Malone Downeaster Trailer ?

The Malone Downeaster trailer has been out for some time now. Has anyone tried one yet? I need to haul two 16’ canoes (one with a 34" max beam; the other with a 27.5" max beam). The Downeaster’s load bars are 60"—which ought to handle my situation. But I’m a bit concerned that it looks like more of the canoes would be carried aft of the taillights than forward above the long tongue. I’d appreciate if someone would take a look at a picture of this trailer and venture an opinion.

As far as I can tell, this looks exactly like the bottom of a LoadRite galvanized trailer–without the bunks, rollers or winch–but including a pair of 60" aluminum load bars supported by 12" bunk brackets. The load bars appear to be slotted down their entire length… not sure who made these. Thule perhaps? If it is basically a LoadRite trailer, I figure this might be a very good deal. I downloaded the.pdf assembly file and all the parts look exactly like LoadRite. I figure that company would raise quite a commotion if someone else started copying their parts exactly. This trailer does come completely disassembled (except for the bearings in the hubs). They estimeate a 3-hour assembly time (perhaps…IF you’ve been working on a trailer assembly line most of your life!)

I’m also wondering if a lot of folks just noticed the way the thing is put together—and then bought a pair of load bars and brackets… and cobbled up something using an old boat trailer. :slight_smile:

Any thoughts?

Malone doesn’t make them
The trailer is only branded Malone but not made by them. I cannot remember who makes the trailer, but when you open the box, the instructions have the manufactures name all over them, not Malone’s. No, the loadbars are not the same as Thule’s. Yes, cobbling’s an option for the crafty, but the trailer isn’t designed for a wide stance and could roll over during a high speed turn if the weight is distributed too wide. I know Rack and Roll had this issue but their trailers are significantly lighter than this steel trailer. 60" on a such a short span will be too narrow for your two boats unless you like them rubbing together. I’ve assembled two Malone trailers and my best time is 6 hours. It took me an hour to organize and unpack all the parts. The edges are sharp and the cosmetics are less than to be desired. But for half the price of a Rack and Roll and twice the price of an elaborate roof rack, you can have a trailer shipped to your door.

Possible to carry more kayaks?
Any way to rig a second level so one could carry 6 kayaks using a stacker?

Malone trailer
I have to say I am surprised to hear that someone had trouble with this trailer. I have owned one for about 4 months. It was shipped to my house and I found that the 2-3 hour assembly time was accurate. I am more of a weekend warrior when it comes to building things and I found that it require less than basic skills to put together and was very strait forward. As far as edges I found mine to be smooth and free of anything that could cut me. I see what you mean about the cosmetics, it is however galvanized steel not aluminum. I have had my 4 boats on this trailer many times and found it to be one of the most stable trailers I have ever pulled at speed or maneuvering in a tight spot. I would recommend this trailer to anyone.

We looked into both Malone and Rack and Roll trailers for hauling our kayaks, both sea and surf. We were about ready to order the Rack and Roll based on a friend’s recommendation, when we visited our local kayak shop, looked at his stock, and ended up buying a LoadRite. Because of the number of boats, the smallness of both our cars, and the fact we wanted to put Thule boxes on the trailer for gear, we ended up with the 6 kayak LoadRite, which was cheaper than the Rack and Roll but a bit pricier than the Malone as we didn’t need to buy cradles.

The hitch goes on my husband’s Audi A4 Thursday. After that, we’ll see how things work out. We’re planning on hauling a NDK and a Valley, plus the two Thule boxes (on sale at REI)on a long trip next week.

That said, I give points to Malone for their customer service. I was on the phone a few times researching the trailers and the salesman told me to make sure that if we put a hitch on one of the cars it wouldn’t void the warranty. A quick call to the local Audi dealership solved that problem as the old mileage/year warranty on the Audi has long expired and that was what would be affected – and the A4 also has the bigger engine.

We went with the LoadRite because there was no assembly required and our local shop owner filled out all the RMV/Title paperwork for us, plus knew his product. We also saved a lot of money for an aluminum trailer that will hopefully haul all the boats and the gear easily.

The proof of the purchase will be next week.