mikeo

Malibu Boats and Axis Wake Research Trailer Survey

39 posts in this topic

I received an email from Malibu this afternoon asking me to take a survey on trailers; the email said I would get a Malibu or Axis hat for taking the survey. The survey covered cost and features, it looks like Malibu wants to add some tech to trailers since many of the questions focused on a back up camera and optimal depth sensor option. The overall trailer cost and who does what (drive trailer, drive boat) and how often the trailer are used were also covered. Overall the survey took less than 10 minutes and I put a lot of feedback in. From what I can see in the email message headers it looks like a legit message that came from Malibu. Anyone else get the same survey email?

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I got one. Looks like it was from SurveyMonkey.com

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Got it too. I'd be game for any features that made it easier to launch solo.

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I got it as well.. I am curious, what were some of the groups take?

I personally am fine with the technology as it is now but know this could be selling features for people that do not pull trailers on a regular basis.  

As far as the option for depth on the trailer, I had a hard time determining if this was for loading/unloading a boat from the trailer.  That would be the only way I could see this would be beneficial.  To me, I launch my boat every weekend so, I am very aware of how deep I need to be.  Again to the person that doesn't launch but a couple times a year, this might make sense.

How would the reverse camera tie into the tow vehicle?  Would there be another screen needed for this device?  It would be neat if you were able to leverage the trailer wiring harness system to integrate a trailer camera and display on the newer vehicle entertainment screens.

For the overall costs, I took this as an idea for how much the market could bare for the maximum price.  I see paying 10k+ for these trailers to be insane but know as the price of the boat goes, the trailer follows.

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"survey monkey" - Some guy in Nigeria is now siphoning money out of all your accounts now!   j/k

Survey monkey also reminds me of an email I got through work requesting info on our capabilities on a certain type of project - confidential process for a confidential client.....posted on Survey Monkey :crazy:   I'm guessing that intern wasn't offered a full time position.   

 

Off to check my email to see if I got survey......

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I took the survey and I think with all this new technology Malibu may price themselves out of the market. Basically, they won't, but I put zeros when asked if I would need the sensor or the camera. 

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I saw no purpose for a backup trailer cam as well and as far as optimal trailer depth indicator, just paint a damn line on it, doesn't have to be some fancy electronic.

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I may be a bit off topic on a thread I started (is that even possible?!) but I'm confused by the "optimal trailer depth sensor" since I don't really know what that would be. Honestly, the boat is the optimal trailer depth sensor! When I back in to the launch ramp, I will back in until I see the boat float off the bunks. If the boat doesn't float off the bunks it's because of one of two things: 1. I forgot to undo the trailer straps or 2. I didn't put the bilge plug in.* A quick google search of "optimal trailer depth sensor" doesn't turn up much, if anything, that is relevant. What have you seen? I could see some use for a trailer depth sensor for boat recovery, but that also seems unnecessary. I back the trailer in to the same spot I can see on the backup camera or on the guide pole guards in the sideview mirror and then float the boat on to the trailer (I don't power it on to the trailer like a fishing boat) and then gently pull up the ramp.

For anyone who is seriously considering a trailer backup camera, here's an idea: get a GoPro and a cell phone or tablet, use the GoPro with the WiFi turned on and watch the screen on your mobile device. I've had to do this parking in a storage locker solo with a cargo trailer already in the locker. A magnet mount on the trailer or a suction cup on the transom works well and then the GoPro is usable for other activities too.

The things that I suggested that weren't in the survey are: an internal shock cord (bungee cord) in the guide pole guards that goes between the anchor pin/bolt and a top cap so the guide pole guards can't come off if the trailer is too far underwater. I've seen guide pole guards come off a trailer and it's like the Benny Hill show watching people try to get them back on the launch ramp. One of the first things I did when I got my trailer was to put caps on the guide pole guards and put a bungee cord inside so that I don't lose them if someone backs my trailer too far down the ramp. I also suggested some engineering effort be put in to a figuring out a way to better align the boat hull/chines with the trailer bunks. I'm sure we've all seen, or been "that guy" who goes back and forth on the launch ramp multiple times trying to get the boat to sit properly on the trailer. I did a similar "trick" to the bungee cord inside the guide post guards and have a custom bungee cord that goes from the ski pylon to the guide posts. As long as there isn't anyone in the boat (or too strong of wind) then the bungee will hold the boat centered/aligned with the bunks and I don't have to play games getting the boat on the trailer.

What would you do to a trailer? What have you done to make launching or recovery easier?

* I know it takes longer than the 30 seconds the boat sits on the trailer at the ramp for it to fill with enough water to sit on the trailer, but you're supposed to laugh or at least smile a little bit!

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Oh man!!  I could use a back up camera on the trailer. That would make putting it back in its home a lot easier. As it is now, I have to get out a couple times to get the perfect distance. I have tried to get close and have backed into the wall, took out a rain gutter down spout and a fence post on three different occasions. Now I error on the side of caution and have to get out a couple times to check how I'm doin'. 

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@mikeo good thoughts.  I was going to suggest something to center the boat on the trailer as well.  

As for depth, I doubt I would pay for a sensor but with varying ramp angles I could potentially see it being useful.  We have a few ramps here where our muffler is nearly underwater and getting the LSV up to the stop is still a little tricky.  And during floods we have had all four tow vehicle wheels in the water as the ramp gets very shallow as the water rises.  Both situations make my wife pretty nervous as I keep having her back in deeper to load. 

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I don't really understand how the depth sensor would work.  at one of the lakes we go to occasionally the ramp is very steep.  So steep that to get the boat to the bow stop (and not under it) you basically have to winch the boat on with the strap and slowly pull the trailer out to meet the floating boat.  And then at our regular lake, the ramp is super super flat, where my excursion with a 4" lift is up to the door sills to get the trailer deep enough that we can get the boat on with a significant power load assist.   At that ramp I have to unwind about 10' of the winch strap to get the boat on.... boat sticks about half way on trailer, I winch as much as I can, wife powers it on a little, I winch a little more, she powers a little more, etc etc till we're all the way on.

How would a depth sensor help me in those cases?  

I really like mikeo's bungee in the guide poles idea.  That's really simple and elegant too.

I forgot to write it in the survey, but it would sure make sense to have the license plate mounting point hinged so that going into the water a little hot doesn't break the plate off.  2 of my 4 trailers have broken the plate off this way (and it's not like I'm dropping the boat in at 55mph or anything).

Seems like a lot of the ways that a trailer could be improved (for me) would be to just do the current stuff a little better.  Brakes that will last for more than 5000 miles, a trailer jack that really works to be able to push/roll the trailer (pneumatic wheel maybe?), a good winch that works well and lasts, etc.

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One option that might be useful would be air suspension, be able to lower the trailer nice and low when backing into your garage. Or maybe if you go down a ramp that's totally sideways it keeps the trailer level right to left. Thoughts? 

The back up camera could be handy in some situations like backing into a garage with one person so you don't hit the back wall. 

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I got the survey as well.  I am not sure about the depth sensor thing, but I would pay for a camera.  Would make it much easier to back into my garage solo.  It would also be nice if you could run it as you are driving down the road.  That would make it much easier to see what is being the boat, and change lanes.

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Don't see half roller trailers come out of the US, but down under Easytow who supply trailers for Malibu Australia have a half roller option on their trailers.

when I rebuilt my trailer, due to rust, I replaced half the length of the front bunks with rollers.

makes a huge difference both unloading & loading.

think about it, we back the trailer down a graded ramp.

the rear of the hull will float first back to level

as soon as the rear floats, the rollers allow the hull to roll off the trailer.

as far as backing depth guides, have always worked on about half way along the top face of the guards being submerged, never had a problem over several ramps.

centering the hull on the trailer, once secured at the front we look for equal distances between the hull & guide poles, if it it out, remember the hack of the hull is just floating & we can stand on the rear of the trailer & push between the hull & guide pole the Center without a problem.

sounds like these new & improved extras are just a way to justify higher prices or give us something else that can go wrong.

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Random ? that didn't seem worth its own thread:

For those of you who order your boat & trailer directly from Malibu - how many of you are NOT getting the extension/rear step by the swim platform? I don't know how much extra it costs, but I'm always surprised when I see how many trailers in dealer inventory don't have the extension. 

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Trailer transom steps. $283 msrp. Must have!

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4 hours ago, RedOwl said:

Random ? that didn't seem worth its own thread:

For those of you who order your boat & trailer directly from Malibu - how many of you are NOT getting the extension/rear step by the swim platform? I don't know how much extra it costs, but I'm always surprised when I see how many trailers in dealer inventory don't have the extension. 

+1. When I ordered my '15 I didn't realize they were available without the tricked out trailer package that was a few grand. I realized a few months after I got the boat and was pissed at how cheap they were when I found out. I added them on my '17 order and IMO they should be standard with how wide these new boats are.

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Posted (edited)

The steps are the one option I wish I had on my boat mate. I don't care for the fancy rims but the steps would make things easier, although the trailer is only used less than a handful of times a year. 

Edited by Cole2001

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I started this thread on 12/28/16, it's now 2/16/17, that's 51 days and the only Malibu (or Axis) hat that I've received is one I bought for myself. Did anyone get a hat for completing the survey?

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No, but thanks for the reminder. 

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i would think its time for Springer to think about his legacy and focus on QAQC.... but it seems for the most part you guys are happy with Malibu quality. So Malibu's primary sales vector is a mass attack of tech features.

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I haven't received my hat yet either.  I guess they are waiting to see which ones sell the least on the gear site.

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Also haven't received anything.  Unless you count another survey?  

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I was under the impression when I completed the survey that I may receive something, not will.  Did I read that wrong?

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