How Do You Make A Harbor Freight Trailer Into A Kayak Trailer?

Do you love kayaking but don’t want to schlep your boat around on top of your car?

Converting a Harbor Freight trailer into a kayak trailer is the perfect solution.

This blog post will share how to make a Harbor Freight trailer into a kayak trailer.

All you need is a Harbor Freight trailer and a few essential tools to start.

How Do You Make A Harbor Freight Trailer Into A Kayak Trailer?

Making a Harbor Freight trailer into a kayak trailer is easy with a few simple modifications. First, you can add J-cradles or wing (also known as v-style) carriers directly to the trailer frame. You can also use foam blocks to transport your kayak by putting a wood deck on the trailer. Another option is to use a kayak stacker if you need to carry multiple boats.

Choosing The Right Trailer

Harbor Freight sells a couple of different trailers with different weight limits. Some trailers are better suited for converting into kayak trailers than others.

The key is to find a trailer with a large enough bed to accommodate your kayak. You’ll also want a trailer with a weight capacity to handle the weight of your kayak and any other gear.

You’ll need to find a trailer with a higher weight capacity if you’re carrying multiple kayaks or heavy kayaks like fishing kayaks.

Honestly, you will be hard-pressed to exceed the robust carrying capacity of a Harbor Freight trailer with a couple of kayaks. The 96″ trailers can carry from 1,195 pounds up to 1,700 pounds.

Building A Harbor Freight Trailer

Now for the fun part – building the trailer. So whether you buy online or in the store, you get to build the trailer.

The instructions with the kit are not great, but the pictures are beneficial.

I recommend having a friend or family member help you with this part, as it will go much faster with two people. Plan on an afternoon to build the frame and attach the wheels.

Once that is done, you can decide if you want to add sides and flooring.

Do You Want A Plywood Floor?

Once the trailer is built, you can decide if you want to add a floor. There are some benefits to adding a floor, especially if you haul other gear in addition to your kayaks.

Plus, a floor makes the trailer handy for other tasks or honey-dos.

You can add kayak carriers to the trailer with or without flooring; there are several different ways to go here.

Choose Your Kayak Supports

There are a few different styles when choosing kayak supports to add to a Harbor Freight trailer.

J-cradles are an excellent option if you go without a floor on the trailer. They are easy to install and fit all kinds of kayaks. These are the same cradles you see on many kayak roof racks on crossbars.

V-style supports are a good choice if you want to haul the kayak hull side down and be able to slide in and out quickly.

Kayak stackers are an excellent option if you want to be able to stack the kayaks next to each other.

Foam blocks are a great way to transport kayaks if you add a wood floor to the trailer.

Whichever style you choose, ensure the supports fit the Harbor Freight trailer.

Attach The Kayak Supports

After you decide which kayak carrier to use, it’s time to attach it. You can attach J-cradles, wings, and a kayak stacker directly to the trailer frame.

Usually, these kayak carriers attach to crossbars on a roof rack, and the hardware it comes with might not be long enough to fit around the trailer frame.

So, you might need to invest in longer bolts to attach the carriers to the frame.

You can fit two sets or J-cradles and maybe even wings on each side of the trailer, so you can carry two kayaks.

With a kayak stacker, you can potentially fit up to four kayaks, depending on how big they are.

Benefits Of Using A Kayak Trailer

A kayak trailer is a great way to transport your kayak from one body of water to another. Here are some benefits of using a kayak trailer.

The first benefit is that trailers sit closer to the ground, so it’s easy to load and unload your kayak, especially helpful if you’re traveling solo and don’t have anyone to help you lift the kayak onto a roof rack.

Another benefit of using a kayak trailer is that you can typically fit multiple kayaks on one trailer. So if you’re going with a group, it’s easy to transport more than one kayak.

Lastly, kayak trailers often have built-in features such as tie-down points to keep your kayak secure during transport. This peace of mind is especially important if you’re traveling in windy conditions or on bumpy roads.

So if you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to transport your kayak, consider investing in a kayak trailer.

Why Convert A Harbor Freight Trailer To A Kayak Trailer

For anyone who loves to kayak, having a trailer to transport your kayak (or multiple kayaks) is essential.

Unfortunately, purchasing a trailer specifically for kayaks can be pretty expensive. A more budget-friendly option is to convert a Harbor Freight trailer into a kayak trailer.

Not only is this much cheaper than buying an actual kayak trailer, but it also allows you to carry other gear. For example, you can use the extra space to store other gear you need for a day on the water.

Plus, if you are camping, you will have plenty of extra room for your gear.

In addition, converting a Harbor Freight trailer is actually relatively easy to do.

With just a few simple modifications, you can have a fully functional kayak trailer that will serve you well for years.

Downside Of Using A Kayak Trailer

Kayaks are an increasingly popular way to enjoy the outdoors, and a kayak trailer can be a great way to transport your kayak to your favorite launch spot.

However, there are also some potential downsides to using a kayak trailer. For one thing, trailers can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, such as crowded parking lots.

In addition, trailers take up a lot of storage space, which can be an issue if you don’t have a lot of room at home.

Finally, trailers can be expensive, so it’s important to consider whether the cost is worth it for you.

With all of these factors in mind, you’ll be able to decide whether a kayak trailer is right for you.

Downside Of Converting A Harbor Freight Trailer To A Kayak Trailer

Using a Harbor Freight trailer as a kayak trailer has its downsides. For one, the trailer will be heavier than a regular kayak trailer, making it more difficult to tow and store.

Additionally, many kayak trailers fold down for easy storage, but if you add a floor to the trailer, you can’t fold it down.

Despite these downsides, converting a Harbor Freight trailer to a kayak trailer can be a great way to save money on a new kayak trailer.

Final Thoughts

Converting a Harbor Freight trailer into a kayak trailer is a great way to save money, and it’s also easy to do.

Just make sure you consider the downsides of doing so, such as the extra weight and storage space the trailer will take up.

With all of this in mind, you’ll be able to decide if converting a Harbor Freight trailer into a kayak trailer is right for you.

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About the author
Steve
Steve is the owner of Paddle About, a blog that's all about helping people get out and enjoy nature. He loves to kayak, camp, hike and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not out exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.