RV kayak loader

I’m retiring in a 20’ RV, a Roadtrek, class B motorhome. I have a yakima rack on top. I’m 5’2",female. I retire in 1 year in my RV, with my kayak.Alone. My RV is 8.5’ high. I have been trying to find a way to get my kayak up there and secured easily,for a few years now. So far, I’ve found absolutely nothing out there. Any one got any suggestions? I’m all ears. I’m thinking of hiring an engineer to design something. Come on guys,we baby boomers want to retire in our RV’s and do some kayaking! We need help!

We went to an RV show and asked a lot of questions about kayak mounting. Sorry, Class B is a bad choice. Even the dealer couldn’t come up with a solution. We ruled it out.

I belive…
I’d opt for an inflatable 'yak for the RV. I’ve seen some on roofs of Class A’s and B’s, but I haven’t seen the loading process.

I think I’d attach a rope to the bow of the kayak, climb up to the roof, and pull the kayak up with the rope.

Doesn’t sound like fun, though.

Or if towing a car behind, put a rack on it.

We went with a trailer, so we can keep the yaks on the roof of the SUV.

Best of luck,


How long a kayak do you have/want?

– Last Updated: Jan-11-08 8:31 PM EST –

If it's short enough, you can simply put it inside the RV while you're under way. Take it out and lock to the picnic table or whatever when you're at camp.

OR if the kayak is too long for that, buy a folding trailer such as the Rack and Roll kayak trailer.

Good point
Length of your kayak matters. There are vertical racks for short kayaks. http://rvraxx.com/

RV kayak loading
I see your in florida. I am in fl, and live in my rv and have two kayaks on top just about alway’s. Be happy to help you or show you. Contact me at steves@eddyline.com

I agree with pikabike.

– Last Updated: Jan-12-08 1:11 AM EST –

Having it inside while you drive is best, and lock out when you park.

It might be in the way though when you stop briefly and wish to move around in the ROadtrek.

You could consider a good quality trailer. You will have other gear also, so a flatbed trailer with a storage for kayak and other gear would not only ease mounting, but allow you some flexibility with taking or not taking the trailer depending on where your RVing takes you.

THis is perhaps too big, but this same trailer in miniature (1/2 this length) would be good:


You can climb right up there to strap the boat down, plus store oodles of other things you might take or need (bicycle, extra clothes, food, cooler, grill) and not have to keep it inside the RV. Roadtreks are great but small--my guess is that some form of enclosed trailer with top brackets would be ideal for you, trekker.

Rack and Roll trailer
I have paddled with couples who put the kayaks on top of Class B’s - I have seen it done with ladders, and stories of how kayaks ripped off the top going through a car port. It looked dangerous to me, even with two people. A single small person of retirement age putting one up would concern me.

The Rack and Roll trailer


could be an ideal, if expensive solution. Possibly cheaper than having something engineered. And you would be able to use it for additional storage. The trailers fold away quite well and are very light. Everybody who has one raves about it. It would work with your existing Yakima stuff. Visits to the hospital for falls or injuries are expensive too, so it could be worth the $.

If you could find a folder you like, that could work, but the compromise is set up time, possibly weight, and possibly performance.

Got pics?

has a picture posted that addresses this…

2nd picture on the page…


More information
What is the model, type, size, weight and material of the kayak? A you pulling a towed?

ripshin paddler is
our very own medicineman.

perhaps you can shoot him an e-mail


ladder loader
I have this ladder. It looks like it might work for me. I’m guessing one would use a rope to pull it up from the front of the RV and from the back to unload. Still have to climb ladder to tie down. Can’t get around that I guess. How are the kayak guides attached to the ladder? And where do you get them? Who knows how to attach them? Thanks for the pic. I think it will help me .

what about
one of those hydraulic swing out lifts that thule makes? I don’t know how tall you have to go but if you could get it down to say 5 or six feet high on the side and then be able to swing it up and lock into place on the roof this seems doable. I wonder if you could make something like that with a hydraulic arrangement somehow.


This looks good! But I have a door on the back of my RV, so I don’t think it will work for me. I also have 2 bikes on the back already. It is only a 10’ kayak and does fit inside. It’s just a pain when I stop for short times. I plan to retire in the RV . Thanks for the info.

I’m on North Redington Beach in Florida. I’d love to see how you get your kayaks on top.

Thule Hullavator

– Last Updated: Jan-13-08 10:59 AM EST –

is what BrazilBrasil is referring to. We use it to lower the rack from the top of the minivan by about 3.5 feet to about 45 inches from the ground. For your 8.5' tall RV, you will need a 2-foot step ladder to load and unload. If your kayak (10') is not too heavy, this might work for you. See animation here: http://www.thuleracks.com/carrier_water1.asp
You will need a long load bar to clear the side of your RV.

Hi-Top Home Made Yak Loader
I solved (for me) a similar problem loading yaks and noes on my hi-top conversion van by creating a side loader bar for my yakima rack with a 5’ length of 1/2" galvanized pipe that slides into my round yakima rear bar. (Believe yakima sells them too but expensive). I extend the bar about 4’, slide a foam swim noodle over it, prop one end of my yak or noe on the bar, and using a tall (but thin when folded) kitchen ladder, lift the down end of the yak up and onto the front bar. Then move the stool to the rear and slide the end of the yak on the noodle onto the main rear bar. Need to have long tie straps (15’+)to loop on the bars, flip over the yak, and secure up high using the stool again. Then slide the loading bar in or store it in the RV, and stash the ladder for unloading. Have hauled boats all over and no problems yet just a bit time consuming. If you have a light yak and place to store a tall enough ladder (possibly lashed to the Roadtrek ladder) this might work. Happy Retirement!

Might take a look at Kari Tek
http://www.kari-tek.co.uk/ELRRHiLift.html. This may work if you stand on a step stool for the final push up top. Just a thought.

Kari Tek
Is the Kari Tek, or something very similar, available in the United States?