Tips for Loading a Kayak on Your Toyota Vehicle

Here in High River, Alberta, there’s no shortage of regional kayaking opportunities — including nearby spots like Bow River and, a little further out, Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. With a few simple tools and tips, you’ll soon be ready to load your kayak atop your Toyota vehicle and head out on an adventure.

Toyota RAV4 | High River, AB

Equipment You’ll Need

Before you load a kayak, you’ll need to add crossbars to your roof rack. Most Toyota models offer these as an accessory, and we’ll be glad to install them for you here at High River Toyota. You’ll also want to get rack padding to hold the kayak, a couple of cam straps to tie it to the rack, and ratcheting lines to secure the bow and stern. Depending on the size of your vehicle and boats, you might even be able to add a second rack or stacker bar to carry multiple kayaks.

Loading the Kayak

Once your crossbars and padding are in place, make sure the kayak is parallel to your vehicle and facing forward. With a companion, carefully lift it at both ends, set it down on the rack, and center it. If you’re alone, spread a towel on the back roof, lift the front of the kayak, and place it on top of the towel. From there, you can push the kayak onto the rack.

Securing the Kayak

Loop your cam straps under the crossbar and over the kayak, then buckle and tighten them. The kayak should feel snugly secured — not too tight or too loose. Then, using safe tie-down points on the kayak and your Toyota, carefully install the bow and stern lines. On your way there and back, stop every once in a while to make sure the kayak is still in place.

Have any questions about accessories or safety for outdoor adventures in your Toyota? Contact the experts here at High River Toyota.

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