Hauling a canoe in a truck bed

Hauling a canoe in a truck bed
Video Hauling a canoe in a truck bed

The best way to haul a canoe with a pickup truck is with a bed-mounted rack, attachments that fit your canoe so that you can firmly tie it down.

However, there are more ways to haul a canoe with a pickup truck.

Roof racks also work to haul a canoe with a pickup truck, and many have a prop stick that holds the end up over the tailgate.

They work much like an in-bed rack, but they are not as sturdy.

Rubber block roof racks are another alternative for hauling your canoe, as are trailers. Either is a viable option and will be explored further in this piece.

There are several ways to haul a canoe, so read on to find what they are to know what will work best for your situation.

What is the best way to haul a canoe with a pickup truck?

The best way to haul a canoe with a pickup truck is with a rack designed to carry your canoe. There are other ways; however, a sixteen-foot canoe is too long to carry in the bed of a pickup, without half of it sticking out. In some states, you can only have three to four feet of a boat sticking out behind your vehicle, or you can be ticketed. A canoe that will fit the bed of your truck still needs to be tied down for transport, and a rack will help with this task.

The best way to haul a canoe with a pickup truck

You’ve seen them going down the road, and they look like a rig that a contractor would use to haul their ladders or materials.

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The beauty of a full rack for carrying your canoe with your pickup truck is that it is tied securely to your truck, and whatever you tie to it will be secure, too.

Whether you haul your canoe on a rack, in the bed of your truck, or on a roof rack, you need to carry it upside down.

This means that the gunwale of your boat should be what it rests on when transporting.

It is best to always transport composite canoes on their bottoms, in a cradle, to maintain their shape. Transporting this type of canoe requires a rack or a trailer.

A good alternative for hauling a canoe with a roof rack on a pickup truck

Some pickup trucks have eight-foot beds, and many canoes are not much longer.

You can always put your canoe in the bed of your truck without a rack. However, it still needs to be tied down and upside down.

If it protrudes over the end of the bed, it needs to have a red flag tied to it.

In some states, if a boat or other object protrudes more than three or four feet behind your vehicle, it can mean a ticket if you are caught.

So, be sure you know the law in your state when transporting canoes and other items in your pickup truck.

The least expensive way to haul a canoe on a pickup truck

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Well, almost because the least costly way to carry a canoe in your pickup is to tie it down in the bed.

It is great if you have a short canoe or kayak. However, if you have a canoe over 10 or 12 feet long, you need another option.

Although it seems natural to toss your canoe in the back of your pickup truck, it is not the best way to keep either in the best shape.

Sand from your boat can scratch the bed of your vehicle, and dirt in your truck can scratch your canoe.

A canoe rack can remedy this problem and leave the bed of your truck open for fishing, and camping gear, your cooler, and anything else you need while on the water.

Another option for hauling a canoe with a pickup

Roof racks formed of foam blocks are made that fit your canoe’s gunwale and nest against the top of your pickup. You then tie the canoe down across its bottom and at either end.

Although this is a viable method for hauling your canoe, the rubber blocks have a lot of play in them, especially on the Interstate running at highway speeds.

Therefore, if you use this type of canoe rack, it would be best to use it close to home.

The most expensive way to haul a canoe with your pickup truck

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Although a metal roof rack to transport your canoes is costly, a trailer is at the top of the list for the most expensive and best ways to haul a canoe.

The beauty of a trailer is that your boat has its own home whenever it’s not in the water.

Launching your canoe from a trailer means that you can load it up with gear before it hits the water. Another advantage is that launching your canoe from a trailer means no lifting.

Although an eight-foot canoe may only weigh a few pounds, a 16-foot fiberglass or aluminum canoe can tip the scales at close to 80 pounds.

Unfortunately, that may be more weight than many canoers can or want to handle.

Frequently asked questions about the best way to haul a canoe with a pickup truck:

Do I need to tie my canoe to my truck?

It does, and quite firmly. If your boat is not firmly secured to your pickup truck, the wind can get under it and rip it from your vehicle. This is also true if you are transporting smaller boats in the bed of your truck.

Can I transport my canoe right side up?

You should transport and store most canoes upside down, with the gunwales against the roof rack and straps firmly tied across the bottom of the boat at two points, as well as at the bow and stern.

Hauling your canoe in your pickup truck

As you see, there are alternatives for hauling your canoe. A bed rack is the best way to transport a canoe in your pickup.

However, if you want to secure it easily and feel confident that it will stay in place at highway speeds, then a roof rack is the best way to haul a canoe with a pickup truck.

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