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Old 12-10-2013   #1
Caleb125's Avatar
Edwards, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 262
Ultimate Kayaking Vehicle

Hello all,

I am fairly new to kayaking and I am looking into making the ultimate kayak vehicle to use for kayak trips (particularly overnighters) and was wondering what is the best and least expensive route to take.
I was looking into converting my truck into a camper like this (Luxury Truck Bed Camper Build | Chris King)
and putting the kayaks on the roof, or purchasing an old beat-up cargo van.

I would like to spend not much more than $1,000.


Colorado // Kayaking // Skiing // Film
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Old 12-10-2013   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Posts: 2,909
Under $1K? I've seen one. A 1986 Ford Econoline with foam rubber mattresse on a plywood bunk and some empty PBR cans rolling around.

Seriously, though, that article looks like a good how-to.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 12-11-2013   #3
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
tall order

Good luck finding a reliable rig for a grand. A van or 2wd Suburban would probably be the easiest to find to duplicate a build like that, but I wouldn't start with a thousand dollar rig. Spend a few more dollars for a better rig. Out in Oregon there are a glut of 92-99 4x4 Suburbans for sale up to about 3 grand, sometimes less. Vans are cheap, but they are harder to DIY work on mechanically, and the cheap ones aren't 4x4.
A truck with a canopy would be good too, but you are unlikely to find a decent truck with a decent canopy for a grand. A Suburban has better access, is waterproof, and still has an 8 foot cargo area like a long bed truck. The seats come out easy enough and you can sell them to recoup some of your money. Also, a lot of them have rear heat/ AC too
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Old 12-11-2013   #4
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
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The van thing all the way!! That's my vote.
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Old 12-11-2013   #5
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Durango, Colorado
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Beater Subaru wagon. Sleep in the back. Works for Evan Garcia.

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Old 12-11-2013   #6
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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So where does the spare tire go with that camper set up?
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Old 12-11-2013   #7
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Baybarry, Colorado
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1983 ford van is my vote
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Old 12-11-2013   #8
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
AW Chevy Astro, if you want you can give it a lift. Lots of room inside for people and gear and it is nor huge on the the road.
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Old 12-11-2013   #9
Phoenix, Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Most spares hang under the pickup box.

Originally Posted by DoStep View Post
So where does the spare tire go with that camper set up?
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Old 12-12-2013   #10
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Derby, Connecticut
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 27
...what kind of truck do you have??
Put a cap on it, build yourself a roof rack and your problem is solved!!

"Catch Me If You Can...."
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