View Full Version : Kayaks Coming to Live on the Sundance

07-20-2011, 08:25 PM
Karen and I miss getting out on the water while camping. For over 20 years we camped with our 17' Grumman aluminum canoe. First it was transported on the car when we tent camped and then on racks on top of the Coleman popup. We sold the canoe with the pop up but although we love our new "camping trailer" we miss getting out on the water. Almost everywhere we camp there's water to explore...some sites like Fort Desoto Park have the water right behind the camper.

Last weekend, after much research, we bought two Wilderness Tarpon 120 Ultralites (http://www.wildernesssystems.com/product/index/products/recreational/recreational_tarpon/tarpon_120ultralite_recreational/)....12 foot long sit on top kayaks that weight 43 pounds each. It will take a week or two to have them rigged as we ordered and in the meantime I've been researching how to carry the darn things. I'll post the final solution but it will most likely be roof top racks on the truck with the kayaks carried on their sides. This will occupy about 30" or so of width in the center of the truck cab. They'll extend 22-26" back of the crew cab window but by centering them they'll miss the cap while towing and fall at least 10-12" inside of the rear cab corners. Should be much easier to mount via the truck bed rather than trying to run them over the hood on a goal post type mount off the front hitch receiver....especially since the bikes are now mounted up front.

Pictures of actual kayaks and rig after its done but for now here's stock pics of what we got.

For Karen:
For Randy:

07-20-2011, 09:30 PM
I am looking forward to seeing your pics. Currently I have a 10' kayak and carry it inside our Bighorn 3055. It fits on the bed when we travel. Never considered any kink of roof rack since this seems to work well.

07-21-2011, 08:23 AM
don't have the bed option with 2-12 footers. glad to post pics when we're done. also trying to find a rack system that will work on my wife's suv with factory racks so we don't have to take the truck every time we go kayaking without the camper.

I am looking forward to seeing your pics. Currently I have a 10' kayak and carry it inside our Bighorn 3055. It fits on the bed when we travel. Never considered any kink of roof rack since this seems to work well.

07-21-2011, 09:13 AM
We have friends that carry their Kayaks just as you described. They have never had a problem with them being carried that way. Good Luck. I carry an inflatable 1 man pontoon boat for fishing, it is in a bag and carried in the truck in the back seat.

07-21-2011, 09:51 AM
Greg & Beth, the NY chapter leaders carry kayaks on their pickup while towing the 5th wheel. At least I think it was kayaks................

07-21-2011, 05:13 PM
I'd be interesting in seeing pix of your carrying solution. Here's ours. It works ok but I'm always on the hunt for an improvement, but one "improvement" I don't want to make is to get rid of our 14'4" boats!


07-21-2011, 07:28 PM
You might look at yakima carriers---we use them for bikes and have had great luck with them---we have this set up as we will someday also have kayaks (always had a canoe). The kayaks mount can be added to these type of carriers without a lot of issue.---Very interested in your pictures when you get done.
Yakima carriers were bought from rei

07-21-2011, 08:02 PM
Picture of yakima carriers

07-21-2011, 10:44 PM
Picture of yakima carriers

Really nice looking set-up. I am considering our options for carrying our bikes, and this is for sure a great option. Trying to decide between roof rack or a hitch mount on the front of the truck. The roof rack seems to be the most costly option, but maybe the best.

08-06-2011, 11:06 AM
Racks have been installed. Great prices and service online through Rack Attack (http://www.rackattack.com/). These folks know racks and with 10 locations around the US and Canada, many of you may also be able to take advantage of their custom installations. Since there were none in our area I had to buy the parts and have the track installed locally. I was surprised that none of the shops that sell racks do this job properly so I had our local custom paint and body shop do the install. Really not a big deal but I didn't have the guts to drill the roof myself. They did it quickly and relatively inexpensively ($140) so at least I dont' have to worry about leaks or rust. Everything bolts to the track so you have the option of most any combination of rack systems you want (storage boxes, bike racks, and in our case kayak racks.

Since we wanted to keep the kayaks centered on the roof so there'd be no interference with the 5ver on turns I went with the Yakima BigStack (http://www.rackattack.com/product-pages/yakima-bigstack.asp) which will carry the kayaks on their side. This will also allow, if needed, the ability to carry 4 kayaks if we're camping with others who want to go along on a kayak side trip or for dropping a vehicle at the end of a one way paddle.

Here's the pics of the install. Going to pick up kayaks this afternoon so more pics later of kayaks riding on top.

08-06-2011, 02:34 PM
Randy, I put a Yakima rack for a canoe on my '88 Suburban. Feeling cheap at the time so did it myself. Dropped the headliner and drilled away. Very careful about sealing the holes and no leaks or rust several years later when I sold the 'Burban. Put a Yakima rack on my 2003 Suburban but did not have to drill holes--has rails to install it on. Yakima builds very good racks and you will be very pleased, I am sure.

09-03-2011, 02:54 PM
Finally got the yaks in the water for Labor Day. Here's a pic of the final configuration prior to pulling out. Clearance on 12' kayaks is ok for normal driving. In the campground the slider hitch allowed total clearance even on jacknife backing into the campsite. DW and I can get them on and off the racks withhout damage to them or us. More pics on the blog.