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RVs are ideal for many outdoor activities, including road trips, camping, and even kayaking. If you want to take your kayak out, you will need a way to mount it onto your RV, though.

You could buy a kayak mount, but if you want to save yourself some money, why not make one yourself? It is not too difficult and will save you money at the same time!

Let’s first look into your options for building an RV kayak rack, then we will talk about how you can DIY it!

Ways To Build An RV Kayak Rack 

So, what are your options for building your kayak rack? Well, you have a few, let’s take a look at these.

Transforming A Cargo Carrier

One of the easiest ways to make your kayak rack is to repurpose an old rack or cargo carrier. Most of these will hook onto your tow hitch and can hold hundreds of pounds in weight.

However, how you intend on storing your kayak will impact the type of kayak rack you make, and if you are going to store them vertically, be aware of your clearance vertically, and the total weight.

Kayaks are usually quite light, but if you add other items as well, weight can shoot up fast!

When it comes to mounting a kayak on a cargo carrier, you could make it basic or fancy, as long as it is secure.

Do not forget to keep it secured with straps that are hooked up to the rear ladder of the RV, you could also weld uprights, overhangs, and more to the cargo rack, which will serve you better.

Carrying Kayaks On The RV Roof

Roof racks for kayaks are very popular accessories, they are affordable and easy enough to install.

You have to ensure that your set-up is fastened securely, however, as wind, when you are traveling at speeds, creates a huge amount of lift beneath the rack.

An awesome thing about roof racks is that they are multi-use. You can use them for kayaks, camping gear, luggage, water containers, and more.

You can make them cheap with pool noodles. The main concern is to ensure they are far apart on the roof, enough that they are as far apart from each other as the kayak is long. Also, ensure you racket everything to the roof with straps.

Toy Hauler Ideas

Should you have a Toy Hauler RV, it can be even easier to haul your kayaks around, this was the main purpose of Toy Haulers.

Simply strap a kayak onto the bed of your Toy Hauler, start the engine and you are fine. Toy Haulers can carry any ‘toy’ you want. So, if you have a toy hauler, you do not even need a kayak rack!

DIY Guide For Building A Kayak Roof Rack 

DIY Guide For Building A Kayak Roof Rack 

If you want a roof rack for your kayaks, you can build one yourself. All you need is the existing roof rack railing on your RV, and some pool noodles.

Simply line the roof with as many pool noodles as you can find. These will protect the kayaks and your RC roof from any damage during transportation.

All you need to do is cut the foam noodles to size if you need to, this does depend on whether you are aligning them perpendicular or parallel to the roof or the kayaks.

Once you have done this, set the kayaks down on top of your RV, and use some good ratchet straps to secure the kayaks onto your RV’s roof.


DIY Guide For Vertical RV Kayak Rack

The easiest and first plan for a DIY RV rack for kayaks would generally be using pre-made cargo carriers, or cargo racks which hook straight onto your tow hitch.

There are some great ones out there, and they can be multifunctional as well. They are also easier to set up.

Let’s look at how you can set this up step-by-step.

  1. Get yourself a cargo rack for your RV.
  2. Set up the cargo rack as the manufacturer’s instructions dictate.
  3. Install your RV cargo rack onto the RV trailer hitch as the manufacturer suggests.
  4. Carefully line the base of the cargo rack with some padding. This could include foam or blanketing. This is to protect the end of the kayak from getting damaged.
  5. Stand your kayak(s) up vertically in your new kayak rack.
  6. Gently secure your kayak(s) using ratchet straps, bungee cords, or even rope to the ladder of your RV.

With this DIY build you can store 2 kayaks or fewer in the vertical rack.

If this does not work for you, there is one other option for building a vertical RV kayak rack for cheap.

With this method, you just use cheap parts and creativity to build your own strong and sturdy RV kayak rack.

Use supplies easily found at a local hardware store. You use a truck bed extender, a heavy-duty luggage rack, and a double-decker receiver.

You should cut holes 10” in size in the rack you will sit the kayaks in, then cut pool noodles to fit each side as cushioning for the sides of your kayaks. Then secure them in place with zip ties.


It is much easier than you may think to build a kayak rack yourself. These racks can be brilliant ways to save money from buying expensive ready-built kayak racks.

Whether you want a roof rack or a vertical rack you needn’t spend a lot of money, and if you have some pool noodles lying around doing nothing, two of our three build options will make sure that they get used.

That being said, if you have a Toy Hauler RV you do not need to worry about any of this as these RVs are made especially to help you lug around your ‘toys’ safely and securely.

Discover How To Use The Power of Authority Marketing To Make You Money While You Adventure!

No Experience, Existing Product Or Technical Skills Are Required



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