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#12387823 - 08/16/17 12:17 AM Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle?
yippee Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/06/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Arlington, TX
First of all, hopefully this is the right place to post this, wasn't sure where else to put it.

Anyways, me and my girlfriend are finally looking at buying a couple kayaks once we finish saving up for them. In the meantime, while I'm dreaming about living the kayak life, I've been pondering the best way to transport them from point A to point B - they don't do us a lot of good sitting at home.

I have a Ford Ranger with a 6' bed. I do have a toolbox in the front of the bed that takes up some space. I am most likely going to be buying a Wilderness Systems Ride 115, my girlfriend is still undecided but liked the looks of the Perception Sports Pescador Pro 12 she looked at. We will be demoing some boats, so these aren't set in stone but kind of give you an idea what we're looking at.

Originally I thought about going with a bed extender for the simplicity and price point of it. My concern with the extender is the kayaks are both in the 32-33" wide range and I don't know how I would manage them between the fenderwells of the bed, not to mention most bed extenders I have seen look to be less than 58" wide.

I have also considered the Yakima Outdoorsman 300 to be able to carry the yaks above the bed. Of course this is a more pricey option, but if it's the best option it would be worthwhile. I was also thinking about a trailer, but that gets even more pricey.

What's the best/proper way to secure the yaks without doing damage to them? I know there are the J-Hooks options or more of the cradle style mounts. From what I recall there are proper was to and not to anchor the kayaks without bending, breaking, or distorting them. Also, is heat a major concern for the kayaks or are they pretty resistant to it? The truck is black with a black truck mat. Of course in Texas we have plenty of 100+ degree weather every year and black is just going to absorb those sun rays, is this heat going to be too brutal on the yaks and further cause problems with warping/melting?

Sorry for all the questions, thanks in advance for any knowledge you can pass onto me.

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#12387896 - 08/16/17 06:33 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
christian myrick Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 3122
Loc: little elm
We have yakima bars on top of our suv. We regularly get 3 yaks on there, we have 71" bars. That is a low enough vehicle to car top imo. That leaves the bed clear for other gear
_________________________

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#12387900 - 08/16/17 06:36 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
christian myrick Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 3122
Loc: little elm
J cradles are nice, but would be less of an option because there are times they scratch the boats and are a wind sail. Just my thoughts. Our car is black too, thats no issue. May try to put them up there upside down too. Thats how we haul ours.
_________________________

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#12387951 - 08/16/17 07:39 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
Dan90210 ☮ Online   content
Woman of the year 2015

Registered: 11/18/09
Posts: 25782
Loc: Denton County
With two yaks, a tool box and a 6 foot bed your going to have to go up... racks.

Or a trailer.

Lets us know what ends up working and good luck on your new yaks!
_________________________
Originally Posted By: junbengreat
Pulled a gun on his dryer and they caught a bunch of fish.

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#12388024 - 08/16/17 08:38 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
Tallgrass05 Online   content
bill maher's protege

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 41754
Loc: Kansas
You can get a bed extender and stack the kayaks atop each other. Use pieces of pool noodles for cushioning between them.

I've carried two kayaks in my bed extender, one flat and one on its side, with pool noodles between them. Some bed extenders can be adjusted to be wider.

Trailer, which I use now.

Don't use ratchet straps, or use them gently. I've seen people deform their kayaks by overtightening.

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#12388032 - 08/16/17 08:42 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
Todd™ Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 3460
Loc: On my kayak
You might look into some ladder racks or have a custom rack made to fit your bed.

I have carried two 14' kayaks in a 6' bed with a tool box and bed extender. One lays flat and the other on it's side resting against the other kayak and secured good. I did it for several years and they have ridden like that for thousands of miles with no signs of harm. Just don't use ratchet straps and hang a flag off the back of the longest kayak.

I rarely do this anymore because I have had my kayak rear ended twice. I have a custom rack and a trailer now.
_________________________

http://www.mariner-kayaks.com/

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#12388154 - 08/16/17 10:12 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
NoconaBrian Online   happy


Registered: 06/25/05
Posts: 22462
Loc: W.F TX
Think this is what I'd do, then you'd have the bed for your gear. You could throw a cable lock through the scuppers, and around one of the bars and lock'em down.

http://www.discountramps.com/pickup-truck-rack/p/SLR-RACK-Truck/
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#12388253 - 08/16/17 11:15 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
DblNoob Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/12/13
Posts: 172
Loc: Arlington
I went with the above option with a couple of sets of J hooks. I purchased mine from Amazon and ended up spending around $150 for my set up. Since I spend more time in my sea kayaks than I do in my fishing kayaks I routinely have two 18 ft kayaks on my truck at a time and have never had a problem.

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#12389302 - 08/17/17 04:05 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
yippee Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/06/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Arlington, TX
Thanks everyone for the answers and tips. I'm probably leaning towards either a 'ladder rack' style rack for the bed or a trailer at this point. I might do a bed extender for a stop gap since it's cheaper to get started, but most likely I'll either buy the rack or trailer and rig it up.

What cradles are good (best) for kayaks? I was looking at the Thule Top Deck 881 set, runs about $129.99 for a set of 4 cradles, 2 load straps, and I believe it also includes 2 ropes to tie down the front and rear of the kayak. Seems like a decent bang for the buck compared to everything else I was seeing. I'm just not sure if that means they skimped on the quality or if it's still as good as the rest. I don't want to compromise quality to save a few pennies, but I also don't want to spend more than I have to. What cradles do you use/recommend?

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#12389399 - 08/17/17 07:34 AM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
Tallgrass05 Online   content
bill maher's protege

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 41754
Loc: Kansas
Do you even need cradles? I see lots of kayaks strapped directly on a rack, or cushioned with pool noodles.

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#12390017 - 08/17/17 04:01 PM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
DblNoob Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/12/13
Posts: 172
Loc: Arlington
Hey yippee, I see that you are in Arlington, me too. I have a ladder rack and two pairs of J hooks that I would let go of for a reasonable price. Also, understand that the Thule Top Deck 881 uses 4 cradles for one kayak, just a thought.

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#12390079 - 08/17/17 04:51 PM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
lconn4 Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 6916
Loc: Cherokee County
After about a month of use and the newness of your kayaks has worn off, you'll feel more comfortable about stacking or overlapping one on top of the other. For safety of your kayaks, the overhead rack would be better, for ease of use, the bed extender makes loading much easier.
_________________________

A good rule of angling philosphy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.

Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919


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#12390311 - 08/17/17 07:52 PM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
yippee Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/06/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Arlington, TX
Idk, do you need cradles? I assumed this was the right way to do it, therefor the best way to do it.

DblNoob, I would definitely be interested to see what offer you have to make. Does your ladder rack require any drilling? I do know the Thule 881 would be for one kayak, therefor I would need 2. But I've seen some cradles that are much more than that just for a pair, not four, and they didn't include any straps or anything.

I'm sure once the newness wears off I'll be more comfortable with whatever works. Being new to this I just want to do everything the right way, so I'm overthinking it. I also think part of the fear comes from talking to a guy who said that if you keep them in the bed of the truck they could get too warm and melt/warp/distort into each other, around each other, etc. He may have also been trying to sell me a rack to go above the bed too, lol.

After shelling out the money for kayaks I just don't want to do anything to hurt the integrity of the kayaks.

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#12390389 - 08/17/17 09:00 PM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
Tallgrass05 Online   content
bill maher's protege

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 41754
Loc: Kansas
I've carried my two kayaks on a Malone trailer for a few years without any cradles, no problemos with them.

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#12390484 - 08/17/17 09:54 PM Re: Best way to secure kayaks to my vehicle? [Re: yippee]
DblNoob Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/12/13
Posts: 172
Loc: Arlington
Yippee, I don't have a picture but this is the rack that I have.

Ladder Rack

The rack can be secured by drilling a hole in your truck to mount it but I just used C claps to hold it down and used a bit of lock tite on the threads and never had a problem with them coming loose. I upgraded to a Thule xporter ladder rack when I brought a new truck and it is currently secured by Thule clamps, that came with the rack. I removed the bar on the C clamp, that is used to tighten the clamp, to make it difficult for someone to just walk away with my rack.

Since I typically carry 16 and 18 foot sea kayaks in addition to 14 ft fishing kayaks I didn't feel comfortable having that much boat sticking out the back of my truck, even with a bed extender. I always felt more comfortable carrying my kayaks on top of my truck to reduce the possibility of some inattentive (texting)driver running into my boats.

Oil canning, warping/bending.... a kayak is a real thing, especially in the Texas heat.... after all kayaks are plastic and are subject to deforming when subjected to heat and force. I believe that racks help minimize that because they reduce stress points on your kayak when you transport them. But I believe that oil canning may be more of an issue for sit in kayaks (SIKs) than sit on tops (SOTs), since SOTs are more reinforced that SIKs.

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