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Malone EcoLight Sport Single Kayak Trailer Review and Assembly

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Review and Assembly of the Malone EcoLight Sport Single Kayak Trailer

AJ: What's up, everybody It's AJ with Today, we're going to be checking out the Malone EcoLight Single Boat Trailer. This is going to be bunk style and be good for your heavier fishing kayaks, or as you can see, we put on our regular kayak. The bunks just add extra support and more contact on your kayak and give you plenty of other places to strap it down with that contact being added by the bunks. Let's take a closer look at it.Now what I meant by more contact is You can see the surface area of the bunk is touching the bottom of our kayak all the way down there. So that's just, instead of being limited to like a J-style or it's just that one part or also the V-hull style, which those are fine.

They work great, but this is going to be more for heavier duty applications, giving you plenty of tie-down points and contact to just keep it nice and tied to your trailer.Another great thing about the bunks is they're adjustable. So it's not set to a standard way of doing it. You can loosen these brackets and tilt them in if you need to tilt it in more, or make it more flat if that accommodates the bottom of your boat better. We saw some pictures online of how customers are using it, and it's really nice at how it adapts to the different hulls of the boats. We saw some paddle boats that had more bumps on the bottom, so you can still adjust those and get them right in the grooves to hold it nice and tight.On that same note, you don't have to set up for just one boat.

I like that part too. So if you decide you're not going to take the paddleboard out, you're going to take the kayak, you can easily just loosen these bolts and tilt it in and get it to the hull of your boat you're going to take. You can also adjust the height with these brackets. If you decide that you need to switch that up, there's plenty of extra holes on here to modify it the way you need.When you load up the trailer, though, something to keep in mind is it has a max weight of 400 pounds. So yeah, it's meant for the more heavy duty.

It can handle those kayaks, but make sure you don't exceed that 400 pounds. Also, it has a max length of 14 feet. Our kayak today is 12 feet long, so that kind of gives you an idea of how much space you actually have. There's plenty of room between my Envoy and the kayak here. That's because of the extended tongue, that's not only extended, but it's reinforced here too.

So you don't have to worry about having a weak spot. Being one long piece of metal, it's actually reinforced with these four bolts here, extended out, keeping it nice and away from your vehicle.Something you might not have thought about until you had to do it is the benefit of actually loading it at waist level on that trailer versus loading it up on your roof. J-style kayak carriers, even before when the day starts, getting that kayak off it, over that initial hump and getting it into place can be a little hard. The weight's not a problem, but the heights a little problem for me. I like doing it at waist level on the trailer. It's quicker and easier. And then not to mention at the end of the day, when you're done kayaking, paddling all day, you are a little tired, throwing it up there is even a little harder than it was earlier in the day. So that just takes it and makes it way easier.So I talked about the trailer a whole bunch. Now it's time to see it in action. I'm going to drive around in the parking lot and see how it performs. Now, something to keep in mind when you're driving yours is you're not supposed to go over 70 miles an hour. We're in etrailer parking lot. I'm not going to be going that fast. You shouldn't either.We're back from out drive, and it looks like it handled it pretty well. I'll do the shake test. Still nice and sturdy. I'm shaking the trailer. So that's good. It didn't come loose. I took it over some bumps on purpose just to show you how the trailer would operate when going over like a speed bump or something like that. It does have a leaf spring system on the inside, so it has suspension to able to handle those kind of bumps. Now the smaller tires might make it jump a little bit more, and I can hear it from inside the Envoy, I could hear the jump of the trailer, but it wasn't going anywhere. It was still attached. It just went over the bump and came back down. The suspension helped soften that jump when it hit back on the ground.Along with the leaf springs, there's some other things you might not think about necessarily when you're first looking at the trailer that are really going to help you out, that make it the complete package. You've got working tail lights and side marker lights. It runs out as a 4-pole that can connect to your vehicle. I have an adapter into a 7-pole from my vehicle, but that's going to run the lights in tandem with them on your vehicle. So if you turn on the left blinker, it's going to come on in the trailer. The right, it's going to come on the trailer. If you hit the brakes, it's going to come on the trailer. That's awesome. So when you drive around at night, just in case, somebody can see it when you're stopping. You won't have any problems.Also a nice thing they included, the straps, just to tie down your kayak. You got a single kayak and a trailer, you don't have to buy the strap separately. They're nice straps. They have plenty of length. You can pull them tight with this buckle. It has the padding on the other side, so you don't have to worry about it scratching your kayak.The whole trailer is made of marine grade, galvanized steel. So you don't have to worry about if it rains in your travels, or you can straight up, back it up into the water, and it's not going to bother it all. It's going to last. You're not going to have any rust and corrosion issues.The only thing not galvanized steel are our fenders, but they're still going to hold up to the elements just fine. They're great for protecting your kayak or whatever you're going to haul up here from gravel or dirt. Most of the time when you are going kayaking, you might not be on a nice paved road. You might be going down a dirt road, gravel road, and that's going to kick that stuff up and can potentially damage whatever you're hauling. With the fenders in place, it's not going to be a problem.The trailer works with a two-inch ball. You can see the couplers on right now. You've got a locking latch here that you can even add a lock here with this hole. So a nice padlock would fit in there, that way nobody can mess with it, and a handle to maneuver the trailer around. Even with your kayak on there, it'd be easier to just go ahead and pop up the ledge, remove our included safety chains here. Then like I said, with the latch up, you can easily just pick up on it and move the trailer wherever you need it. You don't have to worry about backing up into your driveway if you don't want to. If that's difficult, you can just lift it up. It's light enough to move it around from here. You can see I'm doing with one hand, moving it back and forth. I can just go push in my garage or whatever shed I store it in. Or you can Just set it down on the skid plate, and it stays in place right there.After spending time with this trailer, building it, putting the kayak on here, hauling it around, getting GoPro and stuff, there are a few things that I think could be improved. And one of them is the wiring. Usually the Malone trailers have nice bullet connectors. That means you just plug them in together. You're good. You're done. This one didn't have that. This one had quick connectors, which is fine. They weren't super complicated. You just put the wires on both side and clamp it down, but you didn't have to do that before. And I trust the bullet connectors. I like how they're waterproof. It says you can still back the quick connectors into the water, but I would just go ahead and suggest getting some heat shrink butt connectors, that way you can put those in, clamp those down, use the heat to seal it. Then you don't ever have to worry about water getting into those connections.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. That being said, I'm going to take it inside and show you how we got it assembled.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 that this one goes towards the top. We're going to put the coupler on here later on, but that was just helping you identify which one this is. It looks 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.And 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 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 tongs, 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. Good thing about it, if one goes through, all the other ones will be lined up too. With the bolts, push through the holes. We'll go back and just hand-tighten the nuts on here. I'm going to come back with a ratchet and a wrench and tighten it down.Now we laid 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 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. 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, oh, 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 already did on that side. Then we're going to flip it over for the next step. Well, let's get the bolts installed.I've lined up the parts of the frame, can 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 inches is a good way to tell if that 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 at it and eyeball to make sure that it is actually nice and square. So this'll be 58 1/4 inches across. So you can measure 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 open 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 when we 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 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. I'm going to come set it over here and line up these holes. I'll move it aside. Let's use the 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'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 and 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 on to the axle. We're going to assemble that separately over here, and then we'll attach it to trailer afterwards. The first step, you can 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 out, 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 really easy and keep it in place. You don't have to do any guesswork or anything.Now, I'm going to come back on 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 the 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, 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. I got the back ones in. Now line up the front loops and add our bolts.The instructions do say to make sure that the bolt goes from the outside in. I'm going to lift up from the spring. Make sure the bolt goes through that into the other side and 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, let's 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, 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 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. Side on, and then we'll add our lug nuts. Now that the tire is 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 rover. 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 in with your thumb. We're going to do that for the other side too. Then 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 bottommost hole. That's where the wire 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 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 that 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, we're going to go in and add a clip that way it just holds our wire here.To get the clip on there, you 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 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 is going to be green and brown. So you're going 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. 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 about here is where I'm going to cut in between these wires, with the blade and separate it so we can make our connection. I just pointed the blade down in the middle and then pulled on the wire separately. It was nice, even cut, not separated, like we want.Take one of the quick connectors that's included. We'll 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 I'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. I'll take the wire. I'm going to run it back the way we came, right along the end of the trailer here back to our tail lights. 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 into our yellow wire and our brown wire into our brown wire. But first we've got to strip these wires so that you have that exposed, just like these are.If you got some wire strippers, it'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 again, and it 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, 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 have the shorter bolt and the nut. You can put the bracket with it angled down. You want 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 easy to identify and install these brackets.Now we set the fender down on the brackets, trying to match up the holes. And 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 that it holds it in place. You can kind of 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. 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. 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 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 wires, 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've got a couple of things different, 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. Let's go ahead and 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 just going to go on the outside. We'll 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 gone up through 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, we'll tighten it down. I 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 the 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. You 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. So you need a block of wood and a hammer, or you can easily just push down on it and it goes into place. So line up with the corner of our frame here, making sure this top hole is right above the frame. We've got my U-bolt. 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. Just going to run a bolt through, line 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, 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 there are 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 on the other ones I've worked with have bullet connectors where you just plug them in, easy, done. They're sealed. It's 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 then 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 truck like that. I suggest go ahead and extending that ground wire to help yourself out in the long run.We're going to go over how to install one of the bunks. We've already got one installed on the opposite side. You can see what it looks like once it's on there, and how do we get that done We're going to take our brackets and our U-bolts, and we're going to match this, the height of our other bunk that we've already put on there. We want the U-bolts facing the inside. I'll add a bracket. You want the thicker side pointing down. It looks like right about there is where we have the brackets. We'll add our nuts the other side, and then I'll come back with a ratchet or wrench and tighten it down.Now we're going to add our bracket on top of the bracket we've already installed. This is what we're going to drill into to add our bunk. I can put it towards the inside, have the part that comes out facing the inside as well. And the bolts also are going to go towards the inside. We're going to run this down. We're going to tighten this down just a little bit. We want a little movement in there still. This is too loose, but I'm going to tighten down so we can set the bunk on there and see at what angle we need it exactly.Now we're going to take the screws they gave us and attach our bunks to our brackets. And repeat that process on the other holes. With the bunks installed, now we're going to set the kayak on top of the trailer with them still not tied down all the way, a little loose so you can move it so we can get the bunks in place, matching with the kayak we're going to carry. Then we'll tighten down the brackets so it's good for that kayak. Now I'm happy with the way the bunks are sitting and how the kayak's sitting on top of them. I'm going to go ahead and fully tighten them down.Hopefully that helps you decide on what you actually want out of your trailer. I think that does it for our look at the Malone Ecolight trailer. 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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