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Old 10-09-2018, 02:33 AM   #1
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Default Yes, you can take your kayaks with you!

I did a lot of thought on how I was going to take our two kayaks with us on the road with our Roadrek 190P. We absolutely need kayaks as it is one of the most enjoyable activities we do in our travels along with hiking and biking. I originally wanted to put them on the roof the conventional way but getting them up and down could be difficult and somewhat dangerous. Also I need space on the roof for solar panels and the cargo carrier which CAN store an immense amount of items.

Researching the subject of vertical carriers showed me some great ideas but nothing seemed like it would work in the way I needed it. I needed it to securely hold the kayaks, be easy to load and unload, and most importantly allow me easy access to open the back doors of the van. That was the hard part. All vertical kayak creations did not allow easy access to the rear of the van.

I solved the problem by purchasing a swing up receiver hitch from Amazon that is intended to be used with a cargo basket. When done using the cargo basket, you can swing it up 90 degrees and it will lock into place. I simply turned the receiver upside down so that it swings down. One of the holes in the receiver allowed me to put a hitch pin through it and the kayaks swing down 45 degrees and stops resting safely on the pin. This way the kayaks never make contact with the ground. It takes all of 1 minute to loosen the stabilizing straps and pull the pin that holds the kayaks vertically and then let the receiver swing down to the 45 degree angle previously mentioned. The kayaks stay strapped to the kayak carrier the whole time.

The receiver plugs into where the continental tire holder used to be on my Roadtrek. I wanted to leave the center receiver free to hold my motorcycle carrier if I needed it. Normally, the motorcycle carrier is attached to the front receiver. The kayaks are slightly tilted to the right so that the left rear brake/turn signal is completely visible. The kayaks stay very stabilized with the use of motorcycle tie down straps that attach to D - ring on the back of the carrier and then to my Aluminess rear bumper assembly that has a swing away spare tire and cargo box with our mountain bikes attached to the box.

Everything meshes together very well and I couldn't be more pleased. Loading and unloading the kayaks is totally doable for one person with moderate strength. Certainly less effort and skill/luck getting them on the roof. Believe it or not, I can still see partially out of the back window with the rear view mirror. We do have a backup camera that is attached to the underside of the swing away cargo box. I can see everything in the area behind me including the kayaks so I can accurately judge how close the kayak are to objects when backing up.

I will be doing a detailed write-up and YouTube video showing how it all works so that it may help others. I have not seen anything like it in the previous research I did. I thought I would share with you a bit about it here. I also plan on putting this on several of the forums out there too so you might see it here and there. Our van is an amazing adventure van that has taken us to incredibly beautiful places. It is caked with mud from two days ago taking us to gorgeous locations up in the mountains of Colorado to hike in the fall colors. Anyway, hello to all of you and I look forward to hearing about your adventures and about your vans. I know I will learn some very useful ideas here. Pictures below

https://imgur.com/gallery/T6ZJtfj

https://imgur.com/gallery/bUeC8iO
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:14 AM   #2
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Thanks for this. Can you post a picture of the kayak rack folded down?
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:15 PM   #3
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Sorry for the delay in putting the pictures up. I took a couple screen captures from a video I had made at a campsite. I am on very restricted satellite internet up here in the mountains. When I tried to upload a couple pictures, I got locked out of the system for 24 hours. Penalty for excessive use. LOL! I will get the pictures up here when possible. We leave Colorado for Arizona in a week so probably then.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:44 PM   #4
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Thanks, no hurry at all.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:33 AM   #5
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I admire your ingenuity. Good job.

My wife and I are also avid kayakers. In fact, I have built 2 "Laughing Loon" woodstrip sea kayaks that we use for most of our trips.

With our Class B though we carry 2 Advanced Element inflatable kayaks. They are fairly small and light and are surprisingly nice to paddle. They are another pretty good option in a Class B. https://www.advancedelements.com
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:33 PM   #6
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we love kayaking , and our class b makes it even better, after a long day paddle, we can have a great meal and relax out in nature,,we made our own racks, our kayaks are 16 ft. long, so the rear option didn't work out as they would sit too high,it works for us,,,
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:36 PM   #7
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peppster66: Who's the maker of the roof mount brackets? Do they go on the gutters?
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:23 PM   #8
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Yes, they are mounted to the gutters, my buddy had some old have work vans sitting around, I took the parts mostly from them, then I built up from there,
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:09 PM   #9
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Mr M: Thanks for posting this solution to carrying kayaks vertically, but allowing some access. Look forward to seeing the other pics you referred to once you have better connectivity. Can you define the actual carrier brand you started with as well, ad are your kayaks 10 or 12 feet long as I'm wondering about the overall height issue?
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:44 PM   #10
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@MrMyagi, do you have links to the folding hitch and rack you used?

I am having the same issue with my Roadtrek. I NEED my kayaks back with me...
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