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Transporting kayaks & bikes
Old 04-12-2015, 11:44 AM   #1
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Transporting kayaks & bikes

I'm looking for an easy way to haul kayaks and bikes around, both locally and to/from a snowbirding location 1300 miles away.

It's getting to be a chore to sling a kayak on top of my SUV and put a bike carrier on the back.

I'm wondering thinking out loud about some sort of trailering set-up. Something perhaps like:

http://www.amazon.com/Malone-MicroSp...YTGSAKGVWN07PE

Amazon.com: Multi-Sport Rack Trailer for Kayaks, Sups, Canoes, & Bicycles: Sports & Outdoors

Amazon.com: Multi-sport Trailer for Kayaks, Sups, Canoes, & Bikes: Sports & Outdoors

One downside is I currently don't have a trailer hitch on my vehicle ($$ to install). Plus I'd guess that a trailer needs to be registered ($) and get a license plate ($).

Do any of the folks here have frugal suggestions/recommendations, as well as "look out fors"?

Or perhaps it might simply be cheaper to have 2 sets of bikes and kayaks?

omni
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:10 PM   #2
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I went with the 2 sets of bikes and kayaks route. It's much easier to deal with. For my second set I bought used from Craigslist. There are tons for sale at the end of the snowbird season. I am already towing a second car, and have a pod on the roof of the Highlander and DW and 4 dogs on the inside. But even if it was just the two of us and no toad I'd have the extra set. We don't have anywhere to store a trailer, and not renting one one way a couple of times would pay for the extra toys.
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
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Our vacation home is only 60 miles (but a world) away from our main home, but we went with two sets of bikes. We keep our kayaks at the vacation home since it's not convenient to use them at home.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:21 PM   #4
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My folding kayak comes apart or goes together in 15 minutes or so, and stores in two bags that will fit in anyone's trunk. If you've never tried one, you might consider it. I will sometimes head out to a new part of the country, and if there is water anywhere around, I'll often toss the kayak in the car just in case I might want it.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:45 PM   #5
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I bought the following trailer hitch attachment for my 'yak. Works pretty well. Also has a way to lock it with a padlock if you want:

Spring Creek | Double Hitch

A hitch can be installed by U-Haul for about $140. You can get an on-line quote here:

U-Haul: Trailer hitches and towing accessories

Probably won't take any more effort or time to slide it onto your roof vs messing around with a trailer, and as you noted, might be licensing issues with a trailer. Also, I've never driven with a trailer attached, but they can take some getting used to.
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:17 PM   #6
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My dad had a pickup with shell - on the roof he had room for 2 kayaks. In the back he could put to bikes and still have room for a fold down bench/bed. He travelled from San Diego, up through Canada, island hopping up to Alaska - then across Alaska and western Canada and back into the states in Montana... then down through Utah and the parks there... then home. Took 2.5 months on this trip.

He was in his mid 60's and had a rigged up gizmo to lever the kayak onto the roof.

He still did the roof rack for the kayak into his 70's.

I didn't pay close attention to the kayak loading thing - I know it had a ratchet, rope, and a loop mounted on the front of the kayak. Somehow the rope fed through and pulled the nose up while he ratcheted from the back and lifted the back end till the weight was on the roof. My nephew has the truck and I can ask him if the gizmo is still attached - and if it is, can he take a picture.
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:09 PM   #7
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Paddle and peddle.

Or maybe I should have read the post, not just the title.
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:19 PM   #8
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I went the 2 sets bike, 1 kayak route.

I have a truck, so I can easily haul my bike in the bed or even in the back seat. I only haul my kayak a block to the boat launch, so I throw it in the bed and let 4' hang out.

Omni - I do like the trailer options you posted. But yes you'd need a trailer hitch. It's not difficult to install a hitch on an SUV for a light trailer load. And you'd need to get a license for the trailer. And you'd need to have a place to store the trailer safely at both of your places. And you probably need to add the trailer to your car insurance. Lots of stuff to think about.

If you have the storage space,it may be less of a hassle to go the 2 bike, 2 kayak route.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:11 PM   #9
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If you want to go cheap, one can pick up a reasonable trailer at Harbor Freight for $300, though you need to bolt it together.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses.

I do have a 2-car garage at both locations, so I can store 2 sets (1 set at each location) of kayaks & bikes and/or a boat trailer.

Sounds like 2 sets are the frugal way to go.

As I am 5'4" tall and often solo, I'm hoping for an easier way to get a kayak on top of my Highlander SUV. Any ideas?

omni
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
.............As I am 5'4" tall and often solo, I'm hoping for an easier way to get a kayak on top of my Highlander SUV. Any ideas?

omni
There are different schemes to make loading a kayak on the roof easier. Would any of these work for you?
Kayak and Canoe Load Assist Car Roof Rack attachments: Thule Hullaport, Yakima Showboat, Malone Telos and Rollerloader
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:32 PM   #12
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My dad's gizmo did use something like the malone k-rack in the previous post's link.

I walk past folks loading/unloading their kayaks at La Jolla Shores - some of the regulars are of shorter stature - so I'll pay attention to what they use and post here if there is any magic solution.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
Thanks for the responses.

I do have a 2-car garage at both locations, so I can store 2 sets (1 set at each location) of kayaks & bikes and/or a boat trailer.

Sounds like 2 sets are the frugal way to go.

As I am 5'4" tall and often solo, I'm hoping for an easier way to get a kayak on top of my Highlander SUV. Any ideas?

omni
I saw a video of this once, but I can't find it. Here's a similar one.

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Old 04-12-2015, 06:55 PM   #14
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Good stuff here. I have been lifting a long canoe on to the roof of an SUV. Not always successfully. I recently bought a trailer but I like the ideas in the latest link for getting a canoe onto the roof by yourself better.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:46 PM   #15
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I've got a Highlander too. I just throw the kayak in the back, hook it in with a few bungees, hook the back door down with another bungee, and off I go. I keep a tarp back there to protect the upholstery. My kayak is a 12 footer. If you have something longer I would recommend something like this. If you don't have a trailer hitch, I would recommend getting one installed. They're immensely useful. Our bike rack fits in to it, I pull trailers and cars, you can use the above hitch rack, they sell steps that make accessing your roof rack easier. Plus seat for tailgating, and more other ideas than I can list.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:09 PM   #16
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How about a holding bike? There are the common smaller ones and also regular sized 26 inch foldables.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:10 PM   #17
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You could get a SOF (skin-on-frame) kayak or make one yourself. My 15 footer weighs in at 26 pounds so it is easier to manage loading/unloading it by myself. Check out Kudzu SOF kayaks for more information. I built my Ravenswood in one week via a 'Roads Scholar' vacation at the Marine Science Consortium's campus near Wallops Island, Virginia. Here's the link for more information Education Travel | Educational Tour to Wallops Island | Kayak or Canoe Building and Coastal Ecology on the Chesapeake Bay
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:25 PM   #18
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I spent the best summer of my life ('76) at the Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium. Learning oceanography and marine science, hanging out at the beach every day, incredible seafood, trips on the research vessel, man! I don't think I wore a shirt more than two or three days that summer. And I got college credit for the whole thing! Sweet!


I suspect I could actually go back to the Chincoteague Inn now. I'm sure the guys that threw me out and banned me are all dead by now.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:32 PM   #19
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I never liked the idea of a shell on my pickup. So bikes in the bed and the kayaks on a cool "bedrack" system I bought years ago. No modifications or drilling into my precious truck. Here's how it looks with my boat on top...leaves lots of room for bikes in the bed. This platform has been the basis of many wonderful adventures...now that I'm ER'ed, lots more to come.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:34 PM   #20
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should any of you kayakers ever think you might want to surf your boat you should see my surfing kayak....custom made for me by Murkey Water in Canada. The model is a Reaction but with an inch added for a little more freeboard/stability.
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