Fitting kayak in pickup.

Hello, I’m looking to purchase my first kayak for fishing. I own a 98 s10 extended cab. Im just wondering if I would be able to fit a 13 foot kayak in the bed with some bungee cord work. I was originally looking at some 10 foot models that I’m pretty sure will work but recently came across the prowler 13 and am set on it. My only issue is I don’t think it will safely fit. Anyone have any experience doing this?

say no to bungee
At least where securing boats in concerned.

You need cam straps (not ratchet), and a proper bedding for the boat, be it rack or foam blocks. And I don’t know how far out the boat will stick if you’re trying to fit it in the bed, but it’s probably going to be quite a ways.

If you realllly want to get into paddling, I strongly suggest you look at what boat is best for you, not what boat is best for your car. Get the boat that suits you, and go from there.

When you find the boat you are looking for, there are options for racking a boat on a pickup. You’ll get lots of advice here.

I second the none use of bungees
they are a accident waiting to happen!

-but if you don’t travel far to the water I wouldn’t hesitate throwing it in the bed with the tailgate down, and it being tied in securly.

For carrying it longer distances, I wouldn’t want much more than two or three feet sticking off the end of the tail gate

When I do it, (which is a lot of times) to local rivers, I make sure the bow is securly tied down and tight to the front of the bed, and then I use secondary ties to make sure it doesn’t slide from side to side.



as the others have said dont use bungee, I have carried my 16’ boat in the back on my S-10.

13’ is too long
Get yourself a set of ladder racks, wrap and tape some carpet around them.

I was hauling an 18 foot grumman on my old regular cab.The foam blocks go above the windshield with a strap going thru the cab …then close the doors.

The rear gets trickier,open and lay down the tailgate.See what sticking out past the tailgate…drill the holes and install an eye bolt on both sides of the tail gate, on the top of the bumper.

Now build a cheap rack,tall sawhorse,2 posts with a crossbar bolted into the tailgate…

Get creative mine was 2 bolts sticking out into the bed area from behind the tail lights,line up the holes in the angle iron uprights and lock them down with wingnuts.I even had wingnuts to hold the cross bar on .

Origional build might take some time but remember to keep it simple

13 foof boat you might be ok with a large saw house with the feet on eather side of the wheel humps.

Truck bed extender
I carried a 15’6" kayak very well in my Ford F-150 extended cab with a truck bed extender. The bed was about 6’6" long. Get the extension from Harbor Freight. Usually about $30 when they’re on sale.


– Last Updated: Jun-26-09 1:10 PM EST –

Thanks of all the advice. I forgot to mention my tail gate is broken and will not lay down. There are a couple other issues with the truck and don't plan on investing a couple hundred dollars to transport a kayak in it when it might not last. You guys have been helpful but I think I'm gonna have to hold off for awhile to purchase a new vehicle. Thanks again.

It’ll work with a standard bed
A standard bed is about 6 foot and the tailgate adds another 18 to 24 inches, then going diagonal adds another foot or so, so you should have about 10 foot of the boat above the bed and gate which leaves about 3 foot of overhang.

If the boat is asymmetric. put the heavier/beefier end up front with the end near the driver’s side. Then run the boat diagonally so the other end that hangs off is hanging off the passenger’s side a bit. If you stay mainly in the slow lane, this keeps your boat away from the traffic most of the time.

For short trips, I have used several bungies to tie a boat down. If you do that, go a little overkill and ensure that the boat is tight and make sure you aren’t creating something that is like a spring loaded catapult. Probably better to go with straps or ropes for heading out on the highways.

Padding does help protect the boat – if you have some minicell pieces or polyethylene foam laying around, use that. Styrofoam works in a pinch, but just doesn’t hold up over time. If nothing else, some old towels will prevent a lot of scratching as the boat shifts around.


six foot bed plus tailgate
works fine up to 14’ of boat WITH the proper tiedowns. Bungees are not the proper tiedowns, and no tailgate means no good.

truck bed extender

– Last Updated: Jun-28-09 1:59 AM EST –

So I think the best solution for me would be to remove the tailgate all together and go with a truck bed extender from(thanks redmond):

I will also need to purchase the receiver, cheapest I found was:

Alright, now I'm not the best mechanical person but I can tighten some screws and follow simple directions. Is that about it takes to install these receivers? I almost gave up looking but I want to make this work!

Based on what you’re comfortable with using in regards to drilling, find one that the dealer mounts up to original frame without drilling holes if at all possible. Drilling the frame requires, ability to measure accurately, patience, and a good drill and bit. Or have a qualified dealer or mechanic install it for you. Easier to do if on a lift.

I use the bed extender
to carry boats up to 16.8 ft long. Hang a red flag off the back. Works great, no high lifting.