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Glue my kayaks to the roof?


MoonTimber

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I want to take a pair of 16 foot kayaks on our trips, but I'm not sure how I should mount them on the roof of our 27' class C. Does anyone have pictures of how they did it? I'm willing to buy a roof rack but I'm afraid of drilling holes up there. I could fabricate something out of PVC if I knew how to attach it. I don't want to cause a leak, and it has to be secure enough to hold the kayaks down at 65mph.

 

I tried Dr. Google and Dr. Yahoo but kept getting pictures of fifth wheels and Jeeps.

 

 

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I want to take a pair of 16 foot kayaks on our trips, but I'm not sure how I should mount them on the roof of our 27' class C. Does anyone have pictures of how they did it? I'm willing to buy a roof rack but I'm afraid of drilling holes up there. I could fabricate something out of PVC if I knew how to attach it. I don't want to cause a leak, and it has to be secure enough to hold the kayaks down at 65mph.

 

I tried Dr. Google and Dr. Yahoo but kept getting pictures of fifth wheels and Jeeps.

 

 

 

If you have a rubber or vinyl roof, gluing the kayaks directly to that would probably just pull the rubber or vinyl off of your roof. If you're hesitant to drill holes in your roof, take it to someone who does this regularly and let them do it. Properly sealed holes will hold up much better than what you're considering.

 

I have used VHB (very high bond) tape to attach items to the roof of an RV before, but nothing so large or heavy as a kayak.

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We used VHB adhesive to fasten our solar panels to the roof of our RV. I'm guessing you mean to glue the kayak rack rather than the kayaks themselves. Most people choose to put their racks on the tow or towed vehicle rather than the RV to facilitate taking them to the water access. Unless, like we did for awhile, you drive a small motorhome with no toad.

 

Linda Sand

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OK, I guess I need to make it clearer when I'm being silly. I'm frequently making sad attempts at humor which can be misinterpreted on Forums. Humor is not always obvious when it's written down. Just to be clear, I don't actually intend to glue my Kayaks to the roof or use glue in the process. That was me being facetious.

 

That said, Dave and Kathy caught on so they must have an exceptional sense of humor!

 

I'm just looking for pictures of Kayaks on top of motorhomes, or to hear about hardware other people have seen used for the purpose. If something needs to be screwed in place then I'll have to go that route and get help from someone who works on RV's.

 

My RV has a hitch but it can only handle 3500lbs. Our family vehicles are all over 4000lbs, so we can't tow any of our cars. I thought about using a trailer to carry the kayaks and our bikes, but that would mean figuring out what to do with 16 feet of trailer everytime we go to an RV park or stop at Walmart. It also means paying an extra $10 to $20 at about a dozen California bridges where they charge you per axle. If it's at all possible I'd like to get the kayaks on the roof.

 

My AC unit sticks up almost 20 inches so I would think two kayaks on an angle would only add another five or six inches. If I can lay them keel up they might not be as tall as the AC unit. The rack has to be secure though because I'm sure we'll end up brushing tree branches on some narrow road in the outback somewhere.

 

Amazon has really shallow foam kayak saddles that you strap to your roof, but I don't think I'd have anything to strap to. They also have a ton of saddles that you connect to your roof rack, but they're designed for car roof racks. I haven't seen a Thule or Yakima roof rack for an RV, though it might be out there somewhere. That's why I'm hoping to see what other folks have done.

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On a class c I had a few years ago I did the following:

1. Cut 12 inch squares from heavy gauge aluminum and bent up one side to accommodate Yakima side mounts

2. Attached aluminum to fiberglass roof using Marine 5200 adhesive caulk and one screw in each corner

3. Attached Yakima bars and cradles

4. Attached one 14 foot wooden kayak

 

Only used it a few times before I traded motorhomes. No problems when I did.

 

Talked to a guy in Alaska that drilled all the way through the roof to add mounts. All but one bolted inside cabinets with large washers. One was exposed but trimmed out with oak to match cabinets. Looked good and he carried two in up to 40 mph crosswinds with no problem, he said.

 

Good luck.

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Can I order a product like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Progrip-822640-Surface-Mount-4-Pack/dp/B000HAEPAO/ref=pd_bxgy_auto_text_y

 

then bolt it to the sides of the RV near the roof? In my ignorance I'm guessing that holes in the sides of the camper with sealant are less likely to leak than holes in the roof.

 

If I have several points at which to tie down straps to, I can get an inexpensive rack like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Telescoping-Roof-Cargo-Cross-Capacity/dp/B0076YE4QO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427499990&sr=8-1&keywords=strap+on+roof+rack

 

Then I could use something like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/TMS-KAYAKCARRIER-CP5672-Carrier-Universal-Saddles/dp/B009J2J0SI/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1427500195&sr=1-1&keywords=tms+kayak+saddle

 

But I'm still hoping to see how other people have done this.

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On a class c I had a few years ago I did the following:

1. Cut 12 inch squares from heavy gauge aluminum and bent up one side to accommodate Yakima side mounts

2. Attached aluminum to fiberglass roof using Marine 5200 adhesive caulk and one screw in each corner

3. Attached Yakima bars and cradles

4. Attached one 14 foot wooden kayak

 

Only used it a few times before I traded motorhomes. No problems when I did.

 

Talked to a guy in Alaska that drilled all the way through the roof to add mounts. All but one bolted inside cabinets with large washers. One was exposed but trimmed out with oak to match cabinets. Looked good and he carried two in up to 40 mph crosswinds with no problem, he said.

 

Good luck.

 

That sounds pretty smart. How did you bend the aluminum?

I have a Yakima rack on my Jeep with a Kayak J mount that I could easily relocate to the RV. I would just need to buy the side mounts.

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I recall seeing a Class C a few years ago with a pair of kayaks on the roof. I don't know if it was a commercial mount or a DIY fabrication, but each boat was held in a cradle attached to two inverted aluminum channel 'L' arms that were attached to pivots about half way down the rig sidewalls. The short legs of the 'L' held the upside down boat just far enough above the roof to clear any obstructions like the fridge vent, etc. The arms were raised and lowered by a simple rope and pulley arrangement, and the arms locked in place via 'U' saddles mounted higher on the walls above the pivot points. I hope my description is clear enough, because I don't think I have any photos.

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I Googled Kayak racks and got this vertical one that goes on the back of your RV: http://www.rvkayakrack.com. Seems more user friendly to me than trying to get the yaks up on a roof.

 

Linda Sand.

 

Those look pretty cool, but my wife and I have 15 and 16 foot kayaks, so they won't work. I have a six footer for my son so I was thinking I might rig something up along those lines.

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I recall seeing a Class C a few years ago with a pair of kayaks on the roof. I don't know if it was a commercial mount or a DIY fabrication, but each boat was held in a cradle attached to two inverted aluminum channel 'L' arms that were attached to pivots about half way down the rig sidewalls. The short legs of the 'L' held the upside down boat just far enough above the roof to clear any obstructions like the fridge vent, etc. The arms were raised and lowered by a simple rope and pulley arrangement, and the arms locked in place via 'U' saddles mounted higher on the walls above the pivot points. I hope my description is clear enough, because I don't think I have any photos.

 

That sounds like it might work but I'm having a hard time envisioning it. I'll have to try and sketch out what you're describing. I think I know what you mean. Did each boat pivot out on separate sides of the RV?

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moon timber thinking outside the square how about bending a couple of pipe loops that are attached to the chassis and come up and over the vehicle you could attach canoe racks to the loops.

 

I have seen a few bush bombs done like this, you wouldn't have to drill any holes in the roof or body doing this.

 

mick

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Can I order a product like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Progrip-822640-Surface-Mount-4-Pack/dp/B000HAEPAO/ref=pd_bxgy_auto_text_y

 

then bolt it to the sides of the RV near the roof? In my ignorance I'm guessing that holes in the sides of the camper with sealant are less likely to leak than holes in the roof.

 

If I have several points at which to tie down straps to, I can get an inexpensive rack like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Telescoping-Roof-Cargo-Cross-Capacity/dp/B0076YE4QO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427499990&sr=8-1&keywords=strap+on+roof+rack

 

Then I could use something like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/TMS-KAYAKCARRIER-CP5672-Carrier-Universal-Saddles/dp/B009J2J0SI/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1427500195&sr=1-1&keywords=tms+kayak+saddle

 

But I'm still hoping to see how other people have done this.

 

 

I see nothing wrong with this approach. You might want to mechanically attach the foot of the telescoping racks to a larger piece of say galvanized roofing sheet metal (you can find these in 10" or so square panels at Home Depot or Lowes). Then both glue (3M 5200 is good) and mechanically fasten the galvanized sheet metal 'bases' to the roof. (Look for posters Batterypro (Larry) pictures under the Going Green forum on IRV2. He has some shots of how he bolts solar panel mounts to roofs. Think he used 5/16" X 1" long leg bolts, several thousand installed, and never a problem hitting or going thru the roof into the coach area itself.) You could even Eternabond tape the edges of the sheet metal, to give you an added bit of hold and waterproofing.

 

Your side mount clips should work too, but same comment about perhaps spreading the load some on the side of the coach, by adding say a 4" square of galvanized metal, bolted and glued on too.

 

You might check with area truck camper shell places too. As I recall, both ARE and Gemtop had optional items that attached to their shells, maybe able to learn how they do it, or possibly use some of their products.

 

Best of luck to you,

Smitty

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We are avid kayakers (9 kayaks!) and, although we haven't done it yet, we plan to put the kayaks on the Jeep toad (with mtn bikes on the back).

 

So, having said that, we also mounted our solar panels on the fiberglass rooftop of our motor home with VHB tape and they have not budged; even after a 2,000+ mile trip in December/January. In some driving rain!!! No leaks, either. :)

 

The kayaks we plan to take are SOF ("Skin On Frame") which a paddling friend and I built at a seminar in Oregon several years back. She decided she wanted a different kayak and handed off her SOF to us. The kayaks are 14' long and close copies of the famous Mariner Coaster paddled by some pretty gnarly dudes in the California surf.

 

They are also very light weight at 28 pounds each!

 

But since you want to roof mount you have two issues.

 

A) The support for your kayaks; and,

B) The tie-downs.

 

For support I think I'd look hard at just the foam pads you can buy at WalMart. They'll only boost your height about 3 inches, they're simple, and they're cheap. The pads don't hold your kayaks down... they simply support them and help protect your rooftop from abrasion.

 

The tie-downs are the important bits. You will need side tie-downs and fore-aft tie-downs. Neglecting to tie them down fore and aft will expose you to the risk of the kayaks moving off the rooftop (and into other vehicles) under hard braking or sudden acceleration. I have had a kayak move aft off a moving vehicle (luckily small plastic white-water kayak that suffered little damage and hit no one) and it was a shock. I've never neglected for-aft tie downs again.

 

You can also use VHB tape on the tie-downs if you have a fiberglass rooftop. Or there may be rails up there already. But on my roof I would absolutely go to VHB tape and some marine-quality stainless steel hooks placed direction next to the kayaks for side-to-side security. Fore-and-aft security should be somewhat ahead and astern.

 

Mounting your kayaks on a slant will expose them to significantly more wind loading.

 

Good luck!

 

WDR

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Has anybody seen one of these kayaks?? Do they "hold" together??

 

I did see a comment that the "parts" can be stored in RV bays.

 

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/81974?feat=1103-CL2&page=point-65n-tequila-gtx-modular-sit-on-top-tandem-kayak&attrValue_0=Red&productId=1374085

 

Don't worry about the price. Wal-Mart sells the same type kayak at significantly cheaper prices.

 

Notice the slight flop when he lifts it.

 

Here is a video that shows the kayak fitting together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIUKMv_m7q4

 

And then this video for a different style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GsPWUidUN8

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That sounds like it might work but I'm having a hard time envisioning it. I'll have to try and sketch out what you're describing. I think I know what you mean. Did each boat pivot out on separate sides of the RV?

 

Yes, there was a set of arms on each side of the RV. I don't recall if they had an awning installed, but the arms on the driver's side were far enough apart to clear the single slide.

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moon timber thinking outside the square how about bending a couple of pipe loops that are attached to the chassis and come up and over the vehicle you could attach canoe racks to the loops.

 

I have seen a few bush bombs done like this, you wouldn't have to drill any holes in the roof or body doing this.

 

mick

 

I don't think I have the skill to do that successfully without blocking access to a compartment or window.

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Has anybody seen one of these kayaks?? Do they "hold" together??

 

I did see a comment that the "parts" can be stored in RV bays.

 

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/81974?feat=1103-CL2&page=point-65n-tequila-gtx-modular-sit-on-top-tandem-kayak&attrValue_0=Red&productId=1374085

 

Don't worry about the price. Wal-Mart sells the same type kayak at significantly cheaper prices.

 

Notice the slight flop when he lifts it.

 

Here is a video that shows the kayak fitting together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIUKMv_m7q4

 

And then this video for a different style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GsPWUidUN8

 

I've read about these before and people seem to like them but I haven't seen them in use. I didn't know Walmart sold a less expensive version. I had briefly thought about getting a pair because it would be fairly easy to lay the pieces out in the confines of the existing rear roof rack. But they are not cheap, and we really like our kayaks. Still, if I can scrape up the money it might be worth getting one to try. I'm sure the resale value is good if no one in my family likes it. How much are they at Walmart?

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Unless I've missed something , why not just but a used skiff trailer ? Seems like a lot less hassle than any roof affair . Much safer as well .

 

This hasn't been ruled out, but I did mention a few reasons I wanted to avoid using a trailer. I distinctly remember being charged $20 instead of $5 to get over a bridge once when towing my 50 pound kayak on a 150 pound trailer behind a small sports car because technically it was a third axle. That kind of thing upsets me on principal.

 

Eventually I probably won't have a choice. My kids have tiny 6' kayaks that will fit on the rear rack above the bikes, but in two or three years my son will graduate to something adult sized.

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. . . You might want to mechanically attach the foot of the telescoping racks to a larger piece of say galvanized roofing sheet metal (you can find these in 10" or so square panels at Home Depot or Lowes). Then both glue (3M 5200 is good) and mechanically fasten the galvanized sheet metal 'bases' to the roof. (Look for posters Batterypro (Larry) pictures under the Going Green forum on IRV2. He has some shots of how he bolts solar panel mounts to roofs. Think he used 5/16" X 1" long leg bolts, several thousand installed, and never a problem hitting or going thru the roof into the coach area itself.) You could even Eternabond tape the edges of the sheet metal, to give you an added bit of hold and waterproofing.

 

Your side mount clips should work too, but same comment about perhaps spreading the load some on the side of the coach, by adding say a 4" square of galvanized metal, bolted and glued on too.

 

You might check with area truck camper shell places too. As I recall, both ARE and Gemtop had optional items that attached to their shells, maybe able to learn how they do it, or possibly use some of their products.

 

Best of luck to you,

Smitty

 

 

. . . For support I think I'd look hard at just the foam pads you can buy at WalMart. They'll only boost your height about 3 inches, they're simple, and they're cheap. The pads don't hold your kayaks down... they simply support them and help protect your rooftop from abrasion.

 

The tie-downs are the important bits. You will need side tie-downs and fore-aft tie-downs. Neglecting to tie them down fore and aft will expose you to the risk of the kayaks moving off the rooftop (and into other vehicles) under hard braking or sudden acceleration. I have had a kayak move aft off a moving vehicle (luckily small plastic white-water kayak that suffered little damage and hit no one) and it was a shock. I've never neglected for-aft tie downs again.

 

You can also use VHB tape on the tie-downs if you have a fiberglass rooftop. Or there may be rails up there already. But on my roof I would absolutely go to VHB tape and some marine-quality stainless steel hooks placed direction next to the kayaks for side-to-side security. Fore-and-aft security should be somewhat ahead and astern. . . . WDR

 

I think it will take me a month to put this together but I'm going with a combination of these two suggestions. I got up on the roof this weekend so I could get a vent cover off. I wanted to remove a cracked luggage box but spent most of the afternoon cleaning out a mouse infestation aroud the water tank. I took a picture so you can see where I'm planning to lay the two kayaks out.

 

First, I still need to remove that container. Then I'll put the 15' kayak on the driver (left) side of the roof. I can use the foam pads that WDR suggested and turn the kayak upside down. I'll install my 16' kayak on the right side of the roof with the expandable rack I listed earlier. I will add smitty's idea about the roofing sheet metal and glue to distribute the pressure on the roof for the feet of the roof rack I mentioned earlier. Since it won't be an anchor point, I think I won't need bolts. The rack feet should hold it down.The rack should lift the kayak over the unused TV antenna, and I'll put this kayak upside down too.

 

The challenge here as mentioned is that I will need some anchor points. If I can't find a Youtube video showing me how to safely install some anchor points I think I'll go to an RV repair shop and have someone else do it. I'm still worried I'll mess it up and either end up with leaks, or have it fall off the first time I drive accross a windy bridge. It's possible that when I remove the broken container I'll see how they mounted it and that might teach me what I need to do. If nothing else, whatever they mounted it with could become an anchor point.

 

I will do my best to post pictures when it's done so that the next person with this question will have some visual ideas.

 

This is how I'm planning to lay the kayaks out:

 

KayakSpot.jpg

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There are lots of us using 3M VHB (Very High Bond) double-sided tape holding our large solar panels down on the fiberglass rooftops. In fact, AMSolar, in Oregon, is doing this routinely. The panels I have weigh about 45 lbs and are nowhere near as aerodynamic as the bow of a kayak is.

 

I can understand the skepticism. I was pretty nervous about the idea myself. But we cleaned off the oxidation on the gelcoat, then wiped the area briefly with acetone, and set our panel mounts down using just the tape. About 1.5 sq. inches of base plate. They haven't budged in 2500 miles including 500 in a driving wind-and-rainstorm along the western Columbia River Gorge leading into Portland, Oregon last December. I wouldn't have done it this way had not several friends with tens-of-thousands of miles and identical installations convinced me that it would work.

 

No holes = no leaks.

 

We did install in warm weather and then let everything sit for two weeks before we drove the RV anywhere with the panels up there. Even then I had my shoulders hunched listening for any sign of something giving way.

 

WDR

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