when i google the string "hobie oasis trailer," this is the first page that comes up, so rather than start a new thread, i thought i'd throw in my solution to this problem as well, (seems better than starting a new thread) ...
my girlfriend and i just bought a used oasis and with two weak kayak transportation choices (a convertible [can't roof rack!] and a 2-seater sports car), didn't have any practical means of getting it from point A to point B. i was looking for something small, manageable and -most of all- cheap.
after much web research, we bought:
* a CURT trailer hitchhttp://www.curtmfg.com/part/11132
we orginally thought we were going to get a hidden hitch since many of the PT cruiser owners had them, but when we went to actually purchase, a couple odd things happened ... one, no one actually had them in stock (but they could always be ordered in a day or two) and everyone
kept suggesting we get KURT instead. don't ask me why that was true, but a few details pushed at us:
the hidden hitch required drilling, CURT used already existing mount holes
CURT was in stock
CURT was a touch cheaper
made our choice pretty simple.
with installation (which included bringing electrics from the front of the car), it ran a tad over $400. the work was well done (surgically so by rack N' road in campbell, CA).
* an extremely small harbor freight utility trailerhttp://www.harborfreight.com/automotive-motorcycle/trailer-accessories/870-lb-capacity-40-inch-x-49-inch-heavy-duty-utility-trailer-with-8-inch-wheels-and-tires-42708.html
we'd looked at buying something used off craigslist ... all the modifiable options are in the $300 range (many with a free boat or jet ski attached -- disturbingly, many of them do not have pink slips), but after a bit more poking we discovered we could build our own just as cheap ... or cheaper.
as we started looking, we'd worried some about 8" wheels, thinking we might want to get the next size up (12"). an extra 40 bucks would give us 200 pounds of towing capacity, but after lots
of reading, we decided the bigger wheels weren't necessary (and we don't have a lot of garage space -- bigger is never better there). an 870 pound capacity more is than enough for a 100 pound boat ++, so we narrowed in on HF's smallest utility trailer.
the trailers were on sale and with a 20% discount coupon from our entertainment book (of all places), we were paying $145 for essentially an adults' version of an erector set. this sets us up with a trailer frame.
the kit was in good order, although the undercarriage of the springs had just a touch of rust straight out of the box ... and re-packing the not-yet-rolled bearings (because they only ship with vaseline, not rolling grease) is a nuisance.
to create a bed (essentially a low frame box with a floor), we spent another $65 on better quality plywood, carriage bolts (flat tops for better use on the bed surface), four eye bolts (all the better to tie you down with, my dear), heat shrink for the electrical connections and pipe insulation (put it around the edges of the box to rest the boat on).
* a three foot tongue extensionhttp://redtrailers.com/ShowItem.asp?id=SJ85ERN
a seven foot trailer isn't going to carry a 14' kayak, so for another $100 we got an extension.
add $25 for a spare tire and we're in $335 for a brand new trailer that we have legal ownership of, know it's entire history and can modify to our hearts' content. to us, that seems like a pretty good deal.
following the oasis storage cues, we mount the boat upside down -- bow forward -- for better wind dynamics and less rudder abuse. a trailer, ideally loaded, will have between 55 and 60% of its weight balanced in front of the axle. the way we've set this up ends up being mathematical-dream perfect.
in this manner, we drove the 500 miles from where we bought the boat (morro bay, CA) to home (las vegas, NV).
it tows amazingly well. very straight. extremely low profile. i did the vast majority of the trip at the tire rating of 55mph, but a few longer stretches at 60 and a passing burst or two at 70+. through it all, the wheels/hubs didn't heat up any -- not in any way, shape or form. at something like 225 total towing pounds my car doesn't even notice the trailer was there (in fact if it wasn't for the occasional chain rattle and red flag flutter in the rear view mirror, i
wouldn't know it was there). i've driven this stretch many times and i got 15% better
gas mileage than when i don't tow because i was driving slower.
the only thing that wasn't "right" about the entire set-up was the pipe insulation we used was too thin and wore through to the wood. no harm was done to the kayak (yay) or the trailer (not that i would care), but we need to replace it with something closer to pool noodle thickness.
i registered the trailer with the NV DMV today (i lived in CA for 25 years and still marvel at how much
better NV DMV is from CA -- and this in a state with no income tax). all the necessary paper work from harbor freight was complete and correct (people elsewhere have mentioned trouble with it). one inspection, a lobby wait, one long(er) staff conversation, and $80 later i had my registration and my plates.
i asked the inspector about her opinion on harbor freight quality ...
"so when you see something like this on the road, do you think, 'there ought to be a law to get these off the streets. they're a menace!?'"
she laughed. "no, no. we see a lot
of these here. and you know somethin'? i've never heard a single complaint about them. not from the people who build 'em. not from the people who license 'em. not from the troopers. no one. not a complaint ... i guess if i think anything when i think about them i think, 'they must be pretty good.'"
i only have two concerns with this set-up the way it is right now.
* a hundred pound boat and its gear isn't quite enough to hold the trailer completely down. the trailer bounces a tiny bit. not very much. and (thankfully) not as much at higher speeds. it doesn't cause sway or whip, but it's there. i'm not sure what i'll do, but i'll probably either end up adding more weight, or taking a tiny bit of air out of the tires to tone it down.
* the entire set-up feels really long to me. the overhang from the rear of the trailer is just a smidge over four feet. i mentioned this to a CA CHP, had a couple CA sheriffs drive by me and talked it over with the NV DMV people and no one
cared. i haven't had any trouble with it, but my mind percolates on it some. i'm red-flagging boat for for the moment ... i don't know what i'll do in addition to that in the future.
my apologies for this being so long winded ... but i've received so much
information from these forums over the last several months that i felt i had to give something back (or start, at the very least) ... i've only had a couple of truly unique ideas in my life, and this isn't one of them. someone, somewhere, out there is working on this same problem -- they might want to look at my answers before they turn in their test.
thank you, everyone for all the pointers, tips and lessons you've put down over the years on these forums. they've made a tremendous difference in my life ...
... and i haven't really put a boat in the water yet.