I have a Chevy Crew Cab pickup that I tow a fifth wheel trailer with. I want to put a roof rack on to carry 2 eleven foot kayaks. Has any one seen people doing this and also is it a good idea to do this? Or is there a better way to carry the kayaks?
Is it a short or long bed? Either way with only 11’ boats you chould not have that big a problem. I have a Dodge extended cab long bed and tow a 5er. Mine has the extended pin box which gives me more room behind the cab. I have a Yakima rack and built an extension frame that gives me a 6’ spread. The kayaks are stacked verticly over the center of the cab so they can extend up to 4’ into the bed and the trailer turns around them. I carry 16’ to 18’ kayaks. The lightest boat goes on the top. Once we park, I have a frame that plugs into the bed stake holes so we dont have to stack them for local transport.
I debated on this myself. I have a Toyota Tacoma ext. cab ('98 model). I finally chose to get the Thule Xsporter bc of its lock features and the bars can be height adjusted. Most importantly, I didn't like the fact that the option to put racks on my truck's roof would be half the of the max. load then either the Xsporter or Yakima Outdoorsman models that attach to the bed rails. Just my 2 cents on the subject!
Picture of my rack setup with 14' liquidlogic kayak:
P.S. I used Yakima Mako Saddles/HullyRollers in the picture but have since sold the Mako Saddles in exchange for Thule Top Deck Saddles. I kept the HullyRollers since Thule's Roller bar will not fit the Xsporter (only fits square bars) and I like rolling my kayak on the rack since it is pretty high (I'm 6'4" !!).
My set-up …
I have a 2003 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab. I opted to have Thule “Tracks” mounted to the roof of my truck permenantly. They say you can do it yourself, but the thought of drilling 12 holes in the roof of my truck made me sick to my stomach, so I took it to a shop that adds bling to vehicles. Cost me $75 for install and about $80 for the tracks and hardware. I already had the rack setup from other vehicles. When the racks are not on you can not tell that the tracks are not factory installed. I have about 45" spread and that is plenty for any 12-14ft plastic boats. I love this set-up and I can see how this could work for you as you are needing to carry the boats in a forward position to stay away from the 5th wheel. Good Luck and if you would like to see pics of my set up, e-mail me and I will send you back some pics that I took this morning for you. (I am too lazy to post them on webshots, sorry)
I would recommend a Trac Rac, the big advatage over the thule and yakima system is that you can just slide it forward when you want to tow from the 5th wheel.
I’ve seen some put a hitch on the front of the truck and use the "goal post " rack and a single rack on the cab. Not sure about the hassles of doing this. something to think about.
ford f-150 no problem
This truck was awful, but the rack that went on it carried two canoes over 2000 miles of interstate. It was as solid (rain gutter clamps and a couple of harwood rails) as my current $500 Yakima system!