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DIY Kayak Rack for RV: Easy & Affordable Step-by-Step Guide

To build a kayak rack for an rv, you will need to purchase or build a rack that fits your rv’s size and weight capacity. Enjoying nature’s beauty while kayaking at your favorite spot is truly amazing.

But, transporting your kayak to that spot can be a challenge, especially if you’re traveling in an rv. Building a kayak rack for your rv will allow you to carry your kayak safely and conveniently. A kayak rack design should be based on the type of rv you have and the number of kayaks you need to carry.

You can either purchase a kayak rack or build it yourself using pvc pipes and fittings, lumber, or a combination of both. With these basic materials and a little diy effort, you can build a kayak rack for your rv that is sturdy, secure, and easy to use.

DIY Kayak Rack for RV: Easy & Affordable Step-by-Step Guide


Planning And Preparation

Factors To Consider Before Building A Kayak Rack

Before starting any project, it is essential to consider various factors that may affect its success. In the same way, building a kayak rack for your rv requires planning, preparation, and careful execution. Here are some considerations to take into account before building a kayak rack for your rv:

  • Weight capacity: Determine the weight of the kayaks you want to carry and ensure that your rv’s roof can handle that weight.
  • Size of rv: The size of your rv will affect the design and size of the kayak rack you build.
  • Aerodynamics: An aerodynamic design is necessary to reduce wind resistance, which affects fuel efficiency and stability.
  • Materials: Consider the materials you will use to build your kayak rack and whether they are lightweight, durable, and weather-resistant.
  • Accessibility: Determine where you want to place the kayak rack for easy access and convenience.

Choosing The Right Design For Your Rv

There are various types of kayak racks available in the market. However, not all of them will work for your rv. Here are some designs to consider:

  • Vertical kayak racks: These racks mount on the back of your rv, saving valuable space on the roof.
  • Horizontal kayak racks: These racks mount on the roof of your rv, providing easy access and freeing up the back of your rv.
  • Side-mounted kayak racks: These racks sit on the side of your rv and are suitable for kayaks that are longer than the rv’s roof.

Consider the size and number of kayaks you will carry when choosing the design for your rv.

Essential Tools Needed For Building A Kayak Rack

Building a kayak rack requires specific tools to ensure a professional and secure installation. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Measuring tape and ruler: These tools are necessary to measure the dimensions of your rv and kayaks accurately.
  • Drill and drill bits: A powerful drill and drill bits are necessary to create holes for mounting the kayak rack.
  • Saw and blades: A saw will help you cut any necessary materials to size and shape.
  • Screwdriver: Choose screwdrivers of different sizes and types to fit any screws you need for your kayak rack.
  • Sealant: A good sealant is needed to waterproof your kayak rack and protect it from the elements.

Building a kayak rack for your rv is an excellent way to transport your kayaks safely while on the road. However, careful planning, choosing the right design, and using essential tools are essential to ensure a successful installation.

Step-By-Step Guide To Building A Diy Kayak Rack For Rv

Kayaking is a great way to explore the beauty of nature and offers a unique perspective of the world. If you love kayaking, you might want to consider bringing your kayak with you on your rv trips. Building a diy kayak rack for your rv is an excellent solution to travel with your kayak safely and efficiently.

In this blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to build a kayak rack for an rv.

Creating The Base Frame Of The Kayak Rack

Creating the base frame of the kayak rack is the first and most crucial step in building a sturdy and reliable kayak rack for your rv. Here are the key points you need to keep in mind to create the base frame:

  • Measure your rv’s roof carefully to determine the maximum dimensions for the kayak rack.
  • Purchase the necessary materials, such as pvc pipes or metal tubes, and cut them to the desired length for the base frame.
  • Connect the pvc pipes or metal tubes using t-joints or other appropriate connectors to create the base frame’s rectangular shape.
  • Once you have connected all four sides, add crossbars or additional vertical posts, depending on your design preference.
  • Use screws or other suitable fasteners to secure the joints and make the base frame more stable.

Adding Support Beams To The Frame

Support beams provide stability to the base frame and keep your kayak safely secured on the roof of your rv. Here are the key points to keep in mind when adding support beams to the frame:

  • Determine how many support beams you need, depending on the size and weight of your kayak.
  • Purchase and cut the necessary materials, such as pvc pipes or metal tubes, to the desired length for the support beams.
  • Attach the support beams to the base frame using appropriate connectors, such as t-joints or elbow joints.
  • Make sure that the support beams are spaced evenly and that they are perpendicular to the base frame.
  • Test the stability of the rack by gently shaking it, ensuring that the support beams and frame are attached securely.

Securing The Kayak Rack To The Rv Roof

Now that you have built the base frame and added support beams, it’s time to secure the kayak rack to the roof of your rv. Here are the key points to keep in mind when securing the kayak rack:

  • Clean the rv roof thoroughly and remove any debris or dirt that may affect the rack’s attachment.
  • Use appropriate fasteners, such as bolts or screws, to secure the base frame to the roof of the rv.
  • Make sure the kayak rack is attached at multiple points to distribute the weight of the kayak evenly.
  • Test the stability of the kayak rack after attaching it to the rv roof to ensure that it can withstand any movement and weather conditions while driving.

Adding Padding To The Kayak Rack For Kayak Protection

The final step in building a diy kayak rack for your rv is adding padding to the rack to provide extra protection to your precious kayak. Here are the key points to keep in mind when adding padding to the rack:

  • Purchase and cut foam blocks or other suitable padding material to the size of the base frame and support beams.
  • Attach the foam blocks or padding to the base frame and support beams using zip ties or other appropriate fasteners.
  • Make sure there are no sharp edges or points that may damage the kayak during transportation.
  • Test the stability of the foam blocks or padding to ensure that they do not move or cause any instability to the kayak rack while driving.

Now you know how to build a diy kayak rack for your rv. By following these steps, you can safely and conveniently travel with your kayak while enjoying the great outdoors. Happy kayaking!

Tips For Using Your Diy Kayak Rack For Rv

Rv enthusiasts who also enjoy kayaking may find it challenging to transport their kayaks from one location to another. Fortunately, building a kayak rack for your rv is a relatively easy and affordable diy project that can make traveling with your kayak much more convenient.

Once you’ve constructed your kayak rack, it’s time to take it for a spin! Here are some tips for using your diy kayak rack for rv.

Loading And Unloading Your Kayak Safely Onto The Rack

Transporting your kayak can be daunting, but loading and unloading it onto your kayak rack doesn’t have to be. Follow these steps to simplify the process:

  • Make sure the kayak rack is within reach of the rv’s side door.
  • Carefully lift the kayak onto the kayak rack with the bow facing forward.
  • Secure the kayak by strapping it down using ratchet straps or bungee cords.
  • Double-check that the kayak is secured tightly before hitting the road.

Properly Securing Your Kayak To The Rack For Transit

After loading your kayak, it’s essential to secure it properly for the journey ahead. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Ensure the kayak is centered on the rack and not leaning to either side.
  • Tie the kayak down using at least four straps or cords to keep it from shifting during transit.
  • Check your straps after driving a few miles to make sure they haven’t loosened up.
  • Consider adding additional safety measures such as front and rear tie-downs to secure the kayak even further.

Regular Maintenance And Upkeep Of The Kayak Rack

Like any diy project, proper upkeep ensures your kayak rack will remain functional for many years. Here are some tips on maintaining your kayak rack:

  • Regularly inspect the straps and cords for signs of wear and tear to avoid any surprises on your next trip.
  • Check that all bolts, nuts, and screws are tight to avoid the rack from coming loose while driving.
  • Store the kayak rack in a dry area when not in use to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Give the kayak rack a thorough inspection at least once a year to ensure it’s still safe to use.

Building a kayak rack for your rv can open up a world of opportunities for exploring new waterways. With these tips for using your diy kayak rack, you’ll be able to transport your kayak safely and securely, and with regular maintenance, your rack will last for many years to come.

Happy travels!

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

How Many Kayaks Can An Rv Kayak Rack Hold?

An rv kayak rack can typically hold two to four kayaks, depending on the size and weight capacity of the rack.

Can I Use The Rv Kayak Rack For Other Equipment?

Yes, an rv kayak rack can also be used to transport paddleboards, surfboards, canoes, and other gear with similar dimensions.

How Do I Choose The Right Rv Kayak Rack For My Needs?

Consider the weight capacity, size, and installation process of the rack, as well as the number and type of kayaks you want to transport.

Do I Need Any Special Tools To Build An Rv Kayak Rack?

Basic hand tools such as a drill, saw, and screwdriver are typically needed to build an rv kayak rack, along with the necessary hardware.

Is It Safe To Travel With Kayaks On An Rv Kayak Rack?

Yes, as long as the rack is installed correctly and the kayaks are securely fastened to it, it is safe to travel with kayaks on an rv kayak rack. However, be sure to drive with caution and obey weight limits.


After following the steps mentioned above, you are now equipped with the knowledge to build a kayak rack for an rv. Remember to keep safety in mind when choosing and securing materials for your rack. With a sturdy and secure rack, you can conveniently transport your kayaks and explore new waterways without worrying about damaging your rv or kayaks during transit.

Additionally, this diy project can help save you money and add a personal touch to your rv. We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you through the process of building a kayak rack for your rv. Happy kayaking!



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