Two Canoes in Bed of Pickup?

Has anyone tried transporting two canoes (each 16 ft long) in the bed of a truck with one overlapping the other? I have a bed extender that I think will allow me to do this. I just don’t want to buy expensive racks to put onto my truck. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. Thanks

Don’t forget the red flags

I haven’t done two 16 footers
But for short distances I often carry a 15’ and 14’ solo and I’ve carried a 17’ canoe in the back as well. It’s not bad with the shorter boats, but I wouldn’t want to drive very far with the the longer canoe.

You don’t need expensive racks…

– Last Updated: Jul-14-08 9:56 PM EST –

Here is what I did for my pickup truck when I had it.

I purchased a single bar that fit over the cab from Walmart. I am sure someone still has them. I think it was around $25.

For the stern, I welded a piece of 1.5" black iron pipe to a hitch coupler(fits in a reese hitch). I put a floor flange on top of pipe(flat side up). Into that using 2 pieces of pipe that just fits inside the 1.5", using a pipe coupler between the two pieces as a bearing that rode on the floor flange that took that up to almost the same height as the cross bar on the truck cab.

On top of that I put another floor flange and bolted that to a heavy board wide enough to support the canoes.
Here is a rough drawing of the T bar for the hitch..

So at the back of the truck I had a T that would stick into the reese hitch. The trick is assembling it then cutting the bottom of the T before welding it up to get the right height. To lock it in place I drilled and tapped 2 holes in the 1.5" pipe and put bolts in. I built it this way so I could disassemble it for storage.

Here is a rough drawing of the T bar support.

For the roof top.. something like this.

only just use one....

GK had 3 kayaks in his pick-up
this weekend. That was a load.

Do it all the time
I found I can tilt the canoes so the wheel wells go inside the hulls somewhat, with the bottoms of the canoes kissing each other at the center. Also, I frequently place one canoe to one side fully against the wheel well, then the canoe upside down, flat on the bed. Then lay the other at an angle resting on the first. I go anywhere any distance and I do it a lot. Got the same extend-a-bar set up I believe. And to top it all off, I sometimes throw a third one on the pile.

That ain’t nuttin’

– Last Updated: Jul-15-08 2:11 PM EST –

I've had 8 rec kayaks 11'-6" to 15' all bungeed in and never lost one yet.

I also hauled an 18' Coleman canoe once in my SB F-150 and used a 90# bag of sand as a counter weight in the bow then bungeed the thing in. No problem.

Paddlin' on

Good Ideas!
Thanks for the input. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t thinking about doing something crazy. I’m first going to try laying both canoes in the bed of my truck the way the previous responder said. This will save me from buying the typical racks for the cab and bed that will cost around $500. It will also be a lot easier to load and unload the canoes from the bed.

Zenrider has the right idea…
But to keep from ruining either of the canoes’ finish I put some foam blocks at the contact points of the two canoes and strap everything in tight. When done properly you can drive 70 mph on the interstate without any problems. I don’t worry about the gunwales on my canoes; since they’re vinyl I consider them sacrificial. If hauling other folks canoes then I’ll use extra foam at the gunwales/truckbed contact points. Either way, I’ve never lost or scratched a canoe while they were being transported in this manner.