Roof Rack for a Pull Behind Camper to Carry a Jon Boat

Question:

Hello I was looking for a roof rack system I can put on top of a pop up trailer. I was looking for something with rollers on the crossbars so I can roll a 10-12 foot jon boat on it. Any suggestions? Thank you

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Expert Reply:

You have two options for the roof racks for the camper.

If you have 90 degree, squared edges on your camper, you can use the SportRack Pop-Up Camper, part # SR1020. This has a 200 pound weight capacity and will telescope to your camper's roof size. It includes all of the hardware you need to install the roof rack to the roof of the camper. This rack has a 3 inch clearance from the top of your camper.

If instead you have a rounded top, you'll want to use the Swagman Roamer, part # S80510. This rack only has a 150 pound capacity but features the same sort of features with included hardware and the ability to mount to most roof racks.

For the actual carrier, I have a few recommendations but there's not a rolling carrier that works for a heavier boat like a jon boat. You'll instead want to go with a saddle carrier, as this will let you load hull-down and avoid you needing to flip the jon boat over.

If your boat is under 100 pounds with motors and accessories installed, I recommend the Swagman Coronado, part # S65149. This is an elevated saddle carrier that will let you load the boat hull down. The adjusting cradles also help improve the stability of the boat while its riding on your camper's roof and gives you an easier time tying down the boat.

If your boat is over 100 pounds when loaded, you'll want to instead go with the Rhino Rack Nautic, part # RR570. This pivoting saddle loads your jon boat hull down and adjust to the hull shape, giving the same kind of secure ride on the camper as the Coronado. The Nautic doesn't have a weight limit, as it isn't raised off the bars at all. This kit also lets you flip out one side of the carrier and get a little assistance from the carrier by supporting a part of the weight as you rotate it over the saddle and onto the other set.

I've included video reviews of both carriers so you can see how they perform on our test course and more of each rack's features.

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