Tripper Transport

Am taking one of my little ones (8 years old) out for some time with dad on a little canoe trip… then I realized, “how am I going to get this thing on and off my van by myself” without scratching it up?

Any tips are appreciated. :slight_smile:

When you get to the river, loosen all
the ropes, accelerate carefully, and then make a tight turn as you pass the water or a bunch of bushes. The Tripper will slide off and land safely.

I don’t know the height of your van, but

– Last Updated: Apr-25-12 6:23 PM EST –

the way I can load and unload a heavy canoe from the top of the cap on my ford F-150 4x4 is as follows:
Assuming you have a portage yoke- Loading: the canoe is on the ground upside down with its bow against an immovable object such as a tree, boulder, etc. -Pick up the stern end, and put a hand on each side under the stern gunnels. then push it up over your head, all the while keeping the bow on the ground against the immovable object. Now moving your both hands forward walk it up in the air until you can get under it, and keep going until the stern is in the air, high enough for you to get under the portage yoke. then let it down on your shoulders, and let the bow come up. Walk it up to the van, and set the bow on the rear cross bar and the stern on the ground. Come out from under it. Go around to the stern , pick it up and slide the whole canoe forward onto the cross bars. If your van is real tall, you might need a foot stool.
To take it off, just reverse the procedure, and to set it down find a suitable immovable object near the waters edge. Put the bow down on the ground against it, and then walk backwards with a hand on each gunnel shifting your hands back and raising the canoe as you go until you get it high enough in the air and you are back far enough that you can get out from under it near the stern and set it on the ground.

If this old man can do it with a 80 pound canoe, you should be able to do it too

Jack L


– Last Updated: Apr-25-12 10:15 PM EST –

The easiest loading aid to make yourself consists simply of installing lengthwise bars on your existing cross bars, with one lengthwise bar on each side of the car. Basically, you connect the existing cross-bar ends on each side of your vehicle with another bar. In a pinch, and something you can set up on short notice, you can just lash a 2x4 to each side. Use a "square lashing" to attach each end of each 2x4 to the cross bars. Yes, there are better methods, but this way you can have your van set up for one-person loading and unloading in just a few minutes, for less than $5.

Here's how it works. Get the canoe up on your shoulders. The method described by Jack is fine if the boat is too heavy to do it the "normal" way. Got the boat on your shoulders? Good. Now just walk up to the side of the van, tilt the front end up high, walk a little farther, and set the boat down so that the back end is on the ground and the front end overlaps the side bar (2x4) on that side of the van. The boat is now leaning against the car but there's no danger at all that the boat might contact the car itself. Now grab the back end of the boat and slide the whole thing up there. Don't worry where it lands. Since there's another lengthwise bar on the other side of the van, as well as front and rear cross bars, no matter how the canoe levels out or which way it is pointed when that happens, it will be supported without touching the car roof. Now just rotate it around until it's lined up properly on the main cross bars and you are good to go. In actual practice, you will probably start pivoting the canoe toward a lengthwise orientation AS you slide it up there, rather than afterward, but the details don't matter since this method is fool proof. You can make the method more fool proof by installing the 2x4s on the bottom sides of the cross bars, thus providing "end stops" that will keep the canoe from sliding off the 2x4 if you let the boat get "too crooked" as you push it up onto the roof. If you must mount the 2x4s on the upper sides of the cross bars, install your own end stops at each end of each 2x4.

To unload, do the opposite. Pivot the boat around so that it aims sideways on the roof instead of front-to-back, then slide the back end down to the ground, leaving the boat leaning up against the lengthwise bar on that side of the van. Then step underneath, put your shoulders under the yoke and walk back a couple of steps or just pivot so the front of the boat swings free of the car.

If you are currently carrying the canoe with foam blocks rather than a roof rack, you can see that the option for one-person loading is a good reason to get a roof rack.

On a related note, if you have a full-size van, then you almost certainly have very solid rain gutters - the kind that all cars had in the "old days". In that case, you SHOULD get a good roof rack. Here is one of many places to buy Quick n Easy brackets.

These brackets are dirt-cheap compared to modern "non-gutter" brackets. Then, use 2x4s for the cross bars to save even more money and you'll have a rack that's stronger than Thule or Yakima and installs in a fraction of the time, all for a small fraction of the cost (gosh I miss cars with rain gutters!).

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