The Best RV Kayak Racks: Brand Buying Guide & Reviews
The best RV kayak racks are essential equipment for outdoor enthusiasts, providing a safe and secure way of transporting your kayaks during your RV trips.
- 2KR37W RV Kayak Rack: Cheap, suitable for a couple of kayaks/surfboards.
- KR2B56 RV Kayak Rack: Wider, durable, and more functional design than 2KR37W.
- OKR2B56 RV Kayak Rack: Identical to KR2B56 but deeper, fits wider kayaks.
- KR2B56S RV Kayak Rack: Similar to KR2B56, it fits up to 4 kayaks.
- Yakups Swing-Out RV Kayak Rack: Unique design, priciest option.
Toy hauler RVs are excellent when you want to take your toys out for fun. However, getting a toy hauler isn’t always the best option for transporting watercraft due to size constraints.
Besides, what do you do if you already have an RV?
Fortunately, there is a thing called “RV kayak rack.” And thanks to RV kayak racks, you can transport your watercraft conveniently and, most importantly, safely.
If you are looking for such a rack, our top-of-the-best RV kayak racks will probably interest you.
We’ve chosen models produced by Yakups, and while they are somewhat similar to each other, there are crucial differences that we will be talking about.
Best RV Kayak Racks Reviewed
Let’s start our review of the best RV kayak racks with the cheapest option Yakups offers. This one may be an excellent option if you need space for a couple of kayaks or surfboards.
All the racks in the manufacturer’s line boast heavy-duty builds; this is no exception for the 2KR37W kayak rack.
First and foremost, this rack’s frame is constructed from what Yakups calls double powder-coated steel. As a result, the rack is both strong and corrosion-resistant.
Aside from that, to keep your kayaks or surfboards in place, the 2KR37W rack has adjustable stainless steel guards and stainless steel hardware, including padlocks with kayak cables and straps.
The 2KR37W rack has been designed to fit up to 32-inch wide kayaks. In addition, buyers could transport long surfboards or windsurf boards in this rack. Yakups also offers a modification for this rack, which allows you to carry watercrafts wider than 32 inches.
There is an option for a deeper kayak rack, so if you have a wider kayak, you may want to go for it instead.
Many people also carry bikes in their kayak racks, but you won’t be able to do so with the 2KR37W rack since it doesn’t have any bike rack options available. For those, you’d need to go for the pricier rack models.
We also didn’t mention some crucial figures on this rack – it is 37 inches wide, 32 inches deep, and weighs 86 pounds, which is on the lower end among Yakups racks.
So, if you want to carry only kayaks or surfboards, the 2KR37W rack should be sufficient.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Quite light.
- There are no bike rack options.
The KR2B56 RV kayak rack is a broader, more durable, and overall more functional rack than the one we’ve just reviewed.
Regarding the build, the KR2B56 rack is built according to the same formula as the low-end 2KR37W rack. It features a double powder-coated steel frame and stainless steel hardware to keep your gear in place.
However, the main difference in the KR2B56 RV kayak rack is its more comprehensive 56-inch design. Thanks to the increased width, you can use the optional Yakups bike rack with this thing.
The KR2B56 kayak rack is designed to fit two 32-inch kayaks and two bikes with up to 3-inch wide tires. You’d need to contact Yakups for bikes with wider tires to get a proper bike rack.
The KR2B56 RV kayak rack system weighs slightly more than the 2KR37W – 90 pounds versus 86 pounds. But when you add the bike rack, the whole system weighs 118 pounds, which is a thing to remember.
In the end, if you feel that the only thing lacking in the 2KR37W is the bike rack option, then the KR2B56 rack will probably be a good choice.
- Attractive price.
- Optional bike rack.
- Gets quite heavy with the bike rack.
So far, the RV kayak racks we reviewed accepted no kayaks wider than 32 inches. But what if you need more?
The OKR2B56 RV kayak rack could be the right option for you.
The OKR2B56 RV kayak rack is identical to the KR2B56 rack we’ve examined previously. But there is one crucial difference: the OKR2B56 rack is 36 inches deep, allowing it to fit up to 36-inch wide kayaks.
Plus, weighing 99 pounds, the OKR2B56 kayak rack is 9 pounds heavier than the KR2B56. On the other hand, its optional bike rack weighs 15 pounds, 3 pounds less than the KR2B56’s bike rack.
In total, if you were to go for both the bike and kayak rack, you’d need to have at least 114 pounds left in your RV’s carrying capacity. Don’t also forget to count on the weight of the watercraft you will be transporting!
The OKR2B56 rack is around $200 more expensive than its narrower analog, so it isn’t a budget pick.
Other than that, the OKR2B56 is identical to the KR2B56 RV kayak rack. As mentioned above, this rack would suit you if you need more width for your kayaks. Plus, it’s a good choice if you need a bike rack.
- Fits 36-inch wide kayaks.
- Optional bike rack.
- On the pricier end.
- It’s bulkier and heavier than other kayak racks on the list.
The KR2B56S RV kayak rack is the same KR2B56 rack we reviewed earlier. However, this rack has one crucial difference: Yakups writes that it can fit up to four regular kayaks, depending on the deck height.
The increased capacity will be a significant advantage if you want to take more than two kayaks. On the other hand, the KR2B56S RV kayak rack only accommodates four kayaks or up to eight boards without the bike rack in the middle.
You can’t carry four kayaks/eight boards plus two bikes in the KR2B56S RV kayak rack.
Another critical difference in the KR2B56S rack is that it costs $300 more than its base model – the KR2B56 – at the time of this review’s writing.
Other than that, this kayak rack is identical to its base model, the KR2B56 rack. This applies to their weight (both with and without the bike rack), size, and build.
- Fits up to 4 regular kayaks.
- Optional bike rack available.
- Quite expensive.
- Heavy when paired with a bike rack.
The last product on our list of best RV kayak racks is unique. It’s the priciest rack on the list, offering some exciting features, so you’d need quite the budget to purchase it.
The most notable feature of this RV kayak rack is that it is compatible with hitch receiver swings. Such swings are commonly used with RVs that have rear doors. A hitch receiver swing allows you to swing the kayak rack to the side to allow for access to the RV’s rear door/tailgate.
Yakups doesn’t provide a swing-out hitch receiver with this rack, and you don’t necessarily need it for an RV that doesn’t have rear hatches or doors. Otherwise, we’d recommend you buy a hitch receiver swing for this thing.
Another remarkable feature of this RV kayak rack is that it comes with a bike rack. So, if you need a kayak + bike rack for your van-style RV, this one is an excellent option.
On the other hand, the rack weight in this model is quite considerable – 108 pounds, to be precise. This may indicate a sturdier build, but you need to ensure that your RV can take its weight plus the weight of your watercraft or bikes.
- Comes with a bike rack.
- Compatible with hitch receiver swings.
- Very expensive.
- Quite heavy.
Things to Consider when Choosing an RV Kayak Rack
Before choosing a kayak rack to use with your RV, there are a couple of points to keep in mind. A kayak rack is a big investment, so you don’t want to waste money on the wrong rack. Thus, you should consider the following points.
Up first is the weight of the kayak rack. RVs have limited carrying capacity, and your kayak rack needs to stay within your RV’s capacity.
This applies not only to the rack but also to the stuff you carry. It isn’t enough to make sure that the rack will fit within the weight constraints of your RV.
It’s also essential that the combined weight of the rack and kayaks/surfboards/bikes on it stays within the confines of what your RV can carry.
The next key thing to consider in an RV kayak rack is size. It would be best to ensure that the rack doesn’t block all the essentials on the back of your RV, including the lights and the rear camera.
Rack manufacturers – Yakups included – size their racks so that they don’t block anything crucial on the back of your RV.
And given that the broadest rack offered by Yakups measures 56 inches, you shouldn’t have any problems with it blocking your RV equipment. Be careful with the width, nonetheless.
What may also matter to you is how much area you have for your RV’s storage. This especially concerns deeper 36-inch or more racks. If every inch is important to you, choose an appropriately sized rack.
Your RV kayak rack needs to fit all the watercraft you need.
Have three kayaks and want to take them with you on the trip? Pick a rack like the KR2B56S kayak rack. Need only to transport two kayaks? Then, a simple kayak rack like 2KR37W may be your best option.
In addition, pay attention to the side and weight constraints of the desired RV kayak rack. And go for the rack that will take your equipment.
Your RV kayak rack should be made from a durable and weather-resistant material. In this sense, all the Yakup racks we reviewed are great – they have strong stainless steel frames coated in corrosion-resistant powder.
Combining steel and powder coating is the most common in kayak racks. Suppose a rack is made from any other material. In that case, it must satisfy the abovementioned criteria to stay intact under load and not corrode from weather elements.
Yakups offers additional accessories and extensions for their RV kayak racks, so you may consider buying some. Among the accessories offered by Yakups are:
- Bike racks.
- Bike covers.
- Surfboard attachment trays.
- Accessory lighting is wired to the rack.
- Bike locks.
- Kayak transport carts.
- Spare padlocks, cable locks, etc.
You don’t have to buy anything apart from the RV kayak rack, but you may want to get some of the other accessories Yakups offers. Plus, you could get a hitch receiver swing to use with racks that are compatible with them.
Whether going for the cheaper 2KR37W rack or the pricey swing-out rack, an RV kayak rack is a significant investment, the racks cost over $1,000, which is plenty of money.
Significant differences exist between the five racks we reviewed; the same goes for their price. Going for the priciest rack just because you can isn’t a too good idea.
If you don’t need a bike rack, why look for anything else than the 2KR37W rack, for example?
On the other hand, don’t also cheap out on a kayak rack – get the one you need no matter the money. And if you don’t have the budget to get a proper rack, maybe you should not rush it and wait a little longer before getting one.
Are Kayak Racks Necessary?
The response, however, is not as straightforward, hinging on several factors, such as the type of kayak you own, the roof rack system your vehicle can support, and the number of kayaks you intend to transport.
A robust and high-quality roof rack system can significantly impact your kayaking experience. It ensures your kayak is transported safely and securely to the waterfront, eliminating any risk of damage to your vehicle and the kayak.
If you have a heavier kayak or carry multiple kayaks simultaneously, investing in a kayak rack becomes even more vital. Without a proper support system, these kayaks can cause substantial damage to your vehicle’s roof or even become a road hazard if they are not appropriately secured.
Hence, while it might seem like an additional expense initially, a kayak rack could save you from costly repairs and replacements in the long run.
Can a Roof Rack Hold a Kayak?
A roof rack can hold a kayak securely. Equipped with crossbars and specific rack padding, it provides an adequate platform for the kayak.
Moreover, with straps or lines, the kayak can be perfectly secured to prevent movement during transportation.
Ensuring the rack and attachments are correctly installed, and the kayak securely fastened is essential to avoid potential accidents.
In conclusion, when it comes to The Best RV Kayak Racks, several high-quality options that cater to various needs and budgets are available. The 2KR37W RV Kayak Rack is commendable for those seeking a cost-effective solution.
It’s affordable and suitable for accommodating a couple of kayaks or surfboards. The KR2B56 RV Kayak Rack offers a more comprehensive, durable, and functional design than the 2KR37W model, thus providing enhanced stability and longevity.
The OKR2B56 RV Kayak Rack is identical to KR2B56 but has deeper fittings to accommodate wider kayaks, making it a versatile choice for larger equipment.
The KR2B56S RV Kayak Rack is another model similar to KR2B56, but it can comfortably fit up to 4 kayaks, which is ideal for larger groups or families.
Finally, the Yakups Swing-Out RV Kayak Rack is the priciest option for those who prioritize unique design and functionality. Its unique swing-out design allows for easy access and efficient storage.
Therefore, The Best RV Kayak Racks offer a range of options to suit various needs and preferences.
In the end, if you have liked one of the racks on our list, maybe consider buying it!