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The problem that I had early on was the fenders kept blowing off and I would call Jim and we would discuss. He made two modifications. The first one helped but did not solve the problem and I told him to forget the fenders. The trailer does not need them but a couple of weeks later he called me and said he was sending me another set to try out. I have put about 2,500 miles on the trailer with the new fenders and they work fine. Jim is always working to improve his line of trailers.
I have several boats. I have carried a 17' sea kayak, 14' solo canoe, 13' whitewater canoe, 10' whitewater inflatable. I have also used it as a shuttle vehicle and carried four boats, it will carry three canoes easily and many combinations. I have mounted a large plastic box on the bed that I carry paddling gear.
As for bouncing around - no this is not a problem. The trailer handles the same with one boat on the side or one on each side. On my trip to AR. I brought up one canoe and one of the other paddlers had a problem with his Mohawk canoe so I brought it back to Orlando for him (their factory is outside Orlando).
As far as other trailers. I researched every other light boat trailer on the market. Reviewed web sites, read msg boards and the trailers that I had some interest in I called and talked to the Mfg. The only one that came close was a bike trailer sold in Calif. that is modified for carrying kayaks.
I believe that Jimco has a bike mount for the trailer. I do not bike so not positive.
While doing product research, I called JIMCO several times and spoke with Jim who is the company owner and designer of the Portage Trailer. Each time I talked with Jim, he addressed my questions in great detail and was also very objective in helping me decided if his product was right for me. Also, Jim is one of the nicest guys you will ever talk to and was even willing to work with my truncated time schedule due to family vacation.
The trailer arrived TWO days before Jim had promised it would be there, in four boxes from UPS. Packing was excellent. Assembly took a little under two hours (ok, Iím a little slow) but went very smoothly thanks to great directions & illustrations. The first impression was WOW! This thing is engineered to the max. All quality Stainless Steel hardware and components, no junk here!
The first trip was our annual vacation to the Delaware shore with 2 kayaks and a bunch of other vacation type stuff loaded on the trailer. During this time, the trailer was pulled behind our Explorer at speeds of up to 70 mph on the highway and portaged through sand filled bayside parking lots, all with no problems. And it tracked straight as an arrow to boot. It also managed to receive quite a bit of attention from passers by on the highway and from several people around town. Even the guy who runs the local kayak rental concession was favorably impressed with the engineering and functionality.
Since then, I have been on two trips to the Susquehanna River over the famously poor Pennsylvania roadways, and several trips to the local lakes, all with no problems and no worries. I store my boats on the trailer when not in use and use it to portage to the waterís edge. I now have more time to enjoy my sport and no longer have to endure the hassles previously associated with going for a short paddle.
One final word; I was initially somewhat put off at the price of the trailer. However, after seeing the engineering involved and the quality of components, and especially the convenience and time savings that I now enjoy, and also considering the fact that this trailer has solved three problems for me, I now feel the price is quite fair and in fact, a bargain. This is a good product from a good company and I give both my highest recommendation.
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