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I am not very mechanical but anyone who can turn a screwdriver and wrench can easily assemble this in 3-4 hours. Only issues were annoying but easily corrected. First was that the one of the side light covers was broken during the shipping process apparently as it was loose in the box and I did not see how it was ever secured in there. It was only luck that the other one wasn't broken. Second problem was that the screws for the license plate light were not long enough. I called to get replacements and I received the whole license plate assembly kit, but alas, the screws were the same length. I went to a hardware store and bought new ones for $.30 each. No big deal. I not only received a new sidelight cover, but again, 2 new lights and covers! Thank you Yakima.
This trailer tows and maneuvers like a dream. No issues whatsoever. I agree with the comments about the cotter pins for the wheels and went out and bought a couple hitch pin clips that resolve that issue. Thinking about getting a spare tire but I don't plan on hauling long distance just yet.
As anyone knows, Yakima bars are round. The ad seemed to suggest that you could use Thule J style cradles which fit the square Thule bars, but that is not true. They just slide around the bars and won't stay in one place so I had to buy the Yakima's. The cynic in me believes this is intentional. I would recommend the 78 for a few more bucks too.
1. It pulls like a dream. You don't know it's there and it is modest on fuel impact. I went down from about 2 mpg (23 to 21) on a large sedan comparing a clean car (no boats) to the trailer with 2 light 12 ft boats at 70-75mph over 900 miles.
2. It very well built. Strong and light weight. Aluminum construction so it should not rust. 3. Assembly went easily, parts were well machined and fit smoothly - with 2 glitches:
- The wiring in the tongue was faulty (pinched stripped wires making 2 different intermittent faults. This was a pain to find because it was intermittent.
- I did have to enlarge the holes improve the countersinking on the license plate light bracket.
- The kit was missing some of the lock cores. I actually don't use the locks so it didn't matter much.
4. The trailer stores very nicely. I can up-end it and store it in my rather high garage without even unplugging the wiring. Even if you have to remove or collapse the tongue there are plugs so it is pretty easy. A small woman should not have trouble upending the trailer.
5. You can manhandle the trailer around easily rather than doing clever maneuvering with the car. To get the trailer with boats on it in the garage just unhook and walk it in fully loaded. No big muscles required. Parallel parking and the rear is sticking out? Just grab the rear bar, pick up the back end and scootch the loaded trailer over a foot.
6. The trailer is a dream to load. Everything is at a very comfortable height due to the big motorcycle wheels and suspension. So the boat is right at a perfect working, lifting, strapping, and putting height.
7. OK I do wish the bars were a bit further apart for boats.
8. You can easily see over the trailer from a car. On my van the trailer is below my sight line out the rear window one of those $10 plastic wide angle lenses you stick on your rear window is nice.
9. 16ft and over boat owners be aware at both ends. To the front note the review that talks about centering the boat. To the rear note that most states require flags by day and lights at night for loads more that 4' beyond the end of the trailer.
I have the 78" which is nice for lots of boats but if you are using a small car go for the 66. Note that the slightly heavier shocks are NOT standard on the wider trailer. The literature is a bit vague on that point.
Why does it rate an 8?
1. I should not have electrical problems, missing lock cores, and re-drilling a minor part on a $2000+ trailer.
2. I do wish the front bar was further forward.
The other reason to buy the extension is that it makes the trailer much easier to backup. With the standard tongue the trailer reacts very quickly to any input, and really taxes your backup skills. With the longer tongue the rig settles down and backs up the way most boat trailers do. It is annoying that the extension isn't a no-cost option.
Assembly was straightforward. I agree with the earlier poster who commented that the use of cotter pins on the wheel axles complicates tire changing if there is a flat tire, although I have not had to deal with that yet. The performance of the trailer is perfect; it tows well over everything from bumpy gravel roads to interstate highways. The trailer's light weight and integrated handle are very convenient in allowing one to unhook the trailer in tight spots and "walk" the boat to and from the water.
The ability to easily break it down and store it against a wall in the garage is reason we bought it. Re-assembly is equally easy. The only disadvantage is price, but I could not find another product that offered the quality and ease of use and storage at any price. We also bought the spare tire and the kickstand.
On a recent trip of about 600 miles round trip I noticed that the tongue was sagging and when I got home I took the tongue extension out as it was bent significantly. The tongue extension consists of a piece of square aluminum tubing that matches the trailer tongue and a piece of square steel tubing telescoped inside the aluminum. It is installed by sliding the steel tube into the tongue and putting 2 bolts through a pair of pre-drilled holes in the tongue and the steel tube. Assembly was very easy. It was the steel tube that was bent.
I contacted Yakima about a warranty claim on the tongue extension and they asked me to load the trailer as it was when the failure occurred and to weigh each wheel and the tongue to verify that I had loaded it within specs. I did so and found that it was within spec, sent them the info and my replacement extension was shipped to me. When the new extension arrived I felt that the new steel tube was heavier than the old one and measurements with a micrometer verified that the wall thickness of the new one is about 12% more than the old one. I'm guessing that the original extension was manufactured with a piece of material that was out of tolerance. Here's hoping the new one holds up better.
Overall I'm very pleased with the trailer and with Yakima - the trailer is easy to use and easy to store and seems like it should last a long time.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
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