I’m sure others have done this, but it’s a new discovery to me: I have a Ranger with a 6’ bed. With the 1.5’ tailgate, I have 7.5’ for my 14.5 Vagabond, meaning serious overhang. I bought an Extend-a-Truck, but wanted to save the hassle of mounting it each time, so evolved this method. I put the canoe in the bed, open side up, and put 2 one-gallon jugs of water in the bow. (I go bow-forward), on a nonskid rubber pad. The truck has tying points in each corner of the bed, so I run lines from the front ones to mid-canoe and from the rear ones to the aftmost thwart. I use parachute cord & trucker’s hitches. Red flag on the rear and I’m ready to go. Rock-solid, and far easier than what I was doing before. I should point out that I don’t go far or fast to launches, and am not carrying dogs, camping gear, etc.
You could also rig a hanging loop
at the back of the bed opening to pull the boat up a bit, and I would look for a better way than water weights to keep the front end down. A cantilever arrangement like this should be OK, even for longer travel.
Be careful when turning corners. The back end of the boat may swing into another lane. One time a truck carrying flagged lumber swung it into our lane as he was turning right, and our little car impaled itself through the right headlight on the lumber.
Re back end swing…
…the tie-ins from the rear corners of the bed are
attached in such a way that lateral forces are minimized-it’s not loose back there.
The loop idea is interesting-I’ll fool around with it.
We used to carry an Old Town like that in the back of our El Camino. A friend carries his boats that way in his Toyota p/u. Seems to work real well.
Isn’t the parachute cord a little light?
I had a ranger
I used to carry a 16.5 foot echo on it. I actually have a vagabond now but sold the truck. I made a simple rig out of 2 by 2’s. A simple H like frame. The vertical posts fit in the tie down holes. The cross bar is attached with screws and wing nuts. I loosened the nuts to set it up or pull it down. It always just layed in the bed. A ratchet strap over the canoe attached to the trailer hitch held the boat down in back. I used 2 of those car topper pads for the front that sat on the cab. Just behind the cab there is a gap between the cab and bed. In that gap there should be enough of a lip to hook a second ratchet strap to and up over the canoe. I tied a nose rope to the front and was done. I drove thousands of miles with this rig at sppeds often reaching 80(4 cylinder did not have much more). I have no doubt it will work for you.
I have a 15’ 8" canoe that I carry
on top of the bed by laying 2 2x2’s acrossed the top rails bolted in place at either end…Works great even with a 7 foot overhang out back…just have to be careful backing the truck up…
Sounds like a good rig, but…
…my goal is to carry on the bed floor, and yours sounds like it was elevated to bed top. Also, my model Ranger has no side holes.
“parachute” cord IS small in diameter…
…but it seems to be quite strong, is cheap & flexible so I can tie slip knots for truckers’ hitch at any point as needed. Also, I use a 4-point tiedown and have no side or front winds to contend with, since it’s in the bed.