Bed rack/storage for kayaks

  1. kayakmike

    kayakmike Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have experience with the Ram bed mounted racks, or looked really close at the bed rack on a JT at one of the auto shows?

    I'm wondering when the aft bar is moved all the way back, how close it would be to the end of the bed. Bikes are not a problem, but concerned about carrying kayaks. While the early marketing photos show kayaks, they appear to be shorter playboats and the roof is always removed (so kayak can stick into passenger compartment). I'm wondering how the JT will REALLY handle kayaks on a bed rack. If the aft bar can only be moved back to say 6" from the tailgate, that means the aft bar is ~4.5' from the rear window. My usual downriver kayak is 7'9", but most buddy boats are closer to 9'. At 9', that would mean half the kayak is hanging off the aft bar, so this may only be useful for shorter playboats. Advantage of this I could still put my receiver bike mount off the back of the truck when carrying both kayaks and bikes.
    2020-Jeep-Gladiator-Pickup-Truck-Release-Review.jpg

    Because I'd probably go with the bed rack, I wouldn't get the non-locking, soft tonneau cover. I kind of liked the look of this bed mount system below in one of the Mopar ads instead. Looks like this system is made by Decked (https://decked.com/products/decked-toyota-tacoma). Assuming the Decked JT price would be similar to the Tacoma, $1150 buys a lot of Rubbermaid bins that can be thrown in the bed (but not locked). Guess you could still stack plywood/gear on top of this, but would be higher than the tailgate at the intermediate position (which I think lines the top of the tailgate to the wheel wells).
    18-3137_0403.jpg

    I guess the other option is to forego the rack and bed storage and just throw kayaks in the bed with the tailgate down. Lose some storage space for the rest of the paddling gear. Lose the ability to put a receiver bike mount on the back.

    Not looking for a roof mount solution, or bed rack that lifts kayaks above roof height. I'm tired of climbing on top of my Grand Cherokee to tie down kayaks...
    IMG_2821.jpg
     
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  2. Jason C

    Jason C Member

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    I feel your pain. This is the main reason for me to hold out for a JT over the JL. That and to carry plywood of course!
     
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  3. smlobx

    smlobx Well-Known Member

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  4. Jake

    Jake Well-Known Member

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    4E52E858-E58D-4E15-B102-CB8C42C4BFA0.jpeg 1606A2AC-826B-4EB2-9A55-95054CB1434F.jpeg FFA99C4D-92E0-47CA-9BAF-53391C94B019.jpeg CFF43A23-F5FA-4CD7-B560-C47CA5B230D9.jpeg You might want to consider getting a Yakima Rack And Roll trailer. I have one. I put 4 Yakima Jay Low karak carriers on it. The trailer comes with round cross bars. And with those it is next to impossible to keep the kayak carriers from rolling forward or backwards. So I got 2 Thule aero blade cross bars to use instead. I also got a spare tire for the trailer, mounts to underneath the trailer. You can take the toungue of the trailer off and then just fold it up against a wall of your garage. It easily hauls 4 kayaks and has a large grab handle at the toungue of the trailer. It’s quite easy to roll around by hand when loaded up with 4 good sized kayaks. I got mine new, had it shipped to me and put it together in about one hours time. I highly recommend it.
     
  5. OP
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    kayakmike

    kayakmike Well-Known Member

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    #5 Feb 23, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
    Ideally with a Gladiator I can put kayaks in the bed, use the receiver for bike mounts or a rear storage extender (like on the GC photo above).

    The issue is the marketing photos show (short) whitewater kayaks in the bed, which is a great idea, if it actually works. Thinking it through I'm not sure if that will work in reality, depending on where the bed rack sits and how long the kayak is.

    I already have a kayak trailer for the longer ones. California limits speed while towing to 55, which is a PITA when covering long distances. I avoid taking the trailer unless I'm sea kayaking with longer boats.

    A lot of times put-in roads for whitewater rivers are very rough, sometimes 4x4 required, and a trailer just isn't practical. That GC photo was before we headed to the put-in of the Tuolumne River by Yosemite. It's about a 1 hour drive on a rough, washed out road. We threw 6 kayaks/paddles on top, everyone's gear on the receiver storage rack as well as the cargo area for more gear and the 6th person so we only had to shuttle one vehicle. Doubt I'd ever do 6 again, but 5 could be doable with a Gladiator without a receiver storage rack if the bed is open for gear. No way my trailer would have made it on that road.
    IMG_3261.jpeg

    If you can't really haul kayaks on the bed rails, then I'm basically in the same situation today with my Grand Cherokee with either a roof mount or need to tow the trailer. If the bed rails are useful for whitewater kayaks, then that could be a selling point for me.
     
  6. Jake

    Jake Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha. I can just guarantee you that on the Gladiator with such a short bed you will only be able to carry relatively short kayaks on a bed rack even when the roof is off. Yes when the roof is off you will be able to stick part of the kayaks into the back seat but still you are going to be restricted to short kayaks. Suggest you see a Gladiator and take a tape measure with you, Happy paddling.
     
  7. smlobx

    smlobx Well-Known Member

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    991D71A0-8E47-477F-B1EC-61D60202E2C1.jpeg

    I was looking for a yak trailer but decided the dedicated ones aren’t really off-road worthy.
    I ended up building a Dinoot trailer with a better off-road suspension and so far it has worked great...
     
  8. Lou3.6

    Lou3.6 Well-Known Member

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    A commercial style bed rack would do the job, if your not bothered by the "look" ! and still allow the hitch mount to do other things .
    NICE camping/fishing set up you got . . . mot my style, but if it works for you, that's all that matters ! It all looks to "clean" though - guess this is a shot of you GOING TOO, not returning from ? :clap: ;) :like:
     
  9. Matstock4

    Matstock4 Well-Known Member

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    @kayakmike would something like this work for kayaks too?

    SbuCjur.jpg
     
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  10. OP
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    kayakmike

    kayakmike Well-Known Member

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    My original question was directed at the bed level rack shown in marketing photos, and questioning marketing vs. reality or anyone's real world experience with the similar RAM rack.

    The original photo above showed the Gladiator top removed, as if the kayaks may need to stick into the back seat area. This photo here shows the hard top on, so I guess they do fit in the 5' bed with some overhang without sticking into the rear seat area. Just not sure how short of kayaks they are advertising.
    2020-jeep-gladiator-capability-crossing-river-kayak.jpg

    My white water kayaks are ~6'6" or ~7'6", so at most they would stick <3' past the bumper.IMG_3526.jpeg

    Bigger concern is how far back the Mopar bed rack can fit on the trail rail in the bed, which will drive how much of the kayak overhangs the rear bar. If the aft bar is 4' from the rear cab, then nearly half the kayak is overhanging the rear bar. As mentioned before, I can always throw them in the bed without the bed rack, but makes it tighter with all of the rest of the paddling/camping gear. Guess we will have to see when the JT is out and Mopar bed rack is available. May get the rack regardless when it's available, then see how it works in the real world. Another advantage is the kayaks are mostly tucked behind the cab so more aerodynamic/less road noise (of course aerodynamics and JL/JT probably shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath...). My GC with a load on the roof (and BFG KO2 tires) is far from quiet.

    There are tons of options for racks that would be on the roof or above roof level. That's basically the same situation I have today with the Grand Cherokee (about same height at the Gladiator). I may go that route eventually for longer touring kayaks (I don't have enough roof length on the GC for boats longer than the GC) if I don't want to drag the trailer.
     
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  11. MojitoWrangler

    MojitoWrangler Active Member

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    I’ve got a 19 foot Seda Glider kayak. I’ll have to see after I get my gladiator if I can take the top off and put the windshield down and slide the kayak through the windshield opening. Would make a hilarious photograph lol. Obviously I would never drive it that way.
     
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  12. 5chema

    5chema Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know why I didn’t see this thread before... I have the same question since the first time I saw these pictures.

    It seems to be 8´ kayaks. I think a 10´ kayak can’t be mounted this way as there would be at least 5´ unsupported and outside the 5´ bed of the JT. Me too I want to know how far can be pushed the rear bar...
     
  13. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster Member

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    I think this looks like the best option for larger kayaks without a trailer.
     
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    kayakmike

    kayakmike Well-Known Member

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    So I finally got to drive a Gladiator today and got to look at the bed and try and answer this nagging question.

    In regards to the back rack, the aft most position on the trail rail is 4’6” from the inside edge of the front of the bed. The last 6” is used by the framing for the tailgate, etc. So in theory, with the Mopar cross bars (if/when they are available), would limit to <9’ kayak.

    The other interesting thing is with the trail rail installed, Yakima style racks can’t mount to the bed since they clamp around the bed frame (unless the trail rails are removed).

    3CC27FBF-C290-4D90-AB4B-B50A17F492D3.jpeg
     
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  15. ralphjjr

    ralphjjr Well-Known Member

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    So I don't have a kayak... but I just got home from a 9 hour drive. Was driving back from Maine. Everyone in Maine has a kayak... and a side-by-side... and a truck of some kind lol

    I saw no less than 12 of these contraptions and variations thereof:
    71w3MwZF3tL._SL1600_54685416.jpg

    Some didn't even have that hitch thing. They were just strapped right onto the bed. Others I saw had like a platform that was attached to the bottom of the bed - so the kayak was still resting in the bed, but on something that leveled it so the straps would fit better.
    Probably not the best transport mechanism... but it'd work..
     
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