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Name: johnheiam

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I have owned this trailer for about eight years. I have pulled it from Michigan to Florida on Interstates more times than I can count. I have also taken this trailer with kayaks from northern Michigan to southern Missouri a couple of times. I am an active member of our local paddle club and paddle about a hundred days a year so I not only see how my trailer performs, but I get a chance to see how others perform. This trailer is the best I have seen among kayak trailers. What makes it so good is the suspension system. It is the only trailer that has independent suspension that includes a shock absorber. Many small boat access sites are on bumpy dirt roads and this trailer rides better than my car.

This trailer does have some significant design flaws that lead me to only give it four stars. The standard tongue is not even long enough to handle 14 ft kayak if you mount it on the end of the bar. When you try to back up it is very easy to turn sharp enough that the kayak hits your rear fender. I did $600 worth of damage to my car this way. The tongue extension Yakima sells is not strong enough for its length. After eight years of use mine has a significant bend.

The paint on the plastic fenders chips off easily. After eight years of use both my fenders have lost about half of their silver paint.

The most significant flaw is with the standard duty shocks. They will break in normal use which causes the tire to go through the fender and destroy any boat that is above it. I saw this happened on a friends Yakima trailer on a club trip. The trailer was far from being overloaded, and it happened at highway speed. Everyone in our club who has this trailer has purchased the heavy duty shocks and has made a stop on the swing arm so that if the shock breaks, it can not go through the fender up into a kayak.

The last flaw has to do with the wiring. If you disassemble the trailer for storage, it is very easy to cut one of the wires when re-assembling the trailer. After doing this three different times I went to a trailer shop and had them protect the wires with a plastic cover called "snakeskin". I just think that for the price of the trailer, a user should not have to work around all these flaws.

In summary, I think the trailer is a wonderful design that has been poorly executed.