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DIY Canoe Rack for 2014 Tacoma 4x4 double cab

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by jdbrunt, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Jul 12, 2020 at 7:16 AM

    jdbrunt [OP] New Member

    Dec 11, 2019
    2014 Tacoma TRD DBL Cab 4x4
    Hello Taco World!,

    Wanted to share this DIY creation I recently built and used.

    I only go canoeing a few times per year and did not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a custom pre-built setup. So, instead I purchased some 2x4's, fasteners, used exterior stain I had on hand and built one. Total cost to me was about $60 CAD. It's nice because can be disassembled for easier storage as well. After googling for designs I couldn't find exactly what I wanted so figured this post may shed some light if anyone else wants to build their own in the future.

    I included some sketches of my design. It is very basic wooden, two rectangular "ends" that are fastened together with 2 1/2" common galvanized nails. This makes it easy to pack truck even when rack is in place. Each "end" is connected by a single long 2x4 with carriage bolts and washer / nut. My sketch shows two - I think I will add a second one for future. After googling, I determined it is better to use stronger fasteners than deck screws as these have little sheer strength and can fracture if you go over a bump on the road. Once assembled, I used two ratchet straps to secure the rack to the bed of the truck. Canoe can then be tied on to the rack with rope, ideally need some padding for where canoe sits (I used towel for first trip, but may change to pipe insulator for next time).

    First journey with it - drove about 200 km for a 2 night canoe trip, mostly on secondary highways (80km/h, fairly twisty). Everything stayed in place, but did have more side to side movement than I would have liked. I did have to tighten my straps once which helped reduce movement. Intending to make some modifications to it before my next trip....
    1) add cross bracing on the "ends" to minimize side to side movement.
    2) potentially add second length of 2x4 to sides to add strength.
    3) add more padding to top where canoe is tied on.

    All in all - very easy to do and saves a ton of cost.
    My truck is a 2014 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4 Double Cab.
    My canoe is a 12' cedar canvas, similar to a Chestnut Trapper about 39" wide.


    Attached Files:

    spitdog and Sprig like this.
  2. Jul 12, 2020 at 7:30 AM

    Sprig Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2017
    First Name:
    N. Calif. The Twilight Zone
    Tacoma TRD double cab 4x4, Barcelona Red
    Welcome to TW! Nice job. It’s good to see some people can still use their ingenuity skills.
  3. Jul 12, 2020 at 12:15 PM

    spitdog Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2014
    2015 Access Cab V6 4x4 SR5 MGM
    When your not canoeing, throw a tarp over it for a camper.

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