Like others have shared, I had grown tired of hefting 55lb kayaks and 70lb canoes on top of my crew cab truck and decided that a trailer was the ticket. While shopping for a kayak trailer, I looked at most available on the market and compared features, configurability and price. At the end of the day, I decided that the Magneta UKT4 offered the most flexibility for configuration adjustments and had hardware available to accept the Yakima bars & accessories I already owned.
The base trailer holds 4 kayaks and is priced at $1,375. I placed an order for a base trailer and upgraded to 12" wheels, a 6' swing away tongue extension and hardware to attach my Yakima bars raising the price to a bit over $1,600.
As my luck would have it, the day after placing the order with Magneta, I found a good condition used UKT4 for sale locally for $550. I promptly cancelled my order with Magneta and bought the used trailer. The folks at Magneta cancelled my order without any issue and were very friendly. I subsequently ordered a tongue extension and hardware to mount my Yakima accessories from Magneta and again, they were quite easy to do business with.
The used trailer was missing the lights so I purchased lights and wiring from a local boat dealer and installed myself. I made my wiring harnesses with a ground wire to each light (rear and sides) to avoid the need to use the trailer as a ground. I also ran all the wiring inside plastic tubing to protect it from wear and all connections were soldered and sealed in both liquid tape and plastic electrical tape. The lights work great. I also inspected and re-greased the wheel bearings before putting the trailer in service.
So, how is it performing? Over Memorial Day weekend, I used the trailer to transport 3 kayaks on a 250 mile trip and it performed just fine. The trailer tracked well behind my truck and felt stable with the 3 kayaks on board. I really appreciated the load height of the trailer compared to the roof of my truck when loading and unloading. It is also a lot easier to strap down the kayaks when they are within easy reach.
In my opinion, the trailer is well made and can be reconfigured easily using a variety of components available from Magneta.
There are a couple of reviews that mentioned issues with wheel bearing failures right out of the box but since mine was purchased used, I couldn't comment on what a new purchase experience might be like. But, it is always best to check bearings before use just in case and if I had purchased new, I would have checked the grease and made sure they were tightened appropriately on the spindles before using. Also, there were complaints about the lighting being very basic. On this issue, I also would have upgraded the basics to what I did on my used version.
If you are considering buying a new Magneta UKT4, here are my closing thoughts:
- This trailer will do the job and is well made for its intended usage
- Customer Service at Magneta is friendly and helpful
- Since you have to assemble it yourself, check the grease and tightness of the wheel bearings and install your lighting properly – upgrade the wiring harness to ensure they keep working.
- If you are not handy and don't have the ability to deal with the wheel bearings and lighting, you might find these items to be a potential issue. If you are handy, put it together with these items in mind and you will have a very solid and useful trailer
Shop Craig's List for a used one and save a ton of dough….I got the UKT6 from Magenta Trailers. Mechanically it is sound, aside from some of the holes being drilled off center, eg for tail lights and ubolts, making assembly more difficult than it should be. One key concern was that several of the U-bolts with self locking nuts sheared as the nuts were being put on. After talking to Magenta they said the supplier had shipped some U-bolts that were of a weaker alloy than normal and several customers had had this same issue. This is a major concern. What about the other U-bolts that didn't shear but may have been fatigued during assembly? Are these going to break in transit?
I talked to Magenta support several times and each time they were very nice and offered to send replacement U-bolts. After 4 times including phone calls and emails over a 2 month period I still don't have the U-bolts and can't complete the assembly. I have had to buy my own U-bolts that are about $5-10 each depending on dimensions. The holes are slightly off standard so I am having to use a Dremel tool to open them up so a standard U-bolt can fit in.
I'd recommend the upgraded wheels, galvanizing and trailer wheel / stand. The tail lights are not very bright and I ended up removing them and getting LED replacements for ~$50 that I'm happy with. This is a significant safety issue I think. I didn't end up using the adhesive strip they recommend putting on top of the horizontal supports. This is ridiculous at about an inch of padding. for a kayak you'll want to get some foam pads and drill holes in them and fix them onto the cross beams with cable ties so you have proper padding and support for your kayaks. The electrical wiring they supply with the trailer is low quality and at one point I had a short because the wiring was showing on the side of the insulation. If you have lights that are not behaving consistently you may want to check this out since if the wiring is not insulated, and its strapped to the chassis then it will short the electrical signal to ground which will cause your light to not come one and may cause your car to blow a fuse.
In summary, this is a trailer that you should not buy unless you are a handy person. I mean someone that is ok with both mechanical and electrical handy jobs. Plan to spend about $200-400 above the cost of the trailer in order to complete the job properly. Hope that helps...I love the trailer I bought from this company. It was easy to assemble and the customer service people were very helpful when I had a problem. After reading previous reviews, I ordered a single-level trailer with optional kayak stackers and the 12-inch wheels and it rides like a dream. I also ordered the adaptors for my Yakima rack system which was a waste because the trailer accessories are so much easier than the Yakima accessories that I threw my Yakima stuff in a corner and haven't touched it.
I did have some problems with a little missing hardware but after calling the factory they were forwarded within 3 days. I highly recommend this product.This is just a short update to my prior review, now that I've had a chance to use it for a while! I still like the UKT4 trailer very much, as a matter of fact, the only down side to camping now is going back to loading them on the hull-a-ports on top of the Jeep!
I recently ordered 4 sets of the European Saddles from Magneta, and have used them a couple of times, and WOW! I wish I could get those to fit my Thule bar! My Brother-in-law works at a machine shop, maybe I'll see if he can make some adaptors!This is a 4 place kayak trailer. I bought the trailer from Magneta Trailers(800-397-3819). My new trailer came with 80" cross arms which Magenta builds for their canoes trailers. The regular kayak trailer comes with 60" cross arms. Although it is a 4 place trailer, 8 would fit easy with the wider bars.
The base trailer, uprights, cross arms and tounge are all 4 sided tubing. There is no 3 sidded channel used. In addition, I ordered the larger tires, tounge extension and the 12" tires. The tounge extension will left you carry up to a 19' sea kayak. Finally, for $36.50 they hot dipped galvanized the base trailer and tounge for me.
The really amazing thing, it was shipped to me via UPS. Yeah, you have to assemble it. It took me about three hours to assemble it, but it was worth it. It is a well built and well designed trailer. My other kayak trailer is a little larger, but cost me 4 times as much to purchase and it is not galvanized. These guys really have their stuff together. It is a great trailer.