Kayak and canoe woes, prorac?, other ideas?

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by JNF, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. JNF

    JNF New Member

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    Ok, I know this topic has been beat to death on here, but I have read through as many other threads as possible before posting this. So bear with me.

    Here's my situation. Just bought a 2007 starcraft 1701, and I have a reg cab s-10 that's already getting a workout just by pulling the pup alone. Normally I throw the canoe and kayak in the bed of the truck, but thats no longer an option when pulling because of how far they stick past the bumper. I'm afraid the wind resistance from kayaks on a truck bed rack in addition to the pup will be just too much for my the truck to handle. It does have the 4.3 V6 manual transmission, but its a 94 with 170,000 on it so its a little tired and cranky at times especially on steep hills and scorching hot summer days of south MS.

    Does anybody have a similar setup to know if that extra wind resistance from both a kayak and canoe up there does when pulling their pup?

    I'm leaning towards putting them on the pup, and although I won't be happy about the decreased visibility, it might be the only option if I want to get above 55mph.

    So in addition to wondering how others fare with them on a truck bed rack, I'm curious if anybody uses the prorac on their pup for canoes and kayaks. My main concern was the fact that they're only held in with wood screws from what I saw on the installation instructions. I'm more of a bolt and nut guy myself, but what's yall's experiences with the sturdiness of this system. Just bought this pup and its my first, so punching holes in the roofs scares me. Any longterm problems with hauling these on the roofs. Do those wood screws with the prorac ever work loose or rip out?

    Last question, as much as I'm not a fan of foam blocks, I'm not ruling out that scenario either. I've already looked at a lot of the homemade pvc racks and ratcheting the boats the the roof directly under foam or those racks. My main concern with this is where do you run the straps? Seems like you could easily deform the camper and roof and make it prone to leaks by tightening up ratchet straps against the frame of the camper. I wouldn't be as worried with some of these seamless roofs I see on the colemans, but mine has seams on the corners that look like they might not like ratchet straps cranked down on them.

    I'm really split 33.3 on all these ideas
    1. foam blocks ratchets straps against camper [?:~{]
    2. additional wind resistance of truck bed rack [:!]
    3. drilling holes in my roof [:(]

    Any suggestions or recommendations on a roof rack that will be best for my trailer without making it prone to leaks or deformation?
     
  2. HEYN0VV

    HEYN0VV New Member

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    We strap our canoe right down on the camper. Doesn't seem to have any effect whatsoever from when we tow without it. The curvature of the canoe fits perfectly on the rounded top of our camper. We only use the foam blocks on the car itself when just going canoeing for protection of the paint. Here's a pic from last week:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. JNF

    JNF New Member

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    Thanks for the picture. It does look like you have an anchor or rack on the roof that you are able to strap to. I don't have anything like that so I would have to run the straps around the whole trailer or at least down to the frame. My concern with that is the ratchet straps digging into the sides of the roof and under pressure deforming the seams and also the base of the camper body as well adjacent to the trailer frame. I just can't see any way of doing that with my trailer where I could put enough tension on the straps without risking damage to the camper.
     
  4. jckele

    jckele Member

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    Don't feel bad, I'm using an 89, yes 1989, GMC Vandura with a 4.3 Litre, automatic, 338000 km with a 14' boat strapped to the roof. It doesn't add any drag that one could feel. I'm sure it affects the gas consumption, but your canoe or kayak should be fine anywhere you decide. By the way the boat is loaded / unloaded by a custom made self loader.

    [​IMG]

    I also tow a Starcraft 10' tent trailer. As long as I keep it above 55 on the hills its fine to the top. Let off any I'm done. Manual shifting to second keeps the rpms and power up in case I have to let off the gas slightly.

    When I had a canoe I carried it on the trailer frame. I had a pair of 2x2 box tubes vertically mounted to the frame in front and behind the box portion of the trailer. One welded behind the propane tank and the other in front of the spare tire. T-bar extensions were inserted in the box tube to extend above the trailer top and the canoe was ratchet strapped to the top of the T. It kept the weight off the roof but required removal to set up the trailer. I used 5/8 hitch pins to secure the T-bars to the box tube. Wish I had a picture but I have since removed it and replaced it with the boat.
     
  5. RhinoDave

    RhinoDave Active Member

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    I've hauled my kayaks both on the PUP and on the roof of my TV with my bikes. I prefer them mounted on the PUP when hauling long distances at highway speeds. The whole setup seems to handle crosswinds better when mounted on the PUP. If you look at some of my webshots albums, you can see how I've setup and hauled kayaks and bikes. If you don't want to drill any holes in your roof, you might want to make a cradle of wood or PVC that would slip over the sides of the roof to prevent any side to side movement and then use straps down to the frame front and back from the kayaks that would prevent fore and aft movement and hold the cradle in place on the roof. Many moons ago, I hauled a 17' Grumman canoe on the roof of my old Safari Van along with my Niagara. It had a 4.3 and the Niagara weighs in at 2700 lbs. I couldn't tell the difference between hauling the PUP with or without the canoe.
     
  6. JNF

    JNF New Member

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    This is brillian idea!!! Thank you. I might build a cheap bed rack out of wood and give it a test run down the interstate to see if it will be that much different with the boats on the TV. If so, I think I could easily and affordably design somthing like you described. Not sure if I would've ever thought of that on my own.

    Should work great with the canoe, but there might be some tweaking to get it to work with a kayak since there really isn't a very sold tie down points on the forward and aft ends of the boat. Not sure the fabric handles could handle that load,.
     
  7. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    JNF ~ my previous Starcraft p'up was about the same size as your 1701, it was a '99 model. At that time Starcraft had a roof rack that attached to the side panels of the roof which I had given much thought to but did not like the idea on ANY holes in the roof ANYWHERE. So I opted to use the foam blocks and here's as close of a view as I can find showing how I attached the Radisson canoe boat. Tied the boat down fore & aft, then ran a web strap over it connecting to a looped end section of parachute cord that went all the way under the p'up and connected to the other end. If a gust of wind was to take the boat away it would have to take the p'up with it! Worked good for a number of years with -0- problems.

    Here's the pic showing the little camper getting loaded up and checked over for a long two week haul ~



    [​IMG]
     
  8. JNF

    JNF New Member

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    Very nice setup. Did you ever notice if the strap that ran over the boat ever did any damage to seam on the corner of the roof it went over when you tightened it down. Maybe this things a little tougher than I'm giving it credit for?
     
  9. exploring/carolina

    exploring/carolina New Member

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    Been hauling two 10' Kayaks on a camper shell with small foam rubber sheets (from a sleeping mat) between the Kayaks & shell. The Tacoma camper shell was given to me and did not fit exactly right, but close enough. Drilled holes in the shell and installed tie down bolts for the nylon straps. This arrangement works great. I get 23MPG towing a 1200lb Chalet with the Kayaks on top as long as I don't go over 55MPH with a 87 Toyota 2.4L/4 speed truck with 245,000 miles.

    Just installed a Thule rack with permanent rails on the camper shell, in the last photo. Still use the tie down bolts to secure the Kayaks with nylon tie downs.

    "If" I ever buy a newer model Toyota Tacoma, will probably use an aluminum rack for the Kayaks, similar to the racks painters carry ladders on and will not install a camper shell.

    [​IMG]

    New Thule Rack:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. JNF

    JNF New Member

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    I'm shocked a 4 cyl engine can handle that let alone get that kind of mileage. I guess they make Yota's a bit better than my truck. My 4.3 only got 15mpg on the 4 hour trip home with it, but that was keeping it at about 65 and NO yaks with me at all. If I stay at 60 I can probably make due with the yaks on top of the truck. I'm gonna give it a try, but I'm sure mileage is gonna be rough.

    I've been looking at the roof on my pup with the giant a/c they felt they needed to intall that could probably cool a 2000 square foot house, and it just doesn't seem like I can come up with a system very easily to work. Plus with that ginormous a/c up there, I'm not sure how much more weight that roof should have to deal with.
     
  11. exploring/carolina

    exploring/carolina New Member

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    I can not run over 55MPH to get 23MPG. Also hauling about 250lbs of camping gear in the truck bed. Guessing the shell weighs at least 200lbs. The 87 Toyota has a empty weight of 2500lbs with 116HP, carburetor, four speed manual, and A/C. It's not very fast going uphill [:(], but I take my time to get the best fuel economy possible [:D].

    Good luck on the project!
     
  12. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    The corners is where the parachute cord goes and to help protect the corners had some narrow 1/2" garden hose that I was no longer using (plus I cannot throw anything away!), so I cut some 8" lengths, drop the cord through and have the rubber hose "elbows". The parachute cord connects to the web belt just above the roof.
     
  13. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Sometimes we need to bring 2 vehicles. The wagon has all the thule racked canoe, canoeing gear, bike, and extra coolers etc. The tb has the camping gear, thule racked( 25gal waste tank, screen room, ATV wagon), firewood, cooler, clothes, kiddo, and this guy:[​IMG]
     
  14. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    Bringing the 2 cars, both thule racked, allows for canoe portage on rivers. [:D]
    I never worry about racking up or wasting money on the carrying systems for the pup [;)]
     
  15. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    Two things to do so you won't stress out about damage to either the canoe, kayak or popup. Place a two 2 X 4s across the entire width of the popup roof (side to side). The edge of the roof is the strongest, to the boards will sit on the edge and the boats will sit in the middle of the boards giving you even distribution. One board for the front and one for the back. You can put SCREW EYES on each end of the boards then run a cargo strap from the screw eyes to the popup's frame. This will hold the boards in place. The other thing is you SHOULD NOT tighten the straps that go over the canoe or kayak so tight that they start to warp the boats. They only have to be snug, NOT tight. and ALWAYS put a bow and stern line on your boats. Run two straps over each boat and atttach the ends to the frame. Yes they have to be long straps with hooks on the ends and a rachet mechanism. If you have a Harbor Freight, you can pick up what you need from them cheap.

    Happy Paddling!

    JJ
     
  16. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    We use the thule canoe carrier and can use them on either vehicle. I'd hate to have add to the setup: taking the pup to the launch, pay mooring fees, and have to get the pup to move the canoe.
     
  17. BratsMuttsNFish

    BratsMuttsNFish New Member

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    Here is a pic of my canoe rack. There is a bracket bolted onto the trailer, and the T post slide and bolt in, then you tie down the canoe or kayak to the posts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. JNF

    JNF New Member

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    Pretty cool ideas. Well I did come up with a solution for now. Here's my design. So I put this one together from about $25 lumber and another $30 worth of hardware and I brushed it with some old exterior paint I had sitting in the garage leftover from painting the house. Its held in by turnbuckles, evenly tightened and its solid as a rock. I can shake my whole truck around by the canoe tied to it and the rack doesnt budge. Unfortunately towing the camper and the kayaks on the roof + all camping gear is about as much as my poor truck can handle. Couldn't get it above 60mph unless I really pushed it. Had it up to almost 70 coasting downhill and it was solid. Not much added noise either. But I'm fine with keeping it at 60. Don't really like going faster than that while towing anyway.

    Only downfall is the rack is heavy. Add it plus the yaks, camper and everything else and my brakes are getting a workout. Probably need to look into trailer brakes to really be as safe as I need to be. I just don't have anyone in my area that sells them or installs them that I can find. I could probably do it myself, but I just need to know what to order. So much crap out there, I don't know what I need for my specific setup. For now, I'm just gonna hafta take my time getting to where I wanna go in this configuration. Also probably going to wait for a little cooler weather before I travel any long distances. The extra workout on a 100 degree day is also a little more than the water pump can handle as well and shes definitely running hotter than normal. But I can't complain, this truck is 18 years old with 170,000 miles on it, and considering I only paid $3,000 for it 9 years ago, it doesn't really owe me anything.

    [​IMG]

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