getting older thinking of get pickup for

transporting kayaks. i do have a canoe but rarely use. i think a pick up be easily to load. i also, go biking at times. i’m going less and less due to getting arthritis in knee and secondly due loading and unloading. i just want some opinions . i think talking to dealing who install racks be a good starting point.

A trailer is easiest.

What kind of kayaks do you have?
I have a pickup and it is easy to throw the small rec kayaks in the back, and just leave them hanging out over the tail gate. Just tie them in at the front, so they won’t slide out

I also carry our two bikes in it.

I also have a cap on mine with a yakama rack, so if I am carrying our long boats they go up on top



pickups offer lots of options
If you don’t have a cap on the truck, you can put a rack on the back. Then what some people have done, is put the roller-style saddles in the FRONT, so you can walk your boat up the bed of the truck, set it on the front, roll it forward, then bring the back up over the rear crossbar, setting in onto the saddles in the rear. This really minimizes lifting.

Or a lightweight trailer of course makes it a cinch to load/unload the boats, if you don’t mind driving with a small trailer.

Unless you have a really short boat, it’s never a good idea to put the boats in the bed of a pickup because they always hang way over the end.

We sell Yakima & Malone racks, which we think are great. I’d suggest getting some sort of rack on the truck, and talking to your closest Yakima dealer to find out what will best suit your needs.

If you’re also carrying bikes, you can get a bike carrier that sits in the bed of your truck, so you won’t have to lift your bike(s) up higher than the tailgate of your truck. Or you can get bike racks that install in your hitch receiver, which brings the bikes even closer to the ground.

I recommend going to a local shop, and talking with someone about what options are out there (because there are many) and find out what’s best for you! Good luck!

i have 12 ft eddyline skylark, daughter
has 12 ft capri. . i also have oldtown canoe and a oldtown 14 ft tandem kayak. i usually only use recently purchased 12 ft eddlyine and if my daughter goes we take her 12 ft capri.

Love My Truck
Loading and unloading my boats is a breeze with my pickup. No problem with the boats hanging out the back, it works just fine. I do not have a cap, but built a wooden rack that keeps the boats above the bed and still behind the cab. This works really well for the gas mileage. Just returned from a trip, put all the gear in weatherproof containers in the bed, boats above and we were able to get 22 MPG. The best thing though is how easily I can load the boats after a big day on the water. Right now pickups are a very good buy.

Then I would have no qualms about
putting them in the bed of the truck with the tail gate down.

Tie the bows into the front and put gear in the cockpits to keep some weight on the truck bed and then tie a red rag to the stern.

I wouldn’t put any boats much longer into a truck with only a six and a half foot bed though unless I was just going a short distance.



Transporting canoe/kayak
Perhaps the Maine Roll-On would be helpful for your current vehicle. See my review.

Pick-up are GREAT

…in my shortbed F-150 w/Leer high top camper shell I had 1 16-17’ canoe and 6 12-14’ kayaks. Another pick-up had 2 14’ kayaks on the racks and 3 12’ kayaks in the bed.

Took 5 minutes to load mine. All kayaks were bungeed in with one strap on the canoe

Diehard truck fan
First got one for easy bicycle transport (no racks needed) 23 years ago. Found out what a great carcamping unit it is with a topper, and I’ve never looked back since.

My WW boat is short enough to ride fully inside the bed with tailgate and topper door closed. The sea kayaks ride on a trailer, which trucks are perfect for towing. If I were tall and didn’t mind the mpg reduction, I could also rooftop the kayaks. The topper has 5-ft long rack tracks so the crossbars can be adjusted for different spans.

About the only other vehicle that’s as versatile is a cargo van, and those are not made in 4x4 versions (must be custom-modified).

The longer the bed, the better. You can get 8’ beds in full-size trucks, 6’ beds in mid-size trucks.

Update on 4x4 Vans
I bet a quick internet search would show whether this is true or false, but I swear I saw a 3/4-ton Chevy van with four-wheel drive a couple weeks ago. It was owned by a local ready-mix supplier so I know it was stock rather than modified. It was following me, and when I looked back via the door mirror I’m sure I saw drive axles and CV boots above the lower control arms. It appears that GM now uses the same one-size-fits-all front suspension on their vans as on their pickups, so making a 4x4 van should be easy. Of course, the gas mileage of full-size vans isn’t much of a selling point these days.

Agree but as a long time owner of
full size 4x4 pickups, it is very hard to find a full size one now with a eight foot bed.

Ninty percent of them only have a six and a half foot bed.

I just returned a little while ago with my old faithful 87 Chevy with the eight foot bed and a big load of 15 foot long rough cut cherry boards that a friend cut up for me at his saw mill



Stick with a light duty , full size P.U.
… like an F-150 with 8’-1" bed , or comparable brand , smallest F.I. V-8 (or a V-6 if you must) …

Just don’t be tempted to buy a 3/4 Ton P.U. unless you like a real hard kidney busting ride when you hit bumps and holes … “NO” , light tires won’t help much either on a 3/4 Ton , but a little bit …

Get a nice used one , even better yet …

ps., there is over 4’ between the wheel wells on a Full size P.U. , not so on mid-size and smaller ones . You know what that means don’t ya ?? …

Think “Plywood” …

I have a Ram 1500 with a 6 foot bed and an in bed tool box.

I’ve carried at seperate times my 10 foot and 12 foot yaks.

Angle them from driver front to passenger rear, put a bungee on the front handle to the front tie down. On the rear for long trips I user a strap and rachet, just snug enough to keep them from moving. Short trips I use bungees. I keep them cockpit down, seems to fit in the angles better. This is with the tailgate up of course. I took the 10 foot on a 500 mile round trip drive and never had a problem.

Just purchased a bed extender and receiver type bumper hitch mount from Harbor Freight. Together they cost less than $40. The hitch bolted onto a square tube type of brace just in front and above of my bumper. Didn’t need to drill. Had to fish the bolts thru the ends of the brace to get them to drop down thru the holes. Now I’ll be able to carry both boats at the same time.

As a bonus, the hitch extender comes with a nifty red flag to dangle off the load!