Transporting Sea Kayak on an RV

We just bought a 24 foot motorhome, with a high roof. I am trying to figure out how to load and transport our 17 foot kayaks. There are rain gutters the rear half of the roof that are accessible for something like a Thule gutter connector. Also, I plan to travel alone sometimes and would like to be able to load it myself. The Thule hullavator looks interesting, but Thule says the roof is too high (11 foot). I really don’t want to pull a trailer. We have no back door, so inside stowage is not an option. Do people have ideas? Thanks.

Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Peformance

Sell the motor home.

I would agree with the last sentiment
but, if need be, strap them to the side of the RV. Saw a couple floating around with an old VW bus with two kayaks clinging to the drivers side. Looked a tad unweildy but it worked.

roof rack
It is very possible and easy to do. The rain gutter you have are NOT strong enough to put anything more then water in, so leave them alone. Act as if you have a truck with a cap on the back. Thule makes rails that can be installed and than a full system that works from there.

I stand my boats up, lean them next to the rig, climb up the ladder and then pull the yaks up the side.

You can’t drill all the way through the roof like you would with a truck shell so you will need to get a skimatic or blue print from your rv maker. Most are made of 1x1 wood frames. You can screw into them and use Parabond to glue the rails to your roof. Email me and send me your addy. I can show you pix. It was very easy and the bond if very strong. I carry canoe, and many diff types of kayaks on top. No worries.

Don’t let rvphobic individuals discourage you. RVing and kayaking are two very compatible activities. RVing may even be a necessity when Arnold closes all of the state beaches. There are still the Great Lakes.

I have a friend who has an older 30’ motor home.

She took down the wall to her bedroom, shortened her dinette to fit only two people, laid new carpeting and was fortunate to have a decent size rear window, would open it, slide her boat through and lay it on the floor. But her boat was only 13’.

For boudoir privacy, she made a curtain (fastened the hanger chanel to the ceiling) to go from one side to the other

One person’s solution. Worked for her.

Height Limitations?
I would imagine there is an AC/Heater sticking up there somewhere and maybe about the same height as a kayak. That said, you may want to take a few measurements to see how tall you are with the yaks before traveling.

Some would laugh but it would not be a funny story later

One option: Modify boat, not RV

– Last Updated: Jun-24-09 7:45 AM EST –

3-pieces kayaks

Bic Yakkas. I own two like new Yakkas in IL and selling for 1/2 price if interested; I simply have too many yaks.

Google Freya Hoffmeister: she has an RV and routinely top loads. Some photos on her website, plus she could answer your questions also. Oh wait, she is incommunacado while she circumnavigates Australia!

folding boats?
though it sounds like you have boats already, so that might be expensive.

One person gets on the roof (after suitable rack has been installed), the other leans the boat against the back (lay down a bathroom mat that has the sticky-ish backing so it won’t move againt the back edge of the roof, the carpet side allows the boats to slides nicely), then slides them up. Watch where you step though, not all parts of the roof are created equal.

Another option is to use a towed vehicle with racks on to transport, though maybe you got a 24 footer so you;d not need a second vehicle…

Freya Hoffmeister routinely top loads.
I have a joke there but I don’t won’t to get banned from the site.

you s/b able to use a Hullavator if you can mount it securely ( not on the rain gutters). It just wont come all the way down to normal loadiing height. Just use a stepstool.

11 feet high?
Does that include the AC unit?

I too have an RV and wouldn’t put a boat on the roof.

First, there is no easy way to get it up there. Second, there is no way to secure it once its there. Simply put, the PIA factor is way too high. But i’ve seen it done. So it’s doable.

Another word of caution that you are probably aware of. The roof is a laminate sandwich. Many RVs, especailly Fleetwood products have a rubber roof. None of these structures is strong and most already come with enough manufactured in problems not to add to them. Once the roof is compromised and water leakage begins the fixes get very expensive. Not uncommon to see RVs with entire side walls that have delaminated because of a roof leak. Not a pretty sight.

I would buy a trailer. A lot easier to deal with. Of course when you are towing the car the boats can ride on the roof of the car. That’s what we do when we travel. Works great.

Transporting kayak on an RV
Thanks for the ideas. I don’t want to drill holes on the rubber roof, but have come across an winching device called the Karti-Tek which needs to go onto a rack. Thule says my roof is too high for the Hullavator. The height does include the a/c.

i got a wench 38 years ago…
…this coming July.

I went up into the attic with her the other day. Dirty, filthy, covered in cobwebs. But she’s good with the kids.

RipshinPaddler’s solution:

Transporting Sea Kayak on an RV
Thank you for the photo, I think that your idea could work for us. Even when I travel alone, I should be able to line up the kayak on the ladder, climb up and guide the boat up.

Thank you, everyone for your ideas.

Ripshin Paddler’s Solution
It looks like your roof rack is attached via the rain gutter. Is that correct? If not, how is it attached? I found a 12.5 foot collapsible ladder on the net, I would need to extend it maybe with pvc pipe.

I did forget to mention that the roof of my lance Camper is made to walk on. Some are not. I can put on kayak on each side of the A/C unit or I can also put a canoe over the a/c unit if I take the center yoke off for transport.

I will be loading the rv up this weekend and will snap a few photos to share.

Collapsible ladder accident!

Ladder Collapse
Yikes! However… I would be using the ladder only to slide the kayak up, so it is less scary. I have a “real” ladder on the rv.