Malone Auto Racks Company E-mail
Monday, 05 October 2009 11:31

Moss Doesn’t Grow on this Rolling Stone

By Jon Shein

I was first introduced to Malone Auto Racks Company when a friend told me about a conversation he had with Larry, the owner and founder.  Back then Malone had a couple kayak carriers and the two of them talked kayak fishing.  Larry saw the potential and decided to make some carriers that would work well for larger, wider kayaks like many of the SOTs anglers were using.  Since then Malone has continued to expand their product line with lots of very much needed products.  There are a lot or reasons to like Malone.  It’s a friendly family business that’s American owned and based out of southern Maine.  I like buying things from nice people but the products have to be of good quality and function well.  They are and they do.  Malone is a very innovative company and they are constantly adding products that fill needs and if there’s a better way of doing something they don’t hesitate to revise a product.  The products we first sold have continually been improved over the years.

However I ‘m here to tell you about some of the new things I got to check out at the recent EORA (Eastern Outdoor Reps Association) show in Sturbridge, MA.  It had been a few years since I had attended and then it was as a retailer, now as a journalist.  The folks at Malone have been busy.  I’ll start with Malone trunk closed the trailer which they added to the line a couple seasons ago.  The standard width bars, 60” Malone trunk open can be upgraded to a full 78” (MPG476).  This allows one to transport more kayaks and gear or to put a couple very wide SOTs in saddles and keep them fully rigged.  Using the J style carriers the 60s can handle 4 kayaks.  The extra 18” should accommodate 1 more.  If you have an earlier Malone trailer you can add the wider bars but you need the supports too.  It’s all available in a kit but they didn’t have a part number for it yet.  I also didn’t get a price.  When I do I’ll update the info.  Colin, from Malone, and Joe, the regions Malone rep and I discussed some very interesting things that can be done with this additional space outside the wheel wells.  Knowing Malone I’m sure they’ll utilize it well.  I can’t wait and I know the accessory I want.

tongue breakdown feature But getting back to the present, there’s a bunch of other trailer accessories that are available now.  They have a great center cargo box made by Plano that nests below the kayaks.  They call it their Trailer Storage Trunk (MPG481).  It’s out of the way and once the kayaks are off the trailer it becomes accessible.  The dimensions are 37.75 long by 18.25 wide by 14 inches deep.  That works out to 5.58 cubic feet of storage.  That’s a nice amount of space.  The MSRP is $99. It’s perfect for a variety of things like rod holders, leashes, lure boxes, PFDs, etc.  It is set up for a pad lock so there isn’t any reason to remove items either once you get home.  It’s a definite for me and is now on my wish list.

Another new item is the Removable Tongue Kit (MPG485).  The MSRP is $89.  This allows the tongue to be easily removed for vertical storage in a smaller space.  The only other trailer to offer this feature is the Rack ‘n Roll.  The R and R is a very nice trailer but costs considerably more.  For the same price you can have the Malone with a plethora of accessories and an additional 75 pounds of capacity.  The Malone kit comes with a set of rubber bumpers for the unit to rest on while 2" frontcoupler vertical.  What I like about it is I will be able to take the trailer apart for when I go away with my travel trailer.  This way I can have a kayak trailer on long trips.  It’s another item I’ve put on my wish list for sure.

The trailers will now be coming with a 2” front coupler standard.  There’s also an optional handle.  The handle can be added to existing trailers that have the smaller coupler as well.  Most of us who tow items like travel or boats trailers have 2” balls on our trailers.  However kayak trailers have all been using 1-7/8” balls as standard issue.  So we had to have two male receivers.  It’s a pain switching back and forth.  The handle is part number MPG470 and retails for $9.99.  It’s going on the list too.

stacker foam block Anyone who has ever used a stacker knows how useful and frustrating it can be loading a rack utilizing one.  A stacker allows you to carry a lot of kayaks because it puts them on their sides.  There are two problems with this.  One the kayaks keep slipping before you get a chance to put the straps around them and the second is the kayaks will rest on the bars and this can dent them.  I have transported as many as 6 kayaks using a stacker on my 78” bars.  I can tell you from experience it is not easy loading and securing them alone on the roof of my Tundra.  Malone now offers stacker kayak foam pads (MPG167) that is made specifically for kayaks that are being secured by a stacker.  It’s another very simple idea that makes perfect sense.  They weren’t sure on the MSRP yet but figure they’ll be no more than $15 a pair.  I want six sets.

Some of these items are trailer exclusive like the cargo box, bars, coupler and handle but the stacker pads can be used on practically any roof rack system.   Malone has a bunch of items that aren’t trailer related too.   I got a chance to use the Telos kayak load assist module (MPG351) for the first time.  This is a very neat mechanical system that makes putting a kayak on and off the roof much easier.  MSRP is $239. It does so by providing ratcheting support every step of the way.  The Seawing V cradle (MPG350) is available in an optional stinger design.  The stinger is a sliding extender that provides addition support for the kayak.  It extends back and is great for loading a kayak on an SUV.  You rest the kayak on the stinger and slide it onto the Seawings.  MSRP is $104.95.

Malone accessories are designed to fit a variety of different shaped bars besides the standard rectangular or round.  Whether you’re an end user looking for ways to solve your kayak and sport transit issues and a retailer looking for some great products, you need to check out Malone.  Also check in regularly because they are continually adding products and like I mentioned earlier we discussed a few that kayak fishermen are going to love.  They have some great videos too that show how to use the products.  Stop in at www.maloneautoracks.com you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

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