Kayak trailer ideas

OK, I have decided on a trailer instead of racks for our kayak hauling, and actually bought a trailer today. It’s a used 4x8 “frame”, of the foldable variety (though I doubt I’ll fold it too often). It has a sheet of plywood on the bottom as decking, filling the inside of the framework. It has the “pockets” around the edge that an upright 2x4 will fit, that I plan on using to set my “racks” in. We’ll be hauling two touring/recreational kayaks to local lakes.

My question is, before I start building, does anybody have a completed trailer of a design that you really like? Any chance of pictures that I can use as a guide or reference? Feel free to post links here for everybody to enjoy, or email direct.


trailer thoughts
Just a suggestion: It sounds like you want your kayaks riding higher up than they would if you just put your racks right on the existing plywood bed. Why not build a full size box on the existing bed, and fasten racks on top of the box? Your kayaks would be up higher, and you’d have a lot of enclosed storage space for gear.You could either hinge the top of the box for access to the inside, or hinge both sides of the box. Hinging the top would give you a bigger opening to put stuff in, but you wouldn’t be able to access it with the kayaks on. Hinging the sides, just the opposite results.

Thanks BigR
I’m not necessarily wanting them to be higher, I just figured that by using the pockets around the edge as anchor points that it would be sturdy and still allow me to lift it off when I might want to fold that thing in half (like in the winter).

I do like your idea of a storage box though. Answers the question of where to put paddles, PFD’s, tie down straps while kayaks are off, etc.

Thanks again for the idea.

4x8 Trailer
I bought one of those Harbor Freight trailers several years ago and outfitted it with standard, removalable “fence-type” sides. To accommodate my kayaks I ripped a couple of 2x4s, covered them with marine carpet,and attached them to two 2x4 cross-members which rested on the uprights on the sides.

To use I would put the kayak rack on the trailer, load the kayaks, and secure the entire

rig to the trailer frame with a couple of winch-type tiedowns. And, the floor of the trailer would hold my LARGE plastic box of kayak gear. That set-up is history now that I have a mini-SUV with roof racks but it was a great $10.00 investment that was used for two years.

When the occasion rose, I was able to still use my trailer for its original intended use.



Try some of


Look under Kayak Transport

I’ve got a new system that I haven’t taken any pictures of yet.

Redmond- You are the man!

I can’t believe all of the different designs you have. Did you design them all yourself??

Trailers, carts, racks, … do you have a business or just an obsession? :slight_smile:

How do you like the sling arrangements? Looks like an ingenious idea.


Guess I gotta get to work now…

do you find that the boats move a lot, or do the straps which tighten them down pretty well hold them in place??

Lots of great ideas there.


Those are all my own ideas, just have fun designing. The straps are awesome because they conform to whatever hull you put in them. The boats don’t slip at all, there’s enough resistance with 2" straps on the hull to keep that from happening. The Malone Autoloaders are excellent also. In the pictures with the trailer with the fencing up around it, I can remove the front and rear sections and put my motorcycle in the middle with two kayaks hanging on the outside. One of the things I like about utility trailers is that they’re so adaptable. You’ve got a flat 4x8 surface and stake pockets all around. Design! Dream! Woohoo! Got another mod that I need to take pictures of.


THANK YOU! “Eureka!” :sunglasses:

Redmond, man! My husband could do this no problem, but he just spent $300 converting his utility trailer into this huge box on wheels so he could drag his motorcycle 8 hours down the highway to show it off to his brothers…most of whom weren’t around (and now he’s thinking of selling it).

And what we really need is a storage/transport for a kayak, a canoe, and our little outrigger sailboat…something just like what you’ve built here! I can see the canoe and the outrigger on the bottom, the kayak and the main sailboat on top, the sail and outrigger crossbars stored beneath in a box with our PFDs, cooler, etc…

I don’t even dare show him this. Argh argh ARGH!

Redmond’s got it…
My trailer is designed kinda like Redmond’s except:

I used lumber. My crosspieces are 2"x6".

I used wheel chocks ($4 per pair) to make cradles and covered the chocks with outdoor carpet that I slipped pieces of pool noodles beneath to add cushioning.

I’m a cheap (frugal?) kinda guy.

Wheel chocks–THANKS!

– Last Updated: Jun-09-06 12:34 PM EST –

Whoa, that's a terrific idea!

I was bummed because I couldn't load Redmond's page...will try on another computer...but your wheel chock idea de-bummed me.

For our trailer, I am presently using homemade cradles (wood and minicell) that fit my S&G kayak perfectly. They do not fit my Tempest well. I have been dragging my feet at trying to match its hull curves with wood.

Gotta try the wheel chocks idea! They just might fit the bill.

Try using 2" strapping. Support it with wood or what have you. The strapping goes underneath the boat and cradles the hull. The straps will conform to almost any hull shape.

For solid support
For solid support of the 2 boats on my trailer, I use 2 of 2x12 lumbers. These are cut very carefully to the exact shape of the boat hull, and padded with foam. The boats are marked so that they can be aligned precisely each time, where the hull matches the support perfectly. They are secured with webbing.

Kayak hammocks
I really do need to look at your website. Might have to go to the library to see it.

Anyway, one of the things I was considering was making sort of a kayak hammock instead of hard cradles. I figured it would sway too much, though. I like your 2" strap idea better.

Something that has a lot of give in it would definitely be preferable for the plastic 'yak.

Finally got to look at your site, Redmon
The sling rack looks great. I’m going to give that a try.

Do you have any problems with the hull bumping into the wood supports?

Utility trailer …
Not sure if everyone has seen this, but there is someone on ebay selling racks that you use 2x4’s with to carry canoes/kayaks on your utility trailer or truckbed. Says you can weld or bolt them down. Can see it at http://cgi.ebay.com/KAYAK-CANOE-RACKS-FOR-USE-ON-UTILITY-TRAILER-OR-TRUCK_W0QQitemZ7248542724QQcategoryZ36122QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem . Does anyone have this? If so, please let me know because if it works good then this would be a good answer for when I get a kayak to transport it and my camping gear behind my jeep.

you could
check out your local home depot . They have some smaller trailers for under $500 . You could easily modify them to haul your kayak and gear .

Never had any problem there pikabike. I did coat the screw heads that hold the straps with that plastic dipping stuff made to coat tool handles.

Check this out