6 place canoe trailer

I know there is another thread here on trailers but I thought this would be different enough to warrant a separate thread. I need to haul six canoes (17 ft and shorter). I was originally going to make a removable tree for a 16ft tandem trailer, but I have a junk pop up camper that’s just sitting around so I thought I’d lengthen the tongue and make a permanent trailer that I can just keep the canoes on and back into the barn. Since I’ve only used a trailer once when an outfitter shuttled us, I’m pretty clueless on what qualities make a trailer better or worse. For those of you who have used, built, or bought a multi-boat trailer, what would you have done differently, or wish you could change on your current trailer? I don’t care about weight or being able to move by hand, but only about ease of use, towing conditions, and ability to handle rough primitive road conditions.


Here is a good starting point for ideas

I used the same platform

– Last Updated: Mar-04-16 11:35 AM EST –

I used an old pop up camper frame for mine and the material for the build was what I had laying around. Alot of 3&4in channel and angle iron was used. A friend of mine was off work for a time and he could weld so we spent many nights under outdoor lights welding it up. It will not win any beauty contests but it serves its function as a canoe hauler. The rack itself is just bolted to the frame so I can slide it off and use the trailer to haul other things. I can haul 6 canoes.

We added some length to the rear using 3in channel, cut out the camper tongue and lengthened the tongue with 2 pieces of 3in channel. I can haul canoes in size from 12 to to 19ft with my set up. The bottem of the rack is heavy angle iron, the 2 uprights are 4in channel stood up and the arms that hold the canoes are 2in pipe covered with black plastic pipe. I have an angle iron cross brace between the 2 upright supports for strength. The floor of the trailer is just plywood and when it rots I will place some expanded metal in its place. I live on gravel and alot of dirt/rocks live on top of that plywood. You will need some type of fender for the trailer wheels because the spray from the wheels will end up inside the bottom canoes.

Using a camper frame is both a curse and a blessing. A curse because it is low to the ground so primitive roads with dips might be a challenge. I will dig earth with the end of my trailer on some put ins so I beefed that area up. The trailer is a blessing because it is low to the ground. With a canoe on the top rack I'm at 6ft to 6.5ft for height. No climbing onto the trailer to unload. If you have questions let me know.


6 place trailer

– Last Updated: Mar-04-16 4:01 PM EST –

I have the Mo Trailer Long Ranger. I could not be happier. Strong, just the right size and so well balanced that it is easy to move by hand fully loaded. Any design like that one will be good.

Thanks and questions
Thanks for the replies. I have stripped down the camper to the frame and think I have something to work with. I have some questions for those with multi-boat trailers.

Most all the trailers I see have the boats mostly centered on the axel, which is good for balance, but the boats extend past the end of the trailer. I’m thinking I’d rather have the boats at most flush with the end of the trailer. Any opinions either way?

Assuming an 18ft max boat length and keeping the boats at least flush with the back of the trailer, I have 18ft between the hitch and the axel in its current position, and 4 ft of trailer behind the axel. I have the posts drawn 6 ft apart with the rear post 2 ft in front of the axel. Therefore an 18 ft boat would be positioned 4 ft behind the hitch and flush with the end of trailer. With this setup, no problems dragging the rear of the trailer, but a possible high center problem on the long length between the hitch and axel plus not balanced which is both good for towing and bad for moving by hand.

What spacing on the cross arms will allow highly rockered boats and straight keeled boats to stack without the recurved ends touching the boat below?

Any measurements of your trailer’s cross arm spacing, or other comments would be appreciated.


That is a long trailer

– Last Updated: Mar-21-16 12:33 PM EST –

If you plan to keep the boats inside the trailer footprint that is going to be a long trailer. I can measure mine but I'm sure I have a 12ft spread between the racks, 5 to 6ft from front rack to hitch and only 1ft from the back rack to the end of trailer. My 18ft Jensen tandem canoe racer hangs like 4ft off the back of the trailer when trailered. No problem with my boats hitting the back of the vehicle when jack knifed or turning sharp.

Vertical spacing between the rack rungs is 27 to 29 inches. It is a tight fit for my boats. The most rockered boat I have had on the trailer is a blue hole sunburst that I think has 2.5inches of rocker. The boats are centered for the most part over the axle. For a 16ft canoe I have 12ft between the uprights and 2ft of overhang on either side.