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7 Best RV Camper Kayak Racks

| Updated Jun 21, 2023

Are you searching for the easiest ways to transport a kayak on your next trip?

Kayaks are quite cumbersome, which is why quality racks can make all the difference! Let's help you find the best option to transport a kayak on all of your camping trips.

From a vertical kayak raft to a ladder rack, there are lots of choices when trying to find the best RV camper kayak racks. You probably don't have the option of tossing them into a truck bed. Instead, you can rack them to the roof of your RV or the back of the RV.

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Different Types of Kayaks

There are generally five types of flatwater kayaks. They are called: Sit-on-top, recreational, touring, foot (or pedaling), and inflatable. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Sit-on-top Kayaks

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Sit-On-Top type of kayak

Sit-on-top kayaks are easy to get into since they do not have a closed cockpit. They are wider than other kayaks, which provides them with good stability. Many use these as fishing kayaks because your gear is easily accessible.

One downside of these kayaks is that you will most likely get wet. If you are careful, you can stay dry but most of the time you will be splashed when paddling.

Recreational Kayaks

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Recreational kayaks

Recreational kayaks have a closed cockpit. Most of them have a large opening, however. That means there should be enough room to put a small child in with you.

They are shorter kayaks than touring kayaks, usually measuring under 10 feet. Recreational kayaks are also versatile. In the summer, you can leave the cockpit open for a nice, cool ride. In the winter, throw on a skirt to keep you warm and dry.

Touring Kayaks

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Touring kayak

Touring kayaks are usually 12 feet or longer. They also have smaller cockpits and are narrower than other kayaks.

Since they are narrow and long, they can go very fast. They are better for long trips across larger bodies of water instead of a family afternoon trip to a lake or river.

The smaller cockpit allows for a little more paddler control. It has thigh braces inside so if the kayak rolls over, the paddler can use his thighs to roll the kayak upright.

Expect to pay a lot for a touring kayak. Most run between $800-$1,200.

Foot Kayaks

Foot kayaks are also known as pedaling kayaks. They are terrific for people suffering from shoulder or back problems. That is because the only time you use your arm is when you pull into shore.

Foot kayaks are great to use for far distances since you can save on your arm's muscle fatigue.

Inflatable Kayaks

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Inflatable kayak

Inflatable kayaks are just how they sound- inflatable. They do not track well and are at risk of popping.

However, storability is their biggest advantage. Inflatable kayaks take up less space than other kayaks and do not need to be transported via a roof rack.

Mike and Jennifer's RV Lifestyle hat collection

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Who needs a hat?

Who needs a hat? You do! Dad hats aren't just for dads. This comfy one's got a low profile with an adjustable strap and curved visor. Just the thing to wear on your next RV Lifestyle adventure.

Now that you know all about the types of kayaks, let's find the best RV camper Kayak Racks

There are many different options on the market when looking for the best RV camper kayak racks.

If you have a larger RV, like a Class A, you will likely want to look for a vertical kayak rack. Accessing a rack on your RV roof can be rather difficult depending on the height of your vehicle. In addition, if your vehicle is tall you might run the risk of hitting overhead obstacles with a roof rack.

If you have a camper van or other Class C RV, you may want to opt for installing a rack on the roof of your vehicle. It will not be that difficult to access the kayak, and the height should still be fine for most driving situations. They are also less cumbersome than having them at the back of your vehicle, in many cases.

Ladder racks, also called a truck rack, for kayaks are usually used for trucks. These may come in handy if you use a truck to tow a travel trailer. Though, if you use a 5th wheel trailer, you may want to consider a vertical rack. That is still a great option, and you won't have to worry about the kayak hitting the trailer.

The last option is using a kayak trailer, which you tow behind your vehicle. This can be an ideal solution if you want to use your kayak rack with various vehicles.

Vertical Rack

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A vertical rack is mounted on your RV's rear end. Some can swing out, which can be a good option for van-style RVs. Vertical kayak racks can free up storage space and again, are more easily accessible for larger RVs.


The Verityak vertical kayak rack is one of the most affordable on the market. It gets attached to the back of your vehicle and can secure up to two kayaks in the vertical position.

The two metal arms near the top of this rack are not adjustable. For that reason, your kayak may need to be cinched with ratchet straps to ensure a secure fit.

If you have a large kayak, be sure to measure it first. It must be able to fit one into the lower hoop with dimensions of 11.5 inches x 17 inches.

Yakups Swing Out RV Kayak Rack

If you need a swing-out rack, you may want to check the Yakups Swing Out RV Kayak Rack. This great product allows you to access your camper van back door, all while keeping your kayaks or paddle boards safely stowed.

This rack can accommodate kayaks that are up to 32 inches wide. However, they must be under 50 pounds.

Ladder Rack

Ladder racks can be used for transporting kayaks on the roof of your camper, car or truck. They are a great option if you can utilize them.

AA-Racks Pick-Up Kayak Rack

This is an overall excellent rack for your truck.

It gets installed in the back of your truck, not on the truck roof, and does not require any drilling to install. It is durable, reinforced heavy-duty aluminum. It uses heavy-duty clamps to attach the vertical brackets.

Vantech Universal Pickup Kayak Rack

The Vantech model can be installed on the roof of your pickup truck.

With a capacity of up to 500 pounds, you can easily throw a couple of kayaks onto this rack made from heavy-duty steel.

Roof Rack

If ladders or vertical racks do not sound appealing, you may decide to mount a kayak rack to the top of your vehicle.

Thule Compass Kayak Carrier

This versatile carrier can move a single j-style or saddle mode kayak. Or, two regular kayaks in stacker mode.

It can also transport two paddle boards in saddle mode.

Kayak Trailer

If you prefer to tow your kayaks behind you, then you will want to look at a kayak trailer. This may be an affordable way to travel with your kayaks if you plan on using several different vehicles.

Right-On Trailer Multi-Sport Multi-Rack Kayak Trailer

This versatile trailer can move your kayaks and paddles boards from one place to another with no problem. The best thing is, it can also be used as an optional bike rack.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-07-27

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

4 Responses to “7 Best RV Camper Kayak Racks”

June 02, 2022at1:38 pm, 17 Best RV Gifts For Dad | RV Lifestyle said:

[…] If your dad already has or wants a non-inflatable kayak, you could consider gifting him one of the 7 Best RV Camper Kayak Racks. […]

November 12, 2021at6:15 am, 5 Best RV Basement Storage Ideas | RV Lifestyle said:

[…] If you’re trying to maximize your basement storage space, don’t forget to utilize exterior storage as well. Here are 4 Outstanding Hitch Racks for eBikes and the 7 Best RV Camper Kayak Racks. […]

July 27, 2021at10:12 am, Timothy Custer said:

I would like to know where I can purchase your RV Lifestyle hat?

Thanks Tim

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