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I have a 16' NRS oar rig. I don't have a trailer or a place to store one, and have always transported the oar frame and oars strapped to the luggage rack of my Ford Expedition. Unfortunately, that vehicle needs a new engine and I am considering replacing it with a short bed crew cab pickup, possibly an F-150. I'm having a hard time figuring out how I'll be able to haul the frame and oars. It seems like a topper may be an option. What do other people do?

Thanks,

Phil
 

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Here is my solution. I built this for less than $50 on a Saturday. Oars on top, frame on top of oars. With the lock box for small stuff and chains to secure the big stuff in back from being lifted out, very secure. This rack is about 6 years old and still going strong.


I would suggest the long bed crew cab and key pad entry for shuttles.
 

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I run a topper with a rack, works well.

On my last truck, without a topper, my father in law built a rack for me to haul 12' kayaks. Basically it had 4 posts with crossbars that were just above the height of the roof of the truck. You could build your own or look at those racks either Tule or Yakima make.
 
RMR, Hyside, NRS, Sawyer, K2 coolers, Whitewater Worthy Trailers, Frames and soft goods
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Just put it in the ship! Do don’t need to spend a bunch of money on racks and systems but it does make life easier.


Speaking of easy why does the photo uploaded rotate images and not allow you to rotate it back?
 

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I used to have a tri-fold hard tonneau cover. Frame and oars on top of cover, all gear and rolled boat underneath. I've since gone trailer and will never go back.
 

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Roll boat and place in truck bed pushed up to back window, put dry box and cooler also in the bed and leave tailgate down strap frame on the truck and strap oars to frame. Strap other stuff on top. Fill back seat with extra gear and 2nd dry box. This is how I do it for a Tacoma
 

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$12 gutter mount system from goodwill, $40 for the gutter track and heat shrink tubing from ebay, $10 for 2pcs of 3/4" sch. 40 from work for the cross bars.
 

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I went "light" to the Middle Fork last year - leaving my trailer and canopy behind. I have a 10' welded frame and my truck has a long bed. I used 3 2X4's across the stake pocket holes to and toggle bolts mount them and then put all my gear underneath. Frame on last and strap to go.
 

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Simple pocket stake rail system to keep my frame up off the truck bed rails so I have access to the bed below even with the frame attached.

The height of the posts can be set by you to whatever you need when you make it... I only needed a little more space and I like keeping things below the roof line for aerodynamics... And ease in loading the frame by myself.

I will strap the frame down to the truck bed tiedowns and not just the wood rails.

My truck is a double cab so it has the full size 6.5' bed... I wouldn't recommend the short bed option... I pretty much fill my bed for each trip. 20190503_122202.jpg 20190503_122146.jpg
 

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A ladder rack is the only way to go. Also a ladder rack is an incredibly handy thing to have for all kinds of rigging and hauling applications. Bonus is that you can take a ladder if you plan to put up new siding on your Mother's house on the same trip!!! 2 rafts? No problem.
 

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Go for a longer bed, if at all possible. I have a6’, and it gets me by, but I usually wish I had more space.

K2, make sure you keep a close eye on that roof rack, I’m sure it will do you well, but I had the exact same one on my truck, till it catastrophically failed, and a sheet of plywood went over two lanes. I’m lucky I didn’t kill someone.
I think screws must have backed out on it. Maybe thread lock of some type to prevent it....
 

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I will mounting to the shell wasnt my first plan...wanted to make a ladder rack to go around and over the cap. Scratched that because it's so heavy and on the truck 24/7. I put red loctite on the fasteners, figured I'd never need to remove the rails. I dont plan on running much up there...biggest will probably be the 12' cat, they'll just be for short shuttles and such. Frame only up there is over 45mph.
 

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Though it would be nice I don't like the look of roof racks or paying to drag them through the air every day when I'd only use one a few times a year. I bought a bike rack and had it extended so I can haul frames on anything with a 2" hitch. So far I've only used it around town, it works really well!
 

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I really like the Thule Xsporter Pro.
Expensive, but I think I got the one for my F150 for like $300 from Craigslist four years ago.
I have it so I can put a big ski box on it in the winter, as my 5.5’ bed limits me, but I knew that when I bought the truck.
I currently have the bars removed so I only have the lower assembly on.
I have a prior Thule rack system for my diesel long bed. Works just as well in that truck.
Great system, especially for the guy who doesn’t need a rack full time.
 

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Though it would be nice I don't like the look of roof racks or paying to drag them through the air every day when I'd only use one a few times a year. I bought a bike rack and had it extended so I can haul frames on anything with a 2" hitch. So far I've only used it around town, it works really well!
That's a neat idea, but what's the weight capacity of the rack?
 

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Though it would be nice I don't like the look of roof racks or paying to drag them through the air every day when I'd only use one a few times a year. I bought a bike rack and had it extended so I can haul frames on anything with a 2" hitch. So far I've only used it around town, it works really well!
That's a neat idea, but what's the weight capacity of the rack?
The manufacture rates it for 35# per bike which seems conservative to me. The extension is built out of pretty heavy material, I doubt it derates the capacity. The horizontal bar on there is intended to keep frames from pivoting into your tailgate and give s place to strap cross bars to keep the frame from flopping about. At 225+ pounds I can climb onto the horizontal bar to secure the top hold down and everything feels fine minus the wiggle in the hitch.
 

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another vote for the 6.5 inch bed, I have a tundra, and often find the bed full. I run the thule xporter on it, but you have to also get the clips for a tacoma to make it work on the tundra bed. I run a tool box most of the time (awesome locking storage) and then I made a cover out of 5/16 ply with a sheet of carbon fiber wetted out with Raka uv stabilized epoxy over arched supports that straps down so folks cannot shop in the bed while I am not there. It is strong enough to stand on, and pretty light, with the bed up and locked it is semi dry too.
 

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oops, had a picture from a weekend hudson expedition
Ok, that's really slick!

I didn't understand what you mean about leaving the crossbars off but now I see you're resting the frame members directly on the uprights. So no crossbar to get in the way of loading and unloading.

Very nice!
 
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