Long Kayak on a pickup truck

I limited myself to 10-12 ft when I bought my kayak, because I didn’t know how to haul anything longer in my Toyota Tacoma pickup. How do you haul 14 or 16 ft kayaks on your pickup truck?

best idea IMO is a ladder rack

Look at the fit guidelines for Yakima or Thule

DO you have a hitch?
If you have a trailer hitch you can get tee risers that attach to the hitch and give you a cross bar to put one end on – the other goes on a cross bar on the cab.


The best way, as mentioned is to have a frame type ladder rack, or to have a cap on the bed and mount a roof rack cross bar to it. I have also seen removable cross bar frames made of unistrut with angled supports that can be mounted in the bed.

Not that long.
Your truck is longer. 2 or 4 door?

Single bar over the roof. Yakima Sportsman 300 (I think that’s the smaller size) at the rear of the bed. Don’t need to mess with a hitch mount T Bar that way. That should give you 6’-8’ of bar spread.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



Do Pickups still come w/ stake pockets
I built my own rear rack from lumber and used the stake pockets in the rear, the bottom of the rack was made from a 2X4 and it fit in the bottom of the bed tightly against the tailgate. Everything held down with bungees. It took 2 minutes to put on or take off.

In addition to the other ways which are
all good,

Thule makes a set of bars which go in the bed of a truck and gives you two crossbars higher than the cab. (Xsporter pro truck rack)

I made a rack out of 3" schedule 80 which slides in the bed . Picture a skeleton of a cab over slide in camper. Been working great for over 5 years. Drop the tailgate and slide the whole unit in or out in 5 seconds

Thanks for the suggestions so far.
I do have a trailer hitch - and welding skills although a source of materials is an obstacle.

The schedule 80 PVC rack. Is that entirely glued together or can it be taken apart for garage storage?

I will have to look up the other named commercial bar suggestions.

All glued except
The cab over piece slips into the uprights at he front of the bed. This allows for slippage between the bed and the cab. The front piece looks like a “H” with the crossbar just below the window. The rear piece crossbar is even with the cab roof and has about 8" of upright above that and another crosspiece just below the top of the tailgate.

Pipes run from front to back at each side on the bottom and another pair just above the topsides of the bed

Set in on the ground and it can hold boats and gear while you rinse and dry. Throw a tarp over it and the grandkids have a clubhouse.

If I had it to do over the rear top crosspiece would have another pipe over it to make a roller.

About $100 worth of pipe and fittings

Get a trailer.
If your Tacoma has the six foot bed, you can haul a 12, or even a 14’ kayak in the bed. They will stick out beyond the tailgate, but it is legal if you have a red flag on the boats. I also have a Tacoma and often haul one of my kayaks–a 13’-8" in the bed. No problem, but for longer boats, I still prefer my trailer.

Extend a bed rack
4 or 5 of my friends use this. It’s is a t bar set up that goes into a 2 inch receiver.

Kayak sits in the bed , tbar supports tail end of boat. On the plus side - low lift. On the minus side, tailgate down for travel.


Have a full-length bed on the truck
because we bought the truck “to haul things in the bed.” Besides towing.

Drop the tailgate and now it’s nearly 10’ long.

Have a combination of old camper tie downs on the sides of the bed (4) and a home made insert crossbar we put into the back two stake pockets, to which we attach the kayak to. There is a little overhang, but I have it heavily flagged, and put reflector tape on kayak. I’ve followed the truck at night, and I highly recommend using trucker’s safety reflective tape on your bow and stern, if you don’t mind- it’s really great for increasing visibility. Most of my trips like this are short distance/local surface streets.

If it is the 2 plastic shorter kayaks, (only 13’) we can leave the tailgate up and just put both in the back upside down and sticking up out the end… thoroughly tied down, of course.

I’ve seen a lot of people do this with their shorter-bed pickup trucks and they are using shorter kayaks, too, just sort of “throw and go” in the truck bed, with a bit of trussing them down.

A word of caution: One time at a take-out, I saw another person doing a magnificent effort to heave their kayak up onto the rack in the really nice, short-bed pickup truck, and unfortunately, they did it so well they threw the kayak right through their sliding glass back window, which broke with a loud cracking sound ! Everybody just stopped and looked at this thinking “oh, my. not good.” The person sheepishly picked it up and then put it up on the rack where they intended, as if nothing had happened. Eh, what’s a little bit of broken glass in the cab?

Other word of caution: Really try to park on a somewhat level surface, to unload and re-load, if you can, ESPECIALLY if it is a windy day. Don’t ask me how I know this, other than I can vouch that a wind-aided Eddyline S-O-T can fall from a height, bounce, and not break.

Other people with trucks do either crossbars, with elevated crossbars mounted in the bed, or variations on using commercially made ladder-racks as their vehicles double as work trucks during the week. There is a lot of creativity displayed in launch area parking lots, especially if there is a bike rack already on the vehicle.

My old car (which we have no more) the roof bearing capacity, even with the factory rack, was BARELY enough to handle the one kayak, so it was no use trying to fancy it up to be able to carry 2 of the things.

are a wood frame both sides, bolted down onto studs…bolts set in bed with threaded shafts up accepting frame bottom…with top plates running over cab n aft of the gate…with LED off course

a frame is screwed together with a drill.

There are utube video for screwing together and squaring, bracing standard framing.

frames would bolt in and come out after.

space is necessary

Cost may be .33 of commercial.

Tacoma is an extended cab
>>> Posted by: Marshall on May-20-16 6:42 PM (EST)

Your truck is longer. 2 or 4 door?

Yakima Roof Rack
I have a similarly sized, 4-door truck and use a Yakima roof rack, just as on a car. My sea kayaks are 17’7 to 18’9, which are no problem to haul on the roof. I normally hoist them on/off the rack while standing on the ground and step up in the opened door to attach/remove the straps. With my really HEAVY kayak, I sometimes bring a step stool to assist.