Kayak Trailer

I sold my truck this summer and bought a Honda Civic for my daily 60 minute commute. I have a utility trailer to carry my 65 lb Wilderness Tarpon. My boat bounces around on the wooden frame I’ve built to support it. I’d like suggestions on cushioning to absorb the up and down movement on the trailer. I’m thinking of adding some foam pipe insulation covered with carpet to absorb some of the shock and create a smoother ride for the boat. I can of course tighten the lines more but it tends to deform the boat.

check the archives
for listings by ‘redmond’, I believe. He has a lot of great ideas and photos on trailers/racks.

add weight
dave - without knowing the specifics of your trailer - the spring rate is usually designed for the maximum load the trailer can hold. So when the trailer is nearly empty it bounces alot. If you add some weight it will travel much better. Try tossing a couple 50 pound bags of sand or something in the trailer - preferably just in front of the axle

Is it on BARE wood bars?

– Last Updated: Oct-18-06 12:59 PM EST –

Bad. Add cradles, or notch the bars and then pad them. The *trailer* may still bounce, but then at least the boat will move with the trailer instead of rebounding off the initiating bounces. And you're less likely to dent it.

Our trailer has 2x4 crossbars padded with carpet foam and indoor-outdoor carpet over the foam. My husband straps his kayak directly onto them (I used to do this and do not recommend it, because you *have* to tighten the straps very hard). For my wood kayak, I built homemade stands with 1/2" minicell foam for the pads; the cradles fit the hull perfectly. I strap the stands next to the trailer crossbars and strap the kayak to both the stands and the crossbars. For my roto kayak, I bought Thule Hull-A-Port J cradles and fixed them to yet another set of homemade stands that are strapped next to to the crossbars.

Everything stays put, bouncing and all, because the kayaks don't bounce against their cradles--the entire trailer/bar/cradle/kayak ensemble bounces together.

I've never heard of a kayak being damaged from being bounced during transportation, only from strapping too tightly, esp. in the wrong places. Might be different for delicate flowers (ultralight boats) but doesn't seem to hurt rotomolds.

Redmonds pic’s!

Posted from the archives…

Pad with
pool noodles, get the hollow kind nd slit them down the middle.

Lower the air pressure in the tires. Let the tires absorb some of the bumps.

Low tire pressure can lead to excessive tire flexing, which makes the tire run hotter.

If it’s the only thing you use the trailer for, taking one or more leaves out of the springs would be another option.