Kayak Trailer Tips for Buyers
There’s nothing quite like kayaking along one of Michigan’s shorelines or down one of the many rivers. However, getting your kayak and gear to your preferred launch can present a challenge, especially if you have more than one co-adventurer.
Having the right kayak trailer can meet that challenge, allowing you to focus on the fun of the adventure rather than how to load your gear. Consider these tips for buying a kayak trailer that’ll take you on memorable adventures.
How Many Kayaks Will You Haul?
The first thing to consider is how many kayaks you want to haul to your adventures. Sure, you could put one or two boats on a roof rack, but then you’re left stowing all your gear in your vehicle. Even with two people, this can leave even mid-sized vehicles packed.
If you’re traveling with a group of friends or your family, you’ll need something that can handle more kayaks. Kayak trailers come in a variety of options, from as few as one or two to as many as 10 or more.
What About Other Gear?
Next, consider where you’ll stow your gear while heading out on your adventure. Many kayak trailers have a bed that you can tie down some gear boxes to leave more in your vehicle.
Other trailers either have built-in gear boxes, or you can easily have one installed. These boxes provide more substantial storage that may not damage as easily by road debris. Plus, you may be able to stow your gear on the trailer while it’s parked instead of having to continually load and unload it.
Consider the Kayak Trailer’s Construction
Like any other boat trailer, your kayak trailer’s construction should stand up to wet environments. You’ll want to have a galvanized-coated steel frame and galvanized wheels. You may also want to consider marine-grade bearings and a galvanized axle to help reduce corrosion damage. Additionally, make sure your tail lights are submersible to avoid having to continually replace them.
Yes, Tongue Size Matters
The tongue is incredibly important for how your kayak trailer handles while towing it around Michigan. If it’s too short, you limit the size of kayaks you can haul. Shorter tongues also make it more difficult to back up your trailer, increasing the risk of jackknifing. However, you should consider how you’ll store your trailer, especially if you’re limited on length. An adjustable length tongue helps solve these needs, giving you the most flexibility with your trailer.
Padding Is Essential
The last thing you want to do is load up your kayak only to have it damaged due to unprotected surfaces on your trailer. This is why padding is so essential to successfully haul your boat wherever you would like to go.
The load bars are the obvious place to ensure you have padding, which can come factory installed or added with a kit. However, you’ll also want to consider other protrusions like cleats, hooks, loops, or other hardware. Anything unpadded or unprotected poses a risk of damaging your boat, curtailing your adventure early.
Think About Storage
How you’ll store your trailer when you’re not using it is as important as how it functions while you haul it. If you can’t store your trailer effectively, then it doesn’t matter if you have a perfectly rated rig with all the bells and whistles. We’ve already discussed the importance of your trailer tongue’s length. In addition to adjustable length tongues, you can also opt for removable or foldable tongues to help reduce the rig’s storable length.
You’ll also want to consider the height and how it’ll fit into your shed, garage, or pole barn. If you’re storing the trailer unloaded, you may want to consider one with a removable or collapsible rack. This also means the other hardware will need to come off, which you could store in the gear box if your trailer has one.
Kayak trailers often have a light construction, which makes them an easy target for thieves. Be sure to think through securing your trailer with tongue and wheel locks.
Do you enjoy other outdoor activities like biking? While considering your kayak trailer options, think about how else you could use your trailer. Some trailers easily haul bicycles alongside the boats. If you have a removable boat rack, you can also use your trailer for winter activities. Take a few minutes to think through all the ways you’d like to use your trailer, then talk to a trailer specialist to find the solution that’ll meet that need.
No matter what trailer you need, USA Trailers has the rig that will get you on your adventure. Stop by one of the seven locations throughout Michigan to chat with one of our specialists and find the right trailer for you.