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Friday, September 9, 2016
Triton Kayak Trailer Review LXT-LK6
By bvaltierra @ 4:23 PM :: 7805 Views
 

Kayak Trailer Review and Modifications

Trailer:  Triton LXT-LK6 


Reviewed By:  Brad Valtierra

 

The need for kayak trailers is increasing.  This is probably due to several factors. First, it seems that there is more people joining the sport of kayak fishing.  There are always new people in the kayak shops looking to get into the hobby.  Another factor is the ability to car top your kayak.  After a full day of kayak fishing it can be a pain to load and unload your kayak on your car.  You might not be able to safely load or unload the kayak on the top of the car.  Or you may have a nice car and do not want to risk damaging or dirtying your car each weekend.  Finally, the number of kayaks you are transporting could force you to use a trailer.    

 

Lots of people start with a flat be trailer and modify it to take kayaks to and from the water.  I had a flatbed trailer for 9 years.  I had been modified to hold 3 kayaks.  It was great but did rust and end up rusting one of the uprights so that it required more work…. I had painted it several times to hide the rust.  I finally decided it was time for a new trailer. 

 

I always wanted an aluminum trailer so I would not need to worry about rust and it would be light weight.  I looked at the very small trailers that are light weight and can fold up in the garage.  I needed something that was bigger and I did not want to fold it up and put it away.  I wanted it loaded and ready for the weekend adventures.  I also wanted a trailer that could hold multiple kayaks.

 

I found Triton Trailers on the internet and searched the website to see some of the trailers.  I found lots of dealers around Houston that did not have any kayak trailers in stock.  I did find The Trailer Connection off Kuykendahl road in Spring who had one trailer on the lot.  They had the KL version in stock that they were promoting on craigslist. It looked perfect for what I wanted.  It had a tree that would allow you to add cross bars if needed.  I went and looked at it but found that it was not as sturdy as I wanted.  The lower bar was also too low to accept a big kayak because of the fenders.  I was back to where I started.   

 

I went back to the Triton website and found they made a different series, the LXT series which offers 1, 2 or 3 racks (LK2, LK4, and LK6 respectively). I was on a quest to see one of these.  I could not find one in Houston that was on a showroom floor.  I could not find a picture of this trailer online except the stock photo from several sites. I did find Aluminum Trailer Connection Inc in Pt Blank Texas that was the distributer of these hard to find trailers.  I called to verify that they had the LXT trailers in stock so I could see one.  Larry answered the call and said he had one I could see.   I immediately drove there to see the trailer and I was impressed with the LXT series.  Within 5 minutes I was ready to pull it home, but wanted to check some measurements to ensure that it could hold my kayaks and storage box without modifications.  Larry and I moved around the trailer and I sized it up. The specifications were good so I told Larry that I wanted the trailer.  Larry reminded me that the trailer we were looking at had already been sold.  He promised that he would have one put together on Monday and it would be ready to go.  Oh yes… he met me on the weekend at the shop so I could look.  He is a really nice guy and very accommodating.   I went home empty handed but excited.      

 

I showed up a few days later and picked up the trailer.  I wanted to take photos and review the trailer so that others could see what I was missing during my trailer research.   

 


LXK-LK6 Triton Trailer Review

 

My first impression of the trailer was that it was a beast. It was strong, well-built and ready for lots of kayaks.  I am an avid kayak fisherman and am on the water almost every weekend.  I would fully test this trailer and put it to some high volume use and abuse (Not really abuse).    



Specifications  of the Trailer

 

(Inches)

(Feet)

Total Width

76.25

6.4

Length

189

15.8

Loaded hitch height

17

1.4

Height at tail

17

1.4

Box Width

48

4.0

Box width with wheels

58

4.8

Arm Spacing (Vertical)

22

1.8

Arm Spacing (Horizontal) outside

79

6.6

Arm Spacing (Horizontal) inside

75

6.3

Arm Length (lower rack, middle rack)

35

2.9

Arm Lenth (top rack)

26

2.2

kayak 13 ft

156

13.0

kayak 14

168

14.0

kayak width

30

2.5

Weight

235

19.6

GVWR

1500

125.0

Gusset dimensions

2

Height of center upright (from base)

73

6.1

Max Capacity (lbs)

1250

 

Weight (lbs)

235

 

Ball

2”

 

Wheels

5 bolt

4.80x12c Galvanized

Lights

Bulb

 

 

 

I have been using the LK6 trailer for about 4 months now and here are my findings.  I am reviewing the LK6 but most of my photos show the LK4.  That is because I bought the LK6 and have made the top rack removable using aluminium posts that go inside the hollow posts.   See my modifications below.


 

Solid Trailer

The trailer is stout.  I really like the fact that it is well built and very strong.  Just pull on one of the rack arms.  It does not budge. I have consistently loaded kayaks by putting the front end of the kayak on the rear arm and pushing it up to the front arm without any problem.  This is probably not the best way to load them but works when I am loading them by myself.

 

The trailer features a 3” square tongue that is over a quarter inch thick.  The uprights (2”x3”) are very strong solid and are reinforced by angle braces to help them from moving forward or backward.  The cross bars (2”x 2”) are wide and are reinforced with welded gussets.  They are also very strong. 

 

The welds are beefy. It looks like they were welded for strength.   I guess that is part of the reason why Triton can offer a 5 year warranty on their trailers.  I was not worried about the 5 year warranty because from what I see the trailer will last for over 20 years.  I have probably have voided my warranty by cutting the tongue off and the uprights into two pieces.  See my modifications below.

 

Light Weight

Since it is aluminium the trailer is strong and also light weight.  Driving it home I could not tell it was behind my Rav4 (4 cylinder) I get the same gas mileage pulling the trailer as I do without the trailer. (24mpg). It is a bit heavier since I added a floor to it but still un-noticeable when driving down the road.  I have had 5 kayaks on the trailer at one time with the aluminium tool box and could tell that it was back there.  With 5 kayaks on the trailer it did affect my gas mileage but I did not notice any sway or twisting of the trailer while on the highway except when getting ready to pass an 18 wheeler.   

 

Versatile

The LK trailer is wide and can handle any kayak I have put on it (Wilderness Ride 135, Hobie Outback, Hobie Revolution, Hobie Adventure Island)  I have not tried a Hobie Pro Angler but have heard that it can handle 4 of them and have room on the top level for two other kayaks.  The bottom rack measures 36”on each side of the upright.   have I have tested the top rack with two Hobie Revolutions and they fit perfectly on the 26” racks. 

 triton Trailer

 

Uprights and Arms

 

The uprights are bolted to the trailer using a thick plate with 5 yellow zinc 3/8” bolts.  They are supported forward and back by a 45 degree brace that keeps the upright in place. The upright and arms are wide, sturdy and impressive.  I feel that the arms are so strong that they would support my weight, but I have not tested this out.

 

Arm End Caps

I wish the end caps were mounted so that they extended below the bar as well as over the bar.  When tying down the kayak using a cam strap, it goes under the bar then over the kayak and then under the bar on the other side and back up to tighten.  Using this method, the strap is making contact with the kayak on the top and sides of the kayak.  The straps are usually used like this with the standard racks on cars that have a vertical post that keeps the strap from coming off of the horizontal bar.  The trailer doesn’t have anything on the end to keep the strap from slipping off the end in the event it gets loose. I have read that the trailer is set up to use the ratchet type straps to secure the load.  I have used the ratchet type straps and have found that sometimes I have torqued them too much for the kayak.  This can really distort your kayak by over tightening the straps and leaving it strapped down to the trailer for any period of time, especially in the heat.  (Austin Canoe and Kayak has a good article on killing or NOT Killing your kayak due to improper strapping which can be read on their website. 


 

 

 

The rack pads are good but they will not last very long.  I have used the trailer for about 4 months and some are gone and the others are ripped up.  The pads are thin quarter inch foam that was coming off when I bought the trailer.  In 5 locations they were not completely glued down. Several of the arms did not have continuous pads. They were pieced together with gaps in some of the areas.  This is a cosmetic issue that can be easily resolved.  It just was not right for such an awesome trailer.   I plan on replacing the foam with 2” x ¼” solid pine trim.   

 

Electrical

The wiring on the trailer is placed inside the tongue of the trailer and runs inside the tubular frame to the lights.  This is very nice and clean.  I have had to patch wires that have been damaged from hanging down under the trailer on other trailers.  This is an excellent idea.  I did see that inside the tongue there was an extra 4 or 5 feet of wire when shortening the tongue.  To keep from splicing the wires, I elected to keep the extra wire in the tongue as well.  The wire for the trailer comes out of the side of the tongue in a protected mesh sleeve that seems to be very effective.

 

Fenders

The fenders do not seem to be big enough.  The trailing edge of the fender is even with the wheel which sends the water, sand and mud flying to the back of the trailer.  I think there should be a bigger fender or it moved backward to catch the water, sand and mud from hitting the light and license plate.  The photo below shows the trailer after running thru very light sand after a light rain shower.  It has been much worse than this but I did not get a picture.  I may add a mud flap to eliminate this problem.




Modification 1 – Shorten Trailer

 

The new Triton LK6 is 15’ 8” which is a bit long to fit in my garage.  I have a standard 2 car garage with a lot of fishing gear and kayaks in the garage.  I have found that a 12' trailer can be put in at a slight angle and still have room on both sides for my 3 extra kayaks on the wall racks and room on the other side of the garage for other items.  The 16' hobie adventure island on the trailer would be the test. After careful consideration and calculations, I cut 30" off of the tongue. The total length of the trailer is now 12'6" sill fit in the garage with a 16’ Hobie Adventure Island on board.  See Figure 3.  

 

 

 

 

Modification 2 - Removable Cross Bar

 

The trailer was almost too tall to fit in my garage.  I had about 5” clearance between the garage door and the vertical post.  Once in the garage, I have two feet clearance which is probably not enough to put a kayak on top.

 

I wanted to be able to use the top rack only when needed so I decided to make the 3rd (top) cross bar removable.  Using a portable ban saw, I cut the upright between the 2nd and 3rd cross bar. I then put an aluminum bar inside the top 2”x 3” tube that was cut off.  The top part is bolted to the bar and slid into the upright when needing more space on the trailer.   I used the same yellow zinc bolts that are standard on the trailer.  The 3rd cross bar insert rests on the bottom bolt of the brace support bar and is held using the upper support brace bolt and one additional bolt.  The photos in Figure X show the upright configuration.   



 

 

 

Kayaks loaded on removable top rack

 

Modification 3    - Added Floor

·         When loading and unloading the kayaks there are times when I do not want my gear on the dirt, sand or pavement.  By having a floor, I can put the on the trailer temporarily.  I can also use the trailer to carry other small items when not hauling kayaks.
I elected to put the floor under the frame to 1) eliminate the need to cut the planks into several pieces and then have to double the bolts holding them on.  I also felt it this would be a nice way to still see the aluminum trailer frame. 

·         Added Tool box to trailer for secure storage of kayak equipment

·         Added Double size milk crate for storage of wet equipment 


 


 

Additions

            To allow the kayaks to be stored on the trailer in their upright position I have added 2”x2”x96” boards with rope loops to keep them from coming off the arms running form the front arm to the back arm.

            The wood is positioned so that it supports the kayak between the arms and is movable to accommodate the hulls of several different kayaks.  The photo below shows the wood on the top rack not being used and the ones on the bottom supporting the kayak while tied down.


 

 

In conclusion, this is the Triton LK4/6 is the best kayak trailer for me.  It can take lots of kayaks down the road and it has plenty of room for any kayak I have seen.  And it will not rust.  I am very happy with this trailer.  I have probably put a few thousand miles on the trailer in the last 4 months and have not had any trouble.  I drove it to Grand Isle LA a week ago and have been on the water almost every weekend since purchasing it in May of this year.

 

If you would like to see my trailer please let me know and I will be happy to show it to you. You can also see the guys at Aluminum Trailer Connection in Pt Blank Tx or The Trailer Connection in Spring.  

I would suggest calling first to make sure that they have one that you can see.


 

Triton website:  http://www.tritontrailers.com/watercraft/outdoor-sport/

Aluminum Trailer connection Pt Blank Texas  

​http://www.atcitx.com/

The Trailer Connection in Spring http://www.houstontrailerconnection.com/


Thanks for reading

Brad Valtierra (HobieBro)


The Ends



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