Kendon Folding Trailer - what's the reality?

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by MattLikeyBikey, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

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    Nov 8, 2018
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    So Cal
    Hi, considering a folding trailer to add a slot for another bike and possibly some safety factor over a hitch carrier.

    For those of you who have folding motorcycle trailers, especially the Kendon two motorcycle one, how does it work for you?

    I was suprised at how tall they are standing - height 94 inches = almost 8 feet. How are they to fold? Like wrastling an alligator or easy for one person?

    What would be the possibility of sliding that thing over a lawn through a 3 foot wide gate to get into a yard rather than into the garage?

    Any other considerations you didn't expect?

    Thanks,
    Matt
    #1
  2. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
    How does it work for you? It will haul two ADV bikes from the frozen north down to the southern border in January. A few times we stored the Kendon at the airport parking. Folded up you only pay for one space.

    The Kendon is a snap to fold. One man can stand it up with the tires chocked. Two men can stand it up with one using his foot for a chock.

    You are not rolling an upright Kendon anywhere off of a hard surface. I think the three casters are 2.5", all three swivel.

    Store the Kendon out of the weather.

    I like the Kendon. My buddy has one and I just bought my own Thursday. A well kept 2004 model. Looks almost new.
    #2
  3. Grinder

    Grinder Wrong way 'round

    Joined:
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    In DC traffic...
    I’ll concur with the above. It’s super handy. I keep my 2 bike kendon in the trailer. It’s not very deep when against the wall. It is tall and the only issue are the garage door rails. It’s easy to stand up solo for me. Anyone with moderate physical abilities should be fine. Rolling it around is ok but it’s amazing how one tiny rock will instantly bring it to a halt.

    That said it was the best purchase I could have made. Mine is the older square tube version which I actually like better because the tongue is on a level plane with the trailer. That’s good for a car or lower compact suv.
    #3
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  4. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    15,527
    Location:
    NWA
    I have a two bike that I've kept outside for years. Holds up as well as if not better than any other trailer in that regards. I will say, as others have mentioned, the little casters they come with aren't much good on anything but very smooth/clean concrete, but then that was what it's designed for. It does take a little upper body strength to get it stood up. You are NOT going to roll it around on grass on the casters, but the trailer is super light and you can easily roll it around on the tires. Yeah they are tall, but most garages have 8' ceilings. You will probably have to roll it in first then stand it up to clear the garage door.

    I really like how low it sits for loading bigger/heavier bikes. I've got the newer version where the tongue steps up. I use an adjustable hitch that can get the trailer level. You really want it level because if it slopes down towards the hitch, big bikes are a bear to get out of the chocks cause you are rolling them backwards uphill. Not really sure why they did that with the tongue. Even with my 4X4 PU, it wouldn't be level if I used my straight hitch in the receiver. I'm assuming it's for towing reasons to have it step up. Either that or there are a lot of people pulling trailers with bumper hitches instead of receiver hitches. :dunno

    For my dual sports, I don't even use a ramp to load and unload. Speaking of ramps, the standard ramp that comes with most of the Kendons is garbage, I know they offer a couple upgrade ramps, but the cheaper one is still double what I paid for the folding ramp I use. Another oddity I find with the trailer is the outside front tie down points, you can't hook a standard tie down to it, I use a soft tie to wrap around the tube and then hook the tie down to that. I do use a carabiner end tie down because if you get any slack, that soft tie will come unhooked.

    It's a light weight trailer that is easy to tow, barely having any affect on something like a V8 1/2 ton pickup, and can be towed by a small 4 banger SUV/car easy enough. It is a bit of a bear to back up because of it's short wheel base.

    Mine has been bullet proof, I am pretty religious about greasing the bearings. It's a very well built trailer.

    They aren't cheap, but you can find a used one at a decent price if you look around. They did recently release a cheaper line that is made in China, their Go series, but the standard line is still made in the US.
    #4
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  5. holligl

    holligl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    I bought a used 2009, two rail walkup. Built my own improved ramp and moved a single rail to the center as I only have one bike (Not needed, just preferrable for me).

    If you tow in winter salt, wash and inspect it before putting it away. Theses are prone to rust if not stored well. Keep scratches and scrapes painted. I replaced most of the nuts and lockwashers with stainless steel, as these seem to be the starting point for rust.

    If you have a 7ft garage door, you have to work around the garage door rails when standing. I have a 2 car garage with two cars, a Super Tenere, a Kendon, and a Shop Smith. 20181013_112906.jpg 1564359950977.jpg
    #5
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  6. EarthSurfer

    EarthSurfer n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Seattle
    +1 on rusting way too easy. Also just had crappy experience getting support from Kendon. No answer when called at 2pm PST. Email support wouldn't answer any questions about hub or axle specs... only offered to sell me parts at 2X the cost of local marine suppliers. They claimed hub parts were *only available* from them. I hate being lied to.

    Note pics from a friend's 2012 trailer that is stored inside. It see's PNW rain but not salt/snow. Paint peals right off.

    IMG_4565.jpg IMG_4562.jpg
    #6
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  7. texas123

    texas123 Been here awhile

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    Fairly low quality & not very durable. But if you need it, you need it. I've had a lot of problems with mine (1 major, many minor) & Kendon finally stopped trying to fix the issues. I have a thread you can look up with all the issues I've had. I'd probably buy it again though, but a regular utility trailer is soooo much better.
    IMG_0814.jpg IMG_0882.jpg IMG_0952.jpg IMG_1083.jpg
    #7
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  8. LittleWiggler

    LittleWiggler Been here awhile

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    I bought a very used Kendon 2 rail with a Harley Davidson logo'd carry box last year.
    Serial number dates it to 1997.
    The prior owner changed the chucks and added some additional diamond plating.
    Works well, still easy to tow.
    I keep it standing up outside and don't worry to much about it.

    I also have a trailer in a bag that I use when I need to drive and park the vehicle. It is handy to quickly tear it down and put it in the back of the truck, but I prefer to load and tow the Kendon.
    #8
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  9. Applecrate

    Applecrate Smell It First

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I have a three rail that I use to take my track bike to the track. Solid design. No issues apart from a little rust. A bit tall for the garage so its outside. I use an aftermarket folding aluminum ramp. I also find the tie down points tricky; I use canyon dancers to secure my bikes. I also had a tongue jack welded on that I can remove when the trailer is attached to the vehicle. Helps keep the trailer tongue off the ground. The bolt on jacks don't really work with the trailer.
    #9
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  10. beefcake morris

    beefcake morris Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,300
    088FF140-49F5-418A-AA40-82B49AAF0438.jpeg My Kendon three rails wears tires quicker than I thought. Tires balanced, tongue weight checked, hitch is 21 inch off the ground, and class d tires rated for over 1650 pound
    #10
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  11. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    Location:
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    Looks like a "toe" problem. Axle tweaked?
    My Moto club has a 2 rail Kendon for member use. I use it regularly for trackdays or offroad moto's. It's at a buddies house, tilted up, ready for use by anyone that needs it.
    #11
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  12. motor_psycho

    motor_psycho Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    High Springs, FL
    I've had mine about 15 years and it's in great shape. I've driven it from Florida to Michigan 4 times and about 20 times from Gainesville, FL to Fort Lauderdale. It's carried bags of mulch and office desks. I think the secret is to keep it inside or if it's outside keep it well covered with a silver tarp. I've had to change the tires once and give it the Lucas Red and Tacky grease every 1500 miles. Never had a problem other than a bad valve on the Florida Turnpike at the gas station. I have a 6 cylinder SUV and it tows like a dream even up hills with 2 adv bikes on the back. I have the electric winch that is helpful for dead bikes or if your by yourself you can winch yourself up. I have a triple folding ramp from Tractor Supply. Don't get the POS Horror Fright one it will fail. DAMHIK. Get the Tractor Supply or where ever Reese. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/reese-towpower-tri-fold-ramp. I put a big plastic tub next to it and just drive the bike right on up with a duck walk.
    I've got plenty of 2" Rhino straps and they are easy to use.

    I got a spare hub from

    Northeast Marine Ind.

    Trailer Parts Depot

    88 Main Street

    Oxford, MA 01540

    USA

    bob@trailerpartsdepot.com

    Phone (508) 987-1621

    Fax (508) 987-5746


    Spindle, 2200# Torsion Replacement with Hub Pre-greased. Tie Down Engineering

    If you blow a hub it's an easy replacement providing you have a good jack. I use a Redline screw lift or the Aluminum one from Harbor Freight. I've been able to jack it up with bikes on it.

    One time I got pretty stuck with the tire under the trailer in a friends steep driveway in North Carolina. I had to back down and jack it up and take off the tire.

    Now trying to figure out a good way to mount the tire somewhere on the trailer. I've got a u bolt coming in and I'll post the results here.

    In all a great alternative to shipping via truck. But NOT AS GOOD AS RIDING THE BIKE THERE!
    #12
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  13. Grinder

    Grinder Wrong way 'round

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,083
    Location:
    In DC traffic...
    My tires did a weird thing where the center rib was 1/8” above the others. No idea why. The toe seemed fine. I bet the PO towed it under inflated
    #13
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  14. leo_jb

    leo_jb -

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Anyone ever had their axle go bad from age? Those rubber elements inside shouldn't last forever. I'm looking at a used 1999 trailer.
    #14
  15. holligl

    holligl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Before I bought mine used I talked to a Kendon rep (mostly about the cheaper Chinese GO version). He indicated they had limited support (i.e. parts) for trailers older than 2007 (maybe 2005, can't recall for sure). I ended up with a 2009. 1999 is getting up there, should be affordable but check it over closely.
    #15
  16. leo_jb

    leo_jb -

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Some people think the older ones were more robust, but 20 years is definitely getting up there. The guy is asking $1800. Pretty pricey, even if I can get him down to $1500
    #16
  17. marret

    marret Transient

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    587
    Location:
    FL and MO
    I've got a 2006 single rail with some additions like a tongue jack with wheel and some aluminum diamond plate added for more surface area. Still not too difficult to stand up, but as others have said, have to clear any garage door tracks.

    My version is round steel tube and it can rust, so consequently does require some maintenance.

    When towing, my van doesn't know it is there. It is short, so when backing up it turns very quickly. A backup camera really helps and I can't see it with my rear view mirrors.

    As has been mentioned, the front tie down round tubes are too thick for ratchet strap hooks so I also use soft ties for that or ratchet straps with soft ties on one end.

    I am considering an attempt to flip the axle around to get more clearance. It looks like if I remove everything it can be re-bolted with the axle flipped because there is the same flange on the bottom of the axle.

    Kendon.jpg

    With my van pre-lift. Don't have a good photo right now of the Kendon with the van post-lift.
    [​IMG]
    #17
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  18. randingo

    randingo Voted "Class Lounger"

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Oddometer:
    540
    Location:
    The dog house
    I have a very early Kendon and my buddy has a bit later one and we both had the tire wear situation. We both took them to an old guy that used to straighten car frames for a living. He told us the axels were bent and straighten them ($100). I just had mine done and that seems to have cured it.
    #18
  19. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    So Cal
    I now have a Kendon. It provides good peace of mind for a heavier bike than a hitch carrier although I know some are rated for it.

    • Need to open my tailgate of my truck shell? No problem. Bike on hitch carrier isn't blocking it.
    • It's heavier to lift than I expected. I would have expected a more leveraged design. Doable but heavy. This is the two bike model.
    • It's taller and bigger than you realize even though the specs are readily available.

    Time will tell on tire wear etc. Very glad to have it as an alternative.
    #19
  20. holligl

    holligl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    It helps to make sure the casters are pointed up, that way it tips higher on the wheels before transferring to the casters (pointing forward lacks stability too). With that and using momentum I have no issues standing my dual. (And I'm one of those seniors...)

    Likewise, dropping it down, I make sure the casters are both pointing to the rear. Better stability. Not good if one is pointed forward and one back.
    #20
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