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Old 09-07-2004   #1
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 141
Car loading help

OK, I am male and asking for help in how to pack a car- this should be proof of my level of desperation. I''ve loaded 15 kayaks in my little Ranger before but now I have a problem. I'm a teacher and taking 13 kids up to Montana to canoe. I will be renting a minivan and a Suburban to do so and need to load 7 canoes and one touring kayak on the roofs (rooves?). I will not know if there are factory racks on the vehicles until the morning I get them. Does anyone have any suggestions for rack systems that might work? I actually have a trailer but cannot legally tow it with the rental vehicle.

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Old 09-07-2004   #2
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

Ok, here's what I would say. Try to rent a canoe trailer from the place your renting the canoes. Or, rent a flat trailer from a rental center.

If you can not do that than here is one last option: Make sure the rental cars, vans, or trucks your renting have a factory roof rack. Then bring pair of six foot 2x4's, and straps to attach those to the factory rack. Instant cross bars. Strap on canoes and go. If you don't want to take the boards with you, just stop by a hardware store after you pick up the rental cars.

I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 09-07-2004   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
No towing with rentals

As mike said, it is damn near impossible to rent a vehicle that allows towing. If you are willing to overlook their regs, you could probably find something that at least has a bumper with a hole in it to add a ball. Most pick ups and vans come that way even if they are not equipped with a reciever hitch.

Assuming you don't want to violate the companies rules you will be stuck with trying to put them on the roof. 6 foot 2x4s aren't going to cut it. I don't know if you can load 4 canoes wide without being closer to 10 feet. Can you stack them on each other, like a row of three, then 2 more boards and 2 more on top. sounds sketchy.

How about renting one 15 passenger van and a Uhaul to carry all of your gear?

Can you borrow another vehicle to tow your trailer, and put the kids in a big van?

Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2004   #4
Gary E's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 739
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Get insurance from the rental and don't worry about the rest...Gordo bitched the whole time about paying the insurance out in cali til we loaded a couple boats to the PT cruiser(no rack) and four wheeled it to the put ins...
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Old 09-08-2004   #5
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
Have you looked into the possibility of renting a rack? I know you can rent ski racks. Maybe you can rent canoe racks. A four door U-haul may be an option in place of the mini van.
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Old 09-08-2004   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
so who is it illegal to tow to? the rental co or the highway police?

I guess you won't have a hitch if they don't want you to tow, but uHaul definitely doesn't discriminate against towing?? maybe a uhaul pickup for gear and a high capacity van?

either way, sounds like fun!! have a great trip!
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Old 09-12-2004   #7
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 141
:P Thanks for all the ideas. I had brainstormed most of that but there are too many variables until I pick up the vehicles tomorrow. Unfortunately it is now illegal to transport kids in 15 passenger vans. This is really the heart of the dilema. I have a sorta sketchy trailer and the vehicle I rented is supposed to be "tow ready" so hopefully that will all work. Thanks again and via con rios.

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