Hauling a pack canoe with a short bed pickup (photo)

This subject comes up here from time to time. These two photos show something that is working very well for a 5ft. truck bed and cap. Seattle Sports kayak pads will be added (instead of the pool noodles that are there now) which will also help elevate the bow a little more and allow the canoe to be positioned a little more forward (without tapping the cab’s roof).

It is especially convenient to be able to load/unload this canoe from the rear support.

Being able to open the tailgate and upper cap door without loosening, or shifting the load is made possible by adding a 7 inch receiver hitch extension. The stern, currently, is sitting four feet from the bumper (12 foot pack canoe). When (if) driving this way at night, I would add lights to the bed extender’s horizontal bar.


Seems to work. I need to get pictures of my setup. I’ve got a longer short bed and I built a rack that straps to the top of the canopy giving supports about 6 1/2 feet apart. One side is radiused for my Epic and padded, the other side is flat for a canoe. It’s high enough to center the boats without the canoe hitting the cab as you mentioned.

Most people I know just put the front crossbar on the cab. Almost no overhang on either end. Some use a Hullavator and others just use a bath mat or load extender on the back when loading. Saddles keep the boat clear of the cab roof.

I agree with you. And that was the original plan. For some geographic areas I guess it would be fine. Yakima sells a very complete kit for crossbar towers that are installed into the channels on most modern pickup truck cabs. After the local truck accessory shop (a Yakima dealer, as well) received them, studied the instructions and realized they would be drilling into the cab’s roof - they advised me not to go through with it (It is a Florida ‘thing’ and much about being too close to the coast). They’re an experienced shop with a long standing excellent reputation. So I listened.

The Yakima setup in the photo was my idea: not perfect, but everything carried up there is secure. Loading/unloading is easy to manage. Motor vehicle statutes are being met as well (not compromising to our vehicle’s insurance policy terms of liability).

Drilling for modern roof racks? Most just clip on and maybe use adhesive