Convert bike rack to carry WW kayak?

Picked up the Saris T-Rax bike rack for cheap in hopes of using it to carry a single ww kayak on my softtop jeep.

I removed the upright from the base and flipped it over. Then I drilled a new hole in the upright so that it could be remounted similar to the original configuration, but upside down.

Here it is with the yak strapped with 2 cam straps and I plan on adding bow/stern lines as well.

Not pictured, but I also added a ratchet strap to the lower section of the rack and strapped it to the safety chain location on the hitch.

It sticks out the side a little, but no more than a trailer.


Forgot to mention the 2 bike rack is rated for up to 2 35 lbs bicycles. The Jackson Hero is 41 lbs below the 70 lbs capacity.

Cool idea

– Last Updated: Jul-30-15 2:01 PM EST –

2 things to look at:

1. Ground clearance when you are entering/exiting a steep driveway or dealing with steep angles of approach on a crappy shuttle road.

2. Design of the locking/pivot mechanism. With the hangers upside down, make sure the pivots aren't prone to breaking. If Saris had a cost conscious engineer do the design, he/she would have made the pivot be load bearing only in the 'normal' direction to save on manufacturing costs.

I’ve considered the clearance issue and may just have to adjust my approach, but where I normally go paddle it shouldn’t be an issue.

The pivot mechanism will work the same way as I only inverted the T shaped bar and re-inserted upside down from the bottom.

The vertical bars that flip out are held into place by a large knob that’s threaded into the T. There are tabs that stick out above and below that bar that hold it in place. The tabs are very similar to a piece of C channel so the top and bottom tabs are identical. They should work the same way upside down as they do in their normal configuration. Actually I think the whole carrier will be more stable due to the lower center of gravity.

Will probably give it a test run locally this evening to see how it rides.

I can imagine you being stopped by a bored police officer because “that don’t look right”.

Review the laws of whatever state you live in, and if it’s actually legal keep a copy with you.

If it’s not legal keep $50 with you at all times.

What’s the length of that boat?

– Last Updated: Jul-30-15 8:09 PM EST –

What's the width of your car?

You say the boat's end-to-end width is no greater than that of "a trailer" (which means nothing, as there are plenty of trailers that are no wider than your Jeep, and plenty others that would occupy most of a lane), but legal trailer width and legal on-the-car cargo width are two entirely different things.

Depending on the difference in those dimensions, I might have been tempted to mount the boat vertically. One way would be to fabricate a cup that one end of the boat nestles down in, and that would eliminate any need for a comfy fit for the vertical portion of the hull. Another way would be for one end of the cockpit to hang on a wide, padded hook. Not sure if vertical mounting is feasible or not. Again, it all depends on the dimensions.

7’ 4" long. 8’ 6" is the max width without a permit in Texas.

Should be fine for local driving
Your kayak is not sticking out any farther to the side than the wheels on my bikes do on my rack on the back of my Jeep.

That being said, try to stay centered in your lane, and watch out for oblivious people speeding past on your left hand side, and mailboxes and trash cans on your right…

I don’t know what the flagging regs are in your state, but I am supposed to have a red flag on the back of anything sticking out of the truck bed. Maybe put little plastic brightly colored marking ribbons on your handles.

The other thing you can do is to put BRIGHT reflective trucker’s bumper tape on your kayak itself. I have this on mine on the stern end that sticks out over the tailgate during transport. It’s water resistant, too, but I put it on above the waterline. Shows up at night VERY well, really has people keeping their distance - I’ve followed my truck, and it really glows and I think people can’t quite figure out what they’re seeing (“Land Shark ?!”) so they stay back.