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I cannot comment on the reviewers who had trouble with delivery or assembly. I had one minor issue with assembly, but when I called the company the owner quickly figured out what to do and helped me. How many companies do you call and get the owner on the phone? This is a great product and I would buy it again and highly recommend it.
After a lot of research using the internet, I settled on the kayak trailer produced by SportsrRig Micro Trailer. The trailer arrived in five boxes that were delivered at one time. All components arrived undamaged.
We kept the boxes in the garage for several months and didn't begin assembly until a week before a planned trip to our usual destination in the later part of summer to escape the summer heat and do a little hiking and kayaking.
After unpacking and inventorying all the trailer parts, I began the process of assembly, following the enclosed instructions. The first step is to mate the outer frame components, known at the C sections with the center frame section called the H section. Thus began assembly hell. It was nearly impossible to mate these sections. The H section is the female section and the C sections are supposed to slide into the H section until the securing bolts can be applied. I pounded on the first C section all one morning with a 24 oz dead blow plastic hammer and didn't succeed in getting it joined to the H section. The weld and ridging from punched holes inside the square tubing interfered in a very big way even though I lubed the inside of the big tube with grease to help. Much more preparation on the tubing interior should have been done by the manufacturer to make this task reasonable. By my estimate, forcing the C frames into the H frame required at least a thousand blows with a 24 ounce dead blow plastic hammer. Joining the frame sections took the better part of two days in the Texas heat. I had to laugh at the instructions at this point because they said,"If needed, tap the sections a little with a rubber mallet to help line up the holes." In fact, this was not a laughable matter and proved a major unexpected challenge.
The balance of the assembly was far from problem free. I next discovered that the load bars, which sit atop the frame, did not match up with the locating holes in the frame. To make them line up I was forced to spread the legs of the load bars with a jack. It took some head scratching to engineer the fix.
The next problem was encountered in mounting the tongue extension. Again the inside of the female tube was full of welding and drilling burrs. Using the knowledge gained from mating the frame member, this time I used a long file to massage the interior of the female tube to allow an easy seating. On sliding the two sections together, we found the drilled holes for through bolting did not line up. Fortunately I had the proper tool to enlarge the misaligned bolt holes so that the two sections could be bolted together. v On the third day of assembly hell I again faced another major problem. The lights would not work. Only the running light on the drivers side smiled at me. My knowledge of electrical problems is extremely limited, but I have an excellent son for whom this was no challenge. As an aside, it would be nice to have had a wiring diagram for the trailer.
My son inspected and tested the trailer lighting and determined there was no ground to the tail lights and that the passenger side running light light bulb was broken. The bulb was broken but the plastic lens showed no sign of rough handling. SportsRig had run a ground wire to the running lights only. They overlooked the fact that the powder coating on the frame insulated the sections from each other. My son ran an additional ground wire to the tail lights and replaced the broken light bulb and the lights functioned nearly properly. However, in examining and testing the supplied tail lights we determined they were so poorly constructed that constant contact for the light bulbs was unlikely. We decided to replace the tail lights to assure constant function. We replaced the taillights with LED lights that function properly all the time.
The final problem was that the the jack stand would not fold back on the tongue because the wiring harness was in the way. We altered the harness so that the jack stand could be folded up onto the tongue. At last assembly was complete in only five days.
Assembly of the trailer has not been a pleasant experience. The manufacturer could have done a much better job by practicing a modicum of quality control, However; 0ne thing is certain, the powder coat is tough, it has absorbed more than a thousand hammer blows without complaint. The trailer's first outing was a trip of 805 miles one way with two kayaks on Malone cradles. The trailer performed flawlessly once we overcame the problems of quality control. In retrospect, I would not choose this manufacturer over other alternatives and would advise others to proceed with extreme caution when choosing a trailer supplier.
In the two years I've been using it, it has developed some serious corrosion issues. The powder coating on the load bars didn't last a year. I would expect some corrosion from salt water, but I don't think the trailer is going to last 5 years at the rate it's going.
And finally, the reason I'm writing this review, now, is that I had not ever mounted my spare tire, due to the short distances I travel there was no need to risk having it stolen. As I am preparing for a longer trip, I decided to mount the spare tire under the trailer where it is stowed. I could not get the bolt to thread into the nut that is welded to the trailer. At first I thought the problem was corrosion, and maybe it was, but after lots of time with a can of WD40, axle grease, and as much torque as I could muster, screwing the bolt in and back out, over and over, I finally decided that the threads on the bolt don't match that nut, or something. I'm off to the hardware store to get a tap to rethread that nut. If that doesn't work, I'll have to make room for the tire in the trunk.
Given what that trailer cost, I would expect it to have not required engineering changes on day 1, and I would have hoped for a little better corrosion protection.
I must go now, to fix some more wiring problems and try to get that spare mounted. Considering I could have built that trailer for about $600 to $800, and I paid about $1850 for it, I would not recommend it to anyone. However, it does tow well and the overall design is good, so if money is no option, and you don't mind fixing some things... If I had it to do over, I'd have built it myself and saved a lot of money.
I placed my order via the website on October 29, 2010. I received an email a few days later stating that the lead time had been extended to 4 weeks. I was OK with this as I purchased it early based upon other reviews on this website. I figured I would be receiving the trailer early to mid December. Mid December came and I had not heard anything, so on the 18th I checked the status of my order and it showed it had been shipped. I had not received an email, so I sent one to the customer service. I was told it was an error and that my trailer was scheduled to ship on the 24th. The 24th came and went. I waited till the 29th and was getting ready to send an email when I received notice that Fed Ex had been notified for pickup. I waited to see the status as picked up on the Fed Ex site only to notice that nothing was happening. I called the customer service on January 4, 2011 and inquired as to the delay. I was informed that they have had continued problems with Fed Ex pickup. They contacted Fed Ex and the order was finally picked up.
I received my 7 boxes on Friday, January 7, 2011. The assembly was easy and all the parts went together well. The only thing missing were the extension lights I ordered. I sent an email and was informed that they would be shipped on the 12th of January. This was unfortunate because I had planned a trip to the Everglades and Florida Keys starting January 20, a trip of 1600 miles one way. The lights did not ship in time for my trip.
The trailer performed great on the interstate even at speeds of 70+ MPH. My wife and I spent the first couple of hours checking our mirrors, but after a while we became comfortable with the trailers performance, which can only be described as great. I enjoyed the fact that I could easily move the trailer when unhitched, even with 4 seventeen foot kayaks on board. When staying at hotels I could choose to block 3-4 spaces like an ass or unhook the trailer and park it next to me. My only concern was with security when I unhooked, however, I came to the conclusion that a couple of U Bolt type bike locks through the wheels and frame would solve that problem. I did have some problems with the taillights not grounding out properly, but this was easily resolved with a 7/16 inch wrench.
I have nothing bad to say about the trailer itself, so far I love it. The Sportsrig customer service has been pretty good they respond quickly and courteously to my emails and phone call. My only complaint is that a company that has shipping problems such as they are having should consider an alternate method. I would have dumped Fed Ex like a bag of used diapers if I were them. The website shows they have other shippers such as UPS available. I finally got the extension lights on February 4, 2011 only after sending an email asking what the hold up was with shipping. The extension lights are OK, but not really worth the money. I received one that is broken. The design is cheap and there is no way to secure them the the kayaks/cargo. I will probably just go buy some lights and wire them up for my own use. I would suggest just finding a male connector to match the female on the trailer and do your own wiring if you have the ability to do so.
I am giving a rating of 7 because of the time it took to fill the order and the problems with shipping which near the end (for the trailer) started to worry me since I had made plans. I hope to use this trailer much more in the future and will make additional posts if I have any concerns. Hopefully this helps anyone who is seriously looking for a trailer. Good Luck.
We took off on a 1500-mile trip with our fingers crossed. The trailer handled beautifully and if it hadn't been for the fiberglass pole I wouldn't have known it was back there. It carries two kayaks using Yakima Stackers and a large Thule Cargo box with no problem at all. The SportsRig's 1,500-mile maiden voyage was uneventful. My initial rating is 10 out of 10 for SportsRig because they and it deserve no less.
I've tried repeatedly via email to get correct replacement bolts and there has been no response over a couple of months now. I wasted my money with the risers as I can't use them. While this seems to be a good product, the lack of response to simple email questions is not acceptable.
I stand by the "8" rating due to the minor customer service issues, but it really is a solid trailer.
As for wait time on your order... yes, that is true. But I learned from all previous posts and ordered in the fall so I'd have it for the following season. Much better idea!
The wiring was incorrect on my unit. Took it to a trailer place and they corrected it and SportsRig wrote me a check for the cost. Went together fine. Best done with the help of another. Pretty pricey especially after adding Thule or Yakima holders, so I co-titled with another person.
This thing is awesome. Very stable. I carry kayaks, bikes, cargo box. Saves my back. Easy to load by one person and everything feels secure unlike trying to load a roof rack. Would rate a 10 if they would be honest about delivery and the wiring had been correct.
- I can fit super long surf skis (over 21 feet), the suspension is great, and the wheels are the newer design which eliminates the rust issues mentioned below. Very important change there. I wouldn't have made the purchase if that hadn't been changed.
- I've had a hard time trying to figure out how to fit more than a couple bikes on it. It was difficult to find a bike tray that extends far enough to attach to the lower load bars. I have those on outer sides of the upper load bars. The length between the upper load bars is too far to be able to mount bikes up there. I'd like the ability to place at least 2 road bikes and 2 mtn bikes on the trailer when not hauling boats, but it doesn't seem like that is possible.
- Gas mileage. It was interesting to see someone comment on using their Honda Civic Hybrid and maintaining high fuel efficiency. I have successfully towed the trailer with a regular Honda Civic, but the gas mileage dropped from around 40mpg to the low 20's. And this was just a trip from SC to FL, so mostly flat land. I can't imagine taking it into the mountains. Granted, I had two bikes and two boats, but the boats were very light at 28 and 33 pounds. The mtn bikes were at a total of about 50-55 lbs. So this was a load of about 115 lbs and my gas mileage plummeted. That was very disappointing after spending so much $$ on the trailer and buying a tow package for the Honda Civic. My guess is that a V6 engine or better would pull the same load really well with very little reduction from regular fuel efficiency. Or carrying 2-3 lightweight boats would likely be fine with the 4 cylinder engine. But apparently it's asking too much to haul what I would normally want to haul with a little economy car.
The customer service was so-so. When I could reach the owner he was friendly but very busy. They failed to send some minor hardware pieces which was annoying, but nothing I couldn't pick up locally.
Overall, it is a solid design. Maybe not what I was hoping for in fuel efficiency while towing it, but it seems there is some hope based on comments below.
Assembly was pretty easy and took about 3.5 hours. Since then, I've used it to haul luggage on a 1k mile ski trip. It handled wonderfully, even through ice and snow. Loading the kayak is a snap. However, I am beginning to notice some very small rust spots on the spoke wheels and frame. I'm hoping I can stop it by applying rhino liner.
I'll post an update in about a year.
It took a while to get the trailer as it was summertime and the demand for the trailer was greater. The trailer is beautifully designed, assembled and finished and looks great, even folded up in the corner of my 2 car garage. The trailer is made of steel, as have all of the Sportsrig trailers been made. I noted that "joe" in his 7/26/07 review talked about the failure of his aluminum trailer, but it must have been made by another manufacturer, not Sportsrig.
I paid a little over $2,000 total for this unit, including taxes, and extras like an extension light, heavy duty shocks, load bar extension and tongue bar extension "A". The price was right for me, as I am over 70 years old and had some difficulties in loading and unloading the canoes from the top of my SUV. I look forward to years of use of this fine product. By the way, I got nothing but cooperation from the manufacturer when I had questions.
It tows behind my Toyota Corolla like a dream in town (haven't hit the highway yet) with a large tandem kayak attached (18'6" and about 90 pounds).
I did a lot of research before I made my decision and even now haven't found a comparable product. The Rack and Roll trailer doesn't have the ability to fold and store as the Sportsrig nor does it have the options available such as the extra set of load bars on top. My Sportsrig Deluxe with the "B" tongue extension, spare wheel, cargo platforms, upper rack, and extension tail light plus shipping to NC was about $2300. Rack and Roll quoted me about $2000 for what compared to Sportsrig's Basic model so it was a no-brainer.
I'm thrilled with my trailer. It is exactly what I had hoped for. Tows like a dream! However if I have any issues with longevity, I'll post again.
If you're considering one, and the price doesn't scare you, go for it!
My tires have rusted badly and Sports Rig has notified their supplier and I have received new ones.
The rest of the trailer is rusting -- at the joints and through the powder coating. I have sent pictures to Sports Rig and they have indicated that they will fix the problem but that it may take a little time -- that was almost two months ago.
I think that the design of the trailer is as good as I have ever seen but I also think that there are serious issues with rest that must be addressed. We live in Virginia and while the trailer is stored outside it has never been backed into the water, etc so I expected it would take the weather far better than it has.
If Sports Rig does decide to fix the rusting components I will make another posting to that affect.
I love the ease of loading that this trailer offers, no more step stools. I went from an Xterra SUV to a VW Golf and my little Golf pulls this trailer like it's not even there. The trailer handles so smoothly on the road with no bouncing I have to keep checking in the rear view mirror to see if it's still with me. This trailer tracks better than my kayak! It just gets better and better because I can store this in my 10' by 12' shed. Two thumbs up to Sportsrig for a great product.
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