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Watercraft Accessory Review


Easier Hookups with the Trailer Valet (continued)

Price and Applications: There is no doubt that the Trailer Valet is a high quality product and as our tests have shown this device makes the whole exercise of hooking up the trailer easier, especially in situations where your trailer needs to be positioned down an angled driveway. The Trailer Valet is available at a number of retailers like Gander Mountain and Overtons but the easiest way to get one is probably still directly from the manufacturer’s own e-tail site. The Trailer Valet retails for $399 dollars which is about where we expected the innovative device to cost. While this is not really cheap it is reasonable for a purpose built device that successfully addresses a real challenge for many watercraft owners.


On concrete, tar and pavers the Trailer Valet performed beautifully, even on angled surfaces

If you own a boat and put it in our garage or on a flat surface this device really is more of a luxury than a necessity, but if you find yourselves constantly having to back up and reposition your vehicle to line up the tongue or have to wiggle your boat into tight spaces or perhaps your boat is parked on a grade, in these situations the Trailer Valet can be a godsend. The amount of time it takes to position your trailer on the hitch or park your boat is cut down significantly and there is also the safety factor to consider as well. Rather than have to jump in and out of your truck and overshooting and backing your vehicle right into the tongue the Trailer Valet brings the trailer to the hitch. This is especially important on graded surfaces where you are able to control the trailer decent with the built in braking system.  


On river rock we couldn't get enough traction

While very good in these applications the device is not perfect and as our tests showed there are some surfaces like river rock where the Trailer Device does not provide enough traction, still we found that we were better able to negotiate the rock than if we had just used a standard hard wheeled trailer jack. The only other gripes I have with the product is that anglers have to physically remove the pin to reposition the jack in stowed position, which is not as convenient as the spring loaded pin found on most traditional jacks and the sheer weight of the entire device, which at 38lbs. is a heavy addition to your overall rig. I found myself preferring to simply take the entire device off when not in use versus stowing it in upright position.  


I found in most cases I preferred to simply remove the device when towing rather than stow it in upright position

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)

Trailer Valet Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Well designed and equally well built this device may weigh a lot but it is built like a tank 9
Performance The device does what it advertises and is able to help bring the trailer safely to your hitch, even up and down grades using the various gears. The addition of the braking system is a big plus 8.5
Price Not cheap but a "good" price for a high quality watercraft accessory 7
Features The whole device is a feature in itself and is built with benefits like dual wheels for traction, two gear ratios, a braking system and even a powdered finish for durability 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Overall decent ergonomics that make it easy to use but the product is on the heavy side and the rotation of the height adjuster can feel quite burdened under load 7
Application It really depends on your application. For vehicle owners that have a camera on the back of your truck this device may not be as useful but for those that have difficulty negotiating those last few inches or need to store their boat in tight areas or on an angled driveway this device can offer huge benefits in terms of time saved and safety 8

Total Score

8.00
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Innovative product that is designed to address a real challenge for some watercraft owners - Heavy device adds to overall trailer weight and is heavy to move around by itself
+ Allows boat owners to cut down hitch up time and makes the entire process safer - Raising and lowering the trailer takes  some muscle under load
+ Ability to maneuver the trailer in tight spaces  
+ Ability to maneuver trailers down grades and even up inclines  
+ Not cheap but reasonably priced and built like a tank  

 

Conclusion: The Trailer Valet is an innovative piece of kit and how valuable this device will be really dependent on your individual application. If you find yourself having to back up multiple times or need to negotiate tight spaces or steeper inclines just to hitch your boat up the Trailer Valet has your name all over it. Designed to make hitching up easier this device does what it advertises and I was impressed how powerful the gearing was on the Trailer Valet, and the ability to move the boat around small areas and even up inclines by myself gave me even more reason to go fishing. By cutting down on the effort required to hitch up it makes it easier for solo anglers to just get up and go fishing when you get that itch.

 


How good is the Trailer Valet? It really depends on your application and how much you will use it. In certain applications it can be a wonderful piece of kit that cuts down on your hitch time significantly and gives you the freedom to maneuver your trailer in tight spaces

 

The Trailer Valet is designed to last and though it may not be the lightest device it is built like a tank, ready to shoulder the weight of even full sized double axel trailers and boats. There have been situations in the past where it required two to three people to properly position the boat in place and the Trailer Valet makes it possible for a single person to tackle the job. Though not everyone will need this device for those where the application calls for it the Trailer Valet is not only up to the challenge it truly delivers.

 

Looking for the Trailer Valet? Try the Manufacturer's Site

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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