If you’ve stopped by any of our stores here in Texas, you can easily see why some call this “truck country”, seems like every other vehicle that pulls up into our parking lot is a truck. Of course, this is because if you own a truck chances are you probably plan to use it to haul your kayak. It’s can be the easiest most convenient method because you can simply haul your kayak in the bed of your truck. However, truck owners have other options too! I often offer recommendations to customers looking for a better way to haul their kayaks even if they own a truck and thought it would be a great idea to share this with you.
Bed too short? Extend it!
This hauling method works well for those who do not use the bed of their truck to haul items other than their kayak. Typically kayaks are 12’+ while most truck beds, especially in today’s average consumer trucks, are no longer than 5-6’. Even with your tailgate down, that will still leave roughly 5’ of boat hanging off the rear of your truck. The solution? Open up your tailgate and add the Extend A Truck to give you another 4′ of extra support that is flush with the bed of your truck. This will not only provide an extended surface area for your kayak, it will also provide additional tie down points for added security.
Need to use your truck bed space for other gear? Go vertical!
Try the Thule Xsporter or Yakima Outdoorsman with Cross Bars, which mount to the rails of your truck bed. These rack systems consist of two horizontal bars that are parallel to one another and are raised over the bed of your truck. When you load the kayak on top of these bars, the boat will actually rest above the bed and over the roof of your truck. No drilling required!
Have an extended cab truck? Use the roof!
Extended cab trucks provide a lot of surface area on the roof — use it to mount a set of load bars just as you would a car or SUV. Both Yakima and Thule offer a variety of roof racks that will fit just about any vehicle. This hauling method also works well for those who need to use the space in their truck bed or for those that have a bed cover or are not able to mount a system that mounts to the bed rails.
Roof not big enough? Still need to use your bed for other gear? You still have options!
Utilize a single cross bar system on the roof of your truck as mentioned above combined with a single Yakima Outdoorsman with a Cross Bar towards the rear of the vehicle. The result provides a resting point on top of your roof and another over the bed. If you can’t utilize the bed rails to mount a vertical riser and have a 2” receiver, try an Extend A Truck.
Whatever method you choose, consider some of the following items to better protect and secure your boats: Tie Down Straps, Bow & Stern Tie Downs, Roof Rack Pads, Cradles (Saddles), Lock Cylinders, Vehicle Safety Flags and Cable Locks. These and many other items call all be found here.
Do you need more information or have a situation where none of the options mentioned will work? Use the ACK Rackhelper and we’ll get you some suggestions in a snap!
Regardless of the method you choose, investing in a mounting system will provide you with a safer trip and will also help protect your kayak.
Keep on Truckin’