Board and Kayak
Get A Fishing License
*Disclaimer: Board and Kayak earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

Top-Notch RV Kayak Racks: Your Ultimate Travel Companion! [2024]

Kayak Rack For RV

Kayak Rack For RV

Updated on 6/20/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott


For all you adventurous souls who adore taking your kayaks along on your trips, transporting them could be a bit tricky given their bulk. But worry not, we have a fantastic solution for you: an RV kayak rack. Although there are a plethora of ways to attach a kayak to an RV, for those lengthy journeys, we suggest using a sturdy kayak rack.

In this write-up, we will unravel the most efficient approach to attach a kayak to an RV, highlight seven of the best RV kayak racks available today, and even guide you on constructing your own. So, let's jump right into it!

You might be wondering, what's the best technique to fasten a kayak to an RV? It primarily depends on the kind of RV you own. For instance, Class A motorhomes and fifth-wheel RVs are among the tallest vehicles on the streets. Hence, mounting your kayak vertically is usually the most space-efficient method. This typically means standing the kayak upright and securing it using a device attached to your hitch or RV ladder.


Kayak Roof Rack For RV

For those who fancy a little DIY, hitch mount cargo carriers like the Mockins Steel Cargo Basket are a popular option. This cargo basket, loaded with a waterproof cargo bag, two ratchet straps, and a robust steel hitch stabilizer, has the ability to bear up to 500 pounds of weight. So it's perfect for hauling camping gear or even your beloved kayak.

The assembled tray of the Mockins Steel Cargo Basket boasts dimensions of 60 inches in length, 20 inches in width, and 6 inches in height. But what happens if your kayak is a bit too broad for the tray? No problem! If you're cruising in an RV, you can utilize the vehicle's height to mount the kayak, or even multiple kayaks, vertically by standing them upright. All you need to do is secure the top end to the rear of the ladder and the bottom end to the cargo tray. Voila, your kayak is now safely fastened and ready for the journey!

best rv

best rv

Some ingenious kayakers use milk crates to secure the ends of their kayaks, with foam packing sheets offering additional protection to the crates. If you're up for a bit of DIY, another solution could involve cutting holes into the tray with the right tools and placing a bucket or a similar container in the gap. The ends of the kayaks can then snugly fit into these containers. Don't forget to stabilize the kayaks with ample support below the surface level of the tray.

If you're only strapping on a single kayak, the cargo tray can double up as a mounting space for other items like a cooler, a bicycle, or an extra storage container. This way, your adventurous escapade can include a nice picnic or a bike ride - the possibilities are endless!


Pros And Cons Of Roof-Mounted RV Racks

Roof-mounted racks are indeed another excellent way to transport kayaks. You can effortlessly fit these onto your RV or travel trailer, installing the brackets with ease.

It's paramount to ensure that these roof-mounted racks are affixed securely and accurately. This ensures your kayak remains stable and in position, especially when you're zooming down the highway.

What's more, these RV roof racks are quite the multitaskers. They're not just for your kayak - you can also use them to transport various other camping gear. This makes it a breeze to move bulky items like water containers or sizable luggage pieces. So, with a roof rack, not only is your kayak travel-ready, but so is your entire camping kit!

You can easily install a roof rack for RVs with YouTube videos. You can even find videos on installing a roof rack on your RV.

Using Your RV Roof To Carry Kayaks (Kayak Fifth Wheel)

While professionals often recommend using a roof rack, it's worth noting that a more budget-friendly solution exists for those seeking to transport their kayaks without the added expense. Enter the humble pool noodle - a simple, yet effective tool to secure your kayak and safeguard your RV's roof.

To start, you'll need to measure the length of your kayak against the top of your RV. Once done, place the pool noodles at either end of the roof rack. These noodles should be positioned in the same spots where a rack would typically go.

Next, put the ratchet straps around the pool noodles and fasten them securely at both ends of the kayak. If you're planning to hit the road at high speeds or anticipate gusty winds, consider using additional pool noodles for increased stability, ensuring your kayak doesn't tumble off the roof rack.

For those travelling with a fifth wheel, you can also bring your kayak along for the ride. When towing a fifth wheel with a kayak, you have two options. You can either mount the kayak on the roof rack of the towing truck or position it at the rear on top of the fifth wheel. With these tips, your kayak can join you on all your adventurous excursions, no matter the setup!


Related How to build a kayak rack for an RV?


Can I Tow Two Kayaks With My RV?

kayak rack

kayak rack

If you're a double kayak enthusiast, fear not, you can still tow both with your RV - you'll just need to invest in a rack designed to comfortably hold two or more kayaks.

If you plan to carry more than two, it's advisable to opt for smaller, lightweight kayaks to prevent overload. For multiple kayaks, consider using a kayak trailer which is specially designed for this purpose.

You might be surprised to know that you can even transport kayaks inside your RV! A kayak of around 10 feet can fit snugly inside one of the rooms in your RV. Just remember to secure them with a ratchet strap and you're good to go!

Given their lightweight nature, kayaks are pretty straightforward to store. If you're a frequent kayaker, you might want to consider a permanent rack for ease of transport.

If you're hauling larger equipment like paddle canoes along with your kayaks, toy hauler RVs are the way to go. Toy haulers, and travel trailers with substantial 5th wheel kayak rack plans, are perfectly capable of towing larger gear. Now, you're all set for an adventure-packed trip!



Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to carry a kayak in an RV?

Here is some of the advice we got: Option 1: Strap the Kayaks to The Back of the RV. Option 2: Buy A Kayak Rack That Fits in Your Trailer's Hitch. Option 3: Get A Roof Rack for Your RV. Carry the Kayaks on The Roof of Your Vehicle. Try Kayak Trailers.

Is it possible to put a kayak on the ladder of an RV?

It is easy to mount and very affordable. A MaxxHaul ladder rack, for instance, costs only $65 and can easily carry one kayak. You can use straps or bicycle locks if you want to secure your kayak.

Is it possible to install a roof rack without rails?

Don't worry if your car does not have factory rails; you can still add some bars to your roof. Fixed mounting points come with some vehicles (especially BMWs, Volkswagens, and Mazdas).