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Sea Kayak + soft camper

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Old 06-26-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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Sea Kayak + soft camper

Ok, I've searched but admittedly might have missed this topic and apologize in advance if that's the case!

I just got a new-to-me 2005 AC.

I am about to trade my sea kayak for a longer one, 17' or maybe longer. Stuffing it flat in the bed or leaning it isn't an option.

I don't want a hard camper shell on my truck bc I don't have enough people around to help put it on and take it off when I need to haul a moto.

I'm scouting for a soft/removable/foldable camper shell (the prices were surprisingly high IMO) and have realized they aren't all compatible with all removable racks.

I went to a couple places to look at the removable/adjustable pillars from Yakima but I don't think these are compatible with any of the soft campers? I looked at the Can-Back with the rack but looks like they aren't making them right now?

Is my best (maybe only) option a Softopper with a removable US Rack? I'd be willing to drill and do a more permanent mount of a rack if I had to, as long as it works with a soft camper/topper or sticking a moto in the bed... but I really only just need to haul a lightweight kayak a couple times a month or less so having a heavy-duty permanent rack isn't needed.

If you guys have other ideas (or ideas of what *not* to do) please let me know! I read much of the kayak thread but it looks like most of y'all have ww kayaks.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:17 AM   #2
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I carry some large OC-2 canoes and offshore SUPs on my Tacoma DC on a regular basis. If you do not want to install anything permanent, you can use the goal post style rear rack from either Thule or Yakima and use a foam block and straps up front. The goal post mounts in your trailer hitch and should not interfere with any type of topper you intend on using. This set-up is very secure with the straps being close to the bow and stern of the kayak.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying. I'm going to look into this idea tonight. There are lots of those hitch-mounted ones for sale on my local CL too... I saw you got the Xporter; it's a cool setup.

I want to SUP or surf more, but I need to move somewhere a little warmer for a little better motivation! Haha
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:05 PM   #4
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my father in law has a jeep with a soft top, and they have a rack that goes on top of it where he puts his kayak. looks like this:



maybe have a fab shop do something similar?
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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^ the Softopper/US Rack combo works like that Jeep setup, I think?

http://www.softopper.com/us-truck-cap-rack-details.aspx

Thanks for the ideas. I've been looking around online finding yet more ways to spend my money. Haha. I'll post pics once I figure this out and buy all the parts.
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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Autozone (others) sell ladder racks that are in kits that bolt together, two pieces for front and rear. They don't connect front to rear like a real lumber rack. I welded a plate, drilled holes and attached them using the rail system. Real easy to put on/ take off as needed. Something like this should work with a soft topper in the down position. I saw a set brand new on Craigslist in SF Bay area a few weeks ago for $99, and it was a slightly better design than the ones I bought. I'm using mine to attach some plywood for a dog shade.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:05 AM   #7
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yea man if you want a soft topper and you want a rack over the bed, just buy their rack.

I have a soft topper on my bed and a thule rack on the roof of my double cab.. thats always an option for you too.

I have a wilderness systems tempest 17' long kayak which I haul on a J style rack. I don't even bother with bow and stern lines.. its solid even at 80 mph for extended periods of time with cross winds.

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