Do you own a Jeep Wrangler and love kayaking? If so, you might be wondering how to transport your kayak to your favorite paddling spot. While fitting a kayak inside a Jeep Wrangler is impossible due to its length, there are still plenty of options to safely carry your kayak on your vehicle. In this guide, we will explore different ways to transport a kayak on a Jeep Wrangler, including the best roof racks for your car.
Can a Kayak Fit in a Jeep Wrangler?
The answer to this question depends on the size of your kayak. Inflatable or foldable kayaks, which are more compact, can easily fit inside a Jeep Wrangler. You can also transport smaller kayaks, around 8 feet long or shorter, inside the vehicle. However, for longer kayaks, you will need to load them on the roof of your Jeep Wrangler.
Two Ways To Transport a Kayak on a Jeep Wrangler
The method you choose to carry your kayak on a Jeep Wrangler depends on whether your vehicle has a soft or hard top, as well as the trim and the number of kayaks you need to transport.
For Soft Top Jeep Wrangler
A soft-top Jeep Wrangler has a fabric cover deployed over the car’s top and rear window. This type of Jeep Wrangler is more affordable and allows you to easily remove the soft top when you need to carry large cargo. To transport a kayak on a soft-top Jeep Wrangler, you have two options: installing a roof rack or attaching a utility trailer. The most cost-effective option is installing a roof rack specifically designed for Jeep Wranglers.
Installing a Roof Rack
When choosing a roof rack for your Jeep Wrangler, it is essential to select one that is specifically designed for this vehicle. A roof rack meant for other vehicles may not fit properly or cause inconveniences. The best roof rack should allow you to remove the soft fabric without uninstalling the rack.
Buying a Utility Trailer
If you prefer not to install a roof rack, you can opt for a utility trailer. However, it is important to consider the towing capacity of your Jeep Wrangler and the weight of both the trailer and the kayak. Make sure to stay within the recommended limits to avoid damaging your vehicle.
For Hard Top Jeep Wrangler
A hard-top Jeep Wrangler features a sturdy metal or fiberglass shell that covers the entire cabin. This type of Jeep Wrangler is more expensive but provides better insulation and protection from harsh weather conditions. Transporting a kayak on a hard-top Jeep Wrangler is easier, as you can use flat or round crossbars mounted on top of the roof.
To fit a kayak on a Jeep Wrangler, follow these five steps:
Measure Your Vehicle’s Roof and Choose a Roof Rack: Different Jeep Wrangler models have varying roof lengths, so it’s important to measure your vehicle’s roof before purchasing a roof rack.
Clean the Entire Roof: Remove any debris or objects from the roof and mask the spots where the roof rack will be installed to prevent scratching.
Install the Kayak Rack: Depending on the type of roof rack you’ve chosen, you may need to loosen screws and bolts before installing the rack. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.
Load the Kayak: Lift the kayak onto the roof rack. If the kayak is lightweight, you can do this yourself. Otherwise, ask for assistance from a friend or family member.
Secure the Kayak: Use straps or ropes to secure the kayak to the roof rack. Make sure the kayak is tightly secured but avoid over-tightening to prevent damage.
Can You Carry a Kayak on the Roof of a Jeep Wrangler Without a Roof Rack?
While it is technically possible to carry a kayak on the roof of a Jeep Wrangler without a roof rack, it is not recommended. The roll bars of a Jeep Wrangler are not designed to securely hold a kayak, and using them can be unsafe. It is best to use a roof rack specifically designed for your Jeep Wrangler to ensure the safety of your kayak and your vehicle.
Best Roof Racks for Jeep Wrangler
When choosing a roof rack for your Jeep Wrangler, it is important to select one that is specifically designed for this vehicle. Here are some highly recommended roof racks for Jeep Wranglers:
- Malone Downloader Folding J-Style Universal Car Rack Kay
- HandiRack Universal Inflatable Soft Roof Rack Bars (Pair)
- Exposed Racks
- Hooke Road Wrangler Roof Rack 2 Crossbars Hard Top Kayak Cargo Rack Compatible
- Snailfly Cross Bars Roof Rail Racks Fit for Jeep Wrangler
- Mopar Accessories 82215387 Rack KIT
These roof racks offer various features such as ease of installation, built-in boarding ramps, and protection for your kayak and vehicle.
Now you know how to safely transport your kayak on your Jeep Wrangler. Whether you choose to install a roof rack or use a utility trailer, it’s important to consider the size and weight limits of your vehicle. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently carry your kayak on your Jeep Wrangler and enjoy your outdoor adventures to the fullest!
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