In the market for a Kayak trailer for 2 ten ft kayaks. Any recommendations on dealers in Eastern Pa or brands/types/etc. Any help is appreciated.
Blue Mountain Outfitters
In Marysville pa (near Harrisburg) I don’t own one made by them but other folks on this site have recommended them. I have rented canoes from them & are great people to deal with www.bluemountainoutfitters.net/
Rick (in pa)
We have a Yakima rack and roll with an extended tongue we use to haul 18ft sea kayaks. We have been pleased with it. A trailer is a blessing if the boat is loaded!
If you have DIY skills
Harbor Freight trailers make a good low budget starting point. It can be as simple as attaching a sheet of plywood and strapping the boats to it on up to whatever your skills can accomplish.
Search for trailer threads, there have been hundreds.
Yes, with short boats like you have, a Harbor Freight or other utility trailer can be rigged to haul them. But if you think you might eventually graduate to longer touring kayaks, you will want a longer tongued kayak specific trailer.
Malone sport trailer works for me
You can check them out at maloneautoracks.com. Ships as a kit, very easy to build. I carry two 18 foot surf skis without a problem. I bought mine online.
There are a few small specialty builders with good prices in the region, like this outfit in Michigan:
This one north of Pittsburgh, near the Ohio Line in Franklin, PA
And Pirate Marine in Ohio:
harbor freight is the dollar store…
They are cheap and cheaply made and beloved by people who cannot afford or understand Craftsman Tools or by people who are between paychecks and need something that ‘will do’ until they can afford something decent.
HF trailers are ok for in-town or short slow trips but they do not do well at freeways speeds. They have cheap bearings that are rated for under 50mph and they can break apart under stress.
I bought a Malone
I looked at Yakima and Thule but they were out of my price range so one woman in my kayak club recommended the Malone Micro-Sport.
It arrived in 5 boxes (Buy the spare tire kit) and my daughter and I assembled it in a couple house including mods like adding a storage box, a deck, a drying bag and running the wires through garden hose.
So far I have taken that Malone loaded with 5 kayaks & gear across four states, for hours at 75mph and on rough roads that needed a grader and have NEVER had any trouble.
Malones tow as if they did not exist, they are that good, and they take incredible punishment on all roads and like it. They modify well and are well built and when I called to ask a question, I got the daughter of the owner answering my questions.
My only complaint was that even though the Malone is Made in America, the bolts they sent were metric and the instructions in SAE!
You cannot go wrong with a Malone micro-Sport!
agree with you re HF, not on Craftsman
I agree that Harbor Freight stuff is very low end and uses inferior parts – your warnings on their trailers are well put.
But I would not rank most Craftsman tools much above HF junk. While some are excellent (I still have a 35 year old fiberglass-handled Craftsman straight claw hammer which I relied on during my entire career in the field as a construction electrician and use to this day), many of their tools are unreliable crap.
When I was an electrician, my spouse at the time had a car repair shop and both of us started our careers with Craftsman tools. But after a while I got really tired of taking a bag of tools to Sears every couple of months to exchange due to failure. We both knew how to properly use tools so it was not a case of misuse. Craftsman sockets were particularly prone to cracking and splitting under pressure (he used them on engine and frame parts and I mostly used them to set concrete anchors.) The gears on the ratchet handles would blow out, the bolts connecting slip joint pliers would fail and some cast steel crescent wrenches simply broke when dropped. I had Craftsman screwdriver tips break off in the slots of seized screws! None of the Craftsman power tools I’ve owned have lasted more than 10 years before the clutches in drills start to slip or the motors burn out. I had a Sears hedgetrimmer that vibrated so badly that my arms would go numb using it. Replaced it with a Poulan that was smooth as silk.
I don’t care how often Sears will replace a failed tool – when using those tools is your livelihood, you can’t afford to have them break on the job in the first place!
Gradually, as we could afford better we replaced these unreliable items with tools made by Snap On, Mac, Klein, Greenlee, Bosch, DeWalt, Milwaukee and other brands. Most of those I bought 25 to 30 years ago and am still using today.
Sears (and its co-brand, K-Mart) seem to be going down the drain, and perhaps justifiably so. Their poorly stocked stores and substandard house brands are not competitive with other products and vendors. They’ve closed most of the Sears stores in my area and just announced that most of the K-Marts will be shuttered this Summer. So if you still own Craftsman tools, I would suggest inspecting them now and exchanging any faulty ones while you still can.
+1 on HF and Craftsman
Having spent LOTS there I find it difficult to trust any HF product. I want one of those two-wheeled trailer dollies for pulling it around the yard and cannot even bring myself to buy that from them. And I’ve possibly broken one of every Craftsman tool ever made although the 25 year old 4HP compressor just won’t die despite neglect.
BTW, just got my Malone trailer and need to assemble it; their staff coped with countless tedious e-mails from me while spec’ing it out.
if you’re handy
then shop for a used lawn tractor trailer, jetski or PWC trailer, or tin-boat trailer. With some elbow grease and an imagination you can save yourself some $ and get what you want.
I never meant to disparage Craftsman which are excellent tools! I meant to imply that you won’t find anything of Craftsman quality at HF and most people I know personally who like HF, generally do not own anything of a Craftsman quality so have to keep buying replacement tools… at HF.
If HF tools are so poor, can you expect their trailers to be better?
Yakima rack & roll
We have made 4 transcontinental round trips from Florida to western Canada on our Yakima rack & roll, carrying 2-3 14’ kayaks (narrower than 24")and our 40 pound canopy since 2011. I’d say with our regular trips the rest of the year it’s easily over 60,000 miles of use. The trailer is only 150 pounds, carries up to 250 pounds. You don’t notice that you’re pulling a load, at all. We do replace our tires before each transcontinental trip as a precaution – we’ve found that these tires are not usually stocked in the out of the way places we usually paddle. And we carry a spare. Aside from replacing the electrical connectors (we travel a lot of dusty roads), we’ve had no problem with the trailer. We store our kayaks on the trailer, wash and apply UV protection while on the trailer (we do paddle more than 2 x a week all year round) – it’s always ready to go. But, it can be collapsed for storing. If we’re in a narrow road which makes turning difficult – we just unhitch the trailer and manually turn it around and re-hitch it to the small SUV we drive. Might need an extender for kayaks longer than 15’on long trips, but we’ve hauled 16’ for short shuttles and canoes and sit-on-tops, although it’s better for sit inside kayaks. Good dealer service – we had to replace the aluminum tongue when our driver forgot that he was hauling the trailer and did a fast circular turn which bent the tongue. Got a replacement within the week and it was easily fitted into the tongue groove and we were ready to go. We would not be kayaking as much as we do without it. Easy to load and unload, can disconnect the trailer and roll the trailer (with kayaks) manually to put-in instead of a long portage, if needed.
I’ll take the compressor off your hands
Everything You Need to Know
About Harbor Freight is right here:
fake HF ad
Loved that sham HF ad … best laugh I’ve had today!
I’ve often wondered if those HF trailers are a good deal … “upon further review” I’m thinking not.
that was great thanks
Please don’t post this sort of thing. My stomach hurts from laughing too much, and I now have to explain to my wife why I have tears are running down my face.
(A serial HF shopper for tools I might use once a year))