Canoe & kayak on top of SUV

We have a 34" wide canoe and would like to buy a kayak too (nothing fancy, just general purpose, lightweight). Can they both go on top of an SUV easily? My factory rack capacity is 150lbs, the same as the Yakima rack I was planning on buying. The canoe is 60lbs. Yakima recommends 58" bars for my SUV. I was thinking of putting the canoe on top using the gunwale brackets, and possibly a kayak with the Big Stacker next to it. Would this work? Would I most likely need longer bars?

We haven’t decided on a kayak yet, I guess we want to know if it would be easy enough to do first.

Should definitely work
I use 48-inch Thule bars on my Prius, and can fit my solo canoe (28-inch beam) and one kayak (using a J-cradle) with no problem. 58-inch bars should leave you plenty of room, no matter what the kayak.


Should not be a problem.I can get a
canoe and J-racks on a 60" bar with no problem.

No problem
Outside my motel room door right now sits my little Ford escape with the widest bars that Yakama makes.

On those bars are one eighteen foot kayak one fourteen foot kayak, (both on J cradles), one eighteen foot six inch long canoe between them and two bikes on bike racks on either side.

I toyed with the idea of putting one of those “wide load” banners on the back, but figured that might attract John Law and opted not to.

The purists would be proud of me; I even have a front tiedown for the long canoe!



What? No rear tiedown?
Another poster affectionately referred to this set-up last week or the week before as the “Beverly Hillbillies set-up”. I think there’s plenty here who would like to see a photo.

Is Ford picking up your gas bill in exchange for the advertising?

Hope the trip has been a safe one!

A picture is worth a couple dozen words
Check out this photo of two solo canoes and a kayak and imagine how easy it will be to put the kayak alongside one canoe.

I am quite sure "the bride"
took some.

I’ll see if she can get a couple on web shots and then I’ll post one.

The Escape got 19 MPG on the way up.

Yesterday on the way back we were in some torrential rain storms and very high winds near Hartford, and I never even went air born although I thought I was going to a few times.

The boats and bikes got a good fresh water washing which they needed any way.



Cool! Thanks everyone - we’re very new to all this so the help is wonderful. Now, on to kayak shopping…

Cheap Pipe Extentions for Yakima Bars
I discovered 1/2" galvanized pipe 18"-24" inches long fit snugly inside my Yakima bars for temporary extentions out to 101". Hold them in place with a bit of duct tape and pad with 3/4" pipe insulation. Also hide a 60" one in one Yakima bar to extend and use as a loading bar. Just thoughts.

I frequently
carry two canoes on top of my vehicle with a Yakama rack. The first time I did it I found that the air flow up over the hood and windshield tended to cause the canoes to spread apart spiding on the bars. One of the tie down ropes almost slide off the end of the bar. Luckily I saw it in time. I shutter to think what would have happened at highway speed if the rope let loose. I went out and bought gunwale brackets which solved the problem. The peace of mind was well worth the price.



Two Pictures, Two Thousand Words?
Been Hauling Boats on small (Honda Element, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4) to large (International Travelall, Dodge Durango) SUV’s over the years and have frequently hauled two large tandem canoes. Not a problem, but I always preferred the Thule racks myself. WW

You can go one better than that
take one long piece (they come in 10 foot lengths) of the 1/2" inch stuff and put it all the way through the Yakima bars. Then use one pipe strap clamp on each side on the 1/2" snugged up against the end of the Yakama bars. This makes for a solid installation and prevents the 1/2" stuff from moving.

You can cut off whatever length you don’t want on each side.

You can build up the 1/2" pipe with wraps of duct tape to accept all the Yakama clamps.

One time I used this method to carry three kayaks and a canoe all side by side.

Where there is a will there is a way !

Just don’t go through any drive through fast food places.



And another

There is another bike on the other side too!



Very nice - sure looks solid. Have you calculated the total weight on the Escape? Any harm come to the roof? Noggin knocks from the oversized yakima bars?

Thanks for sharing the pics!

I had to laugh at your "noggin knocks…

Fortunately I am short enough to walk right under the bars, but I never thought about the pedal on the crank of the bike that was on the down side.

I bonked my head twice, and the second time I had a chewing out with myself for not taking heed !

When I buy a vehicle, I purposely get it for carrying our toys, and I have passed on several in the past for their lack of being able to install a good rack that I feel secure with.

I also have a ski rack that goes on and off in seconds just as those bike carriers do.

I have used the set up in the picture on numerous occassions, and I also have my ford F-150 outfitted the same way except I have the addition of a cantilevered front home made stabilizer for a 23 foot long kayak that we have.

I have said it before, and I’ll get jumped on all over for saying it again, but if you have a roof rack that is attached to your roof and are using double looped cam-lock buckle straps, there is no need for front or rear tie downs unless you have a ultralight long narrow racing canoe or kayak in which case I use a front one just to keep the long bow from getting injured from the backwash of tractor trailers.

Also my thule J cradles are bolted to my Yakama bars in the addition to their clamps.

I am guessing my total weight on the bars and roof counting the junk that was in the kayak compartments was about 220 pounds.