RACK advice: 2 SOT on Dodge RAM

-- Last Updated: Jun-27-14 1:22 PM EST --

Heydee-hi! Need to transport a Venus 11 and Scrambler on my Dodge RAM. Looking at US Rack paddling rig, but unsure which carrier system would be best suited: SeaWing cradle or J-Pro2? OR something else? THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts/advice!

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– Last Updated: Jun-27-14 3:41 PM EST –

Is this a PU truck or full sized van? Also does it have rain gutters? Do you plan to carry the SOT's on their side?

RACK advise 2 SOT
standard bed. Full size pick up truck. I don’t have a preference as to cradle or side. Don’t know if they will fit cradled side-by-side, or if I need j-style.

Do you have tie- downs on the truck?
We have these old, very useful old fashioned camper tie downs (4 of them, 1 in each corner near to the stake pocket but not in it) which we leave on the truck all the time. When taking the 2 plastic boats for a ride, 1 of which is same brand as yours, only longer (think: “wide,” think “must be strong like peasant to load it”) they go in the bed side by side, upside down, with their little fannies, er, sterns hanging out over the raised tailgate. They are adorned with flags, usually a white plastic trash bag, which shows up very well to other motorists. Then we truss them down with rope over the bottoms, looping it around the tie- downs. They are heavy enough they are not going to go anywhere, but these are 13+ foot kayaks of the old fashioned type, where form was sought over ease of hefting them up over a rack. You can’t pick 'em up one handed, but they ain’t gonna blow out of there on the freeway.

I also have put lots of reflective tape on the stern and bow of the one kayak for night time added visibility in water AND in the truck bed.

With the longer and much lighter weight composite kayak, which is also too wide to fit side by side with my spouse’s barge, er, sit-on-top, we lay her in the bed flat and level, tailgate down this time, creatively do things with the straps and the tiedowns, and then put our home- made cross piece up across the rear of the truck bed, this time using the rear stake pockets to hold it. Then we put the other kayak in nose down in the bed, and bottom up on that crosspiece, and truss it down with more rope and using the camper tie downs. This looks sort of “Ozark,” but I can’t imagine getting that heavy a kayak up on a standard rack without a forklift. Especially after paddling it on a hot day. It’s bad enough portaging it up over the levees. The crosspiece was a prototype invention made of a heavy piece of good 2x6 scrap wood, with holes for the “pegs” that go in the stake pockets, but it worked well enough we’re still using it.

Hope this made some sense.

I see people just heft in the shorter, plastic sit on tops all the time into the full length truck beds. You can look up the specs for the width on the internet if you don’t want to measure. But they should fit.

Thank you for this sage and detailed advice! (I had to read s-l-o-w-l-y, but pretty sure I get it!) Sounds easier and more do-able for those days when it’s just me and a buddy paddling! Still need to heft those SOTs up for our longer jaunts, though. We trailer SeaDoos (half of my family isn’t happy unless they are going so fast that their hair is on fire!) and have to pack up the truck bed for these excursions. I suppose I’ll have to utilize the youth’s muscles for hoisting my kayaks…after all, I AM a mom, and am somewhat an “expert” on “guilting”! THANK YOU, again, for your help! I’m going to try to replicate your “style”…it should liberate me for MORE FREQUENT trips!

I’ve seen
some nice racks built from PVC plastic pipe.Try a Google search for them if interested.