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10 Simple Steps to Building a Kayak Rack for Your RV

10 Simple Steps to Building a Kayak Rack for Your RV

To build a kayak rack for an rv, you will need to measure the height and width of your kayak and rv, secure a base for the rack, and attach the rack with sturdy brackets. If you enjoy outdoor activities and have an rv, you might wish to carry a kayak with you on your travels.

A kayak rack can offer a practical solution for transporting your vessel. With a little bit of effort and planning, you can easily build a kayak rack for your rv. In this guide, we will show you how to build a sturdy and reliable rack that will keep your kayak safe while traveling.

Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, our step-by-step instructions will help make your next rv trip an enjoyable one.

10 Simple Steps to Building a Kayak Rack for Your RV

Credit: kayakingjournal.com

Step 1: Identify The Type Of Rack To Build

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Kayak Rack

When selecting a kayak rack for your rv, the following factors should be taken into consideration:

  • Weight capacity: It is crucial to confirm that the rack you choose can support the weight of your kayak.
  • Rack compatibility: Certain racks can only work with specific rv models, so ensure that the rack you choose fits your rv model.
  • Kayak size: Some racks can accommodate larger kayaks than others. Check the size of your kayak and ensure that the rack you choose can accommodate it.
  • Installation: Choose a rack that is easy to install and remove to ensure that it does not cause any damage to your rv or kayak.
  • Storage and accessibility: Select a rack that is easy to access and store your kayak.

Different Types Of Racks And Which Is Best For Your Rv

There are several types of kayak racks that you can choose from:

  • Overhead racks
  • Rear racks
  • Ladder racks
  • Bumper racks

The kind of rack you pick is dependent on factors such as your needs, rv model, and the quantity of kayaks. Here’s what you need to know about each:

  • Overhead racks: This type of rack is installed on the roof of the rv and requires steps or ladders to get your kayak on and off. It is recommended for individuals who carry a lot of kayaks.
  • Rear racks: Rear racks are mounted on the back of the rv and are simple to set up. However, they may cause difficulties when accessing the interior of the rv.
  • Ladder racks: This rack is attached to the ladder of the rv, providing a convenient solution for those who wish to carry one or two kayaks.
  • Bumper racks: These kinds of racks are mounted to the bumper of your rv and are usually recommended for smaller rvs with a single kayak.

Ultimately, the kind of rack you choose is dependent on your rv and your specific needs. Take a closer look at the pros and cons of each type before selecting the best kind of kayak rack for you.

Building a kayak rack for an rv can be both fun and challenging. However, with proper planning and resources, the end product will be worthwhile.

Step 2: Measure Your Rv And Kayak

Building a kayak rack for an rv can seem like a daunting task, but with the right instructions and tools, this task can be accomplished with ease. Accurate measurements of your rv and your kayak are the first step towards building a rack that fits perfectly and securely.

In this section, we will discuss how to get accurate measurements of your rv and kayak and why correct measurements are essential for building a rack that fits perfectly.

How To Get Accurate Measurements Of Your Rv And Kayak

Getting accurate measurements of your rv and kayak is critical to building a rack that fits perfectly. Here’s how you can get accurate measurements:

  • For the rv, start by measuring the distance between the two roof rails where the rack will be installed. Be sure to measure the width and length of the roof.
  • Next, measure the height of the rv from the ground to the roof rails.
  • For the kayak, measure the length, width, and height of the kayak. Be sure to include any handles or other attachments that may stick out.

Why Correct Measurement Is Important For Building A Rack That Fits Perfectly

Building a kayak rack that fits perfectly is essential for ensuring that your kayak is secure during transport. Not only does a perfect fit add an extra level of safety, but it can also increase fuel efficiency by reducing drag during travel.

Here are a few reasons why it’s important to get accurate measurements:

  • A rack that is too loose can damage your kayak during transportation and even cause an accident.
  • A rack that is too tight can cause damage to your rv’s roof, which can lead to rust and leaks.
  • An ill-fitting rack can create unnecessary drag, reducing your rv’s fuel efficiency.

By taking accurate measurements of your rv and kayak, you can build a rack that fits perfectly and is safe to use during transportation. Proper measurement is key to ensuring that your kayak and rv stay in top condition, while also increasing fuel efficiency.

Step 3: Purchase Materials

Materials Needed To Build A Kayak Rack For Your Rv

Before you begin building your own kayak rack, it’s crucial to obtain all of the necessary materials. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to set up your personalized kayak rack for your rv.

  • Pvc pipes (at least three)
  • Pvc elbows
  • Pvc tees
  • Pvc caps
  • Screws
  • Wood boards
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Bungee cords
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Sealant

Tools And Equipment Necessary For The Project

In addition to the materials listed above, you’ll also need a few essential tools to get started with the project. Here are some of the critical items you should have on hand.

  • Saw (handsaw or circular)
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Sanding block
  • Primer brush
  • Sealant brush

With these materials and tools, you can begin your diy project and create your diy kayak rack in just a few hours. Remember that the quality of the material is crucial, as it will impact the rack’s stability, which is essential to keep your kayak safe while traveling.

So, gather up all the things you need and get ready to build a fantastic kayak rack for your rv.

Step 4: Design And Layout

Building a kayak rack for your rv is a fantastic way to ensure that you always have your beloved watercraft with you on your travels. However, to keep your kayak safe and secure, you need to design and layout your rack correctly.

In this section, we will go over the key steps required to design and layout your kayak rack effectively.

Sketch Design For Rack Location And Placement

To design your kayak rack, you need to start by considering where you want to place it and how you want to set it up. Here are some essential factors to consider:

  • Look for a location that is safe and secure and will not interfere with your rv’s performance.
  • Choose an area that won’t block any necessary lights, windows, or vents in the rv.
  • Make sure you calculate the length of your kayaks and choose a location that will accommodate them.
  • You need to choose a low-level location so that you don’t have to lift the kayaks too high.

Once you have considered these factors, you can sketch out the design of your kayak rack, giving you a clear understanding of what you need to do and what materials you need to buy.

Risk Assessment For The Chosen Design

Before you start building your kayak rack, it is essential to conduct a risk assessment of your design. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Check the weather conditions and assess whether your design can withstand different elements like strong winds and rain.
  • Ensure that the screws, bolts, and attachments are tight and secure.
  • Your design should not affect the performance and handling of the rv, especially not with weight distribution and turning.

Conducting a risk assessment will help you identify any potential hazards and make any necessary adjustments to minimize the risks.

How To Ensure That The Racks Are Stable And Secure

Having a stable and secure kayak rack is crucial to keep your kayaks safe while you travel. Here are some tips to make sure your racks are stable and secure:

  • Use high-quality materials that can withstand different weather conditions and can support the weight of your kayaks.
  • Attach the racks to the frame of your rv instead of the camper shell or the roof to ensure maximum stability.
  • Check the installation regularly and check for any signs of damage or wear and tear that could compromise the safety of your kayaks.

By ensuring that your kayak racks are stable and secure, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can transport your kayaks safely wherever your travels take you.

Designing and building a kayak rack for your rv may seem daunting at first, but with careful planning and attention to detail, you can create a functional and safe system to transport your kayaks and enhance your rv adventures.

Step 5: Cut And Prepare Rack Material

How To Prepare The Materials Purchased For The Rack

Before beginning to cut and shape the materials, it is necessary to prepare them adequately. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Choose a flat surface to lay the materials on, ensuring that it is clean and free of debris.
  • Measure the materials precisely using a measuring tape, and use a marker to make clear guidelines for cutting.
  • Wipe the materials clean with a cloth to ensure that they are free of dust and dirt, which can make them difficult to work with.
  • Gather all the tools needed for cutting and shaping the materials, including a saw, drill, sandpaper, and clamps.

Best Practices For Cutting And Shaping The Materials

Cutting and shaping the materials is a crucial step in building a kayak rack. Here are some best practices to make sure the process goes smoothly:

  • Begin by using a saw to cut the materials, following the guidelines made earlier. It’s important to cut slowly and steadily, avoiding any sudden movements that could cause the material to splinter or crack.
  • Use a drill to create any necessary holes in the materials. It’s essential to use the correct drill bit size to prevent the material from splitting or cracking.
  • Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or surfaces on the materials. It will prevent the kayak from getting scratched while in the rack.
  • Once everything is cut and shaped, dry-fit all the parts together to ensure that everything lines up and fits as intended.
  • Finally, attach the rack securely to the rv, making sure it’s stable and won’t move during transport.

Following these best practices will help ensure that you end up with a sturdy and reliable kayak rack for your rv travels.

Step 6: Assembly

How to build a kayak rack for an rv – step 6: assembly

After all the measuring, cutting, and drilling, it’s finally time to put everything together. Follow this step-by-step guide to assemble your diy kayak rack with ease.

Step By Step Guide To Assembling The Kayak Rack

  • Start by attaching the brackets to the vertical support using carriage bolts and nuts. Make sure to hold the brackets in place with a clamp while drilling.
  • Secure the horizontal supports to the brackets using wood screws.
  • Install the kayak saddles onto the horizontal supports and secure them in place with bolts and nuts.
  • Finally, attach the tie-down straps to the saddles using buckle or ratchets.

Tips To Ensure Accuracy And Precision

  • Double-check all measurements before cutting or drilling to avoid any mistakes.
  • Take your time when assembling and make sure all screws and bolts are tightly secured to prevent wobbling during transit.
  • Use a level to ensure that the rack is straight and balanced.
  • Test the rack with your kayak before hitting the road to confirm that it’s secure and properly adjusted.

Now that you are done with the assembly, it’s time to pack your kayak and hit the open road. This diy kayak rack is perfect for rv enthusiasts who love to enjoy the great outdoors while traveling in comfort.

Step 7: Install And Mount

Building a kayak rack for your rv has many benefits, and now that you have completed all the previous steps, it’s time to move on to the final stage – installing and mounting.

Preparing To Mount The Rack Onto The Rv

Mounting a kayak rack to an rv requires careful preparation to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Here’s what you should do:

  • Gather all the tools required for the installation process
  • Determine where you want to mount the kayak rack on your rv. It should be in a position that doesn’t hinder your view or cause any obstruction.
  • Take measurements to ensure that the dimensions of the kayak rack align with your rv’s dimensions.
  • Identify the mounting points or locations where you will attach the rack to your rv

How To Secure The Rack To The Rv

When securing the kayak rack to your rv, here are some crucial tips to keep in mind:

  • Use high-quality, sturdy brackets to ensure that the kayak rack stays in place and doesn’t wobble.
  • Make sure all screws and bolts are tightened securely.
  • Use a sealant to protect metal parts of the rack from rusting or corroding.
  • Test out the installation by shaking the kayak rack to determine if everything is still sturdy and in place.

Precautionary Measures To Be Taken During Installation

Here are some precautionary measures to take when mounting your kayak rack on your rv:

  • Be extra careful when using ladders or climbing on top of the rv. Follow all safety protocols and make sure you have someone nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Ensure that the weight of the kayak rack and kayaks won’t exceed the rv’s carrying capacity. Overloading the rv can cause unnecessary strain on the vehicle’s suspension system and could lead to accidents.
  • Always use safety goggles, gloves, and earplugs to protect yourself when installing the rack.

By following these guidelines, you should have no problem installing your new kayak rack to your rv. Just make sure safety always comes first, and when in doubt, always contact a professional for guidance.

Step 8: Finishing, Testing And Adjustments

How To Finish The Edges Of The Rack Material

Before you proceed with setting the kayak rack onto your rv, it’s crucial to finish the edges of the rack material to avoid any accidental cuts or scratches. Here’s how to do it:

  • Using sandpaper with a fine grit, sand the rough edges of your rack material. Move the sandpaper in a smooth and even motion until the rough edges become smooth.
  • Next, apply a coat of paint or varnish to your rack’s edges to protect the material from moisture and corrosion.

Testing The Rack For Stability And Whether It Performs As Intended

It’s essential to ensure your kayak rack is stable and performing as intended before hitting the road. Here’s how you can test your rack:

  • The first step is to place the kayaks onto the rack and check if they fit perfectly. If they are not fitting well, you may need to adjust the rack.
  • Now, shake the rack a bit to see if it’s sturdy enough. If the rack wobbles, you may need to adjust the nuts and bolts or replace the support bars.
  • Drive around with your kayaks on the rack and monitor their stability periodically. If they are stable, that means your rack is doing its job.

Adjustments That May Need To Be Made

Even when you fix everything, there are still chances that adjustments may need to be made. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Adjust the crossbars according to the size of your kayak to ensure a perfect fit.
  • Make sure that the kayak does not block the rv’s taillights and license plate.
  • Check if the kayak is hitting the roof of the rv, in which case you may need to add additional padding to prevent damage to both the rv and the kayak.

Now, you are all set to enjoy your rv adventure, safely transporting your kayaks with a kayak rack you built yourself!

Step 9: Clean Up And Maintenance

Building a kayak rack for your rv is an incredible accomplishment. It offers a convenient way to transport your kayaks safely and securely. But just like any piece of equipment, it needs some maintenance to ensure that it functions at optimal levels.

Here’s how to clean and maintain your new kayak rack:

Proper Maintenance Of The Kayak Rack

Keeping your kayak rack in excellent condition is crucial to ensuring it lasts a long time. There are a few things you can do to maintain your rack:

  • Always store the rack in a dry place.
  • Lubricate the support beams and joints every six months to prevent rust or any unwanted noises.
  • Check all the fasteners every month to make sure they are tight.

How To Clean And Maintain The Rack Structure

Cleaning and maintaining your kayak rack is a task that you must perform regularly. Here’s a list of things you can do:

  • Brush off any debris or dirt on the surface of the rack with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Wash the rack with warm water and mild soap to remove any stubborn stains or dirt that the brush might not remove.
  • Use a pressure washer or a garden hose to rinse the surface of the rack once you have washed it with soap and water.
  • Dry the rack with a soft towel or let it air dry.

Best Practices For Long-Lasting Use

Here are some tips on how to keep your kayak rack in tip-top condition for longer:

  • Always load your kayaks evenly and distribute the weight evenly across the rack.
  • Only use the recommended weight limit for your rack.
  • Remove the rack when it’s not in use.
  • Use protective covers to protect the rack from the elements.
  • Store your kayak rack away from direct sunlight to prevent any uv damage.

Maintaining your kayak rack is easy and straightforward. By following these tips, you can ensure that your rack is always ready to use whenever you need it. Remember to always clean your kayak rack after each use and practice the best practices for long-lasting use.

Enjoy your paddling adventures with your kayak always secure on your rv.

Step 10: Conclusion

Have you ever considered taking your kayaks with you on your next rv adventure? Building a kayak rack for your rv is easier than you may think. Here are ten simple steps to help you build a sturdy and reliable kayak rack to transport your favorite kayaks on your travels.

A Recap Of The 10 Steps To Building A Kayak Rack For Your Rv

  • Measure your kayaks and rv to determine the size of your kayak rack.
  • Purchase the necessary materials, including pvc pipes, fittings, and glue.
  • Cut the pvc pipes to the appropriate length.
  • Assemble the pieces into two identical kayak racks.
  • Mount the kayak racks to the rv.
  • Install the crossbar between the two racks.
  • Choose and install the appropriate straps for securing the kayaks to the rack.
  • Test the security and sturdiness of the kayak rack.
  • Make any necessary adjustments to ensure the safety of your kayaks while in transit.
  • Enjoy your rv travels with the convenience of a kayak rack.

Tips And Suggestions For Optimizing The Rack

  • Use high-quality materials to ensure durability and longevity of your kayak rack.
  • Consider using uv-resistant materials to protect your kayak rack from sun damage.
  • Use appropriate tools for cutting and assembling to ensure precise and correct measurements.
  • Use smooth pipes and fittings to prevent any damage to the kayaks.
  • Test the rack for sturdiness before embarking on any long trips.
  • Make sure that the kayaks are securely strapped in place before hitting the road.
  • Consider adding padding to the rack to prevent scratches on the kayaks.
  • Make sure that the kayak rack does not obstruct any lights or license plates.
  • Maintenance and store the kayak rack properly when not in use to ensure longevity.

A Call To Action To Try Building Your Own Rack With The Steps Provided

Building your own kayak rack for your rv can be a fun and rewarding diy project. With these ten simple steps and tips, you can safely transport your kayaks on your next trip. So why not give it a try?

Follow these steps, and you’ll have a kayak rack that’s secure and stable in no time. Show off your diy skills while enjoying the great outdoors.

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

What Materials Will I Need To Build A Kayak Rack For An Rv?

You will need pvc pipes, t-joints, end caps, screws, and straps for securing the kayaks. Use a measuring tape, hacksaw, and drill to cut and assemble the frame.

How Do I Securely Attach The Rack To My Rv?

Attach the rack to the rear bumper or hitch mount using screws and brackets. Make sure to distribute the weight evenly and test the rack’s stability before attaching the kayaks.

How Many Kayaks Can The Rv Rack Hold?

The number of kayaks depends on the length and weight capacity of the rack. Typically, racks can hold 1-4 kayaks. Check the rack’s specifications and weight limits before loading.

Will The Rack Interfere With My Rv’S Clearance?

Make sure to measure the height of your rv and clearance of any overhangs to ensure the rack does not interfere while driving. Consider adding an additional flag for visibility.

Can I Use The Same Rack For Other Outdoor Equipment?

The pvc kayak rack can also be used to transport paddleboards, surfboards, camping gear, and other large outdoor equipment. Just adjust the length and width to fit your needs.


So, building a kayak rack for an rv can be an exhilarating experience and will definitely enhance your traveling adventures. With a little bit of creativity, patience, and some diy tricks, you can make your personalized kayak rack, which can conveniently carry your kayaks without any hassle.

Your rv adventure will surely be more exciting with this addition. Just remember to start your planning process by choosing the materials, measuring and cutting them with precision, and then assembling them carefully. Add the finishing touches with paint and other decorative items to make it perfect.

Always remember safety should be your top priority as you hit the road with your rv and your kayak rack. With our comprehensive guide, building a kayak rack for your rv is more straightforward and requires little investment. Get started today and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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