Carrying a canoe on a small or

mid-size car.

How does it affect your power and mileage?

The day is getting closer when I hope to be carrying 3 grandsons and the canoe in the same vehicle and I am now thinking car instead of truck.

I drive a Jimmy and find it has little impact on mileage but that is a large vehicle. MY Dad and Uncle both drive Mazda Portoge 5’s and they are wonderfull. I thnik that the most important thing to do when car topping is to make sure the canoe is properly placed on top. If the nose of the canoe is raised it Will catch the wind and kill mileage.

Go for it …
I haul my canoe (and a bunch of camping gear) with a little '92 Dodge Colt with a good roof rack, and have no problems.

Even with the couple MPG’s I lose while hauling the boat, I’m still getting better milage than most folks do with their fancy-schmancy Outbacks and SUV’s.

With the money you save on gas (not to mention car payments), you can treat the grandkids to ice cream on the way home from your paddling …

small car carries
Small cars carry canoes just fine. Get a real good rack system. Learn how to fasten the canoe well all around. It will affect mileage a little, but not much. Strong crosswinds require caution, especially on the interstate when combined with big trucks. I once carried two canoes, 17 and 18 footer, from GA to MN on a little Honda civic wagon. No sweat.

The perfect solution is probably
to capture my wife’s (no rack allowed) Camry and get her a newer one.

We hauled our tandem on our Corolla.
Got ok mileage. Not much room if you carry gear and passengers. In wind and hilly areas it was ok. We love Toyotas, but when it was time to replace it, we wanted something with more room that got good mileage that we could afford. We bought an Aztek. We have the widest rack that Yakima makes (60") and can haul 2 tandems or solos. The Aztek gets about 20-25mpg with a full load of boats and gear. Does up to 30mpg on the highway. Plenty of power.(6cyl) Sits 2 adults/3 kids in back seat VERY comfortably. One of the most impressive things was how it handled hauling boats in high wind at 60-70mph. Like a rocket. I had to slow down and wait for the other vehicles in the group because they were having a hard time. One was a Blazer and one was a minivan.

Once you get past how the thing looks, you really appreciate the performance. We got bright yellow which shows up nice at the take-out. Looks cool with green boats on top. :slight_smile: This is our first Pontiac and so far we mostly like it. I’m a pick-up truck girl and the Aztek is my car. The hubby likes the techy stuff in it and so do I. It’s friendly to low tech people like me and geeky enough for the techno-hubby.

It was hard to consider something other than a Toyota, but we had to. We got a promo deal, so the price was less than the minivans available. Way less than an SUV, although some call the Aztek an SUV. Try one. You may be pleasantly surprised.

If you still have doubts …
… check this out:

The canoe carries more passengers than the CAR does!

I think Aztecs are UGLY , but I’ll
check them out. Cool picture.

One canoe – no problem
We carried our Wenonah tandem on top of our 1989 Honda Accord for years (2 trips to Maine, 2 to Alqonquin, many to ADK’s). If our mileage suffered much, it was only 1-2 mpg (which could have been because of the extra weight the car was carrying, too).

But, when we have tried carrying the same canoe with 2 mountain bikes and a smaller pack canoe, now the mileage suffers (5-8 mpg). Part because the bikes are not aerodynamic. Part because with two canoes side by side (only 2-3 inches between), the air gets squeezed between them and then either up or underneath, or into the bikes. With just one canoe, the wind just flows around… canoes are quite sleek.

In any case, not worth buying a bigger car/truck whose mileage will be crummy without a canoe on top.