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Old 06-28-2020, 01:59 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Utah
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THOR #12702
RV Do It Yourself Kayak Rack Under $200

My wife and I like to kayak, so we have racks on our tow vehicle which work great except we have to hook up a tow dolly and then the vehicle. That's alright if we are planning on kayaking and sight seeing with the tow vehicle but I wanted a rack for the RV (29' Freedom Elite) to be able to just leave and stay for a few days without plans on going anywhere else and leaving the towd home, but cost was out of sight from $400 to up in the thousands so after looking at the various offerings I went to Harbor Freight and purchased a Truck Bed Extender, A Heavy Duty Luggage Rack for a hitch mount and also a Double Decker Receiver. A few modifications later I came up with what is pictured. The added expenses were the clothes line hooks, extra bolts to secure a piece of 2" 006 tubing to extend the top of the tee a a ength of 1/2" pvc and a little paint.
By using the 20% off coupons offered by Harbor Freight and just going to three different outlets I saved about $32 of the total price and with the extras am well under $175.
On our first outing I had several people ask about the rack so I thought I would post it here if anyone is interested
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:08 AM   #2
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Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
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THOR #8860
How much ground clearance do you have under them?
It looks like a pretty near design.
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:46 AM   #3
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This is great! I wasnít so adventurous and bought a 2 person inflatable kayak that I can store in the basement.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:03 AM   #4
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There is exactly a 12" ground clearance which is about the same as the front bumper.

We too started with inflatables and in fact I have two for the grandkids but I hear from their mom that they want hard shells for Christmas so it might mean a design change, maybe mount them sideways.
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:28 PM   #5
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Thanks! I couldn't get a grasp of it from the pics...
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:42 PM   #6
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Nice setup. We have an inflatable but if itís even slightly windy itís like a sail on the lake. Itís not very low profile. I had hard shells in my past so Iím not really liking the inflatable so much.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:31 PM   #7
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I at one time had a total of 8 sevylor inflatables to be used by my wife and I along with my girls and their husbands but the girls lost interest so all but two were sold. The first time out we too experienced the problem with the wind but after some searching found that a skeg was available that fit on the rear when inflating the two sides, by that addition it made the kayak track straight and helped cut down the problem with the wind.
As a side note, it seems like no matter the direction we drive our motor home the wind is always against us and it seems to do the same when kayaking, go figure, LOL.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:50 PM   #8
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The "wind in your face" factor also controls all of the campfire smoke ever produced!
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:46 AM   #9
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Nice craft!!
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:15 AM   #10
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That is a great set up
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:26 PM   #11
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So when you go up a steep incline, especially those with a dip, couldn’t you rip off the nose of those kayaks. My RV has skid plates in the rear that I have scraped on more than one occasion. Since the kayaks are further from the rear tires, won’t this pose a problem?
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurnwald View Post
This is great! I wasnít so adventurous and bought a 2 person inflatable kayak that I can store in the basement.
Same here, we have been happy with it, so far...
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMF View Post
So when you go up a steep incline, especially those with a dip, couldnít you rip off the nose of those kayaks. My RV has skid plates in the rear that I have scraped on more than one occasion. Since the kayaks are further from the rear tires, wonít this pose a problem?
I guess I will have to see how it plays out, I've not had a problem of scraping any of the receivers or towed vehicles and we have been to a number of places in the boonies, don't know how the rack or yaks will fare but I will be careful and keep it posted. I also have larger foam for the cutouts and that will give me a few more inches of clearance when or if the time comes.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:52 PM   #14
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Question

I never hit my receiver, my skids are about 1 ft below that. You need to consider that the further from the rear wheels, the lower your kayaks get to the surface, It’s not the bumper clearance on dips and inclines. My skid plates protect my waste tank valve. That is why your RV has an angled skirt in the rear sides. You might consider adding something at the back of your platform to protect you from doing this. Otherwise, your concept is good. Do the kayaks make noise when you are on the road? I noticed the noses extend above you roof. I’ve wondered about that with the ones you can buy online.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:00 PM   #15
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I haven't noticed or heard any strange noises but that could be because of of being inside the RV and probably because of my hearing which was a result of my time in the Marine Corps and Vietnam, however, my wife doesn't hear any noise or odd sounds either. I think your idea is good but will have to look at how to figure it out, so far though I have not had a problem nor have I seen one from the backup camera which is fully functional and if you look at available racks that are similar they have the same type of setup and clearance and none of the reviews that I have read have mentioned damage to the yaks. The yaks are above the roof line but that is minimal and less than the height of the air or satellite setup. I had the wife follow me when I first set the rack up and there was wobble from both the racks but that was due to the clearances between the receivers and the hitches, the problem was taken care of by hitch tighteners, I don't show them on the pictures because they are a little pain on/off.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:47 PM   #16
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Thatís pretty cool DIY. I might try doing one for when Iím not flat towing.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:56 PM   #17
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Smile another modification to existing rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by cramar View Post
My wife and I like to kayak, so we have racks on our tow vehicle which work great except we have to hook up a tow dolly and then the vehicle. That's alright if we are planning on kayaking and sight seeing with the tow vehicle but I wanted a rack for the RV (29' Freedom Elite) to be able to just leave and stay for a few days without plans on going anywhere else and leaving the towd home, but cost was out of sight from $400 to up in the thousands so after looking at the various offerings I went to Harbor Freight and purchased a Truck Bed Extender, A Heavy Duty Luggage Rack for a hitch mount and also a Double Decker Receiver. A few modifications later I came up with what is pictured. The added expenses were the clothes line hooks, extra bolts to secure a piece of 2" 006 tubing to extend the top of the tee a a ength of 1/2" pvc and a little paint.
By using the 20% off coupons offered by Harbor Freight and just going to three different outlets I saved about $32 of the total price and with the extras am well under $175.
On our first outing I had several people ask about the rack so I thought I would post it here if anyone is interested
After reading the comments and interest I did take note of What JMF said about dips etc but while I have never had a problem so far, better safe than sorry, so I added pieces of 2" black pvc and also the pipe foam which now gives me a ground clearance of 17 1/2" from the old previous 12". I hope the pictures show it, the plywood and aluminum is a set up for a MotorGuide Wireless trolling motor for my wife to use when her back bothers her.
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