Who is using a kayak Trailer - chime in

OK, who is using a kayak trailer? If so, what are you using and how do you like it?

SportsRig or Rack and Roll or something else?

The tow vehicle will be a Toyota 4Runner. Max number of boats will be four or two boats and two bikes.

Oh, and, yes, Happy New Year!



Harbor Freight Cheapo
Customized for hauling up to 4 boats on one level with nice soft padding instead of metal bars. So far it is working very well. The soft pads are for long term storage as the foam conforms to the shape of the boats where there is the most pressure.

Using my Dodge Dakota to haul it. Upside is incredibly easy loading and unloading of my 70lb boat. Downside is that it’s a long setup and hard to maneuver at some of the more remote put ins.

I got some new pictures of the rig somewhere.


I have a three railed motorcycle trailer

– Last Updated: Dec-29-08 6:13 PM EST –

that I have added a T bar at both ends. I have to remove the center rail to install the T's. I have pockets that the T's slide in to then I use a bolt to keep them from coming out. The T's are tall enough so I can carry two kayaks and two motorcycles. If I remove the motorcycle rails I can carry four kayaks. I have also used this setup to carry two kayaks, one tandem bicycle and a motorcycle. A saturday afternoon with a welder and some scrap steel was definitely time well spent. I almost forgot the important part. I had to lengthen the tongue to have clearence for the kayaks. I found this setup works very well if you want a multipurpose trailer.

Utility trailer
just a big 5 by 9 box on a trailer really. by mounting two 2X4 crossbars I add canoes and kayaks on top. Shot kayaks and bikes go in the box first.

johnboat style boat trailer here
i have a typical small boat trailer, made for a 14’ johnboat, galvanized, that i use for several small boats including a hobie catamaran. it has 2"x6" lumber cross members that are 8’ wide so it will carry my hobie, canoe, up to 4 kayaks, skiff, or whatever. its a very useful tool.

Canoe trailer
I carry a kayak strapped to the canoe. I bought a home-built trailer used from a guy I knew and it works just fine.

I will upgrade to something better in the future, but it will likely be a Harbor Freight or Tractor Store utility trailer to which I’ll attach an extended tongue and build my own railings and such.

I’m sure the Rack and Roll and other similar trailers are terrific, but the price is too steep for me. They’re probably worth every penny, but until I have that kind of dough, I’ll pay 1/4 to get something that’ll do until I can afford those setups (which is probably never).

  • Big D

Rack 'n Roll

sweet set up for the hi tech crowd. hi -$$$ crowd too but worth it, IMO.

not much steel, 'cept for a few fittings, shock springs and hardware so not much rust. Important to sea people.

I have built/used kayak trailers of all sorts over the years and now the R/R suits me fine. 4 boat max. adapts to yakima or thule stuff.


Used jon boat trailer
Rebuilt to carry six boats. I use drain hose (the type that folds flat when empty and put partly inflated bicycle inner tubes in for cushioning.

Happy New Year


harbour freight cheapo also
4x8 heavy duty with 12" tires i believe. Now this trailer is pretty crappy as is but you can fix it up. We repainted/welded it tight as too many bolts to worry about loosening, added a hitch extender (home made)a thick plywood base and what else i forget right now. It is a decent base for our purposes as we don’t travel too far with it. We have rigged it different ways which is the beauty of it. We have had 5 across and 1 underneath but could do more. It’s up to your own creativity. We use thule bars which fit into upright 2x4’s with a wedge in it for the bars to sit into and then we remove the whole bars with the carriers on them and lock up in the van. It works well for us. We still use bow and stern lines and a red cloth at the end of the longest kayak 17’ for safety. The wiring was irritating and took awhile to fix as its pretty shoddy as is but again for the price with a little know how, you can improve it some. It can serve double duty as a utility trailer also. I would like a trailex but the $$ is the problem so for now this one works fine. (dont forget a spare tire)

I have a Trailex basic model (I think the model # is 250) that I bought in like new condition for $400.

It rides softly, with little bounce, carrying two canoes or kayaks. There can be some swaying side to side if the two boats are much different in size and weight. Seems too flexible to me, but that’s probably why it rides so well.

I think it is overpriced at list price and would worry about how it would hold up with heavy use. It’s a great trailer at the price I paid and will last fine with my occasional use (two to four times a year).


Tractor Supply Company
Has a 4x8 trailer really cheap. Hubby liked the construction better than harbor freight, lowes, etc. an it was cheaper. Added a 4x8 sheet of plywood and some 2x4s andworks great. Carries our 4 boats no problem (haven’t tried to add bikes yet).

I really like my Malone paddle sport trailer.

Tried it, but it really slows the yak
down, and it lags in eddy turns.

Love my trailex
I have the Trailex single trainer, (MUT-200?). It’s almost all aluminum. I bought mine used, but they aren’t expensive new, compared to some of the others. I have added a little shock absorbtion by moving the bunks in relation to the axle; the single beam chasis flexes, and takes some of the bounce.

I’ve towed boats hundreds of miles on it. I might not tow really delicate boats on rough roads though. I added padding and supprt to the bunks to provide a little more cushioning and shock absorption for my fiberglass boats.

It makes loading and unloading really easy. Makes a good solid platform for cleaning and working on the boats too.

Mine is two plus years old…I think (I’m getting old and time is going by sooo fast)? Still looks new. If you paddle in any salt water, this is the one. Expensive…but looks it too! Very cool. I have put wider bars on mine so I can carry four boats, two pair of Mako Saddles and two pair of Hull Raisers. I have their earlier tongue extension (think wet noodle, kind of scary going down the highway sometimes!) and their extra wheel (a must). I use mine for our club trips. I have over ten thousand miles on my trailer (maybe more?). Awesome trailer. After the pain of the cost goes away, years later, you still have a great trailer that’s kind to your boats and still looks NEW!


snow bear utility
just put a couple of 2x4s with fire hose for padding between 2x4 spacers. Will haul 2 on the flat, or 4 on their side. Am going to add a second story to it so can haul 4 on their bottoms.

Like the snow bear cause I can lengthen the pole and set the axle back a few more inches to even out the balance.

Rack and Roll
We got it in August. What a great investment. My injured hand/wrist (injured from the rooftop thing) is now healed and my g/f back is very thankful.

I tell people, any trailer is a good trailer. But of course, for my needs, the Rack and Roll is awesome (we do need the quick breakdown and quick assembly features.)

Sometimes forget the Rack and Roll is even there.

Bill G.

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Harbor Freight
Looking a little rough, but it’s got lots of miles on it.

Boat trailer with welded frame.
Trailer is OK.

I have rolled it once (ouch).

it adds about 24 feet to the rig when driving and requires special skills.

When I can I ise the VW and racks. The VW Golf carries 3 sea kayaks and my Jetta can carry another 2.

I have seen by Golf backed into a fence NDK and Orion first.

Everything takes some skill.

The trick is don’t let other people drive your stuff.

Trailers have a down side that leaved racks a better option unless you are towing for a club (as I do the odd time).

Old boat trailer…
‘cause it was free. Except the new tires and tags.

Added heavily padded crossbars.

I believe the old girl is a 1965, and I wish the years had been so good to me.

Other than the price, it’s other advantage it’s long enough to protect the rear end of the boats. I belive I could carry a 17’ boat with no overhang.

We only use it when we carry more than three boats, and the poly always rides on the trailer. So, most of the time it sits in the yakshak, sometimes over a year, and waits to go.

It would be easy to modify to hold a bunch of boats, but I haven’t had the need.

I think most anything could tow it. I can pull it around the backyard, or lift the butt end by myself.

The expensive ones are cool, but not for the amount of use I’d get out of it.