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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are getting rid of the vehicle that we use to haul our 17' canoe on.

I have my Nissan Frontier, 5' bed, so i have been looking into buying a bed rack that will allow me to haul it....now...

Z-rak... http://zraktruckrack.blogspot.com/

invis-a-rack... https://www.realtruck.com/dee-zee-invis-a-rack-truck-rack/?gclid=CKau88XJyc0CFVclgQodqIQA-g

usrack.... https://www.usrack.com/responsive/index.php

All of these are stupid expensive.

Anyone ever build one?
Have a good design...I'm sure i could make one no prob, i have the tools...but maybe some design ideas would get my one brain cell motivated.

Something i could take out of the truck when not needed.
 

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Never hauled a canoe, but I used the Yakima Outdoorsman to haul 14' kayaks in my Dodge Dakota. It's also handy for hauling lumber, the occasional ladder, etc. Heck, I hauled a mattress and box springs on it once.

Pretty simple design if you want to build one yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Never hauled a canoe, but I used the Yakima Outdoorsman to haul 14' kayaks in my Dodge Dakota. It's also handy for hauling lumber, the occasional ladder, etc. Heck, I hauled a mattress and box springs on it once.

Pretty simple design if you want to build one yourself.
Looks like it would do just fine, I'll have to compare it to the one at discount ramps...theirs is a tad cheaper.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I use this one with my Wilderness Systems Ride 135 kayak. I put one end of the kayak on the t-frame, then pick up the other end and walk it around and put on the cars roof on foam blocks. Have used it on a Camaro, Prius, and F350. Works like a dream and is priced right.

https://www.amazon.com/Reese-Towpow...F8&qid=1467165005&sr=8-2&keywords=canoe+hitch

I use kayak blocks like this.

https://www.amazon.com/SportRack-Replacement-Foam-Kayak-Blocks/dp/B019ZQI20Y/ref=pd_sim_263_60?ie=UTF8&dpID=31aDJ2Ey7AL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=479XPRF491Y9GZV0QPJS
I hadn't even looked on Amazon yet...that might work.
Just seems like it leaves a lot of canoe hanging out there, i mean 17' for a 5' bed truck, and it's metal to boot....so it's not light. :)
 

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The racks are silly expensive for what they are. I bought mine on craigslist, that's another option to consider.

On the subject of silly expensive accessories, I've been considering a fiberglass tonneau bed cover for my truck. They look nice, and they help with fuel economy and securing items, but my first vehicle didn't cost that much.
 

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Anyone ever build one?

Something i could take out of the truck when not needed.
Yes, many years ago to haul 4-6 Kayaks. It looked and worked great for many years, and I think I actually gave it away for someone else to use when I changed trucks. No pictures, so I'll do my best to describe construction from the bed up. I've also included a terrible sketch of one corner attachment. I did not have the ability to metal work, so I used wood.

1. Install good stake pocket screw eyes in the stakeholes. This is your base and anchor points.
2. Cut 2 2x4s the width of the bed, PLUS long enough to overhang both stake pockets.
3. Using a half inch drill bit, mortise through holes for the screweyes.
4. Place both bases onto the screweyes, this is your "foundation"
5. Add 2x4 uprights to clear the cab. I screwed them in from the bottom with 3" galv deck screws. Remember that your canoe is curved, so add a few inches.
6. Lag screw front and rear cross beams into fore and aft face of the uprights, flush with the top of the cross beam.. These are your canoe supports. I used a forstner bit to create pockets for the lag screw, and epoxied washers into the hole. This left lag screws flush and prevented them from tearing into the wood over time.
7. For each side cut side supports (front to rear) to fit between the uprights. Place them inside the cross beams and flush with the cross beam tops. Attach with glue and 2 screws.
8. Drill and insert a large eye bolt (I used 3/8") with fender washers through the upright and side supports. Tighten to bind the two studs together.
9. Add corner braces to prevent side to side movement. I used 2x4 diagonals, but if I did it again I would use plywood triangles face screwed outside.
10. Stain and varnish as desired. I left mine white pine and put a honey gold varnish on it that gave it a nice look.

In the diagram there is a red line from upper screw eye to lower screw eye. That could be a turnbuckle, but I used a short piece of 1/4 mantle rope with a loop in one end and a truckers hitch. This allowed me to don/doff the rack without tools, while applying a tremendous amount of down pressure to the truck. Rope also has the advantage of having some give, which helps prevent overloading the screw eyes on bumps. Good rope, cut to length and finished will yield a nice look that doesn't look like the Beverly hillbilly's built your rack.

When not in use the rack doubled as a low kayak rack in my shed.

What's not visible in the picture:
- A piece of 1/4" closed cell foam I added under the base 2x4 to prevent scratching.
- Screw eyes in the outside end of each cross beam for tie downs (optional)
- A screw eye in the middle to "half" the tie downs and attach painter lines.

It was similar to the picture below, except:
- My bedliner did not permit inside legs
- My cross beams were face mounted.
- My diagonals were MUCH shorter, leaving the inside open.
- No end caps on the cross beams.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Heck that would work for me...I only have the one 17'er but yea....Gonna have to plan this out soon.

Thanks for going through all that, gives me some ideas.
 

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That's in my price range before i build...did you drill through your rails to mount it or buy clamps?
I drilled because my truck is 21 years old and I plan on keeping it until it dies. I've heard the clamps work just fine though, but they will add to the overall cost if you don't already have them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I drilled because my truck is 21 years old and I plan on keeping it until it dies. I've heard the clamps work just fine though, but they will add to the overall cost if you don't already have them.
The cost isn't a concern really...for the clamps i mean.

I don't want to drill through my rails, turck isn't BRAND new but it's a 2012 Frontier.

I like the racks though....hello birthday gift from the wife :D

Thanks dcannon1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I suppose i still have concerns that the bed being only 5'....even with 3' hanging off the back still leaves 9' suspended over the front.

Could get awful windy up there....hmmm
 

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I suppose i still have concerns that the bed being only 5'....even with 3' hanging off the back still leaves 9' suspended over the front.

Could get awful windy up there....hmmm
I was looking at the dimensions of that rack. It looks like 28.5" high? How would that compare to the roofline of the truck? I'm wondering if some foam canoe blocks could go on the gunwales toward the front of the cab? That would give some support within about 4' of the other end of the canoe. Does the truck have front tow hooks? On my suburban, I can tie off the front of the canoe to my tow hooks for a little more stability up front.
 

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Yes, many years ago to haul 4-6 Kayaks. It looked and worked great for many years, and I think I actually gave it away for someone else to use when I changed trucks. No pictures, so I'll do my best to describe construction from the bed up. I've also included a terrible sketch of one corner attachment. I did not have the ability to metal work, so I used wood.

1. Install good stake pocket screw eyes in the stakeholes. This is your base and anchor points.
2. Cut 2 2x4s the width of the bed, PLUS long enough to overhang both stake pockets.
3. Using a half inch drill bit, mortise through holes for the screweyes.
4. Place both bases onto the screweyes, this is your "foundation"
5. Add 2x4 uprights to clear the cab. I screwed them in from the bottom with 3" galv deck screws. Remember that your canoe is curved, so add a few inches.
6. Lag screw front and rear cross beams into fore and aft face of the uprights, flush with the top of the cross beam.. These are your canoe supports. I used a forstner bit to create pockets for the lag screw, and epoxied washers into the hole. This left lag screws flush and prevented them from tearing into the wood over time.
7. For each side cut side supports (front to rear) to fit between the uprights. Place them inside the cross beams and flush with the cross beam tops. Attach with glue and 2 screws.
8. Drill and insert a large eye bolt (I used 3/8") with fender washers through the upright and side supports. Tighten to bind the two studs together.
9. Add corner braces to prevent side to side movement. I used 2x4 diagonals, but if I did it again I would use plywood triangles face screwed outside.
10. Stain and varnish as desired. I left mine white pine and put a honey gold varnish on it that gave it a nice look.

In the diagram there is a red line from upper screw eye to lower screw eye. That could be a turnbuckle, but I used a short piece of 1/4 mantle rope with a loop in one end and a truckers hitch. This allowed me to don/doff the rack without tools, while applying a tremendous amount of down pressure to the truck. Rope also has the advantage of having some give, which helps prevent overloading the screw eyes on bumps. Good rope, cut to length and finished will yield a nice look that doesn't look like the Beverly hillbilly's built your rack.

When not in use the rack doubled as a low kayak rack in my shed.

What's not visible in the picture:
- A piece of 1/4" closed cell foam I added under the base 2x4 to prevent scratching.
- Screw eyes in the outside end of each cross beam for tie downs (optional)
- A screw eye in the middle to "half" the tie downs and attach painter lines.

It was similar to the picture below, except:
- My bedliner did not permit inside legs
- My cross beams were face mounted.
- My diagonals were MUCH shorter, leaving the inside open.
- No end caps on the cross beams.

I like that design. It looks like it would work great for multiple kayaks. I might have to try that. I may end up modifying it to work on my trailer, but it looks nice.
 
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