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Toy hauler RVs are excellent when you want to take your toys out with you to have some 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 happen to be looking for such a rack, then our top 5 of best RV kayak racks will probably interest you. We’ve chosen models produced by Yakups, and while they are rather 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 best RV kayak racks with the cheapest option offered by Yakups. If you just need space for a couple of kayaks or surfboards, then this one may be a great option for you.
All the racks in the manufacturer’s line boast heavy-duty builds, and 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 is equipped with adjustable stainless steel guards, as well as 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 of a deeper kayak rack though, 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, as well as weighs 86 pounds, which is on the lower end among Yakups racks.
So all in all, if you look to carry only kayaks or surfboards, the 2KR37W rack should be sufficient for you.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Quite light.
- No bike rack options.
The KR2B56 RV kayak rack is a wider, more durable, and overall more functional rack than the one we’ve just reviewed.
When it comes to the build, the KR2B56 rack is built according to the exact same formula as the low-end 2KR37W rack. That is, 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 that it has a wider 56-inch design. Thanks to the increased width, you can use the optional Yakups bike rack with this thing.
Overall, the KR2B56 kayak rack is designed to fit two 32-inch kayaks, as well as two bikes with up to 3-inch wide tires. For bikes with wider tires, you’d need to contact Yakups to get a proper bike rack.
The entire 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 keep in mind.
In the end, if you felt that the only thing lacking in the 2KR37W is the bike rack option, then the KR2B56 rack is probably going to 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 wider than 32-inch kayaks. But what if you need more?
Well, the OKR2B56 RV kayak rack could be the right option for you.
The OKR2B56 RV kayak rack is pretty much identical to the KR2B56 rack we’ve examined previously. But there is one crucial difference: the OKR2B56 rack is 36 inches deep, which is what allows 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 in 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 exactly a budget pick.
Other than that, the OKR2B56 is identical to the KR2B56 RV kayak rack. All in all, as we’ve mentioned above, this rack would be suitable for 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.
- Bulkier and heavier than other kayak racks on the list.
The KR2B56S RV kayak rack is the exact same KR2B56 rack we reviewed earlier. However, there is one crucial difference in this rack: Yakups writes that it can fit up to four regular kayaks, depending on the deck height.
If you are looking to take more than two kayaks with you, the increased capacity is going to be a big advantage for you. 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.
Simply put, you can’t carry four kayaks/eight boards plus two bikes in the KR2B56S RV kayak rack.
Another important difference in the KR2B56S rack is that it costs $300 more than its base model – the KR2B56 – at the moment 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, as well as to the 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 a rather unique one. Offering a couple of interesting features, it’s the priciest rack on the list, so you’d need to have quite the budget to purchase it.
The most notable feature in 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 in order 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 to buy a hitch receiver swing for this thing.
Another remarkable feature in 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 be an indicator of a sturdier build, but you need to make sure 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 definitely don’t want to waste your 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 obviously needs to stay within what your RV is capable of holding.
This applies not only to the rack itself but also the stuff you are going to carry on it. It isn’t enough to just make sure that the rack is going to fit within the weight constraints of your RV. It’s also important that the combined weight of the rack and kayaks/surfboards/bikes on it stays within the confines of what your RV can carry.
The size is the next key thing to consider in an RV kayak rack. You need to make sure 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 widest 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 for you, make sure to choose a rack that is sized properly.
Needless to say, your RV kayak rack needs to be able to fit all the watercraft that 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 the best option for you.
In addition, pay attention to the side and weight constraints of the desired RV kayak rack. And, needless to say, go for the rack that is going to take your equipment.
Your RV kayak rack should be made from a durable and weather-resistant material. In this sense, all the Yakups racks we reviewed are great – they have strong stainless steel frames that are coated in corrosion-resistant powder.
Nowadays, the combination of steel and powder coating is the most common in kayak racks. If a rack is made from any other material, it needs to satisfy the criteria we mentioned above so that it stays intact under load and doesn’t corrode from weather elements.
Yakups offers a plentitude of additional accessories and extensions for their RV kayak racks, so you may want to consider to buy some of them. Among the accessories offered by Yakups are:
- Bike racks.
- Bike covers.
- Surfboard attachment trays.
- Accessory lighting wired to the rack.
- Bike locks.
- Kayak transport carts.
- Spare padlocks, cable locks, etc.
You don’t really have to buy anything apart from the RV kayak rack itself, but you may want to get some of the other accessories offered by Yakups. Plus, you could get a hitch receiver swing to use with racks that are compatible with them.
Whether you are going for the cheaper 2KR37W rack or the pricey swing-out rack, an RV kayak rack is a big investment. All of the racks cost over $1,000, which is plenty of money.
There are big differences between all the five racks we reviewed, and the same goes for their price. Needless to say, 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 at the moment to get a proper rack, maybe you should not rush it and wait a little longer before getting one.
Well, there you have our little top of best RV kayak racks. Albeit pricey, they all are great racks that have their own buyer on the market. And hopefully, we were able to clearly represent what their differences and unique features are.
In the end, if you happen to have liked one of the racks on our list, maybe consider buying it!