anyone have any experience hauling a kayak trailer with long sea kayaks and want to share their thoughts? i was just wondering if anyone has had any trouble with other drivers not paying attention and running into them and anything of that sort. Just think it would be awful convenient to just drop the trailer on the weekend and then you are ready to go the next weekend. I take my nieces out often and they are young and aren’t much help to load 3 boats. 2 sea and a rec. boat. OMG , it takes longer to put 3 on the roof of my car then they want to paddle. when going solo it wouldn’t be needed, but for family trips it sounds good.
I haul all of my boats on a trailer. I use a flatbed utility trailer with removable bunks. The bunks are built high enough to put the kayaks at about windshield height. My longest sea kayak is over 19 feet and has to ride in the middle bunk. It hangs out over 7 feet, so it has to have a red flag. The bunks are such that the boats are carried on edge. I’ve been hauling the boats this way for years and have never had a problem with cars. I do tend to watch the rear view mirror a lot at stop lights.
Really like my trailer. Much easier loading and unloading. What kind of roof rack do you have?
Never had any problem with other drivers, but I’m really careful about where I go and where I park and how I drive. Don’t forget it’s back there! Seriously, in this day and age we have a tendency to drive on autopilot. Don’t do that with a trailer and boats.
Thule bars and a stacker and hullivator.
Trailer for almost all my transport
I've done lots of trailering with 16' to 17.5' kayaks, on two different trailers. From 2002 to the present. Three incidents come to mind:
I have had a few drivers tailgate or pull up uncomfortably close behind me at lights, but the only negligent driver that actually hit me appeared to be on drugs--dazed eyes staring at nothing. I had stopped at a red light in Biloxi behind a line of other stopped cars. The druggie stopped but then kept inching closer and closer as I nervously watched my rearview mirror. I was trapped--nowhere to go to escape. She managed to drive the hood of her Xterra UNDER my J-racked, trailered sea kayak, lifting the stern up. The straps and flexy Malone cradles had some give, as did the Yakima round crossbars. The plastic kayak was undamaged, as was the trailer and my truck, but the crossbars had been bowed down and the J-cradle later manifested a long crack that I suspect started with that incident. For weeks afterward, I thought the cradle felt too floppy while I strapped and unstrapped the kayak. But because I had taped foam pads on the contact area the kayak sat on, the tape and foam hid the damage until the crack went all the way through.
Also, three years ago I was a passenger in a truck pulling 5 sea kayaks on a trailer. We had stopped due to heavy traffic going to a beach. We were the last vehicle just ahead of an intersecting road. Suddenly a jerk behind us pulled out of line, made a wide U-turn in the intersection, and swung his camping trailer into the kayak trailer. The force pushed the Yakima round bar a little over to one side but no other damage was apparent. He took off in a hurry going the other way. I hope his camper had a big hole in it. F'ing hit-and-run ahole.
The third incident happened to my parked trailer at a group paddle event. A guy tried to park his SUP trailer and truck behind me, and he managed to hit one of my trailer's taillights because he was staring at the crossbars and not at the rearmost part of my trailer. Without a kayak on it, the trailer must have appeared shorter than it really was. Fortunately, this guy had a lot of witnesses and he was a rep for a store. In short order he had replaced both taillights (he had to replace both because they didn't have an exact match for the broken one). I didn't even know what had happened until someone told me about it during lunch break.
If these things scare you, then think about how a rooftopped long kayak also is vulnerable to other drivers. The few times I've transported sea kayaks on the roof, I worried that someone might drive an RV or other extremely tall vehicle into the stern, or anyone might drive any car into the painter lines.
Whatever trailer you might get, if you get one, tape or paint it with bright reflective stickers to make it more visible. Use neon-bright flagger's tape tied to the stern; when it breaks off after a while, put a new one on. Make the thing gawdy and obvious.
Trailering for years no trouble
I use a SportsRig and it is nice. Bought it new in 2001 and never looked back. I have had no problems. Easy to load, unload, it folds up for storage. As far as I am concerned this is the way to go.