Solution for Transporting 2 Sea Kayaks on Sprinter-Based RV

Question:

I have a Sprinter RV without rain gutters. I would like to have a roof rack installed. Is there a way of doing this without a major re-do of the finished inside? Foam blocks really wouldnt work. We would like to carry 2 full sized sea kayaks and using blocks would make it very difficult to lift the kayaks onto the very high roof. Thanks.

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Expert Reply:

Thank you for the photo of your Dodge Sprinter-based RV with roof-mounted awning for which you wish to solution for carrying two full-size sea kayaks. Your vehicle and your intended goal are not exactly "friendly" to one another: the awning blocks one side of the roof, the vehicle's height poses a physical challenge to loading and unloading boats. Adding a roof rack would actually mean you have the raise the boats up even higher to get them on the vehicle and the presence of the roof rack would to some degree reduce the available weight capacity of the roof. Tough one indeed.

I reviewed your photo and goal with an associate and while we cannot offer you a perfect silver-bullet solution we can offer a reasonable idea for your consideration.

The foam block style carriers, while not your preference, are really among the best options for your situation. They are inexpensive (always good), lightweight and they come in many sizes; they also do not have weight limitations like typical J-style carriers such as Thule Hull-A-Port XT # TH848 which tops out at 75-lbs. Along with a hitch-mounted load support like # DTA944, or # MT70231 or # TH997 foam carriers would accommodate the longer size of sea kayaks and leave all of the roof's weight capacity for the boats instead of using some of it up on the weight of a roof rack and kayak carriers.

The only option that completely avoids the issue of having to lift two kayaks up over your head to load them is to use a trailer such as the Malone XtraLight Trailer with Post-Style Kayak Carrier # MPG526G-L. This and other trailer models are shown on the linked page. Yes, this means you need a hitch, 4-pole wiring harness and willingness to tow but you spare yourself a lot of other issues by going this route.

Please feel free to tell me the length, beam and weight of your two kayaks and I will be happy to find the best trailer option. Also let me know if you have a hitch, and if not, tell me the model year of your Sprinter so I can check for one.

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Adam R

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