Setting up a trailer for a kayak

I’m going to be setting up a trailer for multi use. dirtbikes, quads, the lawnmower, bicycles, etc.

I’ve have a large trailer now that I haul them on, but it’s too big and heavy for me to move around, so I’m trying to simplify things. I want to buy a small trailer from tractor supply

The deck of the trailer will be 4 feet wide and 8 foot long.

The longest kayak I am going to be carrying is 16 feet.

I’m thinking 2 or 3 feet of the kayak will hang off the back, which means 6 foot needs to hang off the front, so I’ll need about 8 feet of tongue on the trailer. I plan on making two different length tongues and putting the long one on when I need to haul kayaks.

Does that sound about right ?

Anyone done any projects like this ?


What sort of vehicle will you be pulling the trailer with?

What if the kayak rack you made for the trailer was a little higher in the front than in the back. That way you could just have the regular tounge on there (about 4 feet probably), and the boats would sit just over the back of your car. If you have a pickup or a sedan this should work well. With an SUV, not so much.

If the boats are going to lie flat on the trailer, you’ll need to set them back about 3 feet from the hitch, so they don’t hit the car when you turn sharply.

My Harbor Freight Mod
For kayaks (up to 4 boats) – priority was easy loading and unloading, Also wanted it for winter storage without worrying about boats, thus the thick padding on the cross members.

The tarp has a little over an inch of snow weighing it down in the last picture. Normally it isn’t touching the boats.

And I’ll need to extend the tongue about 2 feet to haul a 16 footer (this shows a 14.5 footer).


a trailer
with enough suspension to haul dirt bikes and other heavy gear might become a basketball behind your car with only a 150lb load…do you have a plan for weight differences?

I bought a bike trailer (motorcycle)
which was little more than a frame with a chammel down the center.

I removed the u-channel and built a square frame from that crappy construction u-channel they build houses with.

Then some cheap plywood over that.

Now i have a flatbed trailer with a 3’ tongue and 4x5’ bed.

I added eye-bolts all around and have multi-use trailer. It is light enough for me to move easily, stores mostly under my car at the parking lot and can do a lot of things.


Strap an overnight dog-crate to it and I have a camping trailer with a cage for smaller items.

Attach a couple 2x4 covered with a couple inches of close-cell foam and i can strap two long kayaks to it (red flags hang from the sterns).

The options are amazing and my only thought now is to replace the 2x4 w/foam with a cheap yak-rack (plumbing pipe) and bolt some used yak-saddles to it and a flat box underneath.

But I need the weight low or the trailer will bounce all over the road in a crosswing.

don’t need that much room
I keep a foot between bumper and bow but i also strap the boats close so that I CAN turn and not hurt the boats.

Never had a probnlem and I turn TIGHT when I screw up my backing to the ramp.

I also keep the boats flat so I can load them with my gear. BUT, balance is vital when I do that. 60% before the axle!

You don’t need 8ft of trailer tongue
Our modified snowmobile trailer’s deck is about 4.5 ft x 9.5 ft. We did extend the stock tongue to carry the sea kayaks (up to 17.5 ft long), but it’s still not 8 ft long.

I’d post a photo here (did so last year), but since I haven’t yet renewed my Paddling Perks membership, I can’t include the link now.

The ferry surcharges will be brutal even with a shorter tongue. That’s why when my husband and I drove our kayaks to Alaska, we rooftopped them. Other than that, we avoid rooftopping like the plague.

my next modification
is to cut a hole in the deck and mount a flush box at the stern of the trailer.

That will hold tie-down straps and any small gear I want to take.