Loading (3) kayaks on rental car

Rental car is 4-door Rav-4. Kayak rental says they will put (3) kayaks on our roof. Anything we should take along to insure success. Have to drive (1) hour to put-in location.

inflatable rack

I think I would be uncomfortable putting 3 boats on a bare rental car roof and driving for an hour.

Malone makes this handirack which is useful for a bare roof and great for travel.

Much harder to tie on 3 short wide boats than it would be 3 sea kayaks but either way, 3 boats on a roof w/o a rack is pushing it.

Any chance you can get boat drop off/pick up instead?

I have the rack.
It blows but it is good to have for situations like you describe.

I was skeptical about these inflatable racks, but last month a kayak place put one on my rental car to carry the kayaks I was using for the day, and it was great.

I think it’s definitely worth looking in to.

But call the kayak place first. If they say they are going to put the kayaks on your car, they may well have some sort of rack for you.

inflatable rack
I too have this inflatable rack, which I’ve used on a rental car. It’s fine for one kayak, but I doubt it would handle 3.

good for 2
I had no complaints with two boats on the inflatable rack. You could probably make it work for 3, but it might take some creativity (and courage?).

works with 3
We used Handiracks to bring3 kayaks from NY to Maine (and several shorter but still multi-hour trips). To get it right is a pain but the kayaks were rock solid on the roof and didn’t move for the whole trip at fairly high speeds.


sea kayaks or rec boats?
I believe the rack will work better with sea kayaks than wide rec boats.

My RAV4 has factory rack and bars. You might call the rental agency and find out if the rental RAV with have a rack or not.


Got’ta watch de …

– Last Updated: Feb-18-11 5:11 PM EST –

Handierack video.... Va Va Va Voom!



“Not suitable for use on vehicles that
are fitted with side curtain airbags.”

That might be true of the RAV4 and many modern cars have side curtain airbags.

Not clear >why< side curtain bags would be a problem, but thought I should mention it.

I’d suspect that they are worried about how the straps might get in the way of the airbags since this rack is secured to the car by straps that pass through the doors.

So, some airbags won’t deploy. (fortunately you’re carrying two extra airbags strapped to your roof!)

I’ve had great luck
With the Handi Racks. If rec boats you may want to tie one inverted on top of the others due to width,

Good luck


Nice rack.