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Wednesday, 09 February 2011 01:00

The Super Bestest Kayak Trailer Ever!

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With our upcoming trip to Little Talbot I needed a trailer to carry the 5+ kayaks down to Jacksonville.  I checked out several kayak specific trailers but they were all over 1k.  A price that is just a little too far out of my reach.  There were several utility trailers I saw at Home Depot and Lowes for 6-7 hundred bucks.  Still a little more than I wanted to pay.

trailer 1Then one day I found myself on Craig’s List and saw P.O.S trailers by the hundreds and everyone was asking 4-5 hundred dollars for them.  I though “Why would anyone buy a used one for $500 when you can by a new one for only $100.00 more”.  I did another quick search this time filtering by price, that’s when I saw it!  $300 used but in great condition 4x8 utility trailer…

I looked over the photo and everything looked ok, no missing wheels, rust, or obvious damage.  Showing it to Samantha she agreed it looked nice.  I quickly emailed the owner and they told me it was still available…  Great!

We got to his house around 6pm, he took us back to the trailer and it looked pretty much like the photo but I wasn’t able to inspect it very well because it was dark…  First Mistake!

Looking over the trailer nothing obvious seemed wrong with it so I knew if I wanted it I had to make my decision now there was no way it was going to last another day on Craig’s List.  I jumped on it, handed the guy $300 cash that I had with me.... I had pulled money out on the ride over.  Second Mistake!

I backed up the explorer to hook up the new trailer. The seller started to attempt some casual small talk, but I didn't pay attention I was too excited about this GREAT deal I had found.  He mentioned that he had tried to sell it in the summer but was unable to because of the wheels.  Huh, Wheels were only $50.00 a piece, $400 for a trailer that’s still a good deal… Wonder why everyone passed this up?  Third Mistake!

Hooking up the trailer to my hitch I noticed the wiring harness was too short to reach my adapter…  Ohh well I’m sure they’ll work; all I needed to do is splice in an extension...  Fourth Mistake!


So I’ve almost lost count what was that… three? No four red flags and I hadn’t even driving this thing off his lot yet!  We'll call this the Fifth Mistake!

The trip home was without issue, nothing fell off or broke so I parked the trailer in the back yard and we called it a night.

That weekend was Kayak Trailer Makin Weekend!  Samantha was out of town, the boys were at their mom’s nothing was stopping me from creating my Kayak Hauling Masterpiece!  The first stop was to a local trailer supply shop.  I brought the trailer over so the owner could look it over and let me know what I’d need to make this thing Florida ready.

trailer partsWe picked up the trailer and spun the wheels, grind grind grind…  That’s not good he says you’ll need to replace the bearings.  No big deal they were only a few bucks.   I told him I needed larger tires, we looked at a few and I got some nice 12in tires and rims they were only $60, $10 more than I estimated but it was only a few bucks.  I told him I needed some spare wire so I could extend the wiring harness, he asked if it worked and I told him I wasn’t sure because it wouldn’t reach my adapter.  We went back outside and took a closer look…  The lights were broken and corroded; the wiring was mashed up on one side…  Guess I better get some lights and new wiring, but again it was only a few bucks.

Walking back inside he quickly turns around and says wait you need fenders; you’re not legal without fenders.  Crap, I should have thought of that!  No problem only $13.50 a piece, some angle iron and Tommy and Adams welding skills no problem “we’ll get back to that later”. There were a ton of other little things, dust caps, bolts, bearing grease, penetrating oil, a new trailer jack.  He ran everything up $220.00!!!  Shit! Those little things add up…  Hmmm $300 trailer $220 parts, that’s only $520.  That’s still a good deal right?  Mistake Six!

Since this is starting to get a little long winded I’ll try to condense some.  Grinding over some chipped paint I realized that the previous owner just took a can of spray paint and gave it a quick once over, hoping that some sucker wouldn’t notice the rust underneath and buy it on impulse. The next day and a half was spent changing out the bearings, running new wiring, and grinding and sanding the heck out of my trailer.  It was a ton of work but visually it looked pretty much the same.

trailer tiresSunday I decided to start the rack even though Adam and I had discussed welding some tubular seal to make a kayak rack.  I wanted immediate results; all my work up until this point was almost unnoticeable.  A kayak rack on this would make all the difference.

I stopped at Lowes and walked around for about an hour pondering what I could use right now to make my rack.  Walking past the plumbing isle I saw some black pipe…  Light bulb!  I could measure my distances and have the pipe cut to specification, get some right angles and volia. You have a kayak rack; all I’d have to do is screw it all together!  I’m going to stop saying MISTAKE blah because at this point it’s getting ridiculous what are we at mistake seven?

I went back home got my measurements, went back to Lowes, had the pipes cut and threaded and was back home in no time ready to assemble the best kayak rack known to man!

To be continued…

Read 11478 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 February 2011 21:40
Mark Watanabe

Mark "YakSushi" Watanabe is the Co. Founder of YakAngler.com, "He built this site!". He considers himself a mediocre fisherman and an unexceptional writer. He's the devoted father of a ton of little sushis (Air Quotes) and everyday tech ninja.