Carry a canoe in a truck

I just purchased a 17’ Grumman Aluminum canoe. I have a full sized pickup truck, 8’ bed. My current way of transporting it, is to drop the tailgate and just put it in there, letting ~7’ hang off the end. I put 2 cross straps in the bed from one corner to the other and one strap from the nose hanging off the end down to my tow package on the truck.

Is this a safe way to carry my canoe? The canoe isn’t going anywhere, I can yank on it all I want and the whole truck shakes away, the canoe not moving at all. The main thing I want to avoid is damage to the canoe.

roof racks
Safest way is with roof racks like any other vehicle except you only use one on the truck’s cab and have T bar in the reciever hitch. Or there are rear carriers that use the stake pockets. Oak Orchard I think advertises that settup.

Bill H.

I have a truck also…

– Last Updated: Aug-02-09 6:55 AM EST –

and I flip my canoe over and close the tailgate. I cut one of those foam pool noodle things to use as padding between the canoe and tailgate. Of course, I secure it down with a couple of tie straps. This leaves it angled up into the air, upside down. I figure this makes it less likely to be hit by a car not paying attention, as most cars would go right up under it. I would love to figure out a way to roof top my canoes and kayaks but it seems that I have a vehicle set up that isn't capable of a rack (a full sized pick up truck, regular cab, long bed with a cap). If anyone knows of a rack that will work with that set-up, please let me know.

If you have a cap,
then you can make you own rear rack for it from a piece

of outdoor 2 x 4. Measure the width at the rear of the

cap, allowing for maybe 2" extra on each side. Attach

the 2 x 4 to the rear of the cap with 5/16" bolts

through the 2 x 4 and main frame of the cap.

Put a regular store bought rack on the top of the pick

up cab, and lay your canoe on the cab rack and cap rack.

Draw lines on the 2 x 4 where the gunnels will rest, and

cut grooves into the 2 x 4 about 3/8" deep to provide a

resting and locking place for the gunnels. Drill holes

and attach eye bolts just outside of the grooves. The

eye bolts should go through the frame of the cap, same

as the 2 x 4 mounting bolts.

You can improvise on this, and poly straps should

also be used for the bow and stern, in addition to

the rack straps. Good luck!

Thought it was a good idea…
but my cap is fiberglass (no frame) and it is not flat accross the top, it is somewhat arched. It is also a fairly new cap and truck so the thoughts of a 2x4 bolted to the top of it did make me a bit squeemish but it was something I was willing to consider. Any other ideas?..I’ve searched a bit and it seems a trailor may be about my only other option.

Kinda funny that my wifes little Nissan Sentra is more capable of carrying a big boat than my full size pick up truck.

there are two versions of rack set up …

– Last Updated: Aug-03-09 12:33 PM EST –

...... that work with a pickup trucks cab. and a cap , if your cap is same height as cab .

If cap is taller than cab , there is another similar option .

The Yakima Q Towers are great on the truck cab . You can easily remove or put them back on in minutes after initial insatllation setup ... clip , clip you're done and they stay extremely tight and strong .

You can also add either the Yakima Gunwale Brackets , or Yakima Load Stops to the front (recomended) , they will cost you another $35. , so don't think twice about getting them , they are perfect ... ... this link is for 4 Gunwale brackets , you can purchase a pair (2) if that's all you need /want ... the good straps come with the Gunwale brackets , where you have to purchase the straps seperately when buying the "Load Stop" brackets .

Now for the rear side of truck , you can also get another Yakima product which is a short piece of rain gutter that attaches directly (bolts) to the cap ... to these you install the rain gutter Towers .

or , what I did , was use my Reese Canoe Loader (because I like the "great" ease of loading with it) ... the canoe loader works with a standard 2" x 2" hitch reciever and draw bar (drawbar = the part that holds the tow ball) ...


the canoe loader is designed to be used with a hitch and drawbar , but it can be mounted on step type bumper or similar as well ... if you don't have a reciever hitch and are considering getting one , I recommend a "Curt" hitch ... because it's all welded construction and a custom fit to your vehical ... also doesn't cost more , and even less if ordered fro J.C.Whitney on line ...

My rear cap window opens without touching the vertical T bar (Reese Canoe loader) but the gate will not open to full down postion (it will hit the vertical bar) ... so I have just ordered an 8" extension for the reciever , this will allow the gate to open all the way too .

The raingutter brackets are two types ... I recommend the "Wide Body" type (as opposed to the other called "Bolt Top Loader" bracket) because it attaches lower down the side of the fiberglass cap , which is a better height match when using the Q Towers on the cab. (the Q Towers are 5-1/4" tall , and the 1-A Rain Gutter Tower is 7-1/2" tall) ...

the Q Tower (just a pair needed for a truck cab) ...

If your cap is long enough and you would be satisfied with the shorter spread between bars , you can use two pair of 1-A Raingutter Towers on the fiberglass cap ... or a couple of other type towers that Yakima offers ... investigate the site .

Some on-line stores sell all Yakima parts for less than suggested retail shown in Yakima site .

Seven feet hanging out?
The Highway Patrol would have you stopped in a second.