I need a new boat ASAP

From someone that tows full time, are you able to slide the rear of the yaks closer together? The trailer will only get closer to the tow vehicle outside of the centerline.
Of course the trailer will get closer when one or the other is on an uphill grade (car and trailer making a V). Something else to consider.

what happens if you carry the boat upright with cockpit cover, bow facing aft? … with a 1 to 2" foam pad on the rear hullivattor? Chances are there is sufficent bow rise to be above that negative angle sweep top of the trailer.

We had to carry the kayaks bow facing the trailer to miss the front of the AS vs the old trailer. OR perhaps you need a longer tow vehicle.

This pic is before we turned the Valley around.

PS…carrying kayak inside is a NO. Experience tells me you will have too much inside anyway…like the kayak boxes of gear, paddles, cold water clothing, etc. You will grow tired of taking things out every night along the road.

Get a coming cover and turn the boat right side up. Then you can move it to where you need it.

You could probably make a temporary cover with some visqueen and a length of bungee cord to check it out.

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I think the obvious solution, if you love the boat and the camper, is get a longer SUV or a Pickup. Also if your trailer says it is 4,000 lbs, remember that’s dry (empty) weight, so you are probably right at capacity of your vehicle anyway. My 3,150 lb camper is more like 5,200 lbs on the road between water, propane and stuff and I tore up the tranny on my Toyota FJ (5,000 lb towing cap.) in about about 2 years. A larger vehicle may solve two purposes.

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I would look at the hitch extender even if I had to have one custom made and permanently installed. If that truly caused a loading issue for the tow vehicle, I would pay my local weld shop a visit and have them lengthen the tang on the camper just enough.

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We’ll try loading it upright but I don’t see that working out. As to the gear inside? That gear stays in the Subaru for paddling season. The only thing(s) that come out are the wet stuff. Made the mistake once of leaving wet gear. :nauseated_face:

It should work IF the cover is bombproof tight to deflect rain and not fly off into the windshield of the car behind you. We had that happen once. The following car was a Statie… not amused but he just ran over the cover.
IIRC the Subie Ascent has a decent payload and thats usually what gets reached first before you exceed trailer capacity… We carried boats to Alaska on our Ridgeline with 595 lbs cargo capacity on our 20 foot Jayco, However our dry weight was 2900 lbs and the truck was touted as capable of towing 5000, with a 1400 lb payload. We are glad we kept weight down to 70 percent of ballyhooed towing capacity,

As Paddlingpals alluded to lighter is best. We just started out with camping with backpacking gear in the trailer. Aside from two camp chairs nothing much was new. Of course we now have a bigger trailer and truck. Creep happens.
I agree with Bud 16415, Welding shops can do amazing things.

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We started camping when we had the 2 door Wrangler. Volume & weight was super important! Creep happened but mostly we got tired of the rigors of tent camping. Everything is being judged before loading into the camper; lighter is everything. What’s going into it is weighed, measured and if found wanting? Left behind. Coffee maker & dutch oven excluded from that exercise.

We’re still grabbing at all the moving parts and trying to make them fit. You’d think we didn’t do the “back of the envelope calculations” but we did. We took the Subaru & @NotThePainter’s kayak to the dealer and lined it up, eyeballed it all and it looked fine. Couldn’t hook up because we didn’t have the hitch yet. Put the trailer on the back of the Subie and wow. Sag central. Real life is different, apparently.

Hey, what do I care. My Lincoln fits just fine. :joy: :grin:

No I think you did all the payload calcs but your unique trailer design did you in. I assume you are using a Weight Distribution Hitch. which would help the Subies sad a$$. ( we think weight too so use an Andersen which is about 55 lbs) Is the impact going to be strong enough to scratch glass or bang the boat. We had a fiberglass window cover that took all the knocks from a hard turn. It looked like crap but hey we got a good trade in even though the cover was mostly duct tape…

Just throwing this out. We were on a trip in the Everglades paddling a sea canoe and a kayak and a Trail keeper came by in a boat. He had mounted his Sea Wind on the side of the motorboat. Obviously you cannot do that on the door side but if its a 7foot wide trailer you might think of it on the left side. Yah I know it depends a lot on how the trailer is built.

Yes we know you care… We aren’t buying that second to last sentence…

I think I would have a major hissy fit if my sea canoe and his kayak could not come with us on our RV trip to Newfoundland/Labrador.

One way to stop a coaming cover from flying off is to run a strap over it. I line my boat up so the strap goes over the cover.

You could always mount racks on the trailer and put the kayaks up there.

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Some covers have an integral strap - if there’s no strap, but the cover has a perimeter line, it can be clipped to deck bungees.

I’ve had both makes, and they’re both good, but prefer Kayakpro to Goodboy V-bar racks - they’re lower profile and lighter:
EZ-Vee - Kayak / Outrigger Racks (kayakpro.com)

If you used a V-bar style rack, the boat could be mounted on the centerline of the roof, which may help when cornering. The boat could be upright and moved further forward, and the setup would be lighter, too. But you may not want to give up the Hullavator, and having an excuse to make a Cape Falcon boat is nice too…

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Change the way you carry your boat.

What would you suggest? A shoulder carry? Or, should we use a wheeled cart?


I believe the suggestion pertains to carrying with the hull down instead of up, {normal carry for a composite} and then sliding it forward. using front and rear tie downs. All cockpit covers I own have a way to clip them onto the kayak. I don’t really see a problem. BUT if you really wish to buy another kayak…then do it. {once it’s tied down…it should be good to go} Try it and see. Might be , for a balance, you would just like to buy something. I can tell you it’s not REALLY needed…but that doesn’t matter if a kayak has most of it’s weight on the front other than peace of mind.

Imagine you were a Junior in High school and wanted to take that particular kayak…no money to just buy another. {it’s always possible to over think} Enjoy…whatever you decide. :} Personally, I would just flip it over, slide it forward a bit , strap it down and go for a drive…

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It is a lot of camper to be towed by a Subie…I would expect a teardrop. Might also think about saving the Subie’s life and buying a different tow vehicle. I know that is way off from what the thread was about.

You do however, seem to be pushing the limits. and the Subie is the weak link.

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Cockpit covers are available with straps that go around the hull. Used 'em for many miles.

Get a trailer tongue box to store your stuff in and shift the CG forward. You’ll probably buy one eventually as your collection of camping stuff grows over time.

OTOH if you are looking for an excuse… er, reason, to buy a new boat, by all means go ahead.

No, the hullavators mean the kayaks need to be outboard. Giving up the hullavator is not an option, my Cetus weighs 62lbs!

Neat idea though, I hadn’t even considered that placement!

Bow aft won’t work, that will slide the boat 11 inch rearward. But upright and raising the rear, I just might try that, it can’t hurt.

We always travel with coming covers. But can you really strap across a fiberglass coming? I would think that that would be too weak. If I can strap across the coaming, say here, on the purple line,


The I can easily move the boat away from the trailer. I just figured that that would crack the coaming, I’ve already put a tiny crack in just taking it off the wooden rack.

But we love the Subaru also! The 4,000lbs is the GVWR, the dry weight is about 3,400lbs. Yes, it a common mistake I see trailer newbies making all the time.

This is interesting. Certainly not doing it until the trailer is out of warranty and finding good aluminum welders will be challenging, but not impossible.

Decent, but not great. If I recall it is about 1,100lb. Subtract off about about 150lbs for the boats and hullavators, then 500 for the tongue weight and it is starting to get tight.

So I will be pulling the middle row seats, I’ll bet that gets me 100lbs back.

The sag is insane. I was measuring tongue weight yesterday and I’m way over spec. So I need to lower that, which will cause less sag, moving the boat away from the trailer. The also choose a 6" drop, but that was before the sag. I need to see how tilted down it is, a 4" drop might be closer to level and that will really help.

Nope, Subaru prohibits a weight distribution hitch! I guess the unibody can’t handle it.

way too high, that might work for someone younger…

I’ve wanted a skin boat ever since I saw one when lusting over cedar strip boats…

Not really, GVWR is 4,000 lbs for the trailer and the Sube can take 5,000. When designing the big brother to the Outback they knew people would be towing with it, has all the extra coolers etc…

Nope, tongue is too heavy as it is now, we need to load to the rear and/or convert the lead acid batteries to lithium.

I think so too… The suspension is for a car ride… Its simply not stiff enough. Our neighbors pull a 4000 lb ski boat with the Ascent but the load is all on the back and the tongue quite long. The unibody warning is because Subaru does not want to take any responsibility for a mis adjusted weight distribution hitch… Our Honda had the same warning…

The engine and the tranny and the brakes may handle 5000 lbs but not to say the car will be happy. My truck can handle 7700 per the dealer and the specs but at 5000 we can tell over a few thousand miles that weight the top limit. And we have a tightly sprung truck with no sag at all.

Sadly this thread has morphed into new truck trailer or boat.

However a six inch drop in the hitch seems just to welcome sag… That sounds insane!