Pimp My Camping & Paddle Trailer

Okay, I have done my due diligence on Pnet and searched canoe and kayak trailers. Many nice threads, such as this one:


Appears that trailer fans are just that–fanatical about trailers I am finally getting to the point where I might spring for a flat bed or box utility trailer and trick it out to hold my kayaks locked and loaded, if you will, ready to hit the water at a moments notice. THinking, with proper pimping, I can get yaks on it, bikes when necesary, store gear in locked, weatherproof boxes, and maybe even use it as a camping platform to pitch a tent.

Ideas? Webshots and pics? How did you pimp out your paddling and camping pull behinds? Thanks.

Dress the part too…

Here ya go

Now, THAT’S a Pimp!

Kayak Trailer
IN a perfect world i dream of that trailer that will hold my kayaks and my gear AND has a loo onboard. Just imagine! No more nasty rest area bathrooms. One can only dream. Happy paddling. Vaughn Fulton

Flat bed trailer
Get a flat bed trailer and make it whatever you want!

If you can find a scrap pop-up camper,
and you don’t mind doing some work with it,

you can convert it into a utility trailer

by removing the top and insides. Leave just

the sides, and put a 3/4" plywood on hinges

for a rear drop down gate.

You can carry canoes and yaks on it, and it

also will handle furniture or anything else

you want to haul. Mine is over 25 years old.

I change the 3/4" plywood floor every few years.

Where’s the Paparazzi when you need them
Sounds good. Photos?

Yep, that’s cooldoctor1.

Jose and the Technicolor Pimp Coat

Random trailer thoughts

– Last Updated: Jun-22-07 8:23 PM EST –

Mick’s converted pop-up trailer sounds great. Re-use is even better than recycling!

Or you could, as Redman suggested look around for a flat-bed trailer & build custom racks or whatever you need to suite. A straight-up flatbed with racks that you “DIY” will get you hauling boats for day-tripping & weekending. Redman’s rig looks like it is well engineered gets the job done with a flare. A flatbed trailer is a low cash outlay & when you add some enjoyable time in the shop – very cool. Note that his racks were built using wood and screw eyes – no welding. That’s a real plus for those without welding skills/equipment.

Also note that Redman has some sort of ball mount extender that effectively extends the distance from the rear of the tow vehicle to the trailer contents a bit. Very important.

To carry longer canoes/kayaks you’ll want to add additional length between the trailer and the tow vehicle. Typically that’s done by extending the tongue of the trailer. Extending the trailer tongue allows you to “fold” the tow vehicle/trailer (without damage) while backing up/maneuvering.

Also consider that a trailer with boxed in sides (a ready-to-roll utility trailer, a converted pop-up or DIY box on flatbed) adds cargo carrying capacity. Boat racks positioned above the cargo box will allow you to carry your boats as well as enough gear for extended trips. Refer to the Blue Mountain Outfitters trailers for examples of really super-duty canoe trailers.

- Randall

Welding Shop
What do you think a good welding shop would charge to extend a trailer tongue and maybe add a couple of diagonal braces?

Redmond’s trailers
I never really appreciated those shots of your trailers until I was considering converting one of my own. Being up in Huntsville, you obviously are employed as a NASA engineer…if not, maybe you should be. Thanks for sharing your pics and ideas!

Hard to say…
…I wouldn’t want to venture a guess since material and labor costs vary so much for place to place. Steel is expensive these days as is the custom fabrication you’ll need to have done. You can save quite a bit by buying the steel yourself (or locating some sound used stock) and doing the cutting and fitting (fabricating) yourself. You’ll need a chop saw or other method for cutting steel. If you can get the “A-frame” cut, fitted, clamped and ready yourself and then take it to a welding shop the welding charges will be very minor. Welding is actually very quick – it’s the “getting ready” part that takes the time (and costs the big money).

Extending the tongue
I finally decided to extend the tongue on my trailer. Too many folks at work were barking their shins on my extended trailer ball! I just told them to not walk so close to the back of my car but they were still pissed. Extending it cost me $80. They did all the work and made it stronger than the trailer. My kinda guys.

How far?
How long did the tongue end up being when you were done? How much room do you try to leave between the end of the truck and the end of the longest boat on the trailer?

How far…
…to extend the tongue on a canoe/kayak trailer depends on what length boats you’re hauling. The longer the boats extend over the front of the trailer the more distance you’ll want to have between the tow vehicle and the load on the trailer. Refer to the Blue Mountain Outfitters’ REALLY NICE trailer for an example of extended tongues:


If you follow the links at that page to their brochure page & look at their PDF you can read the full specs on their trailers. Their largest trailer has a full 8 foot long tongue.

Don’t let the over-all length intimidate you in terms of handing. It may seem counterintuitive but (within reason) the longer the trailer the easier it is to maneuver. Conversely the shorter the trailer the harder it is to maneuver. - Randall

How much room?
Unfortunately, it depends. If your boat is in the center of the trailer, you can put it pretty close since the trailer pivots there. Just make sure that when the trailer pivots, you don’t bonk your vehicle with the boat. Wish I could give you better numbers, but I just eyeball it. Which works fine, except that one time I really jacked the trailer and the boat was too close and, well, that was a long time ago and we don’t need to go into it. Someday I gotta fix that dent in my tailgate.

5th Wheel
Now, if we were REALLY pimpimg out trailers, we’d have a 5th Wheel set-up…no maneuvering problem there! I guess it starts to get $ prohibitive there…

Agree on both counts
A 5th wheel trailer would be super maneuverable and it would be cost prohibitive – not to mention locking you into a pick-up truck with a 5th wheel hitch as a tow vehicle. Glug, glug…