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    Ultimate Guide: Build a Kayak Rack for an RV

    To build a kayak rack for an rv, you will need to make sure you have enough space and a strong base for support. Start by measuring the length of your kayaks, then cut two pieces of wood the same length as your rv roof.

    Attach the pieces to the roof racks with l-brackets and screws, then add additional support with pvc pipes and straps. Kayaking is a great way to explore the outdoors, and if you own an rv, you can take your kayaks with you on your travels.

    However, transporting kayaks on an rv can be tricky, and it requires the right equipment to ensure that they are safe and secure during the trip. In this article, we will guide you through the process of building a kayak rack for an rv, so you can transport your kayaks with ease and peace of mind.

    Ultimate Guide: Build a Kayak Rack for an RV


    Planning Your Kayak Rack

    Planning Your Kayak Rack: Finding The Right Materials: Wood, Pvc Pipe, Or Metal?

    When building a kayak rack for your rv, it is crucial to choose the right materials that are sturdy and durable enough to hold your kayaks. Consider the following materials:

    • Wood: Wood is a popular option due to its affordability and ease of use. Cedar and redwood are great choices for outdoor use being resistant to decay. However, wood can be heavy and susceptible to rot and pests over time.
    • Pvc pipe: Pvc pipes are lightweight and inexpensive to work with. They are also resistant to weather conditions and can be easily cut and drilled to customize according to rv size and number of kayaks. However, they might not be as durable as other materials and may sag over time.
    • Metal: Metal materials such as aluminum or steel are strong and durable, making them suitable for heavy loads. They are also resistant to weather conditions and rust. However, they can be more expensive than other materials and may require welding.

    Measuring Your Rv For The Perfect Fit

    Before building your kayak rack, you must measure your rv to determine the perfect fit. This includes measuring the height, width, and length, as well as the distance between the bumper and the rv sidewall. Take into account the extra space needed for the kayaks and any clearance needed for travel.

    Determining The Number Of Kayaks To Carry

    Determining the number of kayaks to carry is important to ensure a stable and secure kayak rack. Consider the following tips:

    • Weight capacity: The weight capacity of your rv and the kayak rack should be considered when determining the number of kayaks to carry.
    • Space: Consider how many kayaks can comfortably fit without overcrowding or getting in each other’s way.
    • Travel: Take into account how often you’ll be traveling with kayaks and whether it’s worth the extra storage and weight.

    By following these tips and methods, you can successfully plan for building a kayak rack that is safe, sturdy, and functional for your rv.

    Building Your Kayak Rack: Step By Step

    Are you a kayaking enthusiast who loves to take your rv out on the road? If so, you must know how difficult it can be to transport your kayaks safely and securely. Luckily, building a kayak rack for your rv can make the process much easier.

    Creating A Stable Base For Your Kayak Rack

    • Start by selecting where you want to build your kayak rack on your rv. Ideally, you want to choose an area that’s strong and secure, such as the roof or at the back of the rv.
    • Measure the area where you want to build your rack to ensure that it can accommodate the size and weight of your kayaks.
    • Make sure that you have all the necessary tools and materials before you start, such as a drill, screws, and wood for the base.
    • Build the base by creating a rectangular-shaped frame that’s large enough to fit your kayaks comfortably. Make sure that the base is strong and secure without any wobbling.

    Building The Frame: Vertical And Horizontal Supports

    • Once you’ve created a stable base, you can start building the frame that supports the kayaks vertically.
    • Use two-inch pvc pipes as vertical supports for the kayak frame. To keep them secure, attach them to the base with screws or bolts.
    • Determine how many kayaks you want to transport and ensure that you have enough vertical supports for each kayak.
    • Once you have the vertical supports in place, build the horizontal supports that connect them. Use four-inch pvc pipes and attach them to the vertical supports using tees.

    Attaching The Supports To The Base

    • Once you’ve built the vertical and horizontal supports, attach them to the base securely.
    • Use screws or bolts to attach the vertical supports to the base and the horizontal supports to the vertical supports.
    • Ensure that the frame is level and straight, and all the supports are in the right place.

    Adding Crossbars To Rest The Kayaks On

    • The next step is to add crossbars on top of the horizontal supports. These crossbars serve as a resting place for the kayaks.
    • Use four-inch pvc pipes as crossbars and attach them to the horizontal supports using elbow joints.
    • Determine the spacing between each crossbar based on the size of your kayaks. Make sure that the kayaks fit comfortably and securely on the crossbars.

    Securing The Kayaks To The Rack

    • Once you’ve attached all the necessary supports and crossbars, it’s time to secure the kayaks to the rack.
    • Use tie-down straps to secure each kayak to the crossbars and prevent them from moving during transport.
    • Remember to secure the kayaks tightly to the rack to avoid any damage to your kayaks and ensure safe travels.

    Building a kayak rack for your rv may seem like a daunting task, but by following these step-by-step instructions, you’ll have a safe and secure kayak transport solution in no time. Happy kayaking!

    Customization And Safety Features

    Are you a fan of kayaking, and do you want to go on a long road trip with your rv but worry about where to store your kayak? No worries, we got you. Building a customized kayak rack for your rv is a perfect solution to get a safe and reliable storage option.

    We will focus on how to add customization and safety features to your rv kayak rack.

    Adding Storage Options For Paddles And Life Jackets

    Having extra storage space for your gear is always an advantage, especially during extended rv trips. Here are some of the customization options to add to your kayak rack:

    • Add extra hooks on the side to organize paddles, life jackets, helmets, and other gear.
    • Install a pvc pipe to create a secure and safe storage space for your gear.
    • You could also add a net or a strap to provide extra security and hold the gear in place.

    Incorporating Lights For Safe Travel During Night-Time

    If you plan to travel in the evening or early in the morning, it is vital to add lighting to your rv kayak rack to enhance safety. Here are a few lighting options to consider adding to your rv kayak rack:

    • Invest in waterproof led light strips and install them under the kayak or the rack.
    • Adding reflective stickers to the side of the rack to increase visibility to other drivers on the road.

    Installing Locks For Extra Security

    Creating a secure storage option for your kayak is essential, especially if you are traveling to different locations. Here are a few options to consider when adding locks to your rv kayak rack:

    • Add a secure cable lock to wrap around the rack and your kayak.
    • Install a lockbox to store multiple keys securely.
    • Use a heavy-duty locking system to restrict unauthorized access.

    When it comes to adding customization and safety features to your rv kayak rack, the possibilities are endless. By following these tips and guidelines, you will enjoy a secure and safe road trip with your kayak. Get your tools and start customizing your rv kayak rack now!

    Maintenance And Care

    If you’re an avid kayaker and you have an rv, then building your kayak rack will come in handy if you plan to hit the water while on the road. Not only does it save on storage space within the rv, but it ensures that your kayak is safely secured to the vehicle.

    Proper maintenance and care of your kayak rack is also essential to ensure that it lasts a long time. Here are some tips to keep your kayak rack in good condition all year round.

    Cleaning And Maintaining Your Kayak Rack

    Cleaning and maintaining your kayak rack is essential for its longevity. Here are a few tips to follow:

    • After each use, use a non-abrasive soap to clean the rack’s surface to ensure that any saltwater or dirt residues do not corrode the metal or paint.
    • Inspect the rack before and after every trip to make sure all the parts are tight and firmly attached to its base.
    • Lubricate moving parts with a silicone-based lubricant to prevent rusting and ensure smooth operation.
    • Check the straps and bungees regularly for any signs of wear and tear and replace them when necessary.
    • For any damage or defects, replace or repair the rack immediately to avoid further damage to your kayak or vehicle.

    Proper Storage Of Your Kayak Rack During Off-Seasons

    When you’re not using your kayak rack, proper storage is crucial to ensure its longevity. Here are some tips on how to store the rack during off-seasons:

    • Loosen and remove all the straps and bungees from the rack to prevent damage or wear and tear to the rack’s surface or kayak.
    • Clean and dry the rack thoroughly before storing it in a cool, dry area where it is protected from the elements.
    • If you’re storing the rack outdoors, make sure it is covered with a waterproof tarp to shield it from direct sunlight, rain, and snow.
    • If you’re storing the rack indoors, place it on a soft surface such as a carpet or mat to prevent floor scratches.

    With these tips on maintaining and caring for your kayak rack, you can ensure that it lasts for many years to come, providing you and your family with fun and safe kayaking adventures on the road.

    Frequently Asked Questions On How To Build A Kayak Rack For An Rv

    How Many Kayaks Can An Rv Rack Hold?

    Our diy kayak rack design can hold up to two kayaks securely, but it can be adapted to fit more depending on your rv and kayak size.

    What Materials Do I Need To Build The Rack?

    To build our rv kayak rack, you’ll need pvc piping, t-joints, end caps, l-brackets, screws, and bungee cords. All materials can be found at your local hardware store.

    How Long Does It Take To Build The Rack?

    The build time of our kayak rack is approximately 2-3 hours. However, this may vary depending on the level of experience with diy projects and how many kayaks you plan on carrying.

    Can I Customize The Design For My Rv?

    Yes, our kayak rack design can be customized to fit any rv make or model. Simply adjust the pvc pipe measurements to fit your rv’s width and height.

    Will The Rack Damage My Rv Or Kayaks?

    Our kayak rack design is meant to be gentle on both your rv and kayaks. We recommend adding foam padding to the pvc pipes to prevent scratches or damage during transport.


    Building a kayak rack for your rv is a convenient and cost-effective way to transport your kayaks while traveling. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a sturdy, secure and custom-sized rack that fits your specific needs.

    Remember to measure your kayaks and rv carefully, use the right materials, and invest some time and effort in the design and installation process to ensure the safety and durability of your rack. With a well-built kayak rack, you can explore new waterways, access remote locations and enjoy your favorite outdoor activities with ease.

    Happy paddling!

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