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Obey River Rat
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Not enough water to paddle and not enough snow to ski leaves one with too much time to think. I have acquired a double cab Tacoma with the 5 foot bed. I am looking for ideas as to the optimal way to carry a couple of kayaks, other than just stuffing them loose in the bed.

Toyota sells accessory roof racks that mount on the double cab, and then Yakima or Thule sell mounts to attach crossbars to the roof racks. Does anyone have experience or opinions about this rig?

Or should I look at a set of racks that mounts in the pick-up bed?

Looking for ideas and opinions of all kinds.
 

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I got the double cab long bed, 6 ft. I went with a camper shell with yakima cross bars. I can get 4 loaded creekers on top and 4 play boats in the back. Have even carried a 14 ft. canoe on top with no issue. Take the play boats out at camp and you got a place to sleep in the bed. It's been awesome.

Even with the 5 ft. bed, if you go with a camper shell you could handle much longer boats than just a cab rack plus, on a shell, you can add supports to hold more weight than the factory cab bars would allow.
 

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If you wanted to keep the bed open (no camper shell) you can get a ladder style rack that will allow you to still toss gear in the bed, but also let you tie multiple boats down on the rack. I have also seen a set up that pressure treated 2x6 mounted to the bed rails. This set up could carry about 5 large creekboats (big Nomads and Jefe Grandes).

Personally I have a camper shell on my Silverado with a Thule rack mounted to it, with a set of stackers on it. Which I have put 8 creekboats on and still have plenty of room in the bed for gear and more boats.
 

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I recomend a custom fabricated steel rack or aluminum if you can afford aluminum. You could make it at home if you can weld, it will be cheap to make and you can climb on top of it. put a shell under it and it all comes apart.

you could set a tent up on top of it if you built it w/a floor
haul lots of gear. hundreds of pounds VS 100-maybe 150lbs on a fiberglass topper/roof racks.
tie down lots of gear diff ways.
haul other shit later.

if you haul a lot of stuff, or do multi-sport trips with a lot of gear you can free up a lot of space in the cab

fiberglass topper w/ bars 150lbs

roof rack average w/ bars 100lbs

steel/alum. ladder type 800-1600lbs
 

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I agree with the welding. That is a big if you can weld. I had a buddy make mine for the cost of steel and a 30 rack of pbr that fits over a topper, but is very easy to take off if need be. Just make sure you are sober when finishing it off or you will have crooked vertical bars like mine
 

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Obey River Rat
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Discussion Starter #6
I am beginning to see a camper shell with racks as the way to go. I don't weld, but have friend who does aluminum welding, and will look into that. He goes more for smoke than pbr, so the verticality warning is well taken. Thanks to everyone for the advice.
 

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While it's not exactly the same, we tried a Yakima rack on a Tundra double cab. It torqued the doors/hinges and let air through the gasket. Returned! I didn't know Toyota makes something, I'll have to check that out. Our next step was to be a rack on the topper which isn't without potential problems too.
 

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I would really talk to your buddy about the aluminum, I had a bad experience with it a while back. I do not weld and technology/methods may have improved by my understanding is that the welds for aluminum are superficial unlike steel. My rack broke 5 times at different welds, twice on critical welds before I finally got rid of it. It was a friend doing the work as a side job, but he was a welder and tried to make it work it just did not. Also the size of tubing I used was awesome because it was so damn light and would hold boats no issues, but would bend when you were walking around on top which sucked.

Camper with rack is the way to go, have a simple steel ladder rack now and it works great.
 

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The right size aluminum will weld up fine. It'll be lighter which is key for that little truck. A good aluminum rack will NOT be cheap however. Lots of folks get away with just bars on the shell. If all you'll be carrying is yaks, its probably sufficient.
 

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Kayak/SUP Instructor
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Went this way. The back is nice to have as a gear locker cuz the short bed is no good for much else and still leaves the back seat free to haul pax.

These are sliding rails that flush mount to the topper and then Thule feet and cross bars. Took about an hour to install it all.

 

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Kayak/SUP Instructor
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Here's the rack on our older truck. Made from light gage steel and has hooks along the top to hang wet gear from. The horizontal cross bars cover the windows to slow down gear bandits and give a place to step up and stand when strapping boats. This little truck will carry a lot of boats up there

 

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You know I was thinking you were asking opinions on what's the optimal endowment of a female kayaker...I just couldn't figure out why the kind of vehicle she drives was relevant?

 

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Obey River Rat
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Discussion Starter #14
Gannon: Your post begs for a pun. What a nice rack! Oh yeah, thanks for the topper pictures. A picture is better than words.
 

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These are costly but a lot cheaper then using a shell and much more sturdy.

Thule 422XT Xsporter Aluminum Truck Rack - Thule Truck Racks

Not enough water to paddle and not enough snow to ski leaves one with too much time to think. I have acquired a double cab Tacoma with the 5 foot bed. I am looking for ideas as to the optimal way to carry a couple of kayaks, other than just stuffing them loose in the bed.

Toyota sells accessory roof racks that mount on the double cab, and then Yakima or Thule sell mounts to attach crossbars to the roof racks. Does anyone have experience or opinions about this rig?

Or should I look at a set of racks that mounts in the pick-up bed?

Looking for ideas and opinions of all kinds.
 

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Obey River Rat
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I linked to the Thule racks and they may be the ticket. About half the price of a new shell, and leave the bed open for piling in gear or a support raft for multi-day trips.
 

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Coming from lots of experience with Yakima, I say do NOT buy their Q-tower based cross bars over the cab. On three Tacomas I've seen them put some dents in the side of the roof (no, I did not tighten mine down too much). They do however work really good on other vehicles.

I switched to a camper shell with a steel ladder rack and haven't looked back ever since. Expanded metal on top allows you to climb around. The four rising legs allow you to tie add'l boats on the side. Like Bob said, 1000s of lbs.
 

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This last boating season I was able to haul two full size rafts with dry boxes, coolers ect while towing another raft from CA to ID no problem. The only problem is not being able to secure your gear because of not having a lockable shell. What this means is I usually end up camping instead of staying in hotels on the way to rivers, no big deal unless my GF is with me:D


I linked to the Thule racks and they may be the ticket. About half the price of a new shell, and leave the bed open for piling in gear or a support raft for multi-day trips.
 
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