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How to Carry 2 Kayaks on Pickup Truck With Over-The-Rail Tonneau Cover


Good morning, I am looking for a solution to be able to carry kayaks while towing my camper with GVWR 4,999 lbs behind my 2016 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab short bed truck. The truck has a tonneau cover on it, and I have not been able to find a rack that is compatible with my over-the-rail tonneau cover. Roof rack cross bar spacing seems to limit the length of kayaks that I could safely haul, so I am considering a dual hitch adapter to be able to use a truck bed extender accessory. Currently, I have approximately 1/2 rise on my ball mount to tow the trailer flat. Do you have any suggestions to accomplish these goals?


Expert Reply:

If you want to carry two kayaks on a pickup truck that will not interfere with an over-the-rail tonneau cover you have a few options.

First you could use a Malone # MPG544 Dual 2” Receiver Extension, using the lower receiver to hitch your trailer, and the upper receiver to hitch the Rhino-Rack # RTL002 T-Load Bar. This will support one kayak at the rear of the truck. To support two kayaks you will additionally need the Rhino-Rack # RR-RTLK Replacement Kit to obtain 2 additional load stops for the second kayak.

Note that the tongue weight capacity of your truck hitch is reduced by 50% if you use a hitch extension such as the MPG544. Also, if your truck/trailer setup uses a weight distribution system I would not use this option

If you find that you can't utilize the dual hitch receiver/extension in your setup then you could mount a front hitch receiver like the Draw-Tite # 65064 Front Hitch to hitch your T-bar, and the other end of the kayaks would still sit on roof racks. I prefer the Draw-Tite option as it is the only one that does not require any drilling

To support the kayaks over the truck cab you will need the Rhino-Rack Vortex Aero Cross Bars. Order # RRVA150B-2 for the cross bars, and # RRRLKVA for the cross bar legs, and # DK377 for the fit kit. Additionally order the # RR571 kayak Carrier Tie-Downs for attaching the kayaks to the cross bars.

Note that the weight capacity of the T-load Bar is 130 pounds. You should also locate the weight capacity of your pickup roof.

Finally, if none of these solutions are desirable we could replace your tonneau cover with a model that will work with a traditional truck rack.

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