Kayaking offers an appealing and simple way to get out on the water, but how do you transport your kayak in a truck (rather than a van or SUV) to your favourite spot? These tips will help to keep from damaging your equipment during transport and offer advice on some essential items:-
A Hitch Bed Extender
A height-adjustable truck hitch bed extender will create an extra surface and support for your kayak to rest on as it hangs off the end of the truck bed. The majority of extenders will increase the length of your truck by up to 2 feet.
To provide some protection from rust and damage to your kayak, some indoor carpet or AstroTurf can be zip-tied over the extender or even over a pool noodle in a transverse position across the metal hitch bed extender bar. This will allow the kayak to slide up onto the extender.
The extender also gives you an extra strap to tie down your kayak. It’s wise to put a lock on it then you can leave it on your truck when you’re in the water. To prevent theft of the bed extender you can use a locking hinge pin.
Straps and Cords
Lashing straps go through the front and loop onto either side of the hitch bed extender. However, you must avoid securing them too tightly. Stay away from ratcheting straps which can cause warping.
The kayak can also be mounted with a single bungee cord to prevent the back end from wobbling. How do you keep your kayak secure from theft? You should also use a cable cord for added security from theft in case you plan to leave it in your truck overnight.
Stealing kayaks and paddleboards is unfortunately commonplace and you need to take adequate preventative measures. The security cable cord comes down the scupper hole and makes a couple of loops around the kayak, in turn attaching to the bed extender and a lock can be used.
The cable cord also acts as a back-up in case one or both of the straps breaks.
Loading the kayak
A heavier or wider kayak will need a kayak cart. You can then lower the tailgate, roll it up to the bed extender and slide it up easily over the carpeting on the pool noodle. The cushion support will prevent damage and is significantly better than strapping down your kayak to bare metal.
When you load up the kayak, ensure that you have the support brace in the middle of the truck bed for the kayak to rest on, the bed extenders are in place for the front of the kayak to rest on and a cushion at the front of the truck bed.
Finally, do ensure that you have your proper safety equipment and adhere to the regulations for transportation of kayaks in your country e.g. secure a red flag on the portion of the kayak extending from the truck.