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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:30 pm 
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I have been happy using a pickup with bed extender to move my PA around, and launching with a small wheelset. It works great for me and is not a problem for the places I fish. But my pickup is on life support and needs replacing so I want to explore other options.
My PA is kept at a weekend cottage and stored in the garage on a foam pad during the week. When I am at the cottage for several days of fishing, I load up and just lleave the PA in the back of my pickup but then I cannot easily keep the truck in the garage - too long to fit. I don't want to leave it outdoors so I end up parking diagonally, using up most of the garage, which is a PITA for many reasons.
My first thought was to just get a new pickup and do as I have been. But on reconsidering, I thought that this would be a good time to weigh pros and cons of using a small trailer (with some other vehicle) against duplicating my current setup (with a new pickup).
So, ignoring all vehicle attributes, do you prefer trailer or bed extender for transport / launch, and why?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:10 am 
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Location: Waverley,Nova Scotia,Canada
With a small, light trailer (such as those from Harbour Freight or a modified PWC trailer) the transport, loading and unloading is a breeze. If I ever have an issue with "jack knifing" due to the short tongue, I just unhook same and manhandle it myself. I'm sure that it would be easily maneuverable (even loaded) in the confines of your garage. Mine certainly is. BTW, I easily tow mine behind my 20 yr old Mazda with better fuel economy, and more convenience, IMO, than that of a pickup truck.
Regards....


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:33 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Just one small opinion to share. When I used to put my Adventure Island on the roof of my car, I would get worse mileage than I do towing my Bravo behind the car.

Same thing now. If I take the Oasis on the roof, I get worse mileage than towing an entire Bravo and trailer.

The Oasis is about 90 lbs. The Bravo and Trailer weigh about 500 lbs, all in.

Just some food for thought.

Also, an average 4 cylinder vehicle can easily tow your PA, which saves fuel for your everyday driving. No need to run an empty truck and burn 8 cylinders worth of gas.

Launching is also MUCH easier from a trailer.

The difference in fuel use, and ease of launching is so easy from a trailer, that I've decided to get my trailer modified to carry my kayak underneath my Bravo. Anything you put behind the car is easier than putting it on top.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:52 pm 
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How far do you transport your PA and what type of vehicle and trailer would replace your current pickup? Do you use your pickup bed for hauling anything else or are you considering a SUV? Obviously a vehicle that gets better gas mileage with a trailer may be more economical than a full size pickup that gets 10 to 15 mpg. You will likely need to register your trailer each year so that is an additional cost for trailer...plus tires, parts, electric hookup wear and tear, etc.

I wouldn't feel very comfortable hauling a $3,000 PA in a cheap trailer that might blow a tire, fishtail, or have other problems....especially if you are trailering your PA very far. You may also need a fairly long trailer to have clearance between your PA and back of your vehicle.

I've been transporting my PA on 500 miles round trips in the back of my truck with bed extender no problem. I also fish a lake 2 miles from my house on a regular basis and it only takes about 2 minutes for me to load/unload it in my garage for storage. I store mine flat on a carpet in my garage. A bed extender is an effective, cheap, and dependable option.

Here in Colo trailered boats, kayaks, etc have to go through aquatic weed check stations before entering certain waters..which can be a pain in the rear...but I understand the need. If you have the same vessel in the back of your truck you don't need an inspection?!

I've been considering the trailer option myself because I often like to camp in my topper or haul my 4 wheeler plus kayak on trips. There are also heavy duty ladder racks that fit outside a camper shell/topper that would allow me to haul my PA plus spend the night inside my topper. Anyway, there are lots pros and cons for trailer vs bed extender....you just need to pick one that fits your budget and needs. By far the easiest and cheapest route to go is a pickup plus bed extender.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:10 am 
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A trailer is way more convenient. I have a situation similar to yours. I keep my PA at my cabin and prefer the trailer. Easier to store and to load and unload. I built up a Harbor Freight trailer and it can be folded like a ping pong table when not in use. I installed a pully system in the back of the garage so I can store both the PA and trailer out of the way in the winter. (See pics below). I store the PA on the trailer on foam padded bunks during the summer so it's always ready to go.

I have been using my trailer since I bought my PA two years ago and it works great. PLUS it was less than $400 complete. If you don't want to build one up yourself, check craigs list. Lots of people buy these kit trailers for a specific purpose then sell them.

Just because it's an inexpensive solution doesn't make it bad. The $2000 kayak specialty trailers are a rip off as far as I'm concerned. I have a bed extender as well and I'd rather trust my PA to my $400 tralier than a rickety $100 extender. I tried the extender and found it to be a PITA to load. The PA wants to slide around when you start to load.

Sure, the HF trailer tounge is a little short and it takes some practice to learn how to back it up straight, but it ain't rocket science. Just take it to a parking lot and practice a little. As Shimonoman mentioned, these things are light enough to disconnect and move around by hand if needed. Get a wheeled trailer jack for this purpose.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:40 am 
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I have a Hobie Outback, used for fishing, and hauled it on the top of my Yukon. Became too much to handle alone so I bought a Trail Dust 5'x10' utility trailer for under $1000, it works great, have hauled 4 Hobie kayaks in it and headed to the coast, has 15" wheels so it's a little more stable than the Harbor Freight models. Sold the Yukon and was able to buy a much smaller SUV with better gas mileage and still be able to pull the trailer. Just back the trailer down the boat ramp and pull the PA off, cuts down on launch time, more time to fish. Trail Dust retailer is in Boring, Oregon just outside of Sandy.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:33 am 
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Location: Michigan
Hi Jim_MI,

I had the same dilemma that you're facing and, without regret, ended up going with the trailer option. As you may know, trailer registration is a one time deal here in Michigan so that expense is quite reasonable. I drive a Honda Pilot and considered the rooftop option but standing at 5' 5" (with bad shoulders) realized that was out of the question and was still left with the storage issue.

I ended up springing for a custom trailer arranged by my dealer. It ended up costing less than the trailex, weighs 250 lbs (making it a breeze to manually move around) and has a 650 lb capacity. I installed a set of saddles to solve the storage issue and it's been a great set up. I've driven to the Canadian shores of Lake Superior from the Ann Arbor area and noticed very little change in miles per gallon. I would imagine you could replace the space occupied by the foam pad with a trailer for storage.

I believe I still have your email... let me know if you'd like a few pix and I'd be more than happy to send some your way. The current host site set up for posting photos on this forum is a PITA for me.

Good luck with your decision,

GR8 Laker

PS. I would expect they'll be runnin' soon... hope you get into em'!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:25 pm 
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On a similar topic, I just bought a 14' PA and was wondering why an extension is needed for the back of a pick up? I use to carry my 13' kayak in the bed of my truck without a problem. I have a shortbed and it still was not an issue. I used tie downs and such to keep it in the back.

I was just making sure that my PA won't be hurt if I transport it without a bed extender.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:01 pm 
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My full sized shortbed Dodge bed is 6' and with the tailgate down is around 7 1/2'. If my arithmatic is correct that means a 14' PA would be sticking out 6 1/2'. My bed extender sticks out several feet from my tailgate so gives extra support. I also tie my PA around my padded extender and also the front of the bed of my truck...which is solid as a rock. I also load my PA with the front side forward. The heavier/wider rear is hooked onto the extender. It is a lot easier to load/unload this way.

I don't think I would trust my PA sticking out the end of my truck 6 1/2' on a bumpy or curvey mountain road!








'!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Yes, thanks to all for the advice. Sounds like the consensus is trailer with smaller vehicle. Makes sense. I will miss my pickup, but don't really haul stuff in the back too often, and imagine that the right trailer kit would permit me to take the PA off and put firewood (or whatever) in. But now that means I have to considerably broaden my search for a replacement vehicle.
Jims - most of my fising is done within 15 miles of my cottage, so either option is probably road-worthy.
Trout - which HF traier did you end up getting? Is yours the 950-lb 8" wheel model (http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive ... 42709.html)
or the 1195-lb 12" wheel model (http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive ... 90154.html) These are priced almost the same.
GR8-Laker - I figured that with your annual circumnavigations of Lake Superior you would have this transportation issue pretty well sorted out! No salmon for me yet this season, just lake trout in Charlevoix. Probably another 2 weeks or so before they come in from the abyss.
Scientist - I would seriously advise using a bed extender! Although the countour of the hull does not put much weight on the extender bar when loaded in the pickup bed, there is so much boat hanging out the back end that any bumps could ruin your day, and the day after, and the day after... A bed extender is very cheap insurance as compared to the cost of a new PA.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:19 pm 
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I got the 1195# model with12" wheels. Figured the 12" would be easier on the bearings.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:00 am 
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Anyone with ideas for a cheap way of adding an extender? I currently do not have a hitch installed on my truck. I would only use the hitch for the extender and the extenders only have a 350 weight capicity. So it seems like I would be overdoing it to add 5,000 pound class III hitch since I will only be using it for the kayak. It would be great if I could figure out a way to attach a receiver tube to my truck without a hitch and then just attach the extender to the tube.

I have never had any experiences with trailer things so any ideas others have would be great. My truck seems to not want to die (it is a toyota) and I was planning on adding a hitch when I buy a new truck, but not to the one with 200k miles.

Thanks for any help.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Well, I bought my HF trailer kit this afternoon, and look forward to customizing it with some of the great ideas that others have posted here. I am thinking of using the front and rear stake-post mounts to hold a 2x4 crosswise to the long axis of the trailer. This should get the supports up above the trailer cross pieces. Then I would do the 2" PVC pipe along the scupper lines, bolted to the 2x4 in the back end and "floating" through a slightly larger diameter PVC collar attached to the 2x4 at the front end. This arrangement should provide support but encourage the PVC to flex and bow accordng to the hull shape. We'll see. I am bringing the kit up to my cottage tomorrow for a 2 wk fishing trip. I am almost hoping for some rainy days so I can be building & pimping the trailer without feeling bad about missing time out on the water.

Scientist- The bed extenders weigh too much to allow you to use one without any sort of properly mounted receiver tube. You may be able to cobble together some sort of "sled" that is sufficiently long to support the PA and hang out the back end of your pickup. You would need some vertical posts at the front end, with cables or struts extending diagonally to the back end to provide vertical support. So, instead of a traditional bed extender providing support from below, your sled would provide support from above. Just a thought.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:06 pm 
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Scientist, you may want to look on Craigslist or a wrecking junkyard for a hitch receiver that will work on your truck. Bolt it on and you ought to be good to use a bed extender. If you want I can send you photos of what my PA looks like on my bed extender. I just took mine on a 500 mile trip antelope hunting in Wyoming with no problems...even on bumpy 4WD roads.
jseb@lamar.colostate.edu


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:19 pm 
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I finished my trailer buildout today. I am using the Harbor Freight 1195-lb folding trailer kit. I attached PVC tubes to support the PA along the scupper line. Based on Tom's comments on the value of permitting the PVC to flex to fit the hull, I used a telescoping arrangement of PVC tubes; 5 feet of 1-1/2" diameter sliding inside about 9 feet of 2" diameter, with about 4-1/2 feet of overlap. The tubes are fixed at one end only, permitting them to telescope longer and shorter as the hull shape demands. The long overlap provides strength. Tomorrow is my first road trip with the trailer. Hope the design works!


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