FAQ – Mirror Lake

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1:  What is the smallest vehicle that I can tow the Mirror Lake with?

Answer: The Mirror Lake is exceptionally lightweight when compared to other vehicles in its class.  Being so lightweight opens the door to many possibilities.  For instance, a Polaris Ranger® UTV has a maximum towing capacity of 1250 pounds.  The Mirror Lake, outfitted appropriately, can easily fit into this towing range.    Always check the tow vehicle manufacturer’s Specifications for towing capacities.

Question 2:  What kind of hitch do I need?

Answer: For the motor vehicle end, any receiver from Class I to Class V will work.  Any 2” receiver would be more standard. The Receiver on the trailer end is 2” and can be adapted to use multiple types of connections.  Kodiak offers standard ball type hitches in 1-7/8” and 2” ball sizes as well as Pintle/Lunette eye and a fully articulating hitch for the most difficult trails.

Question 3:  Are there any audio visual or entertainment options available?

Answer: Absolutely!  We can install most car type systems into our products.  This would include drop down video and indoor/outdoor speaker systems.  Please talk to your salesman for details on standard versus custom packages.

Question 4:  Can I really take this anywhere?

Answer: As with any vehicle, good judgment is important.  Our products are designed for several different levels of trail difficulty.  If you plan on using your trailer in an area that has very tight trees and big rocks, you might want to consider the optional tree guards along with the rock guards.  It is important to discuss your particular needs with a sales representative.

Question 5:  Why do you use leaf spring suspension?

Answer: A trailer is much different than a Jeep® or other 4 wheeled off road vehicle.  First of all, it is a tripod of sorts. That means that major spring flex necessary for your 4 wheeled vehicles is a bad thing that could potentially lead to rollovers.  Having a properly designed set of leaf springs will provide years of service in a demanding off road environment.  When used with properly valved shocks, your trailer’s contents will be kept intact and undamaged during your trips.  In the unlikely event of a mechanical failure in the field, leaf springs are easily replaced or repaired.  If you were going on a trip that involves many miles of washboard roads for instance, you might want to carry a spare main leaf for emergencies.  They are small and fairly light weight.  A torsion or air bag system, while available, would not likely be repairable in the field.

Question 6:  Where do you put the spare tire?

Answer: A spare tire and mount is optional.  A lot of our customers choose not to have a spare.  They use their existing vehicle spare instead of carrying more weight with a second spare.  It is important to have your tow vehicle tires and your trailer tires within 2” diameter to each other.  It will not damage your trailer to lean to one side a bit (it is basically a tripod).  Of course you will need to use something to block up a tire for a level night’s sleep!

Question 7:  Do you recommend a sink?

Answer: We do not recommend installing a sink in the teardrops.  Our experience with other teardrops that have sinks is that they are pretty worthless unless you have very small hands.  It is our belief that counter space is much more effectively used for food prep and storage of items and food.  Your galley area is very flexible if you do your cooking and washing next to the trailer instead of in the trailer.  We recommend the use of a folding kitchen module as seen in our options and accessories page.  If you opt for the on board water system, there is a connection right on the side of the trailer that can be used for water to a sink or dishpan.

Question 8:  How long will the refrigerator run without charging the battery?

Answer: The short answer is it depends.  We recommend that you always use a high quality AGM battery for your power needs.  Our standard group 24 deep cycle AGM will average about 2 days powering the Engle fridge.  This varies depending on your location outside temperature.  If it is 120°f in Death Valley, you might get a day out of it.   If you are cold weather camping in the winter, you might get 2-3 days.  If you are going to be staying in one place for more than a weekend, you might want to consider a solar panel setup or a small generator to charge your battery.

Question 9: Why do you use steel for the frames?  Isn’t aluminum lighter?

Answer: Aluminum has its place for light weight.  Kodiak has designed our frames using steel.  We place reinforcements where they are needed and keep the gauge thinner where it isn’t.  The net effect is an extremely robust and trouble free frame design.  Aluminum has a tendency to work harden and fracture when used on washboard roads.  Steel has considerably more forgiveness when used in that harsh environment.  For the ultimate in strength and service life, add the optional rock rails and tree guards to your teardrop.  That effectively doubles the frame strength while protecting your vehicle from unexpected rocks or trees popping in.

Question 10: What is the largest tire I can put on the Mirror Lake Teardrop?

Answer: The Mirror Lake teardrop trailer is designed for a tire diameter range of 29” to 35” diameter.  The sizes most used are 31 x 10.50 or 33 x 10.50.  It really is up to the purchaser what tires they want to run.  Larger tires will fit on the trailer and clear.  The main issue is useful counter height in the galley.  Some people want to match their rims and tires.  With a trailer, it is better to use thinner tires.  You want to minimize drag and a lower contact patch definitely makes a difference.

Question 11:  Can I have solar panels on the roof?

Answer: The short answer is yes.  The bigger question would be is that the best place to put them.  Most people place their trailer in a shady place unless they are in a desert area.  We recommend having us prewire your vehicle with an external weatherproof connector for a solar panel.  There are several manufacturers that make portable panels to give your vehicle a boost while camping in a single location.  Also remember that if you are camping in different locations each night, the trailer is being charged by your vehicle as you drive.

Question 12:  Do I need trailer brakes?

Answer: Trailer brakes are optional, but recommended.  If you choose not to have trailer brakes, your gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) will be significantly lower as most states require brakes on anything that has a GVWR of 1500 pounds or more.  Another thing to consider is the convenience of electric brakes on the trail.  If you are coming off an obstacle, it is nice to be able to manually apply some braking on the trailer separately from the tow vehicle to stabilize your decent.  You don’t want to lock them up as that could result in a trailer coming down before the tow vehicle!  Most brake controllers have a manual actuation lever as well as a brake bias setting.  You can adjust the bias so that it won’t lock up when fully applied.

Question 13:  Does the trailer have articulation like my 4×4?

Answer: Trailers do not need articulation and would not function safely if they had it.  Since the trailer rotates off angle with the hitch ball, pintle or articulating hitch, there is no force that will lift the frame in a manner that would require articulation.  Outside of the hitch, there are only two points of contact with the ground (tires).  The trailer will follow the terrain as pulled by the tow vehicle.

Question 14:  Does the Mirror Lake come with a bathroom?

Answer: The Mirror Lake does not come with a bathroom.  You can bring an optional shower/changing room along with a porta-poti .  We have an optional cover that converts the porta-poti into a footstool or extra seat.  No one will be the wiser!

Question 15:  What makes your trailers tough?

Answer: Our trailer products are built from extremely strong and/or resilient materials.  The composite construction of our teardrops makes them incredibly light weight while having a high strength. Appropriate protection in the form of rock and tree guards should be considered when ordering.

The Coyote is nearly indestructible.  Built from fully recyclable polymer materials, it is built to take the bumps and bruises.  The Coyote’s frame design also doubles as additional rock protection.  Fenders are easily replaced if damage occurs as well.

Question 16:  Is it insulated?

Answer: The Mirror Lake is well insulated.  A frame of reference would be if camping in 38° F weather with two average size adults inside, it is highly likely that you will need to open the roof vent and a window a bit to keep it from getting too warm while sleeping.  This works in reverse when camping in warmer temperatures.  The interior will stay cooler longer than traditional teardrops.  Having the optional powered roof vent and screened windows makes for a more comfortable night’s sleep as you can have air coming across you all night long.  When the night starts off a bit warm and then gets cold later, you can use the thermostat to have it shut off when a lower temperature is reached.

Question 17:  Can I have a roof rack or bike rack?

Answer:  For the teardrop trailers, you can have two different types of roof racks. One is to use the tree guard system.  The other is to have us install a linear track mounting system of your choice on the roof.  Care should be taken to make sure that the roof load is not extreme as it could lead to instability.  Our teardrop roof rack option is perfect for light weight items or to support canoe or kayak racks.

For a bike rack, you may wish to consider the optional rear receiver hitch.  This uses a 2” receiver that will work with most receiver mounted systems.  This will place your bikes right behind the galley hatch.  Using this option will change your departure angles considerably and is not recommended for extreme trail use.  Please check with your sales representative to verify dimensions for your rack.

Question 18:  Is a heater available?

Answer: We do offer a forced air propane fired heater.  This option is built in and includes a tongue mounted propane tank and all plumbing and electrical.  Typically, unless you are camping in an environment that gets down below freezing regularly, this is not required due to the level of insulation built into the Mirror Lake.

Question 19:  Why do you recommend baskets inside rather than cabinets?

Answer: The concept of baskets was born from frustration of cabinet doors in a small space.  They rarely are the right configuration and often collide with heads in a small teardrop.  The baskets allow you to see what is inside easily without opening a door or drawer.  In addition, they simply snap off the wall so you can take them inside to load.  Once loaded, just take them out to the trailer and snap them to the wall.  Make sure to connect the restraining straps so that they will stay on the wall even on very rough terrain.  Another benefit is that you can stow other items on top of them temporarily when going to bed.  Flexibility is our objective with recommending the basket storage system.

We can quote cabinet options for those who really want them or have a particular use that requires them.

Question 20:  Is there water or propane on board?

Answer: We do offer a 12 gallon water tank that will fit all our trailer products.  It mounts underneath the trailer right between the tires out of harm’s way.  We have both manual and electric pumps to supply water from this tank.  A lot of our customers like using water cans or portable self-contained sinks.  Our favorite is heavy duty 10 liter plastic military water cans with a spout.

Question 21:  Can I use a standard wet cell battery instead of the expensive AGM deep cycle battery?

Answer: If you wish to use standard lead acid batteries, they must be located outside the vehicle.  The preferred location is on the tongue of the trailer in a plastic battery box.  The “trunk” of the teardrop can only hold AGM batteries (up to 2).

Question 22:  I’m taller than average, what’s the maximum height person the Mirror Lake will accommodate?

Answer: The bed length is 80″ (plus 4″ for the head board) and has been used by people that have been in the 6′ 6″ range. Since we have an interior height of 46″ without the mattress and 42″ with mattress, we would recommend that you check your height sitting in a straight chair.  Measure the distance from the chair seat to the top of your head.  Anything less than 42″ should work since the mattress will compress a couple of inches when sitting up.  We encourage you to lay down in one of our floor units to verify fit comfort.  For example, a 6′ 3″ 240 pound man sits in a chair and takes a height measurement.  It is 35.5″ to the top of his head.  When sitting in the Mirror Lake with mattress, he will have approximately 8.5″ of head clearance when sitting up inside.  That is several inches more than the typical teardrop on the market!

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