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Old 02-20-2014, 09:17 AM   #1
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Strapping up a 12' kayak

Have a 2008 wrangler 2 door with a soft top. I was wondering if anyone has secured a kayak to the top without a rack. I have a 12' angler kayak. How do you execute this? Did you secure it to the front and back of the vehicle? Any info will help. Cheers!

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Old 02-20-2014, 09:35 AM   #2
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I put a canoe on my 2 door with no rack so that's almost the same. I had to take the top off of course and then just put the canoe up there with a folded up towel on the windshield then I think I put a 2x4 across the back to kind of add a cross bar. Then just 2 ratchet straps going over it and that's what I did for 60 miles at about 55mph. I I do it again ill attach a lead off the front to the bumper just for extra security

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Old 02-20-2014, 09:42 AM   #3
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I've got a 14' sit-on-top kayak. I haven't figured out how to get it down to the coast on my Wrangler yet. I'm thinking about getting a smallish trailer instead. Based on experience with wind resistance in my 4Runner, it would most likely kill the Jeep riding on top for 4 hours into the wind... I'm thinking the added weight of the trailer with the kayak behind the jeep would be better than the added wind resistance 'sail effect' of it being on top.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input!
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:22 AM   #5
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:01 PM   #6
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I was wondering the same thing. I have a 12' sit on top kayak and it weighs about 55 pounds. My Jeep top is soft and where I'm going gets quite a bit of rain, so really don't want to go topless. I guess I should check into buying a kayak rack. UGH!
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:06 PM   #7
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I've got a 14' sit-on-top kayak. I haven't figured out how to get it down to the coast on my Wrangler yet. I'm thinking about getting a smallish trailer instead. Based on experience with wind resistance in my 4Runner, it would most likely kill the Jeep riding on top for 4 hours into the wind... I'm thinking the added weight of the trailer with the kayak behind the jeep would be better than the added wind resistance 'sail effect' of it being on top.
In my experience, wind resistance is far less drag than having another set of tires on the ground. And how much resistance can a kayak be anyway?
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:10 PM   #8
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In my experience, wind resistance is far less drag than having another set of tires on the ground. And how much resistance can a kayak be anyway?

Depends on the angle it's sitting at. If it's upside down and relatively level it's not much but if it's tilted up and catching wind they are really bad.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:39 PM   #9
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Depends on the angle it's sitting at. If it's upside down and relatively level it's not much but if it's tilted up and catching wind they are really bad.
OK, I understand that. Which would mean that the ass end of the Jeep is sagging, right? Seems like a crazy reason to spend money leveling it, but whatever works.

I've hauled 90 lbs of paddleboards on the top of my truck & hardly even notice them up there...... for probably 3000 miles over the course of the last 3 summers. But their not angled up in front either.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:11 PM   #10
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I carried a couple of 14.5' kayaks on the top of my TJ for 10 years. It lopped about a 1.5 mpg off when I would do that.

That's about the same penalty you are gonna pay trailering them.

There is a place for each solution. At the time I preferred carrying them above and not having to deal with a trailer, but it is a hell of a lot more work to rack them on top of your Jeep, even with a nice rack system. I had all the Yakima doo-dads for it.

A trailer is more of a pain for other reasons, but then the boats are nice and low, and easy to load.

A trailer is going to have a lot less wind noise as well. A couple of kayaks and a rack system on top of a Jeep turns an already loud driving experience almost uncomfortable for anything longer than a few hours.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:52 PM   #11
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I am thinking about getting a pro angler and converting one of those folding trailers from harbor freight to transport it on
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:42 PM   #12
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Honestly, it's the whole reason I got a hardtop. Hauling kayaks takes priority for me (over an open air driving experience) simply because I am a Pro Staffer for Wilderness Systems. I have Yakima bars (on control towers and landing pads) that are permanently attached to my hardtop and I routinely haul kayaks at interstate speeds for long distances. I typically suffer a loss of only 1-2 mpg hauling a big wide fishing kayak.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:30 AM   #13
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I feel I must warn not to carry one directly on the hardtop, that black paint scratches if you look at it wrong!
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:31 AM   #14
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This is good. A priority for my next upgrade is ease of hauling kayaks. I haul all over the state of Florida. I have not pulled the trigger for a jeep for this exact reason. It would be a long 6 hour drive from down south up to the Suwannee with no top and a howling kayak for our annual guys week camping trip or the 4 hour weekend trips down to Key West with the wife and two kayaks.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:39 AM   #15
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Maybe it depends on your location too. I've lost 5-6mpg in the 4Runner heading into a 30mph headwind at the TX coast. Maybe the Jeeps Aerodynamics are so bad to begin with that the kayak on top wouldn't hurt it too much!

Ease of loading on a low trailer would make life much easier, and all my load-in spots are easy to access, so that helps too. Getting a 60lb, 14' kayak on top by myself in a 30mph wind is hard! Maybe I should blame my chicken arms...
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:00 AM   #16
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Lol I know the feeling well. I am only 5'4". It's a long way up there especially after 6 hours of paddling and carrying the bastard a couple hundred feet up the access and across the road. Trailer are not an option here due to beach launch. You have the balls to paddle out the narrow inlet with boat traffic to use a trailer.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:02 AM   #17
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I haul a 16 foot canoe using a home made "T" that fits in the towing receiver, it's slightly higher than the top of the jeep (either hard or soft top) the front of the canoe sits on the windshield using pads, and strapped to the tow hooks. Thule make a similar product called a "goal post canoe carrier" (thats where I got the idea). No issues at highway speeds, and works great with hard top, soft top, or no top.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:32 AM   #18
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I haul a 16 foot canoe using a home made "T" that fits in the towing receiver, it's slightly higher than the top of the jeep (either hard or soft top) the front of the canoe sits on the windshield using pads, and strapped to the tow hooks. Thule make a similar product called a "goal post canoe carrier" (thats where I got the idea). No issues at highway speeds, and works great with hard top, soft top, or no top.
Pics? I'd love to see what you rigged up!
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:07 PM   #19
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Their all over the web too.



I thought about doing something like this myself. But I decided I wanted to be able to tow a trailer at the same time. So I decided the rear section of rack had to be mounted on the truck roof so the receiver was still useable.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:29 PM   #20
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I like having my top down when transporting my kayaks and they are much easier to handle/load/unload with the trailer. I have the Malone MicroSport XT (retractable tongue, storage bin) and I wouldn't want to go kayaking as much without it. I'm on the West Coast FL so I'm usually kayaking in salt water so hauling these home from a day at sea would make a salty mess in/on my JKU. Just my .02
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:55 PM   #21
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I like having my top down when transporting my kayaks and they are much easier to handle/load/unload with the trailer. I have the Malone MicroSport XT (retractable tongue, storage bin) and I wouldn't want to go kayaking as much without it. I'm on the West Coast FL so I'm usually kayaking in salt water so hauling these home from a day at sea would make a salty mess in/on my JKU. Just my .02
Any opinions on this trailer? It happens to be one of the options I am looking at. Anything you don't like about it?
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:10 PM   #22
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Their all over the web too.



I thought about doing something like this myself. But I decided I wanted to be able to tow a trailer at the same time. So I decided the rear section of rack had to be mounted on the truck roof so the receiver was still useable.
They do make a double receiver adapter (Amazon $25) that would give you the abilty to do both, goal post and trailer.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:07 PM   #23
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They do make a double receiver adapter (Amazon $25) that would give you the abilty to do both, goal post and trailer.
I considered that. It just was easier to put the rear section on the truck & have the receiver available for anything, ie; trailer, bike rack, etc.
At 6'1'", I load them on top without much trouble. Usually by the time their loaded on top of the rig, their dry so I haven't had an issue with the inside of the rig getting wet.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:05 AM   #24
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I setup a couple of crossbars on a utility trailer I have and haul my kayaks that way. Generally when we kayak we also go camping and it makes it easier to haul all our gear. I also don't like trying to get the kayaks on the roof of vehicles.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:04 AM   #25
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I bought a cheap trailer from Tractor Supply and modified it to hold my 2 kayaks. I also bought a 48" truck box to be able to lock gear in. It's nice because I can pull the yak rack off and use it to haul other stuff as well.

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Old 03-01-2014, 06:13 AM   #26
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Any opinions on this trailer? It happens to be one of the options I am looking at. Anything you don't like about it?
Nope. Lots of flexibility in that you can add kayak stands and even a bike rack if needed. I do like the utility trailer set up too.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:39 AM   #27
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I had the Lange Rack on my TJ, of course that didn't fit the JK. I opted for a trailer this time.




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