Chevrolet Avalanche & 18 ft Kayak Carry

-- Last Updated: Oct-01-07 12:49 AM EST --

Does anyone own a Chevrolet Avalanche and transport long sea kayaks? I am not referring to shorter ones that can be cartopped on the factory bars above the cab or slid into the back, but 17-18 footer like my Nordkapp.

Although I could add a rack system to the factory roof bars for the front, I see no means by which to support the back of the kayak with a bar at the rear of the bed. Any ideas.

Different but related question: how do you store your gear in the bed and keep it organized (i.e. so you don;t have to climb all the way in to get the stuff way topward the front or open the midgate? Thanks.

Don’t sweat it
If the Avalance is an '02-'06 it takes the regular Thule 400 feet, bars and fit kit allowing for a 40" spread between the front and rear bars. That’s huge, as the minimum spread for carrying a long kayak is about 26". You’re in!

As to the back of the bed, I’ll let some pick up truck owners answer that one. Back of my old Landcruiser is not a sight for public eyes. I wouldn’t be a good advisor for trunk organization.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

vw lupo?
It’s obvious you need a more capable vehicle for hauling your boats. The vw lupo comes to mind:


Now one out there drives an Avalanche?
I thank you all for your wonderful, and sometimes funny, replies (VW Lupes rule). I agree with Eric, sounds like I will need a hitch post. I see the Thule Goalposts and the Yakima Dry Dock. Eric, what do you think of the fit and finish of that dry dock? It looks, well, sort of flimsy. They even have side straps to prevent twist. I am thinking, for the amount of kayaking I do (and sounds like you do too), that I could buy a 2 inch hitch and have a local welder weld something just like the Yakima, but more substantial. What do you think?

What are you using over the cab? Does whatever that is fit on a truck that does not have factory roof rack and no rain gutters; yours, like my GMC Sierra, seems to lack both, yet you have found a way to attach that over cab bar. How? Thanks.

Simple solution, but the installation …
will take ten years off your life in worry.

My 03 Ford F-150 pick up has no rain gutters, and is the only year that Yakama does not have a gutterless mount for.

I have a cap on the back of my pick up and have two Yakama Bars that I mounted using their “Landing Pad No 6’s” (They bolt right through the top of the fiberglass top).

But, having just bought a 23 foot long kayak, I now needed a rack on the cab roof. I did some checking and found that they (Yakama) have a “Landing Pad no 7” which is for roof’s that have headliners. The installating is similiar to a molly screw.

I installed mine this past Sunday, and magically I didn’t drill through the head liner and am quite satisfied with the installation.

Drilling the first hole through the cab roof hurts the worst!

“The bride” stood by and was my cheering section while I sweated and like I said above took some years off my life in worry.

I now have a truck with three bars, all of which can be removed in a couple of seconds, so I can carry on the back, in the middle or close to the front.



(cough) buy a real truck(cough) :slight_smile:
I carry a Nordkapp on an RSX (@30" spread) but you can bet I always use bow and stern tie downs.

On my old Toyota Pickup I carry the aforementioned Nordkapp on a rack with bars at the back of the bed and right behind the cab (extended cab). It is an old material rack a friend fabbed up in a time of need. Nothing fancy but it gives a 6’ spread which is more than adequate, and is fairly easy to take off for fuel/weight savings.

I am not sure if the Avalanche has a shorter bed than 6’ but I could easily lose a foot or 2 and still be fine, though I would then probably use bow/stern ties. (he says, warily donning the flame proof suit)