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Old 06-20-2022, 01:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Bend, oregon
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Default Custom tandem bike rack and kayak rack

I've been meaning to post this for some time. My wife and I are avid paddlers and tandem bike riders. We carry both on the back of our 2011 Roadtrek Sprinter SS Agile. We have better kayaks for paddling at home, but there is nothing better than having hard shell boats available at all times. We chose a couple of really cheap Pelican Trailblazer 10 foot sit in Kayaks. These things remain on our RV all summer with paddles, vests, etc. stuffed in the rear kayak.

Kayak rack: First I cut away a bit of plastic on the front deck of the blue kayak to lock into the top of door mount ladder that I added to the RV. I built a removable wooden crosspiece with strap rings in order to be able to strap the first kayak hard against the ladder. The green kayak has a small piece of plastic cut out of the deck to allow it to lay as close as possible to the blue kayak. The bottom of the rack is made of plywood mounted on a Yakima 2 bike bike rack. The bike rack closest to the vehicle was removed, and a 4x4 piece of wood cut and bolted to it to form a secure base on which I mounted the plywood. There are two holes cut, shaped and padded to accommodate the tails of the kayaks. The platform is strong enough to stand on for accessing the straps during securing the boats and removal. One cam buckle strap for the first kayak, another strap to lash them together and one strap at the top to lash both tightly against the top of the ladder. Super duper secure and takes about 2 minutes to remove or replace.

Tandem rack: I used a simple truck bed type skewer fork mount. I removed the rear interior panel after determining where I wanted the bike to sit. I first profiled a 9 inch x 3 inch piece of 3/4 plywood in to fit the curve of the door and attached it on the inside with flexible epoxy and allowed it to cure. I then drilled through the door and the plywood for the fork mount bolts. Between the fork mount and the door, I placed piece of plastic (old plastic cutting board) that I profiled to match the curve of the door so that the bike rides straight. The rear wheel sits on the bike rack cross member and is secured with a cam buckle strap. Two additional cam buckle straps attached to the bike and fork mount provide fail safe attachment. It sticks out about 4 feet, so a red flag is on the back. I attached a plastic crate and screwed it into the plywood deck to hold our ground cover, hose, stinky water shoes, etc.

Without the tandem bike, a single bike can ride with the kayaks. I have a 2 bike extension that attaches to the rack to allow three bikes and the kayaks to be transported. This is a very good system. Attaching the forks of the tandem to the door mount is the only hard part. I use a ladder at home and a camping chair and another person on a trip. The only down side is that it makes the rear doors unusable for practical purposes. It will also be a pain if I ever need to change a flat.
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Old 06-20-2022, 01:17 AM   #2
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I saw a similar rack some years ago where they carried two kayaks and two bikes. It was hitch mounted and when rotated out so the doors could be open had a drop down "hitch jack" type wheel to roll on. I find that and the one shown to be very innovative for carrying what you want to have with you.
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Old 06-20-2022, 01:30 AM   #3
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The swing outs are nice, but pricey. Other than the Yakima rack and the ladder, I spent less than $100 on this project.
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Old 06-20-2022, 03:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
I've been meaning to post this for some time. My wife and I are avid paddlers and tandem bike riders. We carry both on the back of our 2011 Roadtrek Sprinter SS Agile. We have better kayaks for paddling at home, but there is nothing better than having hard shell boats available at all times. We chose a couple of really cheap Pelican Trailblazer 10 foot sit in Kayaks. These things remain on our RV all summer with paddles, vests, etc. stuffed in the rear kayak.

Kayak rack: First I cut away a bit of plastic on the front deck of the blue kayak to lock into the top of door mount ladder that I added to the RV. I built a removable wooden crosspiece with strap rings in order to be able to strap the first kayak hard against the ladder. The green kayak has a small piece of plastic cut out of the deck to allow it to lay as close as possible to the blue kayak. The bottom of the rack is made of plywood mounted on a Yakima 2 bike bike rack. The bike rack closest to the vehicle was removed, and a 4x4 piece of wood cut and bolted to it to form a secure base on which I mounted the plywood. There are two holes cut, shaped and padded to accommodate the tails of the kayaks. The platform is strong enough to stand on for accessing the straps during securing the boats and removal. One cam buckle strap for the first kayak, another strap to lash them together and one strap at the top to lash both tightly against the top of the ladder. Super duper secure and takes about 2 minutes to remove or replace.

Tandem rack: I used a simple truck bed type skewer fork mount. I removed the rear interior panel after determining where I wanted the bike to sit. I first profiled a 9 inch x 3 inch piece of 3/4 plywood in to fit the curve of the door and attached it on the inside with flexible epoxy and allowed it to cure. I then drilled through the door and the plywood for the fork mount bolts. Between the fork mount and the door, I placed piece of plastic (old plastic cutting board) that I profiled to match the curve of the door so that the bike rides straight. The rear wheel sits on the bike rack cross member and is secured with a cam buckle strap. Two additional cam buckle straps attached to the bike and fork mount provide fail safe attachment. It sticks out about 4 feet, so a red flag is on the back. I attached a plastic crate and screwed it into the plywood deck to hold our ground cover, hose, stinky water shoes, etc.

Without the tandem bike, a single bike can ride with the kayaks. I have a 2 bike extension that attaches to the rack to allow three bikes and the kayaks to be transported. This is a very good system. Attaching the forks of the tandem to the door mount is the only hard part. I use a ladder at home and a camping chair and another person on a trip. The only down side is that it makes the rear doors unusable for practical purposes. It will also be a pain if I ever need to change a flat.

Nicely done. We also live in Bend so I understand your passions. Our Safari Condo XL Flex allows us to travel with 4 bikes inside or 2 SUPís inside and 2 bikes on our swing away rack.
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Old 06-20-2022, 12:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
The swing outs are nice, but pricey. Other than the Yakima rack and the ladder, I spent less than $100 on this project.

The one that we say was also a home made unit and was said to be in that price range with the tongue jack and wheel being the most of the cost.
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