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What Ladder Rack and Kayak Carrier do You Recommend for My Hobie Tandem Kayak on My 2021 F-150?

Question:

Hi- I have a 2021 F-150 hybrid with a 5.5’ truck bed. I have the ford tri fold truck bed cover. I’d like to get a ladder rack to carry my Hobie Tandem Islander sailing kayak while towing my camper and using the truck bed cover. I need at least one support over the cab. I’d like to be able to load from the rear with one person. Thanks!

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Expert Reply:

When considering a ladder rack that is compatible with your 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid with a 5-1/2 foot bed, it is important to consider the design of your tri-fold tonneau cover. Without knowing the exact model of Ford tonneau cover you have, the only way to install a ladder rack simultaneously with the cover is if the tonneau cover leaves the stake pockets completely exposed. This is because stake-pocket mounted ladder racks do not interfere with the tonneau cover (which installs in the bed rails).

If you have the stake pockets exposed on your F-150, I recommend the Adarac Pro Series Custom Truck Bed Ladder Rack # A86RR (matte black) or # A4000964 (aluminum). The base rails of the Adarac Pro Series are adjustable to provide a crossbar spread that suits your needs. Also, since the base rails stand straight up with no inward angle, so there won't be any rubbing when opening/closing your tonneau cover.

For a support over the cab, I recommend using a single SeaSucker Monkey Bar # SEA54FR. This crossbar is perfect to use for extra support when transporting kayaks. It will fit right onto your naked roof in order to position the front end of the kayak toward the front of the vehicle to avoid your camper.

For the rear-loading kayak carrier that will give you ease of loading, I recommend the Yakima SweetRoll Kayak Carrier w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style # Y04074. The SweetRoll comes with integrated rollers on the rear cradles that allow for easy, one-person loading from the back. It has an 80-pound weight capacity and will clamp around the Adarac's crossbars. For theft-deterrence, you can add the Yakima Same-Key Lock Cores # Y07204.

It is important to note that there may be some considerable overhang in the front given the length of the kayak. Also, as with all accessories that mount to the roof, I recommend consulting with your owner's manual to make sure your roof can handle the partial load of the Hobie on your F-150.

Neighbor's Stake Pockets on a 2021 Ford F-150
Neighbor's Stake Pockets on a 2021 Ford F-150
(click to enlarge)
Neighbor's 2021 Ford F-150
Neighbor's 2021 Ford F-150
(click to enlarge)
Neighbor's 2021 Ford F-150
Neighbor's 2021 Ford F-150
(click to enlarge)
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Question:

Thank you for the very thorough response. I am enclosing some pictures. I think my stake pockets are only partially exposed with my current cover. Do you have a different suggestion for the rack in that case. I might not understand where the stake pockets are. Take a look at the pics. Also, I forgot to mention I have a giant sunroof. Not sure if that changes your suggestion for the over-cab rack or not. And, my boat weighs over 100 lbs, so exceeds the weight limit for the kayak rollers. Do you know if there is a beefier version? I’ve seen some DIY solutions modified from the Adarac rack that use an aluminum ladder to support the boat. The rear part of the ladder rack opens like a gate to allow the boat and ladder to pass through as they are raised. Thank you for helping me find a solution! I am up for some DIY, but I’d rather adapt available components intended to carry stuff on trucks than build from scratch. Also, I placed my first etrailer order just last week when I needed a special faucet for my camper. Very happy customer. It arrived quickly and was exactly what I needed, thanks to your website. Thank you again.

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Expert Reply:

Thanks so much for the photos! Yes - you are correct that the stake pockets are partially exposed on your cover. They are under the little plastic tabs like on the photo of the left side of your truck rails. The only way to use a ladder rack with the cover installed is if you cut out the cover to expose the stake pockets. We have had neighbors who have done this in order to accommodate a ladder rack. Through my research and reviews, I have not seen any other customized fabrications with the Adarac ladder rack.

As far as the Monkey Bar # SEA54FR, you will be able to mount the rack's adjustable vacuum cups in between your rectangular roof trim pieces on the back of the cab.

For a larger weight capacity of rear-loading carrier, let's call in the heavy artillery. I recommend the Yakima BigCatch Kayak Carrier w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Rear Loading # Y04091. The BigCatch comes with a massive 150 pound weight capacity and will clamp around the Adarac Pro Series crossbars. The carrier also comes with 2 load straps and 2 bow/stern ties.

Neighbor's Stake Pockets on a 2021 Ford F-150
Neighbor's Stake Pockets on a 2021 Ford F-150
(click to enlarge)
Neighbor's 2021 Ford F-150
Neighbor's 2021 Ford F-150
(click to enlarge)
Neighbor's 2021 Ford F-150
Neighbor's 2021 Ford F-150
(click to enlarge)
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