What Is The Best Way To Haul A Canoe On A Truck?

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: March 10, 2022
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Are you unsure how you will get your canoe to your next camping or canoeing destination? Hauling a canoe can be such a headache because, unlike inflatables, they need to be carried as they are. If you have a truck, you can mount the canoe on your truck’s rack or have a trailer if you aren’t traveling long distances.

Canoes are known to give their users quite a headache when it comes to moving or transporting them from one point to another, considering that they are mostly big, bulky, and heavy.

This article takes you through exactly what you need to do when transporting a canoe with a truck, some of the best ways to haul a canoe, and also all the dos and don’ts. Keep reading! 

How To Transport A Canoe With A Pickup Truck

Transport A Canoe With A Pickup Truck

Pickup trucks with lumber racks are said to be the best when transporting items, and in this case, canoes. Why? It is advantageous because the lumber racks provide proper attaching of the canoe, preventing it from accidents, such as slipping and falling.

The Best Way To Attach A Canoe To A Roof Rack On The Truck

Roof racks are the two bars running on a car’s roof with supports on them. The steps to attaching the canoe are:

1. Make Sure You Remove Everything From The Canoe

Items such as paddles and vests can be dangerous if they fall off the canoe while traveling. Therefore, it is quite advisable to make sure the canoe is free and clear from any items.

2. Check The Weight Rating Of The Roof Rack

This will help you to averagely be sure that the rack can support the canoe’s weight. Keeping both the car and canoe free from any damage is also very important. You can place a cloth between the car and canoe to prevent any damage on both.

3. Get Help Lifting The Canoe

4. Make Sure You Center The Canoe Side To Side And Front To Back

Balance is what you should aim at achieving. If you place the canoe in this way, balance will be achieved. If the canoe is also centered and made parallel, the wind from the driving will have low chances of causing it to fall.

5. Strap The Canoe

After making sure that you have balanced the canoe on the truck, you can strap it. It would help if you tossed the strap over the canoe towards the driver’s side for it to be strapped firmly.

6. Tighten The Straps And Tie The Loose Ends Of The Straps

If your truck lacks the racks to attach the canoe to, the steps above do not change. However, this will need more caution and patience when it comes to putting the canoe. When tying the canoe, you can also open the truck doors, tie the straps around the canoe, and then through the door openings. If you use this method, make sure to shut the truck’s doors carefully to ensure the straps are not cut or damaged in the process. All in all, transporting the canoe upside down is the best option.

What Do You Need To Transport A Canoe?

When transporting a canoe, the equipment is not necessary for everyone but depends on a person’s preference. The basic ones include crossbars, lumber racks, waterproof tarps, straps and ropes, and a utility rack.

Is A Roof Rack Necessary When Transporting A Canoe?

A roof rack is not necessary. One can improvise and still be able to transport the canoe. The good thing is that the rack system is not necessary, and you can still have the canoe moved from one place to another.

How To Use An Inflatable Rack To Transport A Canoe 

The reason why most people prefer this method is that the rack can easily be set up and removed when not in use. It also provides a good surface area and functions just as the crossbars.

Lay the rack on the truck’s roof. Use the straps that come alongside the rack, and run them through the truck’s doors, which you initially opened. Tighten the straps, and also a hand pumps them. It has the D-strings for easier strapping of the canoe.

How Can I Transport Two Canoes?

Transporting one canoe is already stressful; when transporting two, the situation may be pictured as tougher.

If the canoes are narrow, they can be transported either facing up or even side to side. This is the best option.

The second way would be to extend the roof of the truck or car. How can you do this? The best way is to extend the roof rack to a length greater than the roof. This way, both the canoes can be occupied easily and strapped.

What Are Some Of The Challenges Of Hauling A Canoe On A Truck?

Sometimes hauling a canoe on any vehicle, not necessarily a truck, can have some difficulties. They include:

1. The canoe/ canoes may fall due to the wind from the speed of the moving of the vehicle

2. The canoe/canoes may be weakly strapped on the roof and may fall

3. The person strapping the canoe/ canoes may lose balance and accidentally fall while strapping them

4. The canoe/canoes may lose balance and fall from the vehicle

How To Use Foam Blocks When Transporting A Canoe

Using foam blocks is one of the cheapest ways to haul a canoe. You only need two medium blocks for a canoe, where one is placed at the bow and the other bow is placed at the stern. The best blocks are either curved or V-shaped. The block is to have a greater surface area to reduce the chances of damage.

It is also important that the blocks are placed at equal distances to make sure the strapping is made tighter.

Once you are sure that you have tightened the straps, it is important to confirm if the canoe is stiff enough and well balanced.

What Is The Difference Between A Utility Rack, A Roof-mounted Rack, And A Hitch-mounted Extension?

A utility rack comes in two different forms where the style rack bolts by itself on the truck’s bed while the less permanent one will use clamps to attach itself to the truck’s bed. However, if you have other items on the truck’s bed, it will be hard to attach the rack.

A hitch-mounted extension is used where one is unable to lift the canoe overhead the truck or in instances where you prefer the canoe to be lower for easier loading and offloading of items. This machine is mostly used where the truck bed’s length is shorter than the canoe.

On the other hand, a roof-mounted rack uses the hitch in mounting a vertical post and a crossbar to hold the bow of the canoe over the roof and the stern at the hitch.

What Is A Canoe Trailer?

This equipment is similar to the boat trailer, but it is smaller by size. It can hold one or more canoes as long as it is placed correctly. It also comes in a variety of sizes. The larger the trailer, the more storage it has, and the smaller the trailer, the lesser storage it offers.

The trailer can be attached through a hitch to ensure that the weight is equally distributed. It also ensures that there are limited chances of the canoe flipping and accidentally injuring those around it.

When using the canoe trailer and hitch, you are advised to have a helping hand. This will ensure that you are neither overwhelmed by the weight nor what you are doing due to uncertainty. It is always important to do excellent balancing and strapping to prevent unbalancing of the canoe.

Final Word

From time to time, many people leave their canoes behind when traveling. However, the transportation of a canoe can be the simplest thing ever on your next beach trip. The stripping should be done cautiously, and also all the necessary precautions should be taken for safety purposes. Also, always transport canoes with their open side facing down to reduce distortion and filling by rainwater. Make sure that the canoe’s weight does not overwhelm the vehicle at all due to the weight to have a safer driving experience and to arrive at the destination safely. Always indicate using a red flag if you encounter any unavoidable situations such as accidents to warn other road users. Well, I am sure your next journey will be enjoyable, and you will take your canoe with you.

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