Loading kayak on car

Hello, I am planning a kayak/SUP trip. I usually use a trailer to transport my water crafts. But I know that there are a couple of locations on my itinerary that do not allow trailers. Have any of you had much experience with the various techniques and equipment available for a single person loading equipment on the top of an SUV? Admittedly, I am not all that strong. So hoisting these up without some kind of assist isn’t an option. Thank you.

Hullavator is the way to go.

Hullivator unlikely to be worth the bucks given a SUP involved.

So on rereading this, you have a SUP and a kayak?

The SUP has to travel flat. Even if you do have cross bars, are they wide enough for both the SUP and a kayak on (probably) its deck?

I have been loading sea kayaks solo for a long time. One of my tools is no longer available but there are similar things out there. I am not big. But need to know what you have on the roof of your car.

There are so many discussion threads about this, so while you’ll get some good suggestions in response to your post, I would suggest also doing a search for “loading” and you’ll see even more ideas.

Thank you. I will do that.

Thank you for your reply. I have a Hobie Mirage 12’ Eclipse. And a 11’ Hobie Mirage Revolution. I drive a 2020 Toyota RAV 4.
I received another response suggesting that I review previous responses to this issue. But I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond to me.

Thank you.

Oops, you have a 2020 which means no inexpensive way to have cross bars unless already present. I also have a 2020.
If you do have the factory crossbars, need to check the weight capacity.

So back to my first question. Do you have cross bars? If you don’t the best solution still leaves one of the craft home.

I do have cross bars. Factory installed.

Ok. That means you can pad the bars with either the foam blocks designed for boats or something like plumbing insulation. Double strap at each point. As in on each bar. Loops thru metal under the hood for bow lines.

Lay down protection over the back and slide up. A basic stool to do the straps.

BUT you probably do not have the weight bearing capacity or width to car top more than one, the SUP or the kayak. Which would you bring?

Loading from the rear as Celia said is probably the easiest way to handle a 60 lb paddleboard. But even if you lay a big bath math over the rear edge of the roof to protect the paint, the spoiler may get in the way. I wonder if this gizmo on Amazon is any good. It’s cheap enough that It might be worth a try.

Amazon Link

If you have a trailer hitch, there are more substantial rear loaders like this:

eTrailer Link

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My concern about suggesting equipment is that OPer normally uses a trailer. This is maybe a one up trip to a different location than usual. So l am thinking one craft and whatever they can get without investing much money for new tools is where they need to go.

My instinct would be to pad the cross bars and leave the SUP behind. May not be heavier but it is probably more unwieldy that the kayak. But that is a decision they have to make.

I truly appreciate everyone’s suggestions and advice. I will do some more research before my trip.
Thanks again.

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I have used a short 3 step stool in the car or van to allow me to lift with my legs once I have the boat on my shoulder.

I just use a blanket or lifevest on the aft edge of the car roof. Align rhe katak on an angle to lean the front nose on the blanket. Lift aft handle and guidingly slide up each boat careful to control direction. Use extra foam blocks to strap down between boats to prevent sliding.

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I picked up a thick bath mat (with no-slip rubber on the bottom) for about $10 to place on the back of my '15 CRV and slide the kayak up onto Hully Rollers. I have a small spoiler, but haven’t had any problems. I do have to unscrew the short antenna just to make sure I don’t damage it when sliding it up.

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Thank you for all of the wonderful suggestions.

I use the same method as Raplphs and paddler231560 - have for many years.

Consider the Yakima HandRoll Kayak Carrier for the rear bar and the Yakima DeckHand Kayak Saddles for the front bar of your SUV. You can use them with Kayaks or SUPs. The former allows you to easily roll off or on your kayak or SUP. The latter will also work great for your SUP if you spread them out wider than you would for your kayak. This solution works great for me!

I drive a 1992 full size Blazer - not the S10 “baby Blazer” - and have always loaded my 68 pound 17 foot fiberglass Necky over the hood.

This method requires no special equipment and virtually no muscle as you only have to lift the stern onto the hood. For me that’s just a bit more than waist high. All you need is a length of rug runner from the hardware store. The kind with rubber backing that is sold by the foot shouldn’t be much more than $30. I usually put a mat under the bow to keep from scraping it on the ground as I lift the stern.

Fold the runner over the cross bar and let the rest of it drape down the windshield and across the hood making sure at least a couple of inches overhangs the end of the hood. Think of it as a runway. Lift the stern onto the hood and gently slide the kayak up onto the crossbars and into the saddles, if using them…

Make sure the stern of the kayak is ON the roof before you start sliding. The only problem I’ve ever had with this method is well meaning people rushing over to help the 65 year old lady and not understanding the process. Everyone wants to grab the bow, lift it and push too soon causing the stern to hit the windshield. I’ve lost two windshields this way. If people insist on helping make sure they understand the process first.

It is a slow deliberate and very stable way to load even though it looks a bit awkward.