Discover the Best RV Kayak Racks for Your Summer Adventures

Summer is just around the corner, and what better way to beat the heat than by embarking on an RV adventure? But if you’re planning to bring your kayaks along, you’ll need a reliable kayak rack that can handle the journey. Inflatable paddleboards and folding kayaks might not cut it for everyone, so let’s explore some top-notch options that will ensure your traditional kayaks are safe and secure during your next waterfront camping trip.

Exploring Different Types of RV Kayak Racks

There are several types of RV kayak racks available, each catering to different needs and preferences. Let’s take a closer look at some popular options:

Kayak Trailers for RVs

If you own a motorhome, a kayak trailer might be the perfect match for you. These trailers can carry a single kayak or multiple kayaks side-by-side or stacked together. The best part? You can detach the trailer from your RV and move it short distances by hand, offering you unparalleled flexibility.

Roof-Mounted RV Kayak Racks

While not as common for RVs due to height clearance issues, roof racks can be a great option for shorter towable campers and class B campers. If your RV falls into this category, consider investing in roof-mounted RV kayak racks that will provide secure storage without sacrificing valuable space.

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Cradles, V-Style, T-Style, and J-Style RV Kayak Racks

If your small camper or class B RV already has crossbars installed, you can strap your kayak directly to them. However, utilizing cradles, V-style racks, T-style stackers, or J-style racks will allow you to transport multiple kayaks with ease. Plus, they can create extra space on your roof for other accessories like cargo boxes or awnings.

Vertical Kayak Rack for Your RV Bumper

Vertical RV kayak racks are specially designed to transport kayaks in an upright position. They are typically hitch-mounted, but you may find options that mount to your RV’s rear bumper. These racks are suitable for motorhomes, travel trailers, and 5th wheels, providing a convenient and secure solution for your kayaking needs.

Now that we’ve explored the different types of RV kayak racks available, let’s delve into the factors you should consider when selecting the perfect one for your RV.

What to Consider When Choosing a Kayak Rack for Your RV

Choosing the right kayak rack for your RV involves considering several important factors. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Mount Type and Location

The three primary locations for mounting a kayak rack on your RV are the hitch, bumper, and roof. Hitch-mount racks are versatile and easy to install, making them a popular choice for RV owners. However, be mindful of the overall height and length limitations they may impose.

Bumper-mount racks are another option, allowing you to retain the use of your hitch for towing while securely transporting your kayaks. Just ensure your RV’s design is compatible with this type of rack.

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Roof-mount racks are best suited for shorter travel trailers and class B camper vans. While they offer benefits like weight distribution and towing compatibility, they may pose challenges when it comes to loading and unloading your kayaks.

Kayak trailers are ideal for motorhome owners and provide hassle-free loading and unloading while eliminating height clearance issues. However, keep in mind that they can increase your overall length and limit the number of campgrounds that can accommodate you.

Carrying Capacity

Consider how many kayaks you need to transport and their total weight. Most bumper or hitch-mounted racks can carry 2-4 kayaks, while roof-mounted racks usually accommodate a single kayak or may have stacker options for up to four kayaks.


The materials used in the construction of your kayak rack impact its durability, carrying capacity, and weather resistance. Aluminum racks are lightweight and resistant to rust and corrosion, making them a popular choice. If durability is your priority, opt for stainless steel racks, even though they might be slightly heavier.

Essential Kayak Accessories

Once you’ve selected the perfect kayak rack for your RV, don’t forget about the additional accessories you’ll need to transport your kayaks safely. Here are a few must-haves:

  • Straps and tie-downs: Cam straps or ratchet straps are essential for securing your kayaks to the rack.
  • Anchor rope: This multi-purpose rope is not only great for anchoring but also for tying down the bow and stern of your kayak on a roof rack.
  • Cable lock: Keep your kayak rack and kayaks secure when your RV is unattended with a reliable cable lock.
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Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to choose the right kayak rack and accessories for your RV, it’s time to hit the road and explore the beautiful waterfront locations waiting for you. Don’t forget to check out UpStreamPaddle for all your kayaking needs!