Utility trailer to haul Kayaks

I was thinking about purchasing a basic 4x8 folding utility trailer for hauling 2 kayaks and gear. I am aware of the pricier specialty trailers specifically designed to carry kayaks/canoes but was wanting something a little more practical(to haul other things besides kayaks) and obviously less expensive. I need some ideas on outfitting this type of trailer.


the search function here isn’t perfect…
…but it did find this recent thread that you might enjoy:


utility trailer
I use one for kayaks, though it’s not a folding model. An extended tongue is normally required, the standard tongue on utility trailers is usually very short. Depends entirely on the boats you carry. I can usually carry 4 kayaks on mine, carried on their sides on J cradles. I used Yakima cross bars and mounts to the sides of the trailer to carry the boats. Works fine. Btw, I added 4 feet to the tongue (was originally 2’ long), so the trailer now is 14’ long, it’ll comfortably carry my 19 footer.

Bill H.

If your boats are fiberglass…
…or other composite material, you’ll need to remove a leaf or two from the trailer springs. The suspension on utility trailers is designed to carry a lot of weight and it’s consequently very stiff. It will beat up boats.

Here ya go

Harbor Freight folding 4x8 trailer. Hauled kayaks on it across country, thousands of miles, no problems. Just sold it to a good friend of mine and he has restored it to its former glory!

another HF mod idea
I saved this link some time back. I wish I’d taken this route on my own HF trailer.


That is sharp! Wish I had the tools to modify it this way. Thx for the link


An old scrap pop-up camper will also
work great for what you want to do, if you can find one,

purchase it, and then revamp it.

They usually have a gvw of 3,000 pounds on up, and can

handle quite a load of anything. The camper aspects all

need to be removed, leaving the sides on and reinforcing

them with perhaps plywood. The door must be secured.

Mine has hauled a canoe and gear, motorcycle, assisted in

home moves, and even gravel. It’s made from an old Nimrod

camper, if anybody is old enough to remember them. It’s

now going on 25 years of use as a utility trailer. I have

changed the plywood floor, greased the bearings, changed

the tires, and cleaned it every 5 years.

Modified snowmobile trailer

– Last Updated: Nov-27-09 10:49 PM EST –

We've been hauling kayaks with a Triton Blizzard XT one-snowmobile trailer since late 2000. At first we had rec kayaks and used the trailer as is except for the kayak-attachment fixtures. When we bought sea kayaks in 2002, we got the tongue extended, which cost all of $40 labor. The trailer itself cost about $1000. It is made of aluminum, with a plywood flatbed that measures about 4.5' x 9.5'.

This type of trailer has a Torflex suspension, which is softer than leaf springs. We have carried plastic, wood-epoxy-fiberglass, and fiberglass kayaks on it with no problems from the suspension. The trailer payload is about 1300 lbs, so we have also used it to haul pea gravel, chainlink fencing, and other heavy items. However, with the tongue extension, I consider the safe payload to be probably half the 1300 lbs--still more than enough for carrying kayaks.

The trailer comes with standard 2" coupler and weighs 380 lbs NOT including the kayak-related mods such as crossbars, mounting hardware, and cradles. As such, if you really are moving to Colorado, you would not want to tow it with a 4 cyl.-engine vehicle (unless you're moving to the flat eastern 1/3 of the state). The manufacturer tow limits do not account for mountain driving or high altitude (most engines lose power with increasing elevation), and don't forget that whatever you carry in the car--including your own bodyweight--will reduce the weight you can tow on the trailer.

Small motorboat trailer?
I converted one of these, having a flat platform installed, to carry my ultralight plane. Now that I am not flying the plane (per wife’s entreaties), I’m thinking of redoing the trailer to carry kayaks.

In fact, if it’s possible, I’m toying with the idea of buying two 2’ diameter lengths of pvc pipe and mounting one on each side to house and protectively carry the Terns in. Then, the rest of the rig would be built up to make a lightweight travel/camping/kayak trailer.

I’m just thinking about the possibilities now, but you might want to consider doing something with an old boat (hence already long) trailer.

My modified utility trailer bounces alot (well used to) but with the boats on J saddles doesn’t seem to bother the boats (bothers me more watching them). I’m adding a second tier to the trailer and that should help alot as it adds weight and also lets me carry 4 more boats.

I also use the trailer for the bikes (motorcycles) so removing leaves from the springs isn’t an option.

Bill H.

I’m assuming you have no idea what large diameter PVC pipe costs. Don’t even think 2’ diameter pipe is made and it’s only sold in full lengths. VERY expensive.

Bill H.

Certainly comes in 2". That is pipe size though, not the O.D. You can buy cut lengths at most plumbing supply houses. Prices aren’t too terrible right now. PVC’s largely made from oil so current oil prices have an effect on the cost.

…for a welding school in your area. Some of the students close to graduating might need a project to finish their program and could do it for free, if you buy the materials. I did several projects for outside people when I was in school.

think 2’…
… as in 2 feet, as in 24 inches. Pretty darned big pipe!

Wall thickness on the big pipe is like 1/2", it’s not only grossly expensive it’s also very heavy.

Bill H.