Are you an adventurous soul, planning an exciting kayaking expedition? If so, you may be wondering how to safely transport your kayak to the water. Well, fret not! Transporting your kayak in a truck bed is a simple and secure method. This article will guide you through essential safety tips and techniques for safely transporting your kayak in a truck bed.
The Ultimate Guide to Transporting Your Kayak in a Truck Bed
Transporting a kayak without a rack on top of your vehicle can be a daunting task. However, if you own a truck, you’re in luck! Transporting your kayak in a truck bed is relatively easy. In this article, we’ll explore the best practices for securing your kayak in the bed, proper positioning, and safety tips to ensure compliance with road laws while prioritizing the safety of yourself and other drivers on the road.
Loading Your Kayak in a Truck Bed: Tips and Tricks
Before delving into the loading process, it’s important to prepare your truck bed properly. Remove the tonneau cover and clear out any heavy accessories installed in the bed. To protect both your truck bed and kayak, place a rubber mat on the floor. This will prevent any damage and keep your kayak from sliding around during transportation. Even if you have a spray-on bed lining, a rubber mat is still crucial.
When it comes to securing your kayak, avoid using stretchy materials like bungee cords. Nylon straps are a better choice and will be used to secure the kayak along with other equipment. Avoid using ratchet straps, as overtightening them can damage the boat.
To load the kayak, lower the tailgate and use a trolley or kayak cart. If you don’t have one, ask for assistance in carrying the kayak. Slide the kayak onto the truck bed, ensuring the hull side faces down.
If you have a hitch truck bed extender or a sliding bed extender, you may load the kayak with the extender open. However, be cautious of overhang and secure the kayak meticulously. Use red flags to alert other drivers of the protruding kayak, ensuring their safety. Alternatively, you can carry the kayak with the tailgate up to avoid overhang. In this position, one end of the kayak will point upwards. Cushion the tailgate and strap it securely to prevent any sliding. For shorter kayaks and longer truck beds, you can fit the kayak completely inside without overhang.
To minimize the risk of the kayak sliding, do not position it in the middle of the bed. Diagonally placing it from corner to corner will provide stability. This positioning also makes it easier to tie down the kayak securely.
Find anchor points on each side of the truck bed to strap the kayak. You will need two nylon straps – one for the stern and another for the bow. Pass the straps through the grab handles and tie them to the anchor points. Additionally, bring the straps across the top of the kayak on each end and tie them to the anchor points for extra security.
Don’t forget to attach a red flag to any part of the kayak that extends beyond the back of the truck. This will alert other drivers and ensure their safety.
If you desire additional convenience, consider installing a bed extender from UpStreamPaddle. This affordable accessory can be purchased for under $100 on their website. With a bed extender, you can create a vertical extension near the tailgate. Install a crossbar over the cab and place your kayak on it along with the extender.
Follow these handy tips, and you’ll be on your way to transporting your kayak safely and securely in your truck bed. Enjoy your kayaking adventures with peace of mind, knowing that you are keeping yourself and other drivers safe on the road. Happy paddling!
Note: The image used in this article is courtesy of PeacefulPaddle.com.