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Old 05-05-2014   #1
behind your mom, Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 678
Mounting kayaks to the side of a ladder rack???

I'm looking at adding a ladder rack to go over my truck topper with hopes of being able to mount kayaks to the side of the topper shell. Basically so I don't have to climb up on top of the truck and there's room for other stuff up there. Looking for photos for anyone that has done this with a commercial style rack, and what you think of it / what you would do differently. I've found a few places that will do custom racks but they get pretty pricey. Basically I'm looking to be able to put a creek boat on each side of the truck, low enough where one person can put it up and take it down without much issue.

My wife and I get a lot of time off for work and love taking road trips, looking to be able to maximize space and still be able to bring bikes, kayaks, climbing gear and still sleep comfortably in the back. So far bikes go on the front hitch, kayaks on the top, climbing/kitchen, sleeping stuff in back. If i could free up the top i could store wet gear up there, which is the biggest issue now.

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Old 05-06-2014   #2
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 221
I have a Tygart River Metalworks rack and many time have put boats on the side. The side has nothing more than vertical bars. No horizontal bars to hold the kayaks. I have just used cam straps to hang them and a cam thru the bars as a backup. Works fine. I see no need to over think it.
Just think how well kayaks sit on top of bars and how unneeded some of these add ons people buy are. I always laugh when I see cars with one ww kayak on the roof being held in place with those ridiculous Thule holders.
I will say some trial and error is needed as each rack and boat combo has a sweet spot..... Make sure your error doesn't kill the guy following you on a motorcycle.

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Old 05-06-2014   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Go as high as you can reach to keep
Them out of your side mirror view. If you have a toe bar along the side, run cams from it tot the top bar to keep the boat from hitting the shell. Any hardware you add should fold away for when you're on tighter fs roads.

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Old 05-09-2014   #4
behind your mom, Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 678
talked to a place that will weld one up custom for around $900. Says he's done them before with 6" removable horizontal posts that will rest inside the cockpit until you strap it down. Also adding a walk rail for bikes. Should be sweet… hopefully I'll have it in a few weeks.
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Old 05-30-2014   #5
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 85
Post pics when you get thus done. Im wanting to do the same thing.

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