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Malone EcoLight 4 Kayaks Sport Trailer Review and Assembly

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Review and Assembly of the Malone EcoLight 4 Kayaks Sport Trailer

AJ: What's up everybody, it's AJ with Today, we're going to check out the Malone EcoLight trailer with the Post Kayak Accessories on top. It's going to be a great way to haul a bunch of different kayaks. If you're hauling up to two, it's fine, it leans against the post and straps down, but you can actually maximize this trailer out to four. So we'd add another kayak to each side, still be able to strap them down and get them to your destination. Let's check it out.

Now, I did say post-style, and I just want to explain what I mean by that. There's a bunch of different ways to carry your kayaks on your roof or trailers, usually J-style, hole-style, where they hold it. This is called post-style, so it's just straight up and down and over our trailer, or it would go on the middle of your roof rack on your roof too.And you just kind of lean the kayaks up against it, and then use the straps to go around the bars here, around itself, pull it tight, so it's pulling down to the trailer, and then the blue one's pulling it towards the posts, so that way there's two points of security here keeping it down on this trailer. And mainly people do this one to haul like four kayaks, so a J-style kayak carrier, you can probably only get two of them on here or on the roof of your vehicle. With this post-style, you get them up on their sides and you can fit more on there, so I think this trailer is going to hold up to four maximum with the post- style, but still, that's four kayaks to get you where you're going.Coming down to the base of our post here, I want to show you the pads it also comes with.

You'll get eight of these, two for each kayak you're carrying, so just wanted you to know that it's not just sitting on these top bars and getting strapped down to that to where it can scratch it or damage your kayak. You got these nice thick pads that this is pulling down on and helping protect your kayaks and your trailer from any scratch or anything like that. Now I will say, when you put these on, before you attach the kayak, it might be a little worrisome, is this going to stay on It doesn't seem like it'll stay on its own, but when you put the kayak on there and strap it down, it's not going anywhere. So I suggest taking these off when you don't have a kayak on there, so if you just have your trailer, I would just go ahead and throw these in your vehicle or store them in the kayaks, wherever you store those, when you're done.I like that Malone really gave you the complete package with this post-style kayak carrier. You get the post, you get all the straps, you get the pads to protect the trailer, all included with this trailer.

So you don't really need to get anything else and that's awesome, I don't have to recommend you picking up extra stuff because you've already bought this trailer with this kit, you don't have to buy anything else. Something to keep in mind when you're loading up your trailer is it can handle up to 400 lbs. So even with the four kayaks on there, we're not going to max that and we don't have to worry about something like that. Also, the max length will be 14ft. Our longest kayak here is 12ft, so it shows you we've got plenty of room in between the vehicle, and our trailer, and our kayaks, there's not going to be any issues there.

And that's because of the extended reinforced tongue here.So not only is it just this long to keep it away from your vehicle, but it's also reinforced right here so you don't have to worry about any weak points in this long piece of steel. So you might be a little worried about hauling a trailer behind your vehicle, maybe you've never done it before, maybe you think you just don't want that extra hassle. But one of the positives I want to point out is when you're loading it, if you could the post-style on your roof, but then you have to lift that kayak on your roof, so I'm not the tallest guy in the world, the weight's not the problem, it's getting it up there and getting that strapped down. So then I have to stand up on a tire, stand up at a doorframe, throw straps over, catch them, and bring them down. That's a whole lot of hassle, it is way easier to take it from waist level, set it into place, be right here, run my straps right here through the center posts and everything.I'm not climbing or trying to do a bouncing act while I'm doing it. It's way easier this way, I really like having it on the trailer versus on the roof. Another thing I'd be worried about is how the trailer is going to hold up. So we're going to do some laps around the parking lot and see how it performs. Now it does say that it shouldn't go over 70 mph, we're certainly not going to that in the parking lot today, so you guys shouldn't either. Let's check it out. So it looks like it handled our parking lot/test course pretty well. Now, you did see it jump up a little bit when we went over the speed bumps, but it's meant to do that, it's okay. It's got a leaf spring suspension system on the inside, so it's meant to take a couple of bumps and not have any problems, it just hopped up.You got the smaller tires and it's a lightweight trailer, so it is going to hop a little bit more than a heavier weighed down trailer, but it's okay. Again, it's got that suspension system, it's meant to take a couple of bumps. The whole trailer frame is made out of a galvanized steel, so it's going to hold up to those elements. You can even back the thing in the water, it's going to be fine, it's not going to bother us, it's not going to rust and corrode. The only thing that's not made out of galvanized steel is our fenders here, they're made out of a plastic or an injected molding. That's okay, they're still going to hold up just fine. I'm glad they're there so it keeps the rocks, and dirt, and stuff getting kicked up from damaging your kayaks, because chances are, when you are going kayaking, you're not going to be going on nice paved roads. You're going to have to drive down those dirt roads or those gravel roads and you don't want rocks kicking up and ruining your kayaks.Another thing that makes this trailer the complete package is the working tail and side marker lights. It runs a 4 pole up to your vehicle, and then it works in tandem with your vehicle. So if I put on the left blinker, that one goes off, I can put on the right, that one goes off. Hit the brakes, it comes on back here, that way you're safe at night. If somebody is behind you, they can see your taillights, just in case it's covered up by your kayaks here. Another nice addition is the license plate holder and the light that's going to shine down on there, just help you keep your street legal. Up here at the coupler, I went ahead and unplugged my 4 pole. Pop the latch up here to release it, our coupler and trailer will fit a 2" ball. I like that they include this handle, easy to lift up and set back down when you need to.I like that the safety chains are included too to help keep you safe. They just go on the loops here at the hitch. We then easily lift it up and move it away from your vehicle. I like that it's light and maneuverable like that. I don't have a garage, but I have parking spaces in my apartment and the posts are really close together, so backing this in with my vehicle, there's not enough room to do that. I'd have to detach it and walk it in there. That's harder the bigger the trailers get. This one's nice and light, even with four kayaks on there, I'd be able to do it. I just grab the handle and walk it to my parking spot and I'm good. And I like that, the less hassle, the better. Whichever way you want to haul your boat, this trailer is capable of. 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.Now I'm going to take it inside and let's check out how we assembled it. Kind of 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 on the tongue here. This is going to be the front, it's got the Malone sticker on it so you know this one goes through the top. We're going to put the coupler on here later on but that's just helping you identify which one this is. So looks likes 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 so they don't come out the front.Now we got it through through the first one, we're going to run it through the second one. This time, just through the front, we don't do it through the side. We'll just push that wire back down and through the other side. We ran the wire through both tongues, push them together, now we're going to connect them with these plates. We're just going to push these plates on the side as 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 bolt through. There we go. Good thing about it, 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 nuts on here. We then come back with a ratchet and wrench and tighten it down. Now that we've laid down 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's going to face towards the back. Something to look at on the side ones, 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, and you want them up towards the front of the trailer, so that's how we knew to flip them and put them this way.If 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." and 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. So let's get the bolts installed. I've lined up the parts of the frame, 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" is a good way to tell if it's 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 kind of look and eyeball to make sure that it is actually nice and square. So it must 58-1/4" across, so you can measure with your tape measure to make sure that the frame is its box form like 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 our frame on both sides. The oval one's going to go up front and the one, it's kind of a square, will go in the back.We're going to drop our bolt in just like we did with the frame, and then add a nut underneath. This front one, we're going to just do hand tighten 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, it means the tongue's upside down. And I come set it over here and line up these holes. I'll move it aside, you 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. You want 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 add a washer at the end, we'll take our longer one, drop it all the way through the tongue in 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're going to add the nut down here. Now with them hand tightened, we'll go and head back and fully tighten them down. I already did the bolt in the back, now we'll do the longer bolt up here up front. Now we're going to move onto the axle, we're going to assemble that separately over here, and then we'll attach it to the trailer afterwards. First step, if you look on this side, I've already done it, we're going to attach the spring and 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 for underneath. I like that 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 off 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 that springs up here at the front that 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. That's one of the reasons they have you leave it loose, so you can kind of move it and manipulate it as you set them into place. So I got the back ones in, and I'll line up the front loops and add our 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 to the other side, and add a nut. Then 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. So 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 to have that one tightened down, you want 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 and flip it around, make sure the air valve is on the outside of the tire. I'll just match up these bolts to the holes on the tire. Slide it 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 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, at the bottom of this hole. That's where the wiring is 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 lock washer and your nut on there. Next up, we're going to install our tail lights on our trailer, the driver's side's 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 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, then once we do that, we're 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 hold on to the top and then tapping the bottom part with a hammer, and that'll get it in place. With the clip installed, I recommend coming back with like a screwdriver to go ahead and pry up on it, that way you can feed the wire in thereWith 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's side is going to be green and brown. And you're going to these same steps for that side, but that's how you're going to separate the wires to go down here, 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, you can see I kind of ran it like it's going to be ran, so we'll run it here, attach it and run it back. So there about here, 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, I'll run the black wire into the shorter side of it, and then we're going to push the brown wire into the top side. Make sure it gets down in there and into the channel, there we go, then 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. Now I'll take the wire, I'll run it back the way we came, run 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 then 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 got to strip these wires so they have it exposed just like these are. We'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 knot on, then feed up in the very top of there and twist it again. 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, add some 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, put in 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, we 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. And 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. Should be the last two holes left in the back of your trailer here so easily identify and install these brackets. Now we're 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'll grab my hardware, I'm going to get one started so that holds it in place.You can kind of move the bracket with his hand and line 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. I'm just going to lift this up and then we'll go ahead and 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. Grab the stop at the bottom, let's just go ahead and do that now, that's going to help hold up the trailer while working on it anyway. You got a tab underneath there, and we'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 terminalIt'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 of different things going on, but we'll start with adding this at the bottom. It will work as the stand as 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 going to use 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, I'm going to put a washer on our bolt, follow up with the chain links, then we'll add another washer and put it through the hole. Now it's gone to the inside, and what I'll do there before I put the nut on there, is add our ground. It just 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 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 bolts through. We 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 tightening 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. You 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, come back down and tighten it down, and I'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. So 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 can tighten it down.It's a little different than what the instruction said but I just kind of 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 add our end caps at the end of the bars, so I did this to the other three. Much like the ones we did earlier, just push it on there, it goes right into place. Now your trailer's assembled. As you saw it, it wasn't that bad. Really just followed it step-by-step, 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, 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 shrink 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 into 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 going ahead and extending that ground wire to help yourself out in the long run. We'll put our center mast that we're going to lean the kayaks up against in the middle. And how I did that is, I kind of looked at this hole here in the center of the bars, it helped me line up where I'm going to set this bar to line up with that one. We're going to take these two clamps, now if you look at the clamps, one is bigger than the other one, the bigger one's going to go on top. The smaller one's made just to fit this rail, so you can see how it's smaller indention there, it's going to go on the bottom. I'm going to hold it in place while I grab the hardware, then I'm going to take a bolt, drop it down through the top, make sure you turn it so that the square part of the bolt fits in the square part of the bracket, and then I'll put this washer on there and then follow with a nut.It's a little tricky to try and hold it all in place, but it's not too bad. So I'm going to get it started then I'll come back with a ratchet and tighten it down. So just come back to the ratchet, I could only get a couple turns with my hand on there, so this will get it up there and get it snug more tight. Going to get a couple more turns out of it, make sure it's nice and tight. Don't worry, it's not as hard as I made it look. Just when you're starting and you're trying to hold it all in place, it can be a little cumbersome because you're getting one nut on there and I could barely get it started. So when I did get started, you really need the ratchet to run all the way down and then that's still a balancing act while you're going back and forth. But really it's not that hard. It's on there, now we're going to add our foam blocks. And just separate them, they fit around the bar just like that.Put one on each side. We're only going to use two kayaks today so we're just going to put four of the foam blocks on. We still have four extra ones, so if you're going to carry and maximize all your trailer with all four kayaks, you could install those too. But like I said, we just got two today so we're only going to use these blocks. Now we're going to add our straps so we're ready to load up the kayaks. You're going to grab one end, it's got two loops here in the center post, and go in the top one and come out the bottom, then you pull that out. You want to make sure your buckle goes on top, so then we can spread these out and it won't be tangled up when we add our kayaks, then just easily set this one on top, bring this one down to the bottom, and then attach them here with a kayak in between. Let's do that now.With the kayak loaded, I'll bring both ends of the strap over the top. We have our buckle that's going to stay here, it's got the padding that's going to protect our kayak. You're going to run the other strap underneath our top bar here, that way it has something to pull down against, then we're going to run the strap up through the buckle and tighten it down. That strap's installed, I'm going to repeat the process on this back one here. Now they also include a blue strap, and that's used to hold the kayaks together. So if we we're doing four kayaks, you'd put one blue strap around the two kayaks on this side and one blue strap on the kayaks on that side, and it just pulls them together and holds them in the center.Now we only have two on there today, so I'm just going to go ahead and wrap it around the center here of these two. I ran it down underneath, run it through the buckle, it will get pulled nice and tight. Just further stability. Well, that does it for our look at the Malone EcoLight trailer, I hope this helps.

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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