How Do You Store a Kayak on an RV?

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A group of friends kayaking after bringing their kayaks along using an RV kayak rack

Kayaking is a popular activity, especially for RVers. Finding a campground near a beach or lake can be a great opportunity to take a kayak for a spin. However, getting your RV and kayak to the campsite can be challenging. An RV kayak rack can be the perfect solution for you and your RV.

Today, we’ll provide you with all you need to know about RV kayak racks and how you can take your kayak on your next adventure. We’ll even provide you with several great options that we think will help you get the job done. Let’s dive in!

How Do You Carry a Kayak on an RV?

How you carry a kayak on an RV will depend on the type of RV you have.

Some RVs come with roof racks that make it easy to mount and secure your kayaks for transit.

However, these often require you to climb on top of your rig to fasten the kayaks down before each trip and unhook them when you want to use them.

This is an excellent use of space but not something every RVer is comfortable with or capable of doing.

Another option for carrying your kayaks on an RV is to use an RV kayak rack.

These racks use the receiver on the rear of an RV.

They can hold kayaks and other gear as you travel down the road.

If you’re considering this option, ensure the rack is compatible with your kayaks and the trailer’s receiver.

Many RVers will use their tow vehicle to carry the kayaks while in transit.

Because of the way fifth-wheel RVs take up the bed of a truck, this typically isn’t an option for owners of this type of RV.

However, travel trailer owners can store kayaks in the truck’s bed or on their vehicle’s roof rack.

A man kayaking after bringing us kayaks to the site using an RV kayak rack

What Is the Average Weight of a Kayak?

The weight of a kayak will depend on the type of kayak.

A single-person kayak typically weighs around 35 pounds, while a tandem kayak weighs upwards of 65 pounds.

If you’re considering a kayak designed for fishing, you should expect it to weigh upwards of 120 pounds.

However, kayaks generally weigh anywhere from 20 to more than 100 pounds.

7 Simple Ways to Store a Kayak on Your RV

If you want to bring your kayak with you during your RV adventures, here are several RV kayak rack options you should consider.

Find which works best for your situation so you can get out and start paddling!

1. Vertiyak Hitch Mount

A kayak attached to an RV using an RV kayak rack
Source: Recpro

The Vertiyak allows you to carry your kayak using the 2-inch hitch receiver on your RV.

It can fit kayaks and paddleboards up to 12 feet long and can store two compatible kayaks or paddle boards.

The Vertiyak weighs only 46 pounds but can hold up to 150 pounds, which is more than enough for a couple of kayaks.

Pros: Using the Vertiyak puts your kayaks out of the way without obstructing your view. You can easily connect or disconnect the rack. Another benefit is that you won’t have to climb on top of your RV to store or use your kayaks.

Cons: Some customers report the machining on the holes for the mounting heights is not large enough and requires customers to use a drill to enlarge them. The $500 price tag is a tough pill for some consumers to swallow.

2. Thule 830 The Stacker

Thule 830 The Stacker (4) Kayak Carrier
  • Carries up to 4 kayaks and requires 1 to 2 people to load and unload them
  • Optimally sized carrier leaves roof space for other Thule accessories

The Thule 830 The Stacker allows you to carry up to four kayaks while using the crossbars, round bars, or factory rack installed on your vehicle.

The steel design has a non-scratch coating that won’t cause damage to your kayaks and can easily fold down when not in use.

The Stacker can accommodate kayaks up to 34 inches wide and 75 pounds.  

Pros: Thule is one of the leading names in making cargo racks and has a reputation for quality. It’s also great that these racks can fold down when not in use.

Cons: Loading your kayaks onto The Stacker requires two people to avoid damaging your vehicle or kayak. This can make solo kayaking adventures troublesome. 

Keep in Mind: Do you love to bike? Then you’ll need to read this! We found the best RV Bike Racks for Your Motorhome!

3. Fold Down Rooftop Kayak Carrier

Yakima JayLow 2 Kayak Vertically Mounted or 1 Kayak J Cradle Vehicle Rooftop Mounted Rack with Heavy Duty Straps, Bow and Stern Tie Downs, Black
  • Kayak Rack: Kayak rack that effortlessly carries 1 kayak in J-cradle position or stacks up 2 kayaks vertically, adapting...
  • Ready-to-Go Setup: Arrives fully assembled, offering tool-free installation on various bar types including Yakima...

Using a fold-down rooftop RV kayak rack makes it extremely easy to carry your kayaks.

You can store two kayaks in a vertical or stacked position (up to 110 pounds combined) and a single kayak in the J-cradle position (up to 80 pounds).

Yakima is well-known in the industry for creating some of the highest quality products around. 

Pros: After installing these carriers, you can fold them down when they’re not in use. They also require very little maintenance. The fact that they weigh only 1.3 pounds means you’re not adding much weight to your vehicle.

Cons: Some users report that these racks can cause a whistling noise when not in use. These racks don’t include locks, which many expect in the $225 to $250 price range.

4. Yakups 2KR37W 

The Yakups 2KR37W is the Lexus of RV kayak racks.

It’s a solid, single-piece rack that has no wobble to it.

It has a solid steel construction with stainless steel guards to protect kayaks and comes with a five-year warranty.

The rack is made for your RV and can carry two kayaks that are 33 inches wide and 12 feet long.

The rack’s 80-pound weight lets you know it’s solid and means business!

Pros: It’s hard to find a better-built kayak rack. The solid construction can withstand just about anything your travels throw at it. You’ll know your kayaks are in great hands when connected to this rack.

Cons: The increased weight from the materials used during construction makes this rack hard for some to add and remove. However, the biggest hurdle for many customers is the $1,700 price tag. That’s simply not in the budget for many RVers, especially when less expensive options are available.

Kayaks at a campsite by a deer after being brought to the site using an RV kayak rack

5. Custom Yakups Rack 

Yakups racks are some of the best in the industry.

They offer various services, including custom-made kayak racks for your unique situation.

You can work directly with them to create the kayak rack to do the job. 

Pros: A custom-built kayak rack can make it easy to take your kayaks with you during your adventures. With the extra strong materials, you won’t have to worry about your rack failing or damaging your watercraft.

Cons: The price tag for a custom Yakup rack can be $2,000 or more, which is far more than most people pay for their kayaks. Unless you have deep pockets, there are likely going to be cheaper alternatives that are more appealing.

Keep in Mind: Move your Kayaks with easy with these top rated Kayak Trailers!

6. Kayak Carrier for 2 Kayaks 

The Kayak Rack from Epomaking uses an aluminum construction resulting in a lightweight RV kayak rack that will last for years.

This rack allows you to carry two kayaks up to 42 inches wide with a combined weight of 220 pounds.

The carrier is foldable when not in use and comes with weatherproof rubber saddles to protect your kayak from damage.

This is a budget-friendly carrier that provides premium results.

Pros: Customers love the less than $150 price tag and the lightweight construction. Installation takes less than 30 minutes, and attaching kayaks is easy.

Cons: Those with larger kayaks find it more difficult to attach their kayak, especially using the included straps. You may need longer straps if you have a larger or fishing kayak.

7. DIY Kayak Rack 

If you’ve got the skills and materials, why not build your rack and spend a fraction of what you would on other options?

One YouTuber did just that!

This will require you to have some welding skills to make the necessary modifications.

However, you can minimize your costs and make any necessary modifications for your rig yourself. 

Pros: By building your own kayak rack, you can save a huge amount of money, avoid delays with product availability, and still have a high-quality kayak rack. It gives you more control than any other option.

Cons: You need to know what you’re doing and have the proper skills. Making modifications to racks and parts when putting together your rack will likely void any warranties.

Storing a Kayak on an RV Is Simpler Than You Think

While you might think storing a kayak on an RV is hard, it doesn’t have to be.

If you have the proper gear and equipment for the task, you’ll find that your kayak can easily accompany you on your adventures.

Getting out on the water can be a great way to explore an area and provide a unique view of the campground and surrounding area.

So load up your kayak, hitch up your RV, and get out and enjoy the great outdoors!

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1 comment
  1. I liked this article about kayaks and hauling them. My wife and I purchased fold up kayaks that weigh 28lbs each. The brand is called Tucktec and these store and haul very nicely.

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