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Old 03-03-2018, 10:07 AM   #1
ProfessorLongArms
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Best vehicle for hauling a kayak?

I love my little 99 4cyl single cab Tacoma, but itís kinda dumb for hauling a kayak around. Has a clamshell bed cover thatís great for storing and locking, but I have to use a square reciever mounted T post to haul my yak and it is less than ideal. Rather than camper shell it, I figured itís a good opportunity for a 4x4 upgrade.

Iím thinking of getting rid of it and going for either a truck with a camper shell or an SUV. Thinking 4cyl or efficient 6. Def 4x4 for Baja. Ideally enough room to camp in the back. Would love to go trailer eventually but thatís a conversation for a different house

Iím eyeing an old Xterra, 4Runner, Tacoma, or frontier.

Curious if anyone has a ride that they particularly love for hauling their kayaks (or for that matter one they especially hate)
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:16 AM   #2
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It's SoCal... you need to go with a lifted diesel w/ at least 35 inch tires!

On a serious note; you could keep what you have and just go w/ a rack system. My truck (yes, it's a diesel) fits my boat in the bed but I also got the overhead rack so I can take multiple boats. Once you get used to loading it's pretty easy to do by yourself.

You mention a trailer, so you may want to keep that in mind if you change trucks. Although it's not in the cards now, trucks have different towing capacities and you don't want to find that you underestimated your needs when the time comes. Unless you're just talking about a trailer to tow your kayak in which case you could just get a Miata!
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:41 AM   #3
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You have a snug top, type cover correct? If so take it off and put a rack on it. Sounds like you already have a great vehicle for hauling your kayak around.


With that said, a newer 4 runner would be nice...
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:01 PM   #4
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Tractor trailer. A brand new Peterbuilt with a 55 ft trail will haul everything easily.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:20 PM   #5
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Im confused. Youíre currently driving a Tacoma but you are looking at Tacomaís? Are you simply looking for a 4 wheel drive vehicle? If you like the Tacomaís, Ditch your two wheel drive truck and buy a 4x4 Tacoma. Great baja vehicle.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:34 AM   #6
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Kayak hauler

Dodge Maxi Van 3500 12 footer on floor . 14 footer with rack . Drive in fast lane , no trailer nobody can see what you have .
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:27 PM   #7
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I'd caution against the xterra for roof height alone. I had one for a few years and it did everything I ever asked of it, but getting the yak on the roof was a pain. I drive a 2011 4wd ford escape and it's been low maintenance tows small and medium trailers fairly well, has easily roamed the beach at Makoville, even surprised people by how well it did on the sand and taken me into moderately difficult trails in the sierras and east coast. Ground clearance becomes an issue at some point though.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:50 AM   #8
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I say what every runs....

.
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Originally Posted by tacmik View Post
Tractor trailer. A brand new Peterbuilt with a 55 ft trail will haul everything easily.
If there's a will there's a way....
Reheat yesterdays cold hotdogs, and eat left over fish cold....
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:52 AM   #9
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Choose what works best for you....

Double check your load....don't leave anything that can vibrate loose....nothing better than a good rope for tying off...your a fisherman knots shouldn't be a problem if so lean quick you don't want to kill somebody. Like a guy on a motorcycle.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:54 AM   #10
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I have a 4runner myself, and I have to say that anything outside of a pickup truck is not that ideal for hauling a kayak. Overhead lifting a decent ocean kayak comes with challenges. It limits what kind of kayak you can have, you sure as hell aren't putting a PA up there. To top it, lifting overhead you get tons of sand and saltwater all over the car and have to have all kinds of roof rack additions. To top it you're risking dinging the car. Also it's not ideally aerodynamic for long road trips to have kayaks on the roof.

But it's sure damn nice to have all that interior room for stuff, locking things away and even sleeping in when camping.

Pickup truck, a simple T bar and you're good to haul 2 kayaks. No overhead lifting, all the gear can be stored in the bed and keep all the sand as well. Easy to 1 man it.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:04 AM   #11
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I lift a Hobie Oasis which has a fitted hull weight of 93 lbs onto my car by myself when I fish solo. I have a Subaru Outback which is lower than the 4Runner and I usually slide it up the back over a mat. It also has AWD which has been great so far and I haven't been stuck yet. It does have a 2700lb tow limit and 200lb tongue weight with the H4 engine which means you can barely haul anything.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:22 AM   #12
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I load my kayak from either side....i could be locked in bumper to bumper....

Parking and still get my kayak on and off....i have pvc rollers on both sides of my rack. And ratchet straps that go through the cab,my kayak never touches my car. I use a truck for long hauls.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:17 AM   #13
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Up, Down, Left, Right, Dead up the Center - it's all worked for me fine since 2001. 335,000 miles and day after tomorrow heading back down to San Ignacio Lagoon again. Yes - it's a diesel. Whatever you get - get the 8 foot bed and with the tailgate down my PA14 (or My Solo Skiff) only over hangs three and a half feet, so no further contraptions required other than a red flag.

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Old 03-06-2018, 12:58 PM   #14
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Yep....

Long bed tailgate down.....
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:40 PM   #15
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First up, thanks for the input and the snark
Kind of a simplistic thread, but I appreciate the ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ful-rac View Post
You have a snug top, type cover correct? If so take it off and put a rack on it. Sounds like you already have a great vehicle for hauling your kayak around.

With that said, a newer 4 runner would be nice...
Yeah... on that one, I like being able to load up my truck and lock it the night before since I'm in the truck at 4am trying not to wake the wife. Been playing with a few ideas on rod storage (though I could just leave them in the house and carry them out the door with me)

Quote:
Originally Posted by YakDout View Post
Im confused. Youíre currently driving a Tacoma but you are looking at Tacomaís? Are you simply looking for a 4 wheel drive vehicle? If you like the Tacomaís, Ditch your two wheel drive truck and buy a 4x4 Tacoma. Great baja vehicle.
Yeah this is probably where I'm headed. I've put 60k miles on this tacoma and it's damn near bulletproof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahfish View Post
I'd caution against the xterra for roof height alone. I had one for a few years and it did everything I ever asked of it, but getting the yak on the roof was a pain. I drive a 2011 4wd ford escape and it's been low maintenance tows small and medium trailers fairly well, has easily roamed the beach at Makoville, even surprised people by how well it did on the sand and taken me into moderately difficult trails in the sierras and east coast. Ground clearance becomes an issue at some point though.
Good to know on the Escape for offroad. I've long been wary of American made cars, but I loved my Mazda version (Tribute) before it was totalled in an accident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_Ruso View Post
I have a 4runner myself, and I have to say that anything outside of a pickup truck is not that ideal for hauling a kayak. Overhead lifting a decent ocean kayak comes with challenges. It limits what kind of kayak you can have, you sure as hell aren't putting a PA up there. To top it, lifting overhead you get tons of sand and saltwater all over the car and have to have all kinds of roof rack additions. To top it you're risking dinging the car. Also it's not ideally aerodynamic for long road trips to have kayaks on the roof.

But it's sure damn nice to have all that interior room for stuff, locking things away and even sleeping in when camping.

Pickup truck, a simple T bar and you're good to haul 2 kayaks. No overhead lifting, all the gear can be stored in the bed and keep all the sand as well. Easy to 1 man it.
Also good to know. One thing I noted when looking at 4runners is how far back the roof bars sit because of the sunroof. I don't mind throwing my yak on the roof and I'll likely go no bigger than my Outback.... But I'm young yet You make a good point about Saltwater though... I remember seeing Jim Sammons strongly endorse trailering because there's *no* getting around eventual body rust from throwing a kayak on the roof all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja_Traveler View Post
Up, Down, Left, Right, Dead up the Center - it's all worked for me fine since 2001. 335,000 miles and day after tomorrow heading back down to San Ignacio Lagoon again. Yes - it's a diesel. Whatever you get - get the 8 foot bed and with the tailgate down my PA14 (or My Solo Skiff) only over hangs three and a half feet, so no further contraptions required other than a red flag.

Yeah.... I might have gotten a bit of drool on your truck down in Baja looking at all of your customization Problem with the current truck is that it sits so low, the bed extender scrubs super easy.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:14 AM   #16
monstahfish
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Whatever you do, no sun roofs! They will get ruined by salt and sand, then it will leak and ruin the head liner and cause rust and they're a pain to repair. When I bought my car the guy kept trying to give me one with a sun roof after I explained why I didn't want one. I just started walking away, then he listened.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorLongArms View Post
First up, thanks for the input and the snark

Kind of a simplistic thread, but I appreciate the ideas.







Yeah... on that one, I like being able to load up my truck and lock it the night before since I'm in the truck at 4am trying not to wake the wife. Been playing with a few ideas on rod storage (though I could just leave them in the house and carry them out the door with me)







Yeah this is probably where I'm headed. I've put 60k miles on this tacoma and it's damn near bulletproof.







Good to know on the Escape for offroad. I've long been wary of American made cars, but I loved my Mazda version (Tribute) before it was totalled in an accident.







Also good to know. One thing I noted when looking at 4runners is how far back the roof bars sit because of the sunroof. I don't mind throwing my yak on the roof and I'll likely go no bigger than my Outback.... But I'm young yet You make a good point about Saltwater though... I remember seeing Jim Sammons strongly endorse trailering because there's *no* getting around eventual body rust from throwing a kayak on the roof all the time.







Yeah.... I might have gotten a bit of drool on your truck down in Baja looking at all of your customization Problem with the current truck is that it sits so low, the bed extender scrubs super easy.


I like baja travelers style. This is how I roll to baja. Diesel all the way

IMG_4079.JPG
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:27 PM   #18
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I've had a few "yak haulers" in my day. All topped/roof racked, and they have all worked well enough....

Most Fun: 2011 Jeep Wrangler. That pig could get me ANYWHERE, it was just a shit on the highway. That's what happens when engineers put a minivan drive train in a tin can body.

Cheapest: 2001 Chevy Blazer. Maintained this thing will run forever. Only sold it as I had funds for a newer car

Nicest: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Current ride and sooooooo comfortable. Almost too nice to use as a yak hauler. The only thing I wished it had is a 4WD, but so far, not needed.

Most Dependable: 2008 Xterra. One of the best vehicles I've ever owned. If it wasnt for the mandatory 100k service that we couldnt afford at the time, I might still have that truck. I echo what was said above, that roof line is WAY up there. That weird stadium seating is comfy inside, but for topping anything its a chore. I needed to use a step stool for that first "handle grab" each time...

Next Yak ride for GG18: Either a current generation 4Runner, or upgrade the Jeep GC to a 2016 w/4WD.
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