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Thread: Canoe on top of a travel trailer???

  1. #1
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    Default Canoe on top of a travel trailer???

    Every once in a while I see a canoe on top of a travel trailer

    I have a 27.5 foot 5th wheel and I'd love to be able to carry my 16' Osprey canoe...........it weighs in a 57 pounds so I could get it up there fairly easy

    The other option I guess would be one of those rack systems with a support of some sort coming off the front bumber I guess

    Anyhow if anyone can give me a suggestion I appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default canoe racks

    On top of Rv's of any kind can be done pretty easily with a little thought.
    You mentioned you have an Osprey and this canoe is more than a couple of inch's higher at each end than in the middle. This is where the thought part comes into play. you are going to need to set your canoe upside down on a level surface and measure from the ground to the gunnels how tall your rack is going to need to be. you will need to make two identical racks. plan on placing them about a 1/4 of the way back from the ends of the canoe.
    What I have seen people do is from extravagant to very simple and cheap.
    The easiest cheapest is to use 2 each 2 by 4's - 2 feet long, then cut a 2 by 2's two feet long also. center the 2 by 2 in the middle of the 2 by 4 and screw it down with 3 1/2 in screws. Now you should have two of these little platforms that are about 3 1/2 inches tall. find a place on top of your RV that will give you room to put the platforms down and let the canoe sit level. Be careful not to crush those little sky light vents and vent pipes. Some vent pipes may have heat coming from them from appliances in the RV, so its best to find a place free of any of these items.
    Set the platforms about a 1/4 of the canoes length from each end. set your canoe on top of these platforms and adjust as needed. Mark on the cleaned surface of the RV where you want them to set with a marking pen. remove the canoe, make sure the area you are putting the racks is clean. use some acetone or alcohol so you don't have any residue. squirt inside your marks enough Silicone sealant ( chaulking) to assure a very good bond. put your rack on the silcone and press down to assure a good bond.
    Now take some Foam pipe isulation. Get the 2 inch pipe kind and split it in half length wise. cut it to the 2 ft length and silicone it to the top of the wood rack. this will protect your gunnels. don't be affraid to put quite a bit of silicone on so you can assure it won't come loose when traveling without the canoe.
    Now for the best way to secure your canoe to the rack.
    You don't want to trust the rack itself because it is basically just clued to the top of your RV, and can easily be removed with a scrapper. You are going to need to put some actual screwed in eyes to keep your canoe on top. Now in the old days they used to put a rope in the front and one in the back and tie your canoe on that way. Those days are pretty much history as new technology makes the use of Ratchet straps ( NOT the Friction straps) but real ratcheting straps the very best we have found in mounting thousands of Canoes and Kayaks. We have folks come by all the time with those pull to tighten straps and think they are ok. They are not to be trusted due to the fact that you can never be sure that they won't slip. you need a positive no way to get loose product.
    One of the best places to put mount your eyes is on the edge of your rv. some of your rv's will have a little track already on one or both sides. if so you can make a little sliding bracket to postion and have a swiveling eye mounted on it, or you can remove the screw from the existing edge strip and put a bigger self tapping one in with a washer holding a close ended S hook to secure too. there are ways to do this with out drilling holes in your RV roof, or drilling into wires or guessing where the frame work is in your roof. use the side top corners. make sure you have 2 sets or evenly spaced hooks on both sides of the RV at about the same location as the racks. then put our canoe on the foam covered racks, slip your ratchet strap hook into your secured S hooks and ratchet your craft down snug. don't need to over tighten because the foam gives you some stored energy spring back and resists letting the canoe gunnels slide.
    Don't tie the ends.... Its useless and will wear the paint off of what ever your rope comes into contact with . with 2 ratchet straps fixed this way you can travel the alcan highway jumping frost heaves with ease.
    We have done so many of these attachments that it takes me about 30 minutes to build and fix and send the customer on there way.
    I do have a portable one that can be removed each time you use it too and it is as easy to build as the one above, but who would go anywhere in Alaska without there trusty canoe on top... Oh yeah... When we go snowmachining.... but at least you know where it is when you need it and it doesn't take up garage space.
    Just a note. Once a year I travel the Alcan Highway bringing back to Alaska between 8 and twelve Canoes and or Kayaks. I use this method on my Hauling trailers for long distance travel. I have found that trying to over secure a canoe is as bad as under securing it. It really needs to be able to flex and move a little. the Foam lets it do this without damage to the canoe. I have seen Canoes damaged for life because someone got a little to western with tightening down a canoe. Bent rails, can caved in hulls. I had a fellow the other day pull in my place with a canoe rack he built out of steel. He had a metal brace that bolted on his bumper and bent around and had a v shaped thing that the bow of the boat fit into. the rack on top of the truck was just as rigid. He had some carpet to protect the metal from the canoe, but no foam for the boat to move alittle as he hit those hard bumps. The canoe was missing several screws. the Gunnel rivets had come out and because he had reefed on the tie downs do hard to keep the boat from moving around, he had put a permanant wave in the Keel line.
    The boat in my opinion was junk now due to his lack of understanding. He complained that the canoe was of poor manufacture and was going to complain to the folks back in Maine.
    I tried to show him a little more kinder and gentler and more secure way to safely transport his canoe, but he had Welding rod on the brain. I almost told him he needed a steel canoe for his mindset.
    If you get down on the Kenai, I would be happy to show you some other ideas we use to secure Kayaks and canoes to various cars, trucks, and RV's
    We still have the stubborn guys that want to tie the front and back and won't leave the yard with out doing it. But its a free country and I would never want to offend that right or someone elses good ideas.
    Somebody someday will come by and teach us a few other good ways and we are welcome to the suggestions

    Max

  3. #3
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    Default

    Very good information, thanks for taking the time to write it.

  4. #4
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    Default Thanks!

    for the info!!

    like you said the biggest step is going to be giving it all some good thought!!

    ActuallyI think I MIGHT be able to get it inside my 5th wheel which would be the best solution

    Otherwise it'll have to go on top although my 5th wheel has a rise in it so I'm not sure I have 14' of level space

    Then the scarey part to me is finding places to anchor in the eyelets

    Like you pointed out the rack is no big deal it's the anchor points!!

    Maybe I WILL come down and see you in Kenai........doggone it I was just down there Tuesday........

    My nephew tagged a 70# chromer on his first drift on his first trip in Alaska...........boy is he spoiled for life!!

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