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Old 06-22-2022, 01:21 PM   #1
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Default Kayaks on a Class B

For anyone interested I finished up my project to haul our kayaks on our class B. It's a challenge as the van (a Promaster) is so high plus has air conditioner, solar panels and air vents to avoid. I had to design/build my own rails and crossbars to be as low as possible. I used Thule Hullivators for the lift mechanism. I can load the kayaks into the cradles and strap them down before lifting into position. The 28" step stool helps.

The Hullavators have gas springs that assist up to 40#. Our kayaks are 39-40# so are nearly weightless on this setup. The cradles are 67" apart and, since they work independent of each other, it's a bit awkward on the lift. (needs some practice).

Road test: At 65 mph there was no noticeable wind noise. And I did not have the cockpit covers on for the test.

Height: The highest point of cockpit rim is 10'-1" high. (The air con was at 9'-1-1/2"). Yes...I have to watch the tree limbs.

Some photos... --KenA
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Old 06-25-2022, 05:58 PM   #2
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Over the years I have gone to 14' Perception Carolina plastic, to Advanceed Elements 11' inflatables, to currently 9' Intex Challenger K1 inflatable. Getting older I've opted for lighter kayaks since we don't use them as much or have challenging trips. We never carried the Perceptions on our van and we studied every possible way. I think you have found the best solution. We did travel with our Advanced Elements inflatable but got tired of licensing them every year because they were over 10' in length. I thought it was stupid for inflatables. So we now have 9' inflatables. They will do. We are not going down rivers much anymore since we are surrounded by lakes in Minnesota. We also now have a shorter Sprinter but we designed it for carrying two folding bicycles or these kayaks with adjustable shelves. We probably are not going to carry our bicycles as we trail walk more.

Kayak above out of the box and the other kayak stuffed in the box for illustrative purposes.
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Old 06-25-2022, 06:42 PM   #3
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We also went the inflatable route, we went with Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Ultralite, which only weigh 17.5 lbs, and pack up into a large backpack. Two of them fit under our bed with no problem.

We've found they are much better than our old hard shell kayaks we bought from Costco about 15 years ago. They track just as straight, and are so much lighter and faster.
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Old 06-25-2022, 06:59 PM   #4
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we also have the Intex Challenger inflatable
On occasion they drop to about $80 on amazon


it's 6 years old and is starting to show some wear and likely be replaced before next trip


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Old 06-27-2022, 03:39 AM   #5
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I just put my 17’ resin( don’t care if it gets scratched) sea kayak in my Roadtrek Popular 210. Bought it to fit exactly inside.
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Old 06-27-2022, 08:47 AM   #6
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Default Kayaks

Thanks for posting. I think you found a great solution. I have two hard shell kayaks that I have yet to decide if I want to put on the van. I had seen the Thule lifts on sport utility type vehicles and wondered if it would work on a high van. They looked like a slick piece of kit.

I did have a utility trailer that the kayaks could go in along with my adventure motorcycle but alas some body liked the trailer more than I did and stole it during covid from my vacation property. The big city problems have arrived in the countryside I'm afraid. It was securely locked but still someone managed to override the hardened steel locks and chains and take it.
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