Kayak rack for truck?????

Ok, now that I have my kayaks, paddles, pfd’s, skirts etc. I would like some advice on an inexpensive rack for my Dodge Ram Pickup. I have seen ladder racks but they look pretty pricey. I have also seen sellers on Ebay with plans to make one. Has anyone purchased these plans and utilzed them? I am looking for a rack that is obviously sturdy and secure enough to where an amateur thief cant easily disassemble it and steal my yaks which would be locked to it. Any ideas/suggestions??? I am a smart and thrifty person so If I can get away with spending less than 300 on one please fill me in on the details.


David in DFW

Ladder rack from a junkyard

– Last Updated: Aug-30-06 12:36 PM EST –

or a used shell with bars on it. Paid $150 for my shell, $60 for the ladder rack

truck rack
I used a combo deal. Saris roof rack with a thule goalpost mounted to a 2" hitch. cheapest set up i could find.

truck rack
depending on the length of your yak, you may consider a hitch extender with the t-bar - harbor freight has them for $39.99 - you have to put the reflective red flag on the end of your yak but it works and it’s cheap!

truck ladder rack
I have a dodge ram also and I just ordered this rack http://www.pickupspecialties.com/usrack/utility_racks_and_carriers.htm

It is just uder $300 and can hold 500lbs

I just got the yakima outdoorsman system for my ford ranger and I couldn’t be happier. I got the towers and crossbars for right around 350 beans.

That US Rack utility rack is pretty nice and functional.

truck rack
Let me know how the rack works out, it seems like a decent rack for the money and I am seriously considering getting this one.



need the hitch
They are nice but I gotta utilize the hitch for my mountain bikes.


kayak rack for truck
I purchased the plans on ebay and have built the rack with some of my own modification.

I have a full size king cap Chevy and cary an Eddyline Nighthawk 16 and Current Design Kestrel 140.

This rack system has worked very well for me. The contact points of the rack support directly under both the front and back bulkheads of my Nighthawk.

I did have some of the material at home but with all that I had to purchase I have less than $100 in it.

Some things to watch for - hardware must be tightened periodicly even when using nylock nuts, trim the bottom of the verticals to fit as snug as possible in your truck stake pokets. (This system requires stake pokets)

I used foam v-blocks under the kayaks. This allows me to move them to different width boats.

I have had fellow paddlers comment on how much easier my rack was to load and unload compared to theirs.

I hope this helps.

I am also looking at the very rack you are referring to.

If you bought it, do you mind telling me how do you like it?

1-how much was the shipping about?

2-Installation easy difficult?

3-Most importantly. Is it “rock solid” the way the pictures infer?

Anything we should know?



$350 for everything? Please tell :slight_smile:
… I just got the yakima outdoorsman system for my ford ranger and I couldn’t be happier. I got the towers and crossbars for right around 350 beans…

Hello, I am shopping for a rack. I also like the rack but according to my figures, it comes down to $210 a piece ($158 for 1 set (2 uprights) and $50 for the bar), or $420!.. and still w/o taxes or shipping which can upwards of $50.00


You say you are happy with it. You mean “Rock Solid”? no swaying when driving or any other issues? easy to install, etc?

Please tell where I can get them a better price.



:slight_smile: Any luck - What did you finally get?

I am now in the same boat… the damn rack!.. I barely thought about it until I realized… darn, I need one, don’t I? :slight_smile:


Very interested, what did you get?



If some wear and tear and limited color
choices don’t bother you, there are plenty of camper shells out there for very low prices. I bought one for a Sonoma for $20.

cheap Shells :slight_smile: Yes I am interested
I am getting the auto trader in a few minutes. I much would rather spend that money on Kayaking equipment. But I am open to all options and ideas :slight_smile:


yak rack
If you do not have stake pockets, goto truckracksolutions.com

My plans do not require stke pockets, and you do not have to periodically re-tighten the rack.

Good luck


Yakima Outdoorsman
OK, when I said $350, that was for two sets of towers and a pair of bars. For mounting the kayak to the bars I simply use a $20 set of foam blocks.

Yes - this thing is rock solid. The towers attach to the lip of the truck using a sort of hook system, and there is a 1"x1"x6" piece of square tubing on the underside of the lip holding it all in place. I don’t even have the bolts cranked down all the way and that thing is rock solid. I cannot get it to budge… when I shake the rack, the whole truck shakes. I have had no problem on the highway with a pair of rec kayaks on top.

Let me know if you have any other questions…

Thank you - I got the same rack
Basically because I wanted to get something fast so can do a some paddling before the winter arrives. I checked into truck shells (caps), even called a local “savage parts” places but could not find anything.

I ended up getting it from http://www.orsracksdirect.com/yakima-8001136.html

I found they had the lowest prices, free shipping and in addition to that I found a little link that gets a coupon for extra 10% that ended up saving me $37! not bad. on top of that I get somekind of a bag (a gift).

For ohter’s benefit,it is the “Yakima outdoorsman 300” (for compact trucks)

Total: the 4 posts + the two bars cost me: $332.xx or $166.00 a piece, which compares very well with the others plus it is a known brand so I hope to have no problems in this area.

But thank you for your feedback… it influenced me to get the Yakima.