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Traveling by RV gives you access to the world’s best vistas and hikes–as well as enticing bodies of water. After all, most of the earth is covered by water. It would be a shame to miss out on all of those exploration options. If you want to bring your kayak along for the ride and enjoy paddling into the sunset, you’ll need an RV kayak rack to transport it securely. 

Here’s a look at the best ways to carry a kayak on all sorts of RVs and trucks, and the best products to do it.

kayak rack for RV

Buyer’s Guide – Everything You Need to Know About RV Kayak Racks

Things to Consider When Buying an RV Kayak Rack

Compatibility

The first thing to consider is where the kayaks will fit best and be the most aerodynamic. A streamlined location will help you with your gas mileage. If you want to place your kayaks on the roof, consider highway bridge clearance and how much trouble it’s going to be to get your kayaks on and off the roof. 

If you plan on using a vertical mount, you’ll want to consider road clearance in addition to bridge clearance. Also, if you tow a trailer and want to use hitch-mounted camper kayak racks at the same time, you’ll have to get an adapter. 

If you want to use a roof rack on your camper, tow vehicle, or car, make sure your roof rack is compatible with your chosen mounting accessories. 

If you already own a kayak, make sure the RV kayak racks and the mounting method you choose will be compatible. For example, an ultra-long touring kayak can’t be used with vertical RV kayak racks. If you need to carry multiple kayaks, make sure to consider this from the start. Most camper kayak racks can carry up to two kayaks or paddle boards, but seldom more.

Rack Capacity

If you already own a kayak, make sure you buy a rack that can handle your kayak’s weight. If you plan on hauling two kayaks, the capacity rating is even more important. 

Many RV owners want to carry other items in addition to their kayaks. For example, if you want to add bikes or paddle boards to your rack, make sure your rack can be configured properly and handle the weight. 

Overall Size

Consider how the size of your RV might change with the addition of a RV kayak rack. If you carry your kayaks on an RV roof rack, your rig will be taller. If your kayaks are longer than your RV, consider how that impacts your RV’s size and maneuverability. For example, if you need to back into a site or closely maneuver to get the perfect electric or sewer hook-up, you might not want the extra length to consider. 

The same principle applies if you have a vertically mounted kayak. If the vertically mounted kayak extends above your roofline, consider how tall you are and re-calculate your bridge height. These camper kayak racks limit you to smaller recreational kayaks. While a vertically mounted kayak won’t add a lot of length to your rig, it will change the length a little, and that could make a difference in smaller parking spots. 

Truck and camper kayak rack

What Makes a Good RV Kayak Rack for RV Exploration

A good kayak carrier for RV use should be durable and made from high-quality, long-lasting materials. It shouldn’t rattle or vibrate excessively. It should be adjustable or customizable to ensure the perfect fit. Finally, it should be easy to use and manage. 

Durable and Sturdy

A good RV kayak rack has to do it all. The RV kayak rack should be easy to use and easy to load. Good RV kayak racks should be durable and sturdy so it doesn’t fall apart on the road. It should be made with high-quality materials such as powder-coated stainless steel. A good kayak rack protects your kayak and delivers it safely to your destination. 

Always keep in mind that your roof rack or RV kayak rack carrier does a lot more than just hold the weight of your kayaks and gear. It also supports that weight plus the force of the wind resistance on those items, which is considerable. And don’t forget the forces put on the rack when you need to slam on the brakes suddenly. In other words, a roof rack is not a part of your rig where you want to cut corners, use poor fitting parts, or fail to put the money towards reputable brands and designs.

Rattle and Vibration Free

A great RV kayak rack is rattle-free and vibration-free so that you can enjoy your road and camping trips. If you have to listen to an annoying rattle for eight hours at a time, you won’t arrive at your campsite relaxed and ready to paddle.  

Adjustability and Fit

Look for an RV kayak rack that is adjustable or customizable so that it will perfectly fit your vehicle and your kayaks. When traveling long distances at highway speeds, you want to make sure your kayaks are well-secured and protected from damage. 

Usability

A RV kayak rack should be easy to use. If you dread unloading and re-loading your kayaks, you’ll use your kayaks less. If you can easily and quickly secure your kayak, you’ll get a lot more use out of it. Even high rooftops can be manageable with accessories like a roller loader or load-assist device. 

Affordability

Once you’ve paid for your RV, upgrades, kayaks, RV kayak racks, and kayak rack accessories, it might feel that your simple lifestyle is complicated and costly. However, there are several budget-friendly camper kayak racks that are simple and will do the job. 

In addition, there are budget-friendly accessories to help you get the most out of your RV kayak rack. For example, if you love the idea of a load-assist device but don’t want to blow your budget, you can get a simple boat-roller for a fraction of the cost of a full-option load-assist rack. 

Common Problems with RV Kayak Racks

Noise issues are often the biggest complaint with RV kayak racks. Loose straps, poor construction, and wind noise can make life with an RV kayak rack annoying. In addition, buyers should make sure their rack features quality construction and components.

Vibration and Rattling

One of the most common kayak rack issues is vibration and rattling noises. For example, if a strap is not secured properly, it might constantly hit the vehicle’s roof. Some vibration and rattling noises are user-error and can be easily fixed. Other noises are due to poor construction. Carefully read the rack’s reviews to see if your choice has known vibration issues. 

Wind Noise

Wind noise is another common issue. Instead of cleanly traveling over the roof, a kayak rack disrupts air movement. At highway speeds, the wind noise can create a real distraction. Some RV kayak racks have aerodynamic features to reduce wind noise.

Corrosion and Poor Construction

RV life can be tough on equipment. Driving cross-country can quickly wear down parts and hardware. Salt air, rain, UV rays, and other environmental factors can damage poor-quality RV kayak racks. Look for camper kayak racks made from solid materials like stainless steel and aluminum. 

The RV kayak racks that are overly complicated and feature dozens of parts are more prone to failure and damage. Look for a rack that is high quality and has fewer components.

Types of RV Kayak Carriers

There are several different types of camper kayak racks that will suit different situations. A vertical rack is a popular option for many Class A or C RV owners, but if you drive a Class B, tow a travel trailer, or tow a car, you can add a roof rack. Finally, a kayak trailer is purpose-built to haul kayaks. 

Vertical Rack

A vertical RV kayak rack mounts your kayak vertically against the back of your RV. This is a great choice if you have a Class A or fifth wheel and you don’t want to store your kayak on your RV’s roof. A vertical rack is also popular with campers and vans. A vertical rack mounts to your hitch, and it’s recommended that your receiver is frame-welded. Most vertical camper kayak racks mount to two-inch hitch receivers. 

RecPro RV Kayak Rack Vertiyak Hitch Mount Standing Kayak Carrier - Fits up to 12' Kayaks (Hitch Mount)

Ladder Mounted Kayak Rack

Ladder mounting is an inexpensive way to mount your kayaks. However, some RV owners find this method is not secure enough, especially for highway use. It’s also very inconvenient since you might want to use your ladder as a ladder. 

Rooftop Racks to Carry Kayaks

Rooftop racks are popular with cars and lower-profile vehicles; however, they also work well with smaller RVs and campers. If you are towing your RV, you might consider mounting your kayaks on your SUV or truck. Many RV owners that travel extensively tow a car or SUV. You might find it works well to add a kayak roof rack to your car. 

Smaller campers, vans, and Class C RVs can also use roof racks. Several manufacturers offer load-assist racks to bring the rack to waist-level for easy loading. You can then push the rack on top of your vehicle. 

Thule Hullavator Pro Rooftop Kayak Carrier

Truck Mounted Racks

You can also add a kayak rack to your pickup truck. This is a great way to easily carry your kayak while conserving space in your truck bed for other items. You’ll need to add a crossbar to your truck’s cab and get an aft mounting rack to handle your kayak. 

Thule TracRac TracOne Truck Rack (Black)

Kayak Trailer

A kayak trailer is ideal if you own several kayaks. Most kayak trailers can be customized to haul all your toys, including kayaks, paddle boards, surfboards, and bikes. A kayak trailer provides the easiest loading and unloading experience. 

Malone LowMax 2-Boat Bunk Kayak Trailer Package

Materials

RV life can be tough, so it’s always a good idea to buy equipment that can stand up to life on the road. For example, the best RV kayak racks have corrosion-resistant parts that will last longer and require less maintenance. 

Look for a rack that comes with padding to help protect your kayaks against jostling and road vibrations. In addition, you might want to look for a rack that has cradles to give your kayak support and keep it perfectly in place. 

Kayak Rack Strength

Look for a kayak rack that has a high weight capacity. Even if your kayaks aren’t heavy, the beefier the rack, the stronger it is. A stronger rack will manage the hardships of the road better. 

Best Kayak Rack Brands

Yakima and Thule are well-known kayak rack brands that usually cater to cars, SUVs, and trucks. These brands will work well for rooftop users. Yakups is an RV-specific brand that focuses on customizing vertical racks to suit your kayaks and RV. 

Yakups

Yakups is one of the best RV kayak rack brands. This veteran-owned company manufactures RV-specific kayak racks in the USA. Each Yakups rack has a five-year warranty. 

Yakups focuses on quality and durability. Each rack is made to order so you can be sure the rack will perfectly accommodate your kayaks. 

Yakups makes camper kayak racks for kayaks as well as combo racks that can hold kayaks and bikes. Each Yakups rack has stainless steel guards to protect your watercraft from road damage. In addition, each rack is wobble and rattle-free so it won’t drive you crazy! 

Thule

Thule is a well-known kayak rack brand. Thule focuses on camper kayak racks that are easy to load and unload while providing safe transportation. 

Thule offers many different rack options, and you can choose from vertical or horizontal carrying positions. The company is a market leader in all sorts of aftermarket cargo solutions, including bike, ski, snowboard, and cargo carriers.

Thule operates the Thule Test Center where they put their camper kayak racks to the test. Each rack design is exposed to extreme temperatures, UV rays, chemicals, crash tests, and wear and tear. You can be confident that a Thule rack can stand up to the rigors of the road. 

Yakima

Thule’s biggest competitor is Yakima. Yakima is based in the Pacific Northwest and is committed to getting people outdoors. Their camper kayak racks are well-known and hard-wearing. Yakima offers kayak racks, RV bike racks, truck racks, and hitch racks. 

Yakima offers a great fit guide so you can easily find the best rack for your vehicle. In addition, they offer a wide range of accessories, such as saddles and locks. 

kayaking is a fun part of exploring by RV

Best Roof Kayak Racks for Campers and RVs

There are hundreds of camper kayak racks out there, but not all of them are suitable for the RV lifestyle. Use our research to find the best kayak rack for travel trailer use, camper use, and RV use. You’ll be exploring the country’s best streams, rivers, lakes, and even oceans in no time. 

Best Kayak Rack for Camper or Small RV

If you have a camper van or a Class C RV, you might consider a roof rack on your camper. You should be able to manage to get the kayak on and off your camper’s roof, and the new height usually won’t be restrictive. 

In addition, several manufacturers have innovative camper kayak racks that allow you to load your kayak at waist level and pivot the loaded rack to your camper’s rooftop. If you struggle to reach your roof, you can get a tire step and get the extra height you need. 

Yakima ShowDown Load-Assist Kayak Rack

The Yakima ShowDown is a camper owner’s dream come true. This mount will take the work-out away from loading and unloading your kayak. 

The ShowDown tilts 26 inches lower than the roof rack and offers up to 45 percent weight assistance. Instead of wrangling your kayak on top of your camper, you can load the kayak at an easier-to-manage angle and height. You can load your kayak at waist level and use the slide and tilt mechanism to get your kayak to your camper’s rooftop. 

The mount can hold one kayak or two paddle boards with a combined weight of up to 80 pounds. The mounting hardware will fit most roof racks with a crossbar spread of at least 24 inches. 

The ShowDown has felt-covered cradles that protect your watercraft and provide secure transport.

Tie-down straps are included, and this Yakima rack is compatible with SKS Lock Cores for added security. The mount will fold down flat when not in use. 

Yakima ShowDown Load-Assist Kayak Mount Product Tour

Pros 

  • Super easy loading and unloading
  • Universal mounting hardware
  • SKS lockable
  • Felt covered handles

Cons

  • Can only handle one kayak

Stats

  • Item Weight: 21 pounds 
  • Max Kayak Weight: 80 pounds 
  • Features: Load your kayak at a manageable height and angle

Thule Hullavator Pro Rooftop Kayak Carrier

The Thule Hullavator offers an easy loading and unloading solution and is an ideal camper kayak rack. The Hullavator works great for campers, single-handed loading, or just to make life a little easier. If you have two kayaks, you can buy two Hullavators and use one on each side of your vehicle. 

The Thule Hullavator can accommodate watercraft up to 36 inches wide. The rack pivots and lowers 40 inches to waist-level so you can easily load your kayak at a manageable level. 

The rack’s gas-assisted struts take the kayak’s weight so you don’t have to. The Hullavator has a corrosion-resistant base and protective padding. In addition, you can use Thule’s one-key lock system to secure your rack and kayaks. 

Pros

  • Easy loading and unloading
  • Can mount two Hullavators on one vehicle
  • Padding
  • Corrosion-resistant

Cons

  • Expensive 

Stats

  • Item Weight: 40 pounds 
  • Max Kayak Weight: 75 pounds 
  • Features: Easy loading and unloading at waist-height 

Malone Downloader J-Style Car Rack

The Malone Downloader J-Style Car Rack is low-profile and simple. It works with the Telos Load Assist (sold separately) so you can easily get your kayaks onto your camper’s roof. 

The Malone Downloader carries one kayak vertically and folds down when not in use. You can buy two Downloaders and mount them both to store two kayaks on your rooftop. 

The Downloader has a boarding ramp for easy loading and has padding to protect your kayak. The mounting hardware fits most factory crossbars. The Telos Load Assist will help you load your kayak at waist-level and raise it so it can be loaded onto the Downloader. Check out the Load Assist in our accessories section. 

Pros

  • Low-profile
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Has some air noise when folded down

Stats

  • Item Weight: 10 pounds 
  • Max Kayak Weight: 75 pounds
  • Features: Works with the Load Assist lifter device 

Best Kayak Racks for Large RVs – Vertical Kayak Rack Options

Owners of large RVs often favor vertical kayak racks. Mounting a roof rack and managing kayaks on a Class A’s roof will be cumbersome and challenging. In addition, adding a roof rack to the top of a large RV might cause issues with overhead clearance. 

Vertical racks offer a streamlined, easy to manage way to carry your kayaks, bikes, and other cargo items. 

RecPro RV Kayak Rack Vertiyak Hitch Mount Standing Kayak Carrier

The Vertiyak is one of the most popular and affordable travel trailer kayak rack options. It can accommodate paddle boards and kayaks up to 12 feet in length. The rack attaches to a two-inch hitch receiver. It can carry two kayaks and handle up to 150 pounds. 

The Vertiyak includes an anti-rattle device for distraction-free driving. The rack also comes with ratchet straps so you won’t need to buy any extra equipment to get on the road. 

The lower cradle can be adjusted to accommodate three different mounting heights. To use the Vertiyak, one of your kayak’s ends must fit into the 11.5 by 17 inch lower hoop. The metal arms at the top don’t adjust. 

Before setting off, make sure that your kayak won’t scrape any bumps in the road or snag any overhead obstacles. The Vertiyak works great with shorter kayaks. 

Pros

  • Vertical mount makes for efficient, gas-saving travel.
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple to Use

Cons

  • No ground clearance protection 

Stats

  • Item Weight: 46 pounds
  • Max Kayak Weight: 150 pounds
  • Features: Anti-rattle device 

Yakups KR2B56 – Vertical Rack for Kayaks Up to 32 Inches Wide

The Yakups KR2B56 is a durable vertical rack that can accommodate other toys in addition to your kayaks. It can fit kayaks up to 32 inches wide and at least 6.5 feet long. If you want to carry bikes, a separate bike adapter is available. You’ll be able to carry two kayaks and two bikes with the additional adapter. 

This Yakups model features a heavy-duty double powder-coated steel frame. It also has stainless steel guards to protect your kayaks from road damage. The rack comes with everything you need, including stainless hardware, cables, clamping block, straps, and padlocks. 

The wide rack doesn’t block your rearview camera, so you can still backup with confidence. 

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Solid, heavy-duty construction
  • Can carry bikes in addition to two kayaks
  • Stainless steel shields to protect from road damage
  • Doesn’t block the rearview camera

Cons

  • The bike rack is not included and must be purchased separately
  • Expensive

Stats

  • Item Weight: 90 lbs plus an additional 18 lbs for bike rack
  • Fits in a two-inch frame-mounted hitch receiver
  • Can be used with a swing-out adapter

Visit the Yakups website for more details – KR2B56 FIFTH WHEEL & Motorhome Rack

Yakups OKR2B56 – Vertical Rack for Watercraft Up to 36 inches Wide

This Yakups rack works with wider kayaks. While Yakups’ other racks only accommodate kayaks up to 32 inches wide, this version can handle kayaks and paddle boards up to 36 inches wide. 

This wide rack also works with Yakups’ optional bike rack, so you can store your bikes in the middle of the rack with the kayaks or paddle boards on each side of the bikes. The bike rack can accommodate regular or electric bikes. However, this model won’t work with a swing-out hitch receiver.  

Visit the Yakups website for more details – OKR2B56 RV FIFTH WHEEL / MOTORHOME / VAN RACK FITS WATERCRAFTS UP TO 36″ WIDE

Yakups KR2B56S Vertical Rack for Four Kayaks or Boards

Like the other Yakups products, this vertical kayak rack is heavy-duty and built to last. In addition, it features a stainless steel powder-coated construction.  

This vertical rack can carry up to four kayaks or paddle boards and is perfect for families who love to paddle together. The rack can carry up to eight surfboards if you love to surf. 

This rack can handle boards or kayaks up to 32″ wide. Two of your watercraft must be at least 6′ 4″ long. Yakups will customize the rack to suit your exact specifications. 

Pros

  • All hardware and straps are included
  • Heavy-duty stainless steel construction
  • Steel guards protect against road damage
  • Can transport four watercraft

Cons

  • Expensive

Stats

  • Item Weight: 90 lbs
  • Features: Carries four kayaks

Visit the Yakups website for more details – KR2B56S RV VERTICAL RACKS FOR UP TO FOUR KAYAKS

Best Kayak Rack for Car-Top

Yakima JayLow, J-Style Fold Down Rooftop Kayak Carrier

If you are using an SUV to tow your small camper, or you are towing your car, a rooftop kayak rack is an easy and affordable solution.

The JayLow can fit one or two kayaks and offers streamlined, easy-to-use functionality. The rack can fit one 80 pound kayak in the J-cradle position or two 55 pound kayaks in the vertical, stacked position. 

The JayLow kayak rack requires a minimum 24″ inch crossbar spread and is compatible with most crossbars. 

The rack includes heavy-duty straps, bow and stern tie-downs, and all the hardware needed to install the rack. The integrated cam lever means you can easily adjust the upright position. The rack folds flat when not in use for reduced drag and better clearance. 

You can use the rack with a Yakima SKS locking system for theft protection. 

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Low-profile
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • You may have to get an adapter if you have rounded or elliptical crossbars

Stats

  • Item Weight: 11 pounds 
  • Max Kayak Weight:  80 to 110 pounds
  • Features: High weight capacity and works with Yakima SKS locking system

Thule Compass Kayak Carrier

This Thule Compass Kayak Carrier can accommodate one or two kayaks or paddleboards. It will handle one kayak in J-style or saddle configuration and two kayaks in the stacker configuration. 

The rack can accommodate kayaks up to 36 inches wide. It folds down flat when not in use for better aerodynamics. 

The padded rubber saddles offer great protection to your kayaks and provide a quiet, vibration-free and rattle-free ride. The rack comes with loading straps and bow and stern tie-downs so you can snugly tie your kayaks. The strap buckles have a rubber guard which helps protect your car and kayaks against buckle damage. 

The kayak carrier will fit any factory crossbars. The rack has a StrapCatch feature so you can easily load and unload your kayaks, even if you are by yourself. 

Pros 

  • Tool-free, quick installation
  • Comes with all straps
  • Durable stainless steel construction

Cons

  • Installation screws are not theft-proof 

Stats

  • Item Weight: 20 pounds
  • Max Kayak Weight: 130 pounds
  • Features: Rubber saddles, folds down when not in use

Thule 830 Stacker Kayak Rack

This Thule model is very simple; however, it is only compatible with Thule roof racks and crossbars. So if you have a factory roof rack or different brand crossbars, it won’t work for you.

The Thule Stacker is super lightweight and won’t weigh your car down. Its design focuses on quick loading and unloading. The Thule Stacker can carry several kayaks at once. The carrier only comes with straps for one kayak, so you might need to buy additional straps. 

The Thule Stacker folds down when you aren’t using it and features a scratch-resistant coating so you won’t bang up your car. 

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Low overall kayak weight
  • Only works with Thule brand racks and crossbars

Stats

  • Item Weight: 7.1 pounds
  • Max Kayak Weight: 75 pounds
  • Features: Easy load and unload

Best Truck Kayak Rack

Thule 997 Hitch Mount Truck Adapter

If you use a truck to tow your RV, or you use your RV to tow your truck, a truck adapter might work well for you. The Thule Hitch Mount Adapter allows you to use your truck’s bed for storage while mounting the kayak horizontally above the truck’s bed. 

The Thule Adapter can carry two kayaks at a time. The Thule adapter features an anti-sway design. The telescoping mast assembly adjusts from 46 inches to 67 inches to fit different truck cab heights.

You’ll have to use a hitch receiver adapter and a cab crossbar to use this rack while towing your trailer. In addition, you might want to consider a hydro-glide or saddles to help your kayak sit comfortably. 

The Thule adapter has a durable plastic coating to help protect your kayak. In addition, it has two vertical load stop attachments that give it its goalpost look. 

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install and use
  • Great for trucks

Cons

  • Requires an adapter to tow a trailer at the same time
  • Requires a cab roof crossbar

Stats

  • Item Weight: 24.9 pounds 
  • Max Kayak Weight: 165 pounds
  • Features: Connects to a two-inch hitch receiver 

Best Kayak Trailer for RVs

A kayak trailer is a great idea if you have several kayaks and don’t want to load and unload them onto a roof or don’t want to use a vertical carrier. If you have extra long kayaks, a vertical rack might make your overall rig too tall. 

A kayak trailer offers a simple way to transport your kayaks and doesn’t involve the strenuous loading and unloading work that some racks require.

Right On Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer

This Right On trailer has two levels so you can customize what gear you carry. It can fit up to six kayaks or a mix of kayaks, bikes, paddleboards, and storage bins. 

You can attach your kayaks directly to the trailer’s crossbars or buy a set of J-bars. The trailer can handle longer kayaks easily without worrying about clearance issues. 

Pros

  • Can manage long kayaks
  • Can haul a mix of kayaks, bikes, and gear

Cons

  • You’ll have to buy separate cradles and racks for your kayaks and bikes
  • Coated metal isn’t as durable as stainless steel 

Stats

  • Item Weight: 200 pounds 
  • Max Kayak Weight: 300 pounds 
  • Features: multi-rack, multi-use

Kayak Rack Accessories

If you need a little help loading your kayak or keeping it secure, there’s a solution for that! Our favorite kayak accessories make loading and unloading your kayak easier. Check out a Load Assistant or Boat Roller to help you load your kayak onto a roof. Grab a step-up to reach your roof rack. 

If you can’t stand the wind noise your rack makes, invest in a fairing to reduce drag. Check out Thule and Yakima locking systems to keep your kayak and rack secure. Our favorite accessories will get you out on the water with a smile on your face! 

Yakima SKS Locking System

SKS means “same key system.” Yakima’s SKS enables you to lock all your Yakima products with just one key. This system is awesome for securing your kayaks and rack while you paddle, while your RV is in a parking lot, or anytime you want security and theft protection.  

Pros

  • You only need one key for all your Yakima locks

Cons

  • Expensive

Thule’s One-Key Lock Cylinders

If you have a Thule roof rack, you’ll want to check out Thule’s locking system. You can buy several Thule locks and use just one key to unlock them all. The grip-friendly comfort key makes it easy to use. 

Pros

  • One key to rule them all

Cons

  • Expensive

Yakima WindShield Fairing

The Yakima WindShield Fairing attaches to your roof rack’s bar to reduce wind noise. The fairing deflects the wind over the rack to dampen wind noise and reduce drag.

The fairing comes in four different sizes to fit most vehicles. The stainless steel fairing is heavy duty and will stand up to the rigors of the road. 

The fairing has both inner and outer clips for an outstanding hold. The fairing weighs two pounds and is easy to install. 

Pros

  • Reduces wind noise

Cons

  • Can be tricky to install on round crossbars

Yakima – BackSwing Bike Rack Hitch Extension

A hitch swing means you can swing out your hitch-mounted vertical kayak rack to access your RV’s back door. This hitch swing works with a two-inch hitch receiver and is easy to install. A hitch swing can be used with Yakups Model KR2B56 kayak and bike rack. 

The hitch swing attachment swings 90 degrees and then locks in place with a release lever. While underway, it’s securely locked with a safety latch. You can use Yakima’s Same Key System (SKS) to secure the rack against theft. 

 It weighs 35.5 pounds and can handle 250 pounds (gear plus rack). If you are using this with a vertical rack that weighs 108 pounds, a bike rack that weighs ten pounds, and you are carrying several bikes and kayaks, your rack will be approaching or exceeding the hitch swing’s limit. Be sure to measure and weigh your rack and items carefully so you don’t overload the device. 

Pros

  • Gives easy access to your RV

Cons

  • Easy to accidentally overload

Wilco Hitchswing

The Wilco Hitchswing is another hitch swing mechanism that allows you to swing out your vertically mounted kayak rack and access the back of your vehicle. The Wilco hitch swing is heavy-duty and proudly made in America. A hitch swing can be used with Yakups Model KR2B56 kayak and bike rack. 

The swing’s weight limit depends on how far away your kayaks are mounted from the hitch receiver. If they are between one and three feet away, the swing can handle up to 300 pounds. If your kayaks are between four and six feet away, the swing can only handle 150 pounds. The swing itself weighs 42 pounds. 

Pros

  • Heavy duty
  • Easy access

Cons 

  • Interferes with your backup camera

Optional Bike Rack Attachment for Yakups models

If you are buying a Yakups vertical rack to store your kayaks, you may be interested in adding the bike attachment. The bike attachment will add bike racks to vertically store two bikes in between your kayaks. All options include stainless steel bolts with nylock nuts that won’t vibrate loose. In addition, the bikes sit in stainless steel holders to protect them from road damage.

As with all Yakups equipment, the bike rack is made in America with high-quality stainless steel. 

There are several options available to get the perfect fit for your bikes. Option 1 holds bikes up to 75 inches long with tires up to 2 3/8 inches wide. Option 2 is a tandem bike attachment for two bikes up to 95 inches long. Finally, option 3 can accommodate bikes with fat tires that are four or four-and-a-half inches long. 

Pros

  • Easy bike storage solution
  • Quality construction and hardware

Cons

  • Expensive

Visit the Yakups website for details – STANDARD BICYCLE RACK ATTACHMENT FOR RV RACKS

Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller Load Assist

If you are using a roof-mounted rack and need a little help to get your kayaks on and off the roof, this neat roller bar can help.

The Sherpak Boat Roller has heavy-duty suction cups that you can mount wherever works best for your vehicle and rack setup. It can be mounted on a window, on your car’s roof, or on the back of your SUV. Some kayakers buy two rollers and mount one to the vehicle’s windshield and one to its hood for super-easy loading onto their rack.

The suction cup rollers are temporarily mounted, and you can then slide your kayak over the rollers and onto your roof rack. These rollers are economical, easy to install and uninstall, space-conscious, and easy to store. The roller system works well with racks that feature foam blocks or cradles.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Needs a clean, flat surface to suction to 

Malone TelosXL Load Assistant

The Malone Load Assistant works with the Malone Downloader or SeaWing kayak rack. This unique lift assist device isn’t permanently installed; instead, you temporarily attach the Load Assistant to your rack. The Load Assistant has two arms that reach out and rest on the ground, giving you a sturdy platform.

You’ll place the kayak on the arms and use the ratcheting system to vertically raise your kayak to the roof rack’s height. Next, you can detach the Load Assistant and use it on the camper’s other side if you have another kayak to lift. You can then store the Load Assistant in your trunk for easy storage. 

The Load Assistant has adjustable bottom extensions and self-locking vertical ratchets. The fully padded cradles protect the kayak as you load it. The device can handle a kayak up to 75 pounds. 

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Can use one loader for two kayaks
  • Less expensive than other lifter options 

Cons

  • Lifting the kayak from the rack onto the loader is cumbersome 

Powerbuilt Heavy Duty Tire Step

If you’re loading a kayak onto your car, truck, or RV rooftop, a step up can elevate your life. There’s no need to dream about being ten feet tall; you can just use a tire step to reach your roof rack and make life a little easier to manage.

Slip the step over your tire, and then easily reach your kayak rack. This step has a metal cheesegrater-style surface with anti-slip tape so you can securely use it in any condition.

When you are finished, the step folds flat and can be stored behind a seat or out of the way. 

The Powerbuilt tire step fits any tire up to 13 inches deep and carries 300 pounds of weight. Rubber bumpers protect your tires. 

Pros

  • Folds flat
  • Heavy duty

Cons

  • Rubber bumpers sometimes fall off 

Make the Most of Your Water World

Since most of the world is covered by water, it makes sense to bring your water toys along for the ride. Kayaks open up a world of beauty and offer a whole new perspective of favorite locations. 

RV owners have many choices on how to transport and store their kayaks in the easiest, most efficient, safest manner. While managing kayaks might seem overwhelming at first, there is a myriad of racks and accessories available to make loading and unloading your kayaks a breeze. 

RV Kayak Rack FAQs

How do you store a kayak on an RV?

The kayak mounts you pick will depend greatly on the type and size of your RV. Travel trailer owners often use standard car-top or truck bed-mounted racks. Small Class B or C RVs may also use rooftop bars if they aren’t too tall. There are several load-assisting devices sold that can make getting your kayak on and off easier. Class A motor homes usually use a vertically-mounted kayak rack attached to the trailer hitch. For tall rigs, this is one of the most popular ways to store a kayak on an RV.