RVs and kayak carrying

She did say "small RV"
I hope it is small, for all the reasons you cited.

Don’t you love seeing Greyhound-sized RVs pulling a Suburban AND a boat trailer behind them??!?!!? Or watching someone “prune” a tree (or smash into another car) because he couldn’t back up his rig? Yup, I’ve seen both happen at national parks.

OK, rant mode off.

To the original poster: enjoy your retirement. If the kayaks are short enough, you might even be able to carry them INSIDE your RV.

Some of my favorite people are RVers

– Last Updated: Feb-12-05 10:39 PM EST –

My aunt and uncle traveled for about 3 years after they retired in a "small" RV they are (were) very good citizens and I'm sure never did any of the things I mentioned above. My uncle was one of the best outsdoorsman I have ever known and would never run a generator in a campground while his neighbors were tring to enjoy the quiet of the evening. Unfortunately they had a very tramautic experience driving the "Small RV" in South Dakota and decided it was not the best thing to be driving around when their reflexes and vision weren't as good as when they were young. They did not give up traveling though. My aunt is now in her 80s and swims every morning.

I had lots of friends that I played Bluegrass music with in Tucson that were RV Snowbirds (the locals call them Snow Turds, they have a reputation for driving into parked cars, bicylcists etc).

I grew up driving mountain roads in rural Utah that are tourist destinations for RVers. Unfortuantely too many of them think it is fine to drag all the comforts of home to the mountains plus tow a car or jeep/boat behind too. Junk (kayaks?) sticking off the back and sides making hazzards for everyone driving. Backing up traffic for miles on roads for which to them are a joyride, but for the locals they are keeping you from getting to school or work on time. They park their RVs at the prime camping sites midweek then drive off in their jeeps, paying minimal fees, hogging the spaces they can claim on mid week while those of us that have to work can't get a spot on the weekend. Here in SOCAL they hog three or four or five prime parking spots at the local beaches, spread out their awnings and junk all over the place and then back into your car when they leave. You would not like to hear what the surfers wrote as a warning to Zonies in RVs. OK my rant over too.

Oh, yeah, I know all about that, too.

Even before the recent RV mania, I remember going to a MA beach/campground weekend after weekend, year after year, in hopes of getting one of the beachfront sites. NEVER got one, not even once, because every one of them was always occupied by an RV’er who could snag it during the week. Rest of the campground was practically empty but those prime sites were always occupied before Friday rolled around. Would have been nice if they’d put a 2-day limit on those sites so those of us who had jobs could camp there once in a while.

I think the generators are the absolute worst thing of all. Cannot believe they are even allowed in public campgrounds.

I can’t wait till I am retired
so that I can “hog” the prime spots mid-week with my mid-size RV. I will then be able to reap the benefits of being retired. By then, I will have earned that privilege. For now, just get over it that the retired folks have the capability to be there during the midweek. Not retired yet, then you can afford to walk the extra distance. “Older retired folk” may not be able to walk as far. They deserve to enjoy the natural outdoors just like you “young virile bucks.”

Respect your elders!!!


– Last Updated: Feb-13-05 10:47 AM EST –

(I meant Jeff:) I suspect most of us here would describe our station in life as being somewhere in between those two points!

PS: Prime Hook is iced over at the widest spot, but the Broadkill is wide open.

You can always go really small
I have a VW camper and couldn’t agree more with people who see the full-grown cousins as a nuisance.

Mine may not have a freakin living room in it, but it sleeps four comfortably and can haul all that I have ever needed (3 kayaks, two bikes and other stuff on the inside…in fact, my rec 14’ rec boats fit inside).

Oh, BTW, it is a daily driver and gets about 22 mpg.

Thoughts And Observations

– Last Updated: Feb-15-05 7:58 PM EST –

I saw a young, fit looking, guy pulling a couple kayaks up onto a high RV this weekend. He had two helpers on the ground. I could do that easily back in my day, but don't think I would want to do it now. Maybe couldn't do it at all by the time I retire!

I spend a LOT of time in campgrounds, and a LOT of time on the internet. I never really heard of, or saw, a good, easy rig. The RV's are just too high.

I take it that living on the road will be a new exprience for you? I spent a summer living in the Sierras in a little Toyota pickup with a camper shell. It is amazing how little you really need to be comfortable once you have the exprience to know what you really need and what you don't. So many things that seem a really good idea to have just never really get used, even on very long trips. Of course, it doesn't rain here for six months at a time!

You can rent RV's and vans. My suggestion would be to do that for some short trips with maybe an inflatable kayak to get a better feel for what you really need, and want. You might not really need that big RV. You can take some of the money saved, and treat yourself to some nice beachfront hotels along the way.

My 2 cents
With a small RV, a light weight boat trailer modified to fit your yaks will tow easily, and avoid the difficult lifting. A used one can be purchased for much less than a Yakima rack system.

Difficult to back up or turn? Yes, a bit until you are experienced, but other than that, your options are for a folding or inflatable boat that you store in your motor home. They make some nice ones.

Good luck and Great adventure,


We also tow a trailer behind our small
class “C” motorhome and it’s a system that has worked in most, if not all, situations. I’m not sure there is a perfect solution, but it you want a long touring kayak, which is what my husband and I have, I haven’t been able to find a better one. It’s also easy to disconnect the trailer and drag it into position if necessary to fit into smaller campsites, or if we head down a road and find not enough room to turn around with the trailer.

Might and might not work …

– Last Updated: Feb-21-05 9:41 AM EST –

Big RVs push the legal width limit so would not work on them. Width limit is something like 104", 8'8" or so.

She said small so let us assume there is enough legal width left to side mount and look at things to watch out for:

1) Check to make sure too much rear view in mirrors is not effected.
2) If your side load (boats) stick out past your mirrors regardless to legal width the cops will be very interested in stopping and checking you out. They use sticking out past the mirrors as a quick gauge to check for legal width, vision impairment by load, and so on...
3) You will have to be very aware of the extra width where you do not normally see it and get reminded. Will most likely scrape or hit something.
4) ...

I could never carry side mounted boats on my class A as it was too wide. I carried mine on top.

I do carry side mounted boats on my Ford E-350 as there is enough room AND the flatter ones do fit within the width of the mirror if hung up high, just under my roof rack outside the windows. I sling mount mine from above, pad between boat and vehicle, and stabilize with front, rear, and down straps.

Happy Paddl'n!



You can lead a horse to water
Is is just my imagination or did your obvious solution of folding or take apart kayaks fall on deaf ears? I don’t get it. Folders in particular are very neat. I like them a lot.

Obvious Problem
The obvious problem I see with putting a kayak on an RV is that you have to haul the RV everytime you want to paddle. That means you can lose your campsite while paddling.

The solution-
Get a big enough motorhome to be able to tow a small car or small SUV behind. Carry your kayaks on the car/SUV. That way when you camp, you can easily drive to other areas to kayak. I had a dually Dodge 1-ton 4x4 with a 11.5’ camper on it and flat towed a Jeep Grand Cherokee behind it.

Now I have a 38 foot fifth wheel toy hauler and need to figure out the best way to haul. I am thinking of making a three piece take-apart S&G when I’m done with the kayak I am currently building.

Not a big deal
She can put some item to claim the campsite. Many RV’ers and truck campers leave a chair, lantern, or tarp for that reason.

When I’m sleeping in my truck and want to indicate the spot is taken, I slip a section of white PVC pipe marked “OCCUPIED” over a bicycle chain lock and lock the chain around a picnic table or other secured item. Obviously, this only works for a developed campsite. But it’s not that hard to come up with some way of showing occupancy while the vehicle is gone.

Pardon me?
We have been full time on the road for 7 years. We have very seldomly had problems with other RV’s and very seldom DON’T have problems with “tenters”.

Also, I haven’t seen any campgrounds that used to allow RV’s that have stopped and many campgrounds that no longer allow tents. If “all” tenters are such great and considerate people why are campgrounds shutting them out?

You also have confussed long term RV’ers with weekenders with uncontrolled kids who think camping is for drinking and partying all night long.

on my RV the back window open up, I can slide my 18’ long QCC through the window. but I useally just strap it to the top of my Suburban.

Don’t Do That
Leaving a chair or other item is a good way to lose that item. Some campsite regs require you to occupy the site and not leave a chair with a sign on it. That means a tent or RV needs to be at the site.

Winter drags on…
…and people start to get foul.

Congratulations on your impending retirement. May you enjoy it for many years to come!

The trailer idea is a good one, especially if you are planning on visiting campgrounds that have waterfront access. These are a few websites of mfg:




The sportsrig looks to be the best design, but you’ll pay for it.

Your choice of motorhome will have a lot to do with how you portage the boats. Narrow down your choices and find the best rig to live & play in. You’ll figure out the best way to carry the boats later - no stress!

Have a blast. Drive safe!

Having done the RV and paddled boat
think in the past I would think seriously about a Pacboat if I were to RV again. Look at http://www.boundarywaterscatalog.com/page.htm?PG=PakCanoes


small RV
I have my eye on a RoadTrek which is just the size of a Chevy Van with a little higher top. It has a rear mounted AC so it won’t be an issue with the top. I’m favoring one of those EZ Loaders at the moment. I, too, an concerned about all the issues mentioned so wanted one that would have the milage of a van and the utility of a full size RV. Thanks to everyone for their advice.