Suggestions on a perfect (new) YakMobile

Hi, I have a great YakMobile, but looking for a change. I know there have likely been other posts, but I have specific desires that maybe others have encountered. Thanks in advance for any advice. Here’s my situation:

I have a Ford Explorer SportTrack, truckish hybrid, with a locking cover on the bed. This has been an amazing paddler’s ride, can lock gear, can get to rough spots, but I want something less truck-like for daily use, but hopefully preserving the same advantages. Here are some things important to me:

  • lockable cargo space is really important to me in daily life and paddling. I want to be able to put my laptop in a lockable space to go into dinner, or put my extra paddling gear, fishing rods, etc. in a lockable space when out on the river all day, parked in an isolated spot.
  • Ideally, no longer want to drive a pick-up like ride, love them but looking for a change
  • Ideally, don’t want a sedan either, like extra ground clearance and prefer a sportier, outdoorsy mini SUV-ish ride
  • I like crossovers best like CRV, Tiguan, RAV4, FIT, but think it’s ironic that these sports vehicles leave extra gear exposed in a back hatch.
  • I’m not an organized person who wants to grab specifcally what I need for the day and leave extra stuff at home, I ideally like to keep some gear in the car and go when ready.
  • I don’t want to spend more than 35K on a new ride
  • willing to go all out on accessories that may exist

    So I probably can’t have my cake and eat it too. Perhaps the question should be more “how do you lock, hide gear in a more hatchback crossover type vehicle.” I started to think about the idea of a crossover SUV vehicle, where I always keep a little locking cargo box on top, but I can’t find a cargo box small and tidy enough for that in combination with yak(s)

    Thanks for your patience with the long, detailed post. Thanks in advance for any advice,


I am used to rack systems
I should’ve added, my current situation includes a Thule rack system with Kayak carrier, bike rack, etc., so I am experienced in those concepts, if suggestions involve that.


How much gear do you need to hide?

– Last Updated: Jan-07-12 12:49 PM EST –

"Out of sight" is probably much more important than "lockable storage". After all, how tough would it be to break into a covered pickup bed? Those covers are incredibly flimsy. My largest screwdriver is strong enough to break the latch on any pickup cover I've ever seen. It only works because no one knows what's in there.

I've been using "wagon" type vehicles for close to 40 years and have never had a break-in. Most outdoor gear that might get left in my car is hardly appealing to the "average" thief, but some things would be, and in those cases I cover them to avoid tempting fate. In some cars, small items can go below the false floor associated with folded-down seats. For larger items, a messy-looking tarp or a poncho "set out to dry" can make it look like there's nothing in the car worth taking.

I think if you did a survey of who's cars get broken in to, how often it happens, what the circumstances were, you'd probably find that you are putting too much emphasis on the value of a closed compartment of some kind. Of course if you want that badly enough, it would be cheap and easy to bolt a big tool box to the floor inside your new crossover, and it would be even more secure than the method you use now. Get something with a longer roof line than what you have now and you'll almost certainly like what it does for your roof-rack stability too.

Yeah, I’m following you, thanks.
OK, yeah, this is kind of what I hoped to hear. I suppose between a tarp for the odd PFD, fishing rod, tacklebox, secondary paddle, dry bag, bike pump, rain suit, running shoes, would suffice. As you suggest, not especially tempting. And a bolt in tool box for if I’m traveling with an iPad, laptop, etc. While I didn’t want to add another detail to my long list, one of my lesser motivators is to sleep in the car on rare occasion, around the ocean or river of choice, in which case I would have have extra conveniences in the car while off paddling for the day.

Thanks much,