries and frame a perfect size dependent on legalities. The kayak trailer will also have to be sure to have a set of brake lights that function. The design of the trailer is also going to have to be a certain dimension as well as height/length and durability this is to prevent some genius from using a 6 kayaks on a 2 kayak trailer.

kayak road4. How smooth is the road I’ll be driving?
Another consideration is the path you’re going to use your kayak trailer on. Using your trailer on a more off-road, dirt path with lots of debris, potholes and rocks will take a toll, and you will need to make sure your wheels use a stronger alloy including tires that are wider than the average tire and an axle that can leverage the extra beating that it’s going to take from the road.

Types of Kayak Trailers

There are a bunch of different manufacturers for kayak trailers each with their own product that can work better to a point than another. The competition has been heaving in the sector and this has provided us with some nice advancements and cost benefits.

Some popular names are Magneta, BMO, trailex, AAA, CCM, and a few other less known.

Trailers come available in a various size chart, including “one kayak trailers, two kayak trailers, four kayak trailers and ten kayak trailers.” (The largest we have seen is the sixteen kayak trailer.)

Single Kayak Trailer

When we look at the single kayak trailer its usually created for a normal sized kayak of 12 feet. The highest capacity that it serves usually goes up to 900 pounds. Assembling this kayak trailer is usually easier since it can come as one piece, be made from a aluminum material and require less storage and maintenance. They also usually come with adjustable carrying arms.

Double Kayak Trailer

Twos company threes a crowd! The two kayak trailer can usually hold slightly more than the single kayak trailer but for safety we would recommend you stick to the 900 pound rating. They are also usually made from aluminum and require less maintenance.

Four kayak trailer and up

When you start moving up to more capacity you have to consider a larger motor. Most of these trailers can carry between 1200 and 1600 pounds, make sure you see their weight limit and take into account the considerations we listed previously.

What Else? Bonus Tips

  • A lot of these trailers have extra features to distinguish them. Some can include a bit of extra space for storage beneath the kayaks. Some also come made in more durable materials and stronger springs such as epoxy springs.
  • Upgrading your cross bar to extended versions can give you more room
  • Some models have retractable tongue options to save even more space
  • Purchasing a spare tire is highly recommended, unless you like to hitchhike
  • The slotting are where the boats are secured should be carpeted, padded and protected to prevent scratches and dents on your kayak

Mini-kayak-trailers

mini kayak trailerThere is another subsection of trailer which are the mini trailer or hand carts for moving your kayak small distances. These are useful for putting the kayak into the water or for taking it out of your garage or storage space to avoid the lugging especially if its a larger kayak. Some of these can even be attached to a bicycle and you can bike your kayak to your nearby water, imagine that! If your looking at these mini-trailers usually their legality on a street will not be a huge concern, just make sure its stable and able to attach and detach easily from your bike.

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Kayak Trailer or Roof Rack?

When you’re deciding on getting a rack or a trailer for your kayak. You can be put in a bit of a pickle. Deciding on the correct trailer or rack that you use for your kayak will require you to take on a few compromises and considerations before you make your perfect choice, but boy will it be worth it!

Firstly, you have to consider that your choice will depend on the equipment that you’re using. If you are a solo kayaker and you’re only interested in a kayak transport this whittles down your options. However, if you choose to specialize in several sports and you want to carry several kayaks at a time we can examine a larger variety of racks and custom trailers.

The Kayak Trailer –

kayaktrailersmanyIf you are getting into kayaking seriously and have the space and money to tow your kayak it probably makes much more sense to buy a quality trailer. Fuel economy is one of the biggest advantages here since the kayaks running behind the car create a sort of wind tunnel and waste less fuel. Another great advantage is the comfort, and the capacity that the kayak trailer allows let’s be honest when you load and unload kayaks off the top of your car it is a huge pain and very difficult. It would be much easier with the trailer to allow transport of your equipment.

The trailer can also hold four kayaks and up dependent on how many you need. We have seen kayak trailers that can hold up to 12 kayaks but for most people’s purposes a trailer that holds four will suffice.

One of the cons of the trailer is obviously the price it’s a little larger than the roof rack as well as the loss of range of movement of your vehicle when the trailer is connected. There are trailers that are much more customizable and have larger ranges of motion and these come in different sizes as well.

Another good thing about the trailers is that they are very well built and designed and you can easily adapt the trailer to use whatever you like. If for example you later choose to put bikes on the trailer you know that you can do this by adjusting the trailer and loading and unloading quickly and easily.

A kayak trailer can come with a lot of accessories and this is great because you can use those to greatly customize your trailer to whichever task you wish.

If you are the type of person that likes to take your kayak on long journeys a roof rack is probably not for you and you should go with the trailer. However, if you are only doing small nearby kayaking trips then maybe a roof rack could work.

The Kayak Roof Rack – Racking It Up

roofrackA roof rack is usually the cheapest solution, but they do have their disadvantages such as fuel consumption, depending on the type of vehicle that you’re using the consumption with the roof rack can be up to 30% greater and can go all the way up to 50% because of the wind force during highway speeds. This happens because of the additional air resistance that is pushing against your kayak and thus making your car slower. The roof rack and the air resistance bring its value down. If brought on a highway trip for example, it can actually cost you more gasoline in the long run than a trailer!

Another problem with the roof rack is the fact that they don’t allow you to carry as much weight. For example, the maximum that a roof rack could support would be two boats, if you have a lot of other things to carry the trailer could carry more load.

Additionally, it could be a big pain to deal with the roof rack they could be very difficult to install correctly and there is always the possibility of them becoming loose. One of the major drawbacks is that it makes loading and unloading a challenge.

We know that when you’re trying to choose a roof rack or a trailer. This could be a big decision for you and could have a big financial impact. So here is a little bit of a helper for making your decision.

Roof Rack the Positives –
  • storage of a roof rack is easy
  • the roof rack is very cheap and affordable(money spent in gas however may dilute this positive)
Roof Rack the Negatives-
  • much more difficult to load your kayak
  • will reduce the fuel efficiency and cost more gas
  • Limited to up to two kayaks
Kayak Trailer the Positives –
  • allows your vehicle to drive balanced
  • a larger capacity for storing more kayaks
  • increased fuel efficiency due to wind tunnel effect
  • much easier to load and unload
Kayak Trailer the Negatives –
  • may need a larger vehicle to be able to haul the trailer and will need some assembly such as a hitch
  • reduced abilities to go off road
  • cost – can get expensive

I hope this helps you in deciding which of the two to use. Please leave a comment. If you had any more helpful suggestions.

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