Now that my husband & I have retired, we plan to purchase a 4WD truck and a truck camper and travel the back roads of Alaska and Canada. (Because we will spend a lot of time in bear country, it is essential that we have a hard-sided truck camper and not pull a pop-up camper.)
As avid sea kayakers, we want to take our boats along and paddle coastal bays and inland lakes as we travel for several months at a time. The question is whether to pull a kayak trailer or try to strap the boats on top of the camper – no small feat given the height involved. We would welcome the advice of others with experience in this area. Here are some of the pros and cons we have been examining.
- Ease of loading and unloading boats.
- Eliminates risk of injury climbing up and down from top of camper to secure boats.
- Fewer worries about excessive height going under bridges and other structures.
- Less wind resistance, especially from dangerous side winds.
- Ability to include a storage unit on the trailer to contain paddles and other gear.
- Allows for the use of solar panels on top of the camper to minimize generator use.
- With sea kayaks 16-18 feet long, a trailer adds a lot of length to the truck and camper.
- Many ferries charge by the length of the vehicle & trailer, so travel in Alaska would be more expensive.
- Kayaks would have to be protected from rocks and other flying debris bouncing off the highway or gravel road.
- Greater concern with theft of the kayaks while we were away – on a hike, for instance.
- The general instability involved in pulling a trailer – backing & cornering.