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Submitted: 01-14-2014 by BCTines
After more than a year of research and two years of trying every kind of kayak cartop rack device out there, we've found the perfect answer. It's the "Swiss Army Knife" of trailers: The Space Trailer.
My wife and I are in our 70s and hoisting our touring and whitewater boats up onto our truck had gotten to be a real chore, even with lifting devices like the Thule Hullavator, Malone Telos, and Rhino Rack T-Loader. The Hullavator was good at lifting a boat, but its saddle pads caused our boats to oilcan and it generates a lot of drag. Rhino's T-Loader was very good but still required us getting on a stepladder to tie the boats down. Then we saw the Space Trailer on a Paddling.net newsletter and it looked like a great answer. So we trucked up to Space Trailers in Denver where we met Chas Olson, a member of the Olson family who invented Space Trailers. These guys are renowned for pioneering RollerBlades and now they've uncorked another great product.
What makes the Space Trailer unique is that it not only can serve as a kayak/canoe transporter, but it also holds a ton of gear inside a lockable and weatherproof enclosure. Matter of fact, drop the tailgate and the Space Trailer is big enough to load and carry our 2-wheel tractor. Or a huge load of materials from the lumber yard. It truly is a workhorse!
All the other trailers we looked at were built only for watercraft. They were open underneath so there was no protection for the boats from road grunge. Not so with the Space Trailer. Moreover, none had decent storage for our gear, let alone the ability to carry building materials and even lawn equipment. We'd considered converting our utility trailer,but since we got the Space Trailer, we have a do-it-all rig and will sell the utility trailer.
You can fit these rigs with crossbars from 50 to 80 inches and we plan to set ours up for toting four kayaks and all our paddling and camping gear. There are available options including: rubber bumpers on the rear so you can stack/store the trailer on its end; grab/tiedown rails on the sides called "Luv Handles"; a handy tongue jack and full-size spare tire; long and extra-long tongues for towing extra-long kayaks; and a model with extra ground clearance for when you go off road.
When we got to Space trailer's Denver Space Station, it didn't take long to learn how handy this rig would be. The canopy cover easily removes so you can load tall cargo or even small tractors. And in boat mode it lifts easily with strong gas struts, even with a couple of kayaks on the rack. The tongue weight is only about 50 lbs, so you can easily move the rig around on the tongue jack's wheel. Hooking up is a breeze and the LED tail and running lights are a welcome safety feature. It uses a 4-flat wiring connector. The quality of the Space Trailer is impressive. To say the least.
Towing our Space Trailer is a breeze. Our first trip with it included steep mountain passes and about 3" of snow and slush. We hardly knew we were hooked up. Our gas mileage was as if we were not pulling anything. There was no rattling from the hitch and absolutely no swaying in heavy crosswinds. Indeed, the trip was easy and enjoyable.
We are eagerly looking forward to no more heavy lifting each time we head out to paddle. We are definitely pleased with our Space Trailer and recommend any paddler give them a look. We found the designers at Space Trailer to be very reachable and extremely helpful with all our questions.
All in all, it looks like the Space trailer will be the handiest aid to kayaking out there for any paddler.
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