How To Buld Canoe/Kayak Carrier: Ranger

I recently built a Canoe/Kayak Carrier for my 2001 Ford Ranger - I have posted detailed instructions on my Blog:

Come by and visit, comment or ask any questions.

golden hammer !

Comments / Questions

– Last Updated: Jul-31-14 11:35 PM EST –

That looks pretty solid. It's neat that you interlocked some of the connections the way you did. That's more trouble than a lot of people would go to, but probably makes things just a bit less wobbly.

I didn't see how the rack connections to the truck box are anchored. Does anything other than gravity and the end tie-downs on the boat take care of that? I'd want the rack itself to be held down somehow, and I don't see the method, if there is one. If it were me, I think I'd bolt the angle-iron section right to the stake pocket, rather than using any extra devices in tension.

If you have a Chestnut canoe, it deserves a little padding on those cross bars. Thin outdoor carpeting wrapped over the top surface of the bars and fastened to the sides with tacks or roofing nails would be a quick modification.

You know what would make an easy, dirt-cheap "load stop" to place just outside the gunwales of each canoe? A very small C-clamp with the outer part of the "C" wrapped with pipe insulation and tape. Your boat's position on the rack would be rock-solid for about 1/10th the cost of the load stops most people use on name-brand racks. Actually, these do the most good on the front cross bar and are almost completely unnecessary on the rear cross bar, so a set of four would keep two canoes totally secure, eliminating the need for the tie-downs to be any tighter than "just snug".

Great Feedback and I love the ideas, I will be adding some carpeting to protect the gunnels of the chestnut. I like the C-Clamp Idea as well - I will try that. I will also be putting some dowel holes in the front and rear crossmembers, to fit the canoe perfectly (and can be removed when not needed) - then the straps only need to hold it down, not so tight to keep from sliding fore and aft.

How it is attached to the bed is a common question that I am getting, so I hope to amend my instructions soon - I will be using a small piece of chain (8" or so) - one end will connect to the bolts that are used also to hold on the corner posts and a carabiner on the other end. These will attach to the tie down mounts that are manufactured in the bed corners already. Quick release, and nice and secure.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and provide good suggestions.

Now THAT would test my design!

I had a wooden rack on my old chevy
Carried canoes and kayaks on that for years. It was built in 2x3 uprights It had 1x4 cross ties and 1x3 gussets. I made no X frame and it worked great. I even fabricated a roller out of PVC off the back. My kid built one for his Ranger similarly. I could have brained him since he used my mahogany I had been drying for a project some day. Guess he got tired of waiting. But it looked great and was stronger than mine since mine was pine. His was stained mine was painted silver to match the trim on the truck…

Yours would make a good base for a deck on the back of the house !! Mine was petite by comparison .


– Last Updated: Aug-02-14 7:58 PM EST –

mount inside the box set on floor bolted thru box sides.

Your rig, with what it weighs and the mounting we see plus wind pressure may throw the structure off onto the street where it loses insurance coverage...when the members land on a M-B filled with lawyers children who are paralyzed from the waist up.

Pressure treated wood is poisonous. The poisons will continuously flood the cab, cover the boat and all equipment on the bed.

The ensuing illness will render moot your ability to pay for the crippled children's welfare.

So much for humor.