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Malone EcoLight 2 Kayak Sport Trailer Review

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Review of the Malone EcoLight 2 Kayak Sport Trailer

AJ: What's up everybody it's AJ with Today, we're going to be checking out the Malone EcoLight Trailer with the two J style kayak carriers. It's going to be a great way to transport your kayaks, easier than loading up on the roof of your vehicle. You load it up at waist level and get on your way. Let's check it out. Now, I threw out that it's a J style kayak carrier, what does that mean You can see that the way it holds it is in a J style so that's where it gets its name from.

And it's opposed to, or compared to post style where there'd be just a post in the middle that they lean up against, or a hold style where it holds it. The boat would go flat, it would hold it there with a hole or even a bunk style where you just have two bunks that run down the whole trailer.And you can just adjust it this way. I think J style is my preferred way to carry the kayaks just because when you set it in there and it's not even strapped in yet, and it comes down in this groove, it's nice and secure. So that means when you go to put the straps on there, it's even more secure. So I don't have to worry about going anywhere when I'm going down the road.

I also want to show you that it's nice and padded here. So it's not just a metal bar that your kayak slamming up against or anything like that. It's not going to cause any damage because of all the padding up back here. There is some upfront too. And at the very top, it's got a nice little slat here that you can run the strap through to help you tie it down easier.Also having on the trailer eliminates one of the more negative things that I have with the J style is this right here.

So this is up on the roof. I'd have to lift it up a little bit higher just to get it up and over this and go down the groove. Now it's on a trailer. It's not an issue just from the waist. Boom, set it in there.

So whether you're carrying the two on the J style, or you go with the post one instead and carry four the weight capacity is going to be the same for the trailer. It's 400 pounds, which will be just fine. You're not going to exceed that with four or two of the kayaks. You can even carry a couple of the fishing kayaks and you'll still be okay. The extended tongue is going to also help make sure that there's no contact with the kayaks and your vehicle.There's plenty of space, there are room to make turns. There's not going to be a problem. It has a max length for kayaks of 14 feet. Now, our longer one right here is 12 feet. Just to give you an idea and you can see, like I said, plenty of space, no issues there at all. It's also, the tongue is reinforced here in the center. So it's not just one long piece of steel that might have issues here in the middle, where it gets weak. It's reinforced here with two brackets and four bolts. So you're not going to have any problems with that. Let's see how it performs on the road. We're going to go drive around the parking lot and run over some bumps and see how the trailer and the kayaks handle it. Now they do suggest don't go over 70 miles an hour. Not going to do that in a trailer parking lot. You guys shouldn't either. Let's check it out. (silence)And we're back the trailer handled the course just fine. We drove around the parking lot. I haven't hit some speed bumps along the way just to put it to test when what happened when you do that, clearly it jumped up in the air. But it's a light trailer. The kayaks are light and the tires are small. So it is going to hop a little bit. And what makes that okay is it does actually have a suspension system. It's got leaf springs in here and that's going to help it absorb any of those sudden bumps or anything like that. It's not going to rattle the trailer or cause any issues. The old trailers made out of galvanized steel. So you don't have to worry about it and cause any issues if you leave it out in the elements. You can try it out, back this thing up in the water, it'll be fine.There's not going to be rust and corrosion. It's made to stand up to that. The only thing that's not made out of galvanized steels are the fender wells here. These are injected molded plastic. That's okay. They're still going to hold up. The elements aren't going to cause any issues to it. They're good to have it as addition because when you're going to go kayaking, you're not going to be always going down those nice paved roads. Sometimes to get to where you want to go, you got to take a gravel road or a dirt road, and that's going to kick stuff up towards your kayaks and you don't want anything bad happening to damage it. So the fender's going to catch that and make sure that doesn't happen. Now, the shoulder comes with a bunch of extra stuff that you're going to need. It came with the straps for the J style kayak here.So I liked that it didn't leave you hanging with that. You get your own straps. The strap is down. It's all ready when you get the whole package. Another thing that I liked that they included are the tail lights and side marker lights and even a license plate bracket with a light that shines down. And so if you're driving around at night, it keeps everything straight legal. 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 how hard is it to build I'm going to take it inside. And we're going to check out the assembly, 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 we're going to be putting this grommet and our bottom hole on 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 to 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 it's like you push this plastic grommet in there. It's going to help protect the wires when you run through. So it won't slowly cut those. Kind of just push them towards the back to guide them back that way. Or it will come out the front. Now we're going to run 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 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. 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. inaudible 00:06:53 too. There we go. The good thing about it, one go through, all the other ones will be lined up too. With the bolts. Push through the holes. We'll go back and just hand tightened nuts on here. When you come back with a ratchet and 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 to figure it out. You want to arrange them the way you will. When the trailers 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 we'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.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 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. 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 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 and eyeball it to make sure that it is actually nice and square. Supposed to be 58 and a quarter inches across. So you can measure with your tape measure to make sure that the frame is it's 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 older one's going to go up front and the one. it's kind of a square, we'll go on the back. We're going to drop our bolts in just like we did with the frame and 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. We're going to flip it upside down like the rest of our trailers. So you can see the sticker. Malone is upside down, it means the tongue's upside down. Going to come set it over here and line up these holes.I'll move it aside. Choose 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 that tongue, so you don't fight with that when you go to drop your bolts in. We 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 it, roll all the way through so it comes out the bottom. Then it makes it easier to line it up with your frame. And I come back here and use the shorter bolt and washer. Same tip as before. Push it down. And 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 ahead 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 the trailer afterwards. First step you going to 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 for underneath. I just got that invention 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, 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 kind of move it, 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. 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. And like most of this trailer, we're going to repeat the same thing on the other side. Another detail that they mentioned 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 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, 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 trow 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. Going to come up here and push the other 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 wire is going to pass through. So you 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 lug 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. Now we're going to put on in between the light and the trailer. You see that familiar ground 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'll 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 tap in 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.Yeah. 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, and you're going to do the same step 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 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 nice, even cut. Now it's 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. Here 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. And I'll take the wire and run it back the way we came.Run along the end of the trailer here, back to our taillights. Going to take my knife and cut down the middle of it to split it. I 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. Our brown wire to our brown wire. But first we got to strip these wires so that you have it exposed just like these are. 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.Once you 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 we went 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 trail 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 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, get the shorter bolt and the nut, you're going put the bracket with it angled down. With the dip pointed down because the fender's going to fit down in that groove itself so. 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 identify and install these brackets. Now I'm going to 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. Going to grab my hardware.We're going to get one started, so it holds it in place and kind of move the bracket with this hand, 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. It's 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 got. 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. We'll set it back down and 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 strip 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 of things different. a couple different things going on, but we'll start with adding this at the bottom. It'll be work as the stand. You guys can see under there. 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. We'll put a washer on our bolt, followed up with the chain links. Then we'll add another washer and put it through the hole. Now it's gone through the inside and what I'll do there before I put the nut on there is add our ground. Just goes on top.Then I'll add the nut. Come back with my ratchet and wrench, 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 and we're going to align with the holes here. We'll set this on top, line up the holes in the tongue and then we'll put our bolts 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 tighten this down, we're just going to get it tied 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. 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. 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 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 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's assembled. As you saw, 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 in 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 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 install our J style hook. It's really simple. You've got the clamp set up. You can see we've already done the other three. Just going to bring it right here. We use this clamp here to line it up. So we're going to install it right there. You can see flat part. That's where this clamp's going to go over top. The bigger one goes on top because it's got to fit around the hook itself and the square bar. Let me see if the small bottom on here lines up perfectly with the bottom of the square bar. So it's going to fit that easy. Something that'll help you out is I suggest that's undoing one side. Not both.Because then it's an easier time to swing it out like that. Set it on top and then swing the bracket back underneath. Line up the holes. Kind of pinch it together. Hold the top so it stays in place. I'm going to take a washer and a nut and install it on the other bolt. Here we go. Got it started. Still going to keep one hand up here to hold it in place. As I come back from with my ratchet and tighten them down evenly, don't tighten down one side all the way. It's not going to work like that. I also suggest pushing down on the bolt. It's going to see the bolt pop out there. It's got that square fitting on the top, near the head that you want that down in the square hole so that it won't spin on you while you're tighten things down. I know it might sound a little complicated, but it's not that hard.We're going to load up the kayak. Just go ahead and strap it down, get it up and over the J style. Make sure it slides down in the groove here and you can see this is one of the things I like about it is even moving it back and forth like this. It's secure. It's not going anywhere. It's not going to fall out. It's not going to fall backwards because it's got that arm back there. It's nice and rested in there. So that makes me think that when I do have a strap it's going to be even more secure. So that's why I liked J style the best.Now we're ready to strap your kayak down to the trailer. Go ahead and run our straps to the top of the J hook. Up here you see it's got a slot for that here and it's nice because you know that's an easy place. Like when you're doing this, you just run through there, run it back and get both parts of the strap on the front of the kayak, even it out and make sure the felt on the buckle goes on the kayak itself. That way, it won't be damaged or scratched or anything. I'm going to come to the underneath with this end of the strap and go around and under the crossbar that way it's got something to pull up against. Go through the buckle. You just pull it tight. You see it's moving back and forth, but it's not going anywhere. It's nice and snug to this J hook. It's not coming out of there. I'll tie up the loose ends. I think that does it for our look at the Malone EcoLight trailer with J style kayak, carrier attachments. I hope this helps.

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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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