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Malone EcoLight Sport Trailer Review and Assembly

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Review and Assembly of the Malone EcoLight Sport Trailer

AJ: What's up, everybody It's AJ with Today, we're going to be checking out at the Malone EcoLight trailer. It's a nice customizable trailer that you can help get the things that you can't fit on your roof or inside your vehicle out on the trailer behind your vehicle, and still take it wherever you need it. Let's check it out.Whichever way you want to haul your boat, this trailer is capable of it. It comes in a bunch of different kits. You got J-style, V-style, post-style, kayak carriers, all three of those.

And then it also just has bunks you can put on there, too, to haul your boat that way. Each one of the trailers has the same base that this is. You're just going to have the accessories added onto the bars on top.The trailer's made out of a nice galvanized steel, so it's going to hold up to those elements when it's out in them. And even if you back it into the water, it'll be just fine. It also has a weight capacity of 400 pounds and a speed rating of 70 miles per hour.

The only thing that's not made out of galvanized steel on this trailer would be the fenders and the lights themselves. But that's all right, they're going to hold up just fine as well.It also includes working lights. You just wire them up to your vehicle. It starts with a standard four-pole. I got it with a converter to go to my seven-pole, but you have working lights for your left turn, right turn, brake lights; all work.

So I like that it's better than just reflectors on the back of the trailer. That actually functions in line with your vehicle so people can see you when you're stopping or turning at night.You get a nice 2" coupler with a handle so when you go to take it on and off the ball mount, it's easy to lift up and move around and set right back down. You don't have to grab it awkwardly here and walk it up and drop it down. It's got the locking up there, just drop that. It's locked into place and even comes with safety chains so you can hook up to your loops on your vehicle.

And it's also supported by a leaf spring suspension system so you can take some bumps and not worry about that either. It will absorb it.Another great thing was the license plate holder. That way, if it's blocked on the back of your vehicle, you can move back here and it can be street legal. And there's even a light underneath here that shines down on the license plate so you can see it at night as well. It's got a cross bar spread of 38.5" and works with boats up to 14' long. So just keep that in mind if you're trying to picture if it's going to work with your boats or not.Now that we've gone over what you get with this trailer, you will get it in different pieces, so you're going to have to put it together. I know that can be a little bit intimidated. I was too. It's pretty easy. We're going to go through the directions, go through it step by step. Let's check it out.We got everything laid out for how we're going to put this trailer together. Each bag is labeled for different groups. So the instructions actually tell you, "Use this bag with this number, for this section of the steps." We're going to go step by step and put this trailer together. If I can find any shortcuts or anything to make it easier on you, I'll let you know.So the first step is going to be putting this grommet in our bottom hole of the tongue here. It's going to be at the front. It's got the Malone sticker on it so you know this one goes toward the top. We're going to put the coupler on here later on, but that was just helping you identify which one this is. So it's like you just push this plastic grommet in there. It's going to help protect the wires when you run them through so it won't slowly cut those. Kind of just push them towards the back to guide them back that way, that way they don't come out the front. Now we've got it through the first one, we're going to run through the second one. This time, just through the front, we don't have to go through the side. We'll just push that wire back down and through to the other side.We ran the wire through both tongues, pushed them together. Now we're going to connect them with these plates. We're just going to push these plates on the side. Make sure you line up the four holes with these four holes. I got the one already installed on the opposite side. Make sure you line it up. Looks like it's good. Put our bolts through. There we go. The good thing about it, when one goes through, all the other ones will be lined up, too. With the bolts pushed through the holes, we'll go back and just hand-tighten the nuts on here. We can come back with our ratchet and wrench and tighten it down.Now we'll lay out the bars that are going to make up the frame of our trailer. This is where it gets just a little confusing, but I'm going to give you some pointers here to help you figure it out. You want to arrange them the way you will when the trailer's put together. The center bar, the open part is going to face towards the back. Something to look at on the side one, so you can tell which ones go on the side, are these three holes here. This is where you're going to put your side marker lights. You want them up towards the front of the trailer. So that's how we knew to flip them and put them this way.You come back here, you'll see that the back bar says Malone on it. So that's another good indicator of, okay, that bar goes on the back. You set that up there. We're going to drop some bolts in the holes in every one of the bars and put a nut underneath it. I'm going to do that on this side. You can see I already did it on that side. Then we're going to flip it over for the next step. But let's get the bolts installed. I've lined up the parts of the frame, I'm going to drop the bolts down in there on each one of these. I'm going to loosely tighten them by hand so that we can still move the frame around and make sure it's square before we tighten it down fully.With all the bolts dropped in and hand-tightened down, you want to make sure that your frame is actually a square. So when you go to take a look at it, make sure that it's all nice and even. You can measure corner to corner to 58". This is a good way to tell if that gets out of whack or anything like that. That's why you had it loosened. And that's why you have it hand-tightened so you can actually move it and get it to be a nice square frame. We got it right at 58", 58", so I'm going to go back down now and hand-tighten them completely down.Looking at our frame, you can look at it and eyeball it to make sure that it is actually nice and square. So this'll be 58.25" across. So you can measure it with your tape measure to make sure that the frame is its box form it's supposed to be. It was a little out of whack at first. And that's why we only loosely put the nuts on everything. That way you can still move the frame and individual parts to get it a nice, even square. And now, since it's there, we already measured it. I'm going to go back down and fully tighten all the bolts. With all six of the bolts put in and tightened down, I can flip the frame around upside down. Then we're going to do the same thing, six more bolts installed, tighten those down and then we'll move on to the next step.Next up is the spring hangers. We're going to put those on the bottom of my frame on both sides. The oval one's going to go up front and the one that's kind of a square will go on the back. We're going to drop our bolts in just like we did with the frame and then add a nut underneath because it's going to hang our springs and we're going to go to attach those next. So just to give you a visual what these are for and how they work, we'll run a bolt through here to keep the spring in place. And then this one will be fine here in this squared off one. This front one, we're going to just do hand-tightened for now. But the back one we can fully tighten, once we get the nuts on there.Next up, attaching the tongue to our trailer frame. I'm going to flip it upside down like the rest of our trailer. So you can see the sticker Malone is upside down; that means the tongue's upside down. I'm going to come set it over here and line up these holes. I'll move it aside. See, there's a hole in the frame on both of these bars We're going to line up the holes on our tongue with those and drop our hardware in. I'm going to make sure the wiring is also to one side of the tongue so you don't fight with that when you go to drop your bolt in. We've got a washer at the end. We'll take our longer one, drop it all the way through the tongue and to the frame underneath. A helpful tip for this part would be go ahead and lift up on the tongue, drop your bolt all the way through so it comes out the bottom. Then it makes it easier to line it up with your frame.Then I come back here and use the shorter bolt and washer. Same tip as before: push it down, then it's easier to line up the hole so you can add the nut down here. Now with them hand-tightened, we'll go ahead back and fully tighten them down. Now you did the bolt in the back, now we'll do the longer bolt up here up front.Now we're going to move on to the axle. We're going to assemble that separately over here, and then we'll attach it to the trailer afterwards. First step, you look on this side, I've already done it. We're going to attach the spring, add these U-bolts up there and put this plate on the other side. You see what it looks like. Let's see how we did that. There's a hole in the axle. You'll line it up with this one here. Make sure it's in the middle, nice and balanced. I'll go ahead and set the plate on top and then bring our U-bolts from underneath. It's got that indention in there that you can line up real easy and keep it in place. You don't have to do any guesswork or anything.Now I'm going to come back with my ratchet and tighten them down, but I'm not going to fully tighten it down. I'm going to get it just enough to where this plate won't pop up and come loose on us. We want to leave it a little bit loose because that's what it says to do in the instructions. We're going to set in our axle now. Make sure the springs up here at the front, they have a hole through it, are going to go through these hangers up here. That way we can install that bolt and keep it in there. But before you do that, you want to make sure you slide the flat end into the back hangers.Looks like I got that one in. And that's one of the reasons they have you leave it loose so you can move it and manipulate it as you set them into place. So I got the back ones in. Now, line up the front loops and outer bolts. The instructions do say to make sure that the bolt goes from the outside in, so I'm going to lift up on the spring, make sure the bolt goes through that and the other side, add a nut. And like most of this trailer, we're going to repeat the same thing on the other side.Another detail that they mention with this bolt is you want to tighten it down, but you don't want to crush it. But once it starts to get tight, just go ahead and stop there. You don't want to push in and bend the spring or anything. That's good. So you want it to be loose enough so the spring can move a little bit and you're not crushing it. Now, once you have that one tightened down, then we're going to tighten down these bolts on the hangers. We're going to keep that in place and then we'll move on to tighten this down.Now it's time to put our tire on. Go ahead, flip it around. Make sure the air valve is on the outside of the tire. We'll just match up these bolts to the holes on the tire. Slide on, and then we'll add our lug nuts. Now with the tires on there, we're not ready to torque them down yet. We're going to flip the trailer over and then we'll be able to torque them down with the tires on the ground. I would you suggest getting a second set of hands to flip your trailer over. It's a little heavy, but I'm just going to go for it.With the trailer flipped and the tires on the ground, we're going to go ahead and torque it down. Make sure you follow the torque specs in the instructions. We're going to do that in a star pattern for each one of the lug nuts. We're going to take our grommets and put them in the bottom hole here so that we can protect the wiring that's going to connect to our lights. So just like before, just push it with your thumb. We're going to do that for the other side, too. We're going to come up here and push another grommet through this one for our side marker lights. Another grommet we need to add is down here at the center beam, the bottom-most hole. That's where the wiring's going to pass through, so we want to keep it protected there, too.Now we're going to attach our side marker lights to the side of our trailer. You're going to use the center hole for our bolt here in the middle of the light. And then in the side hole, we're just going to run the wire through. Make sure you put your log washer and your nut on there.Next up, we're going to install our tail lights on our trailer. The driver's side is going to be a little bit different, so that's the one we're going to focus on. We got our license plate bracket that we're going to put on in between the light and the trailer. You can see the familiar grommet down here. That's where you're going to run your wire. So we'll take our two wires and go ahead and feed those in now, and then line up the bolts and add our washers and nuts. Now we can go back and tighten them down.Now it's time for the wiring. It's not that bad. It's pretty straightforward. We're going to run this wire up to the side marker light first, and then we'll split our wires. We'll go through that grommet we installed earlier, get that pulled nice and tight. And once we do that, I'm going to go ahead and add a clip, that way it just holds our wire here. Get the clip on there, just put it on the edge. I would suggest holding on to the top and then tapping the bottom part with the hammer and that'll get it in place. With the clip installed, I'd recommend coming back with like a screwdriver to go ahead and pry up on it. That way, you can feed the wire in there.With our driver's side wire ran up to the front and clipped in, we could tell that it was the driver's side because it's yellow and brown. Your passenger side's going to be green and brown. And you're going to do these same steps for that side. But that's how you're going to separate the wires to go down here, and back to that tail light. And then on the passenger side, same thing.So what we're going to do now to get our wire ready is I'm going to cut in between the wire down here. And you can see I ran it like it's going to be ran. So we'll run it here, attach it, and run it back. So they're about here. So I'm going to cut in between these wires with the blade and separate it so we can make our connection. I just put the blade down in the middle and then pulled on the wire separately. It was a nice, even cut. Now it's separated like we want. Take one of the quick connectors that's included. We're going to run the black wire into the shorter side of it. And then we're going to push the brown wire in through the top side. Make sure it gets down in there and into the channel. There we go. Then, we'll come back with some pliers and push down on this metal tab. It's going to go through both wires, making that connection for you. Test our connections. It's good.Then, I'll take the wire and run it back the way we came. Run it along the end of the trailer here, back to our taillights. I'm going to take my knife and cut down the middle of it to split it. You just need to cut a little bit and you can do the rest with your hands. Now we're going to attach our yellow wire to our yellow wire, and our brown wire to our brown wire. But first, we've got to strip these wires so that you have it exposed just like these are. If you've got some wire strippers, that's going to help us clamp down on there and pull it out. We'll go ahead and twist our wires together before we put our twist nut on, then feed up in the very top of there and twist again. And you should grab those wires and twist them together. You can feel it grabbing and actually see the wires twist, too. We're going to do the same thing for our yellow one.So moving along, added more clips here to take up that excess wiring. When you do it at home, when you build it for your time, it might be better for you just to go ahead and trim it here, trim it to length, and then you don't have any excess wiring. We aren't going to keep this trailer like this. We're going to disassemble it when we're done, so I don't want to cut any of the wire.Now it's time to add the fenders. How we're going to do that is we're going to put the brackets on there first, putting a bolt and a nut through each one here. And then we'll add the fender on top of that. So to do so, like I said, you got the shorter bolt and the nut. You're going to put the bracket with it angled down and with the dip pointed down because the fender's going to fit down in that groove itself. Then you just want to loosely put this on because you want to be able to move the brackets a little bit when you go to put the fender on. So we'll just leave it like that for now. I'll repeat that process on the second one. It should be the last two holes left in the back of your trailer here. So easy to identify and install these brackets.Now I'm going to set the fender down on the brackets, trying to match up the holes. That's why we left them loose so we can move them up like this. I'm going to grab my hardware. I'm going to get one started so this holds it in place. You can move the bracket with this hand line it up with the holes on the fender. Drop the bolt through. And we're going to add a nut to the back. With it all loosely installed, I'm going to go ahead and tighten down these bolts to the trailer. It's going to lift this up and then we'll go ahead and hand-tighten the bolts down on our fender.Back up towards the front of the tongue of our trailer, we're going to start putting this part together. We're going to add the stop at the bottom. Let's just go ahead and do that now. That's going to help hold up the trailer while we're working on it, anyway. You got a tab underneath there. You're going to slide into it like that. I'll set it back down and it'll hold it in place. We're going to make our ground here at the front of the tongue of the trailer. I went ahead and stripped back the wire, just like you saw me do before. Now I'm going to add this ring terminal.It's in there nice and tight. Now what we're going to do is come back to the front of the tongue. And we got a couple different things going on, but we'll start with adding this at the bottom. It'll work as the stand. You guys can see under there, I'm just going to insert that tab . I had it the wrong way . Insert the tab back here. And we'll add a bolt up here, up in front. But for now, it'll work and help it hold up.Now, we're using the bolt and we're going to secure the stand and the chains and ground the wire at the same time. So the chain is going to go on the outside. We're going to put a washer on our bolt, follow it up with the chain links. Then we'll add another washer and put it through the hole. Now it's going up to the inside. And what I'll do there before I put the nut on there is add our ground. This goes on top. Then I'll add the nut. Come back with my ratchet and wrench and tighten it down. Threw a block of wood under there just to get it up a little higher off the ground, easier to get this ratchet in here.Now that we're done on the inside of the tongue, we're going to attach our coupler and handle. So I've already run the bolts through the handle. The holes here are going to align with the holes here. We'll set this on top, line up the holes in the tongue and then just put our bolt through. Then go to the other side. We'll just put some nuts on there, like we've done for most of this trailer. When it comes to tighten this down, we're just going to get it tight against the tongue of the trailer. No reason to go any further than that.Now we're going to go ahead and put our end caps on our bars. You want to make sure you do it towards the top by that single hole. The double holes will be at the bottom of our bars because we're going to put them around the frame here. So you can get a block of wood and a hammer or you can easily just push down on it and it goes into place. So I'll line it up with the corner of our frame here, making sure this top hole is right above the frame. I've got my U-bolt. I'll come back down, tighten it down. And then we'll repeat this process on all the corners of the trailer.Now, the last part is to install our crossbar. What we're going to do is install these clamps on the bars we just finished tightening down. We're just going to run a bolt through, lining up the holes, add a nut to the other side. That way, it's loosely installed. And then I'll just start to go ahead and put the bar in there now before I get it tightened down. It's a little different than what the instructions said, but I just found this easier myself. I'm going to loosely put the other bolt in. Then we're going to look and make sure it's even on both sides before I fully tighten this down. The other bolt, you'll just lift up on the bar, put it underneath it, and it holds it up towards the top of this bracket. Once again, add a nut. We'll loosely install it, get it even on both sides. And then I'm going to tighten it down. Now we're going to come back; with the length a little bit over 10 on each side, it's nice and even. We're going to go ahead and tighten it down, keep everything in place.Now the final step, we're going to add our end caps to the end of the bars. I already did it to the other three. Much like the ones we did earlier, just push it on there. It goes right into place. Now your trailer is assembled.As you saw, it wasn't that bad. We really just follow it step by step. It's really just a bunch of bolts and nuts is what you're adding. And you're just repeating every step on the other side. So it's good practice on this side. You'll nail it on the other side. That's how I did it.Now, a few notes on it. I will compare it to some of the other Malone trailers. The wiring. I didn't like it as much on this one because it had the quick connectors. Malone and the other ones I've worked with have bullet connectors where you just plug them in; easy, done. They're sealed; as you know, no splicing, no channel locks or anything like that. I didn't like that on this one. And I would suggest not even using the quick locks it comes with. I would get some heat treated butt connectors. That way, you can get it nice and sealed and a good connection and it's waterproof so if you do leave your trailer out in the water, you don't have to worry about that getting to it, bothering the wiring, affecting anything. Or if you back up your trailer into the water, again, it just further protects you down the line.One other small nitpick I had for this was the ground wire. It wasn't very long. We had to extend it. I put some electrical tape and loom over it to cover it up and keep it nice and all together. But it was a little disappointing to have only that much. And it was pulled really tight, so you wouldn't be able to drive a trailer like that. I suggest go ahead and extending that ground wire to help yourself out in the long run.Those two gripes aside, it really isn't that bad. We found solutions to fix them pretty easily. And just get those heat shrink butt connectors, that way you seal up all your connections, even the ones up front that you had to extend that ground. Just go ahead and use them everywhere. That's going to make this thing way better. That aside, it still works as a trailer. I mean, these crossbars are great. It's heavy duty. You can't hear it, but I'll hit on it a little bit. It's nice. It's way easier than throwing kayaks up on the roof of your vehicle or anything else. It's easier just to load them here and go. Well, I think that does it for our look at the Malone EcoLight. I hope this helped.

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Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Installed by:
Andrew K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Aidan B
Video by:
Aidan B

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