Kayak Carrier For Tow Hitch// SUV suggestions for carrying 8 boats - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-29-2018   #1
Vancouver Isl, BC
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 28
Kayak Carrier For Tow Hitch// SUV suggestions for carrying 8 boats

I'm trying to figure out how you can carry 7 or 8 kayaks on a large SUV, without a trailer. I don't think an SUV exists, where you could make this roof rack work - 2 rows of 4 creek boats.

I'm pondering the thought of having a kayak carrier fabricated, which could hold 3-4 creek boats on the tow hitch (vertically).

This is a rough idea of what i'm thinking: https://www.google.ca/search?q=verti...OVX5T6i3FVs9M:

It would however have the boats turned 90 degrees, so that you can stack more side-by-side.

I would also like it to be hinged, so that you can get your stuff out from the trunk. Maybe add a paddle holder too.



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Old 10-29-2018   #2
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,693
You can't stack creek boats or sea kayaks?

I never got the memo.

I've stacked a mix of hardshell and skin on frame kayaks on a 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan on 6' bars....and drove to Seattle, 450mi away.

We fit 10 sea kayaks.
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Old 10-29-2018   #3
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,036
I kinda understand not wanting to do an obnoxious stack every time on most normal SUVs, but agree it can be done. I think you could pull off the roof rack single stack on a Ford Excursion for sure, I bet a Suburban would be close and could be accomplished if you ran the rack past the cab over the hood. Prolly a custom setup though have seen them before.

Have a buddy who uses a platform hitch and just straps boats to it, albeit playboats. Might be able to work with something like this:


Lots of platform options with some decent weight ratings, I almost want one now.
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Old 10-29-2018   #4
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 514
4 across then stack them on the roof. Or if you want to carry them on the bumper you could contact the folks from Sportsmobile and see if they'll build you a bumper with this kind of swing out(s) designed to hold boats. https://sportsmobile.com/sportsmobile-exterior-options/
You also should consider where you want carry up to 400 lbs of dead weight.
Good luck
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Old 10-29-2018   #5
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,113
Curious what you come up with. For a long trip if it were me, I'd bite the bullet and do a trailer. 8 on a roof rack is certainly possible though.

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Old 10-29-2018   #6
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,724
Bunch O' Wimps.

The Art of Strappage

Wiping a tear from my eye...
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 10-29-2018   #7
Vancouver Isl, BC
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 28
I guess I should add: stacking 8 boats onto a rack, where you would be considered within the recommended weight limit for the rack - which is normally around the weight of 4 creek boats.
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Old 10-31-2018   #8
FatmanZ's Avatar
Northern Utah, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 685
I had a late 90's Chevy Suburban and used several sets of Thule 78" cross bars attached to the factory rails, as well as a rack set attached to the bare roof over the cab, and a few kayak stackers. With that setup we could haul quite a number of kayaks and even a raft frame. I think our record was 9 or 10, a mix of play, river, kid and creek boats, including a Dynamic Duo, and sometimes even a raft frame and rocket box.

The amount of weight we hauled up there always exceeded the manufacturer's weight limit. I have wondered if that limit refers to their cross bars (blades) and not the rails attached to the roof?

While that setup worked fine, it was a time consuming PITA to strap on so many kayaks and a drag on already poor fuel economy. Nowadays, anytime I'm hauling more than a few kayaks around I'll opt for the utility trailer which is so much quicker and easier than roof strapping, and less worry down the highway.
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