TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

I just finished and tested my homemade Kayak Loader, designed to assist in loading my kayak on or off my SUV.

It is modeled after some Thule and Yakima optional setups. However, getting my SUV set up with either a Thule or Yakima system, in order to utilize their loader/lift assist accessory, was going to set me back over $500 when all was said and done. My version: outrageously cheap, just as effective, and more sturdy.

The benefit is that it helps load or unload the kayak without ever lifting more than 50% of the kayak weight.

Here are the materials:
(1) 72" long, 1/2 inch diameter steel pipe
(1) 60" long, 1" diameter steel pipe
(1) Pool noodle
(4) 15" rubber straps with "S" hooks at each end
Existing factory rack “eye pins” that slide and can be tightened down all along the track that runs from front to back.
Existing factory crossbars.
Existing foam blocks or in my case the existing kayak/board padded wrap that cover the crossbars.

These are the “eye pins“. Unfortunately, without these $0.99 cent original “eye pins”, this whole system may not be possible. Space them about 12” apart on each side.
factory rack pins.jpg

To start:

Here is the 72" long 1/2 inch pipe:
half  inch extender pipe.jpg

Take the pool noodle and cut about a 36” section off, and thread the ½ inch pipe through the noodle all the way thru except for an inch or so., as follows:
half inch extender full view.jpg
Last edited by To be named later on Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:19 am, edited 4 times in total.
Next, take the 1” pipe and lay it at the rear of the factory rack, rearmost. You want it to extend out somewhat on each side. In my case, 60” works perfect as it extends out about 6 inches on each side of my Expedition.

Then take one of the 15” rubber tie downs, loop it around the 1” pipe twice, and attach the two “S” hooks to one of the “eye pins”

Looks like this:


Take another 15” rubber tie down, wrap it around the 1” pipe two times, and attach one “S” hook to the other “eye pin”. If the eye pins are spaced apart well enough, it should take a little effort to get the 2nd "S" hook attached, so that the pipe is well secure. Should look like this with both tiedowns:

tiedowns complete.jpg

Next, repeat on the other side of the car. If done correctly, with enough spacing between the "eye pins", the rubber tie downs should be fairly taut and the 1" pipe will be secure. Two straps on each side ensures that if one strap on either side fails, or if an eye pin breaks, at least one strap will be left to prevent chaos.

Next, take the ½” pipe with pool noodle, push into the 1” pipe, as seen below:
Last edited by To be named later on Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Next, simply line the kayak up to the side of the car. Lift the rear end of the kayak, flip, and rest the kayak on the ½’ pipe with pool noodle, as shown below:

kayak half up.jpg

If done correctly, only about half of the 1/2" pipe w/noodle is extended out from the 1" pipe, so it is well supported.

Next, lift the other end of the kayak, and place it on the front roof rack. And lastly, transfer the rear of the kayak from the pool noodle pipe to the rear roof rack. Reposition as needed, strap it down, VOILA!


To unload, simply reverse the procedure.

It takes a little trial and error to figure out spacing to avoid rubbing against the car body, avoid the antenna, side view mirror, etc. But I can get this puppy up in about 30 seconds whereas before it took me a helluva long time. Used it on about 5-6 kayak trips so far, it works great.

Do not use galvanized pipe or electrical pipe as it will bend. Get the black solid steel. I will leave the pipe/strap up throughout the weekend while I am kayaking, but once the kayak goes in the garage the strap and pipe come down to prevent them from prematurely aging and weakening.

The cost:

One ½ inch, 72” long pipe from Lowes: $12.17
One 1”, 60” pipe from Lowes: $16.12
Four 15” rubber tiedowns from Big Lots: 4 at $0.70 each = $2.80

Good luck, let me know if you have questions.
Last edited by To be named later on Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Quick and brilliant.

I was afraid to look though. With the name 3000GT, I was thinking somehow a Mitsubishi 3000GT somehow helped get a kayak ontop of a Jeep. I didn't think it was going to look good.

This gave me and idea though, and I'm sure I could do something very similar with my Yakima rack...

Back in May 2021, Shoffer and I were headed back […]

Thank You Hurricane Nicholas

YakBoi: I remembered your pic of your battered Sh[…]

HI Slabs 9/17

I cannot go tomorrow, but was contemplating going […]

I agree that getting the pivot drive is the smarte[…]