Go-karting is an exciting activity that can be enjoyed by participants of all experience levels. Because most go-karts are not street legal, they must be driven on a designated go-kart track. (Learn how to make go-kart street legal)
This means that you will need to transport the go-kart, especially if kept at home or away from a track. With go-karts weighing up to 175 lbs., finding a suitable way to transport it safely is crucial.
You will need a vehicle to transport a go-kart due to its size and weight. Whether you choose to place the go-kart directly in the vehicle or use a towing system will depend on the resources you have available to you and any critical preferences, including size or weight, budgets, security measures, and convenience.
Transport Your Go-Kart With a Trailer
Especially for multiple go-karts, a trailer is one of the most common ways to transport these vehicles. Trailers come in various sizes depending on what you need to transport, whether that be just the go-kart or additional supplies and gear.
Go-kart trailers can be simple trailers tied down to bars or railings or covered trailers for greater protection.
The type of trailer you choose will largely depend on budget and size constraints if you are looking to purchase one. For multiple go-karts, a large trailer with multiple levels will be ideal. For a single go-kart, a cargo trailer may be suitable without taking up too much space or spending a lot of money.
It is recommended to use a covered trailer for your go-kart for multiple reasons:
- Weather protection: A covered trailer will ensure that your go-kart is not exposed to extreme weather conditions. Especially during transport over long distances or sitting at home outside, keeping the go-kart exposed will place more wear and tear on the vehicle.
- Ease of transportation: You can easily keep your go-kart in the trailer at home and interchange the trailer with any vehicle that has a trailer hitch. This makes it easier than having to load and unload the kart consistently. Larger trailers can also come with a ramp, making the transporting and loading process more manageable.
- Security: If a go-kart is left unsecured or exposed, the chances of it being stolen are higher. When kept at home or away from the track, leaving it out or in an area that is not chained can be dangerous. Keeping it in an enclosed trailer is reliable protection and should always be locked (Source: Flow Racers).
To place a go-kart in a trailer, you will either need to push it up a loading ramp (either included or easily added) or lift it into the trailer. The first approach is much more comfortable and can be accomplished with 1 or 2 people. Lifting the go-kart into the trailer is cumbersome, requires more people, and can be challenging to maneuver.
Transport a Go-Kart in a Van
If you have access to an empty panel van or similar vehicle, you can easily place your go-kart inside. Vans are incredibly helpful for transporting go-karts because they are typically wider and longer than traditional cars and SUVs.
This may allow you to keep your go-kart fully intact during transport, depending on the van’s size and dimensions.
You can similarly use a loading ramp or assistance from another person to lift it inside. With this method, you will need to ensure that the go-kart is secure and will not move while the van is in motion.
Particular attention should be paid to preventing wheel movement and securing the vehicle to keep it away from the van’s walls.
The best ways to secure a go-kart in a van include:
- Belts with rachets: You can secure the go-kart to interior hooks in the car and increase the belts’ tension with ratchets to limit movement (Source: AGM Container).
- Bungee cords with hooks: Often used for transport, elastic rope with hooks serves a similar role to belts. Make sure you use multiple and heavy-duty cords as the go-kart is heavy.
- Wheel chocks: Placing these in front of and behind the tires will keep them firmly in place and prevent the tires’ movement (Source: HowStuffWorks).
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Transport a Go-Kart in a Trunk
If you have a larger car (typically minivans, station wagons, and SUVs), you can put the seats down and place a go-kart in your trunk. Measure your car’s dimensions and the go-kart before you attempt moving it to avoid damage and frustration.
For most cars, you may have to disassemble the go-kart to allow it to fit. Bumpers are usually removed to fit the dimensions.
This is one of the most budget-friendly options for most people with go-karts as you can use your car for those who go-kart often. Regularly taking parts on and off the go-kart can be time-consuming.
You can place a tarp or moving blanket beneath the go-kart to prevent damage or marks and dirt from ending up on surfaces of the trunk and back seats.
It would be best to consider any additional equipment you may need for a day at the racing track. For smaller vehicles, it may be challenging to fit more gear inside.
You will also need to carefully use the moving blanket to hoist the go-kart out of the car, and it will likely require at least two people. If alone, using a wheeled cart of the same height is beneficial.
Transport a Go-Kart in a Truck Bed
If you have a pickup truck or access to one, this can be one of the most convenient ways to transport go-karts and all necessary materials. You can adequately secure the go-kart with the materials mentioned for the inside of a van.
You store additional gear around the go-kart, providing more stability and making it easier to bring all needed items in one trip.
You will want to make sure that your pickup truck has suitable rails and anchors to secure the go-kart. This may include bed rails, tie-down anchors, mats, and covers.
For pickup trucks with deeper beds, it may be possible to safely place two go-carts on top of each other with additional racks. You can use a pickup bed cover or place a tarp over the bed to protect it from weather and sun exposure while traveling. Consider using a loading ramp to take the go-kart in and out of the truck successfully.
This is an excellent choice for transporting a go-kart but may be an expensive solution if you do not already have a truck. Asking to borrow a friend’s truck is a solution but may not be feasible if frequently used.
Transport a Go-Kart on Car Roof
Securing a go-kart to the roof of your car is one of the more innovative options for transporting your kart. Another budget-friendly option, the size of the roof, does not limit you from transporting.
One of the main benefits of this method is how quick and straightforward it is. You can take it on and off easily with the help of a friend.
The requirements for this method of transportation include:
- Car protection: Make sure you have bars or railing installed on the roof of your car to prevent scratching or dents. This will require an additional purchase, but it is often much cheaper than alternative towing options.
- Properly secure the go-kart: Ensure that heavy-duty straps are attached to the vehicle’s rails and bars. These bars should also be appropriately installed and done so tightly to prevent the go-kart from slipping or moving in transit.
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While not the most conventional, mounting roof bars and a go-kart to the roof of your car may be your best option if you are limited on time and resources.
Properly Transporting A Go-Kart
All of these options are safe ways to transport your go-kart, but the method you choose will largely depend on what you have access to and your priorities for transportation.
If budget is a concern, using your car may be the best option. For overall best protection, convenience, and carrying space, trailers are typically best.