How to Build a Kayak Rack for an RV

How to build a kayak rack for an RV



RVs are great for all sorts of outdoor activities: camping, road trips, and even taking your kayak out to the river or lake. If you want to take your kayak, though, you’ll probably need some type of equipment rack to mount it to your RV, unless you want to store it inside. And while you can buy a kayak rack for mounting to an RV, you can build your own for a fraction of the price! Read on for suggestions when building your RV kayak rack. And if you’re new to the RV life and still not sure what kind of RV you need, check out the RV Basics, which will help you choose what kind of recreational vehicle is best for you!

back of RV rack for kayak

1. Transform a Cargo Carrier into a Kayak Rack



Probably the easiest way to make your own kayak rack for your RV is to repurpose an off-the-shelf cargo carrier or rack. Most of these hook right into your tow hitch, and are able to hold hundreds of pounds—plenty for one or two kayaks stood up!

Some considerations you’ll want to make when storing your kayaks vertically on the back of your RV are your vertical clearance and their total weight. Since most kayaks weigh between 30 to 80 lbs., their weight shouldn’t be a problem unless you decide to load a lot of other gear on the rack as well. As for the height, that depends on the length of your kayak. A twelve-footer might poke its nose over the top of your roof A/C unit, shortening your clearance, for example. It’s just something to consider if you’re planning on taking your kayaks on a long trip with bridges or tunnels.

As far as mounting a kayak on your cargo carrier, you can make it as basic or as engineered as you like. Your kayak can stay secured with straps hooked to your RV’s rear ladder, or you can weld uprights, overhangs, and more to the cargo rack to better serve your needs. The RV life is DIY, so you can decide!


kayak on roof rack

2. Carry Kayaks on the Roof of Your RV

Kayak roof racks are a popular RV accessory, especially on travel trailers, because they’re fairly affordable and easy to install. Make sure you’ve got yours fastened securely, however, because the wind at speed will create a lot of lift underneath the rack.

One great thing about a roof rack is that it’s not just for your kayaks. It’s also great for other camping gear, water containers or luggage, or other large items. You should be able to easily find a video for fitting a roof rack to your RV, or you can ask the friendly folks at your local RV shop.

You can also make a super-cheap DIY roof rack with a couple of pool noodles. Make sure they’re the as far apart on the roof as the ends of your kayak, and ratchet everything down with straps to the roof. To keep it down at high speeds, use as many pool noodles as you can!




use a toy hauler for your kayaks



3. Kayak Carrier on Your Toy Hauler

If you’ve got a new Toy Hauler RV or even a used toy hauler, it’s even easier to haul your recreational kayaks on adventures—that’s literally why Toy Haulers were invented! Strap your kayak onto the bed of your Toy Hauler, start your engine, and you’re good to go. It doesn’t really get any easier, and a Toy Hauler can carry just about any toy you want to take with you. Using a toy hauler will also ensure that you have plenty of room for your paddles!

If you want to know more about toy haulers and if buying one is the right decision to make based on your needs, check out our Toy Hauler Basics! Just know, if you’re an RV Newbie, you’re in for a treat!




RVs for carrying kayaks



4. Kayaking RVs for Sale at Blue Dog RV

Whatever kayaking adventures await you, you can find the gear you need at one of Blue Dog RV’s locations around the Pacific Northwest! Whether you’re searching for a used or new Toy Hauler, Motorhome, Fifth Wheel, or another RV, you’re sure to find it in our wide selection.

Our RV financing team is standing by to help you find the best RV deals, and our RV service department is here whenever you need a tune-up, which is always a good idea! Check out our RV Buying Guide, then come see us, visit us online, or give us a call today!



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