Advice: Hauling canoe on FGRV - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-26-2018, 07:40 AM   #1
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Advice: Hauling canoe on FGRV

Does anyone haul anything on top of their fiberglass trailer? I would like to strap my 17' fiberglass canoe to the top of my trailer. I have yet to purchase my trailer but plan to in the next few months, so don't have a specific trailer brand picked out yet. My canoe weighs about 120 lbs. and wondering if I would be risking any damage to top of trailer by strapping it on top. I would love to take my canoe. Guess I could strap it on top of my pick up truck, but not put a permanent rack on my truck. Truck bed is too short, too.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:46 AM   #2
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Best option really is your truck. Without adding a rack to the trailer (which means most likely drilling holes in the roof), you’d need really long straps which would then be rubbing the sides of the trailer. There are ways to get this done but unless you just really can’t put it on the truck for some reason, they’re all way more of a pain than just doing that (putting it on the truck).
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
Does anyone haul anything on top of their fiberglass trailer? I would like to strap my 17' fiberglass canoe to the top of my trailer. I have yet to purchase my trailer but plan to in the next few months, so don't have a specific trailer brand picked out yet. My canoe weighs about 120 lbs. and wondering if I would be risking any damage to top of trailer by strapping it on top. I would love to take my canoe. Guess I could strap it on top of my pick up truck, but not put a permanent rack on my truck. Truck bed is too short, too.
You would need some kind of rack or padding on the roof of your trailer to keep the canoe from damaging the fiberglass gelcoat. Tie down points may also be challenging to find. Furthermore, unless you also have a rack on your truck, you will have to take both the truck and the trailer to the put-in and the take-out every time you want to use your canoe.

Finally, 120 lb is very heavy for a canoe. I for one would not want to have to struggle to get that weight on and off the top of my trailer or my truck. My 16.5ft long Royalex whitewater tripping canoe is about 80lb and I much prefer to lift it onto my canoe trailer than onto the roof rack on my truck. If my canoe was 120 lb, it would likely stay in my garage and never get used.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:56 AM   #4
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Maybe it's more like 100 lbs. but yes heavy to lift on top of anything. Guessing I already knew the answer but curious about how much a FGRV could hold on top without damaging.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:00 AM   #5
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120 pounds?!

Not the trailer for sure. I can't imagine lifting that up 8 feet of so to the top of a trailer, and even if you could find a secure way to mount it, A/C, vents, maybe solar panels get in the way.

Definitely the truck.

I have a 16' touring kayak that weighs 38 pounds. That's plenty for me to manhandle to the top of a vehicle. I also have a 10' kayak that weighs more like 25 pounds. A 10'er might even go in the pickup bed and stick out over the trailer tongue. If you've never tried a kayak, you might be surprised at how much easier they are to paddle, especially when the wind kicks up. Some are stable enough and outfitted to serve as a fishing platform.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:24 AM   #6
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That's another thing I wasn't thinking of. My canoe weighs 70lbs, and while I've found a good way to get it on & off my truck by myself, it's not ideal. I get it behind the truck, then just lift up one end, get it on top of the truck, then get on the other end of the canoe that's on the ground and slide it up the rest of the way. Trying to do that on something another few feet taller than my truck would be pretty unsafe.

You'd definitely be flirting with throwing out your back or damaging the canoe.

For some kind of big trip where you want to bring a whole bunch of gear and the top of the trailer just made the most sense, it could definitely be done. But it's probably about the worst option.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:35 AM   #7
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I had concidered a canoe on the trailer in 2008 when ordering my Escape 19. Reace said he could glass in some supports to use if I wanted. Once I thought about it, I realized that was just not the place to carry the canoe as it would be a pain to load and unload and besides, I would want it on the tow vehicle to better access the waters I would use it in.

My 17'-6" carbon fibre flat water tripping canoe weighs 40 lbs, though very rarely gets brought along. I did bring it on my Pilot a few times when I still had the Escape 19. While it did get used some, it was a bit of a pain either having it on top all the time it was not in the river. Taking it off when camped was also a bit of a pain, and had to have room on the site to safely store it.
Swift Winisk Canoe

I now use a 16' inflatable canoe that I can carry in the bed, or in the back seat, of the truck I tow my Escape 5.0TA with. Though not a fast tripping canoe, this one is great for shorter trips and fantastic for fishing out of. I do use a trolling motor with it sometimes too.
https://www.seaeagle.com/TravelCanoe/TC16
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:45 AM   #8
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Agreed. I've been thinking seriously about getting an inflatable kayak. They make the most sense for the rv lifestyle. But if you're a canoe person...

The canoe is a pain, but it's fine. A lot about hauling a trailer around is a pain. You'll figure out what's worth it and what's not.

Last summer I left my canoe in a different town at a friends house, thinking "it's too much of a hassle to haul around". This summer I decided to bring it with me. Really not so bad. It is one more thing to deal with, but it's fine. I usually stay in one place for around five days. If I think I'm going to use it during that time and I'm not parked right on the water, I leave it on the truck. If I'm parked on the water or figure I won't use it all, but will be driving my truck around a lot, I'll sometimes take it off. Then it's just one more thing to load before packing up. Doesn't really take too much time or effort, but yeah, it is just one more thing.

I still want an inflatable kayak but am holding off for now. I don't think I'd get rid of the canoe either way, so then I'd have two boats. I just did a three day float down the Missouri River Breaks, and it was great, and it's exactly the reason I have a canoe and would be very hesitant to give it up. If you have a garage or whatever for storage, having multiple boats including an inflatable is probably a great idea.

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Old 09-26-2018, 09:47 AM   #9
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roof mounting

i grind the gelcoat and put pl400 and oak blocks for solar panel mounts and other things.then mount it to the blocks .no holes in the roof.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:21 AM   #10
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We sold our 17' canoe a few years back and bought a SeaEagle FastTrack inflatable kayak. The canoe just became too cumbersome and difficult to transport while camping and consequently wasn't used.

The inflatable has worked out very well for us and because it is much more portable we tend to use it frequently.

The performance of the current generation of inflatable boats is impressive, we really enjoy ours.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:10 PM   #11
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I made this post a couple of years ago about hauling kayaks. I hope this is the right link.Kayak rack when towing fifth wheel Scamp

I put a front trailer hitch on my truck and a T bar. I do not have much upper body strength but can pull the ksyaks (50#) up through the bed to a roller on the roof rack and shove them forward. Works great.

If this link does not work, you can visit the July 6, 2016 entry into my blog about it snd see more pictures. The Almost Intrepid Adventures of LibraryAnn
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:18 PM   #12
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Just remember a rigid boat will be more efficient than an inflatable moving through the water.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:30 PM   #13
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Just remember a rigid boat will be more efficient than an inflatable moving through the water.
Generally speaking this is true but it depends on what you are comparing it to. We found that the Sea Eagle was just as fast if not faster then our Coleman RamX canoe. Now it should be noted that the Coleman canoe was not a fast boat but the trade off of greater portability vs the minimal reduction in efficiency was well worth it. Not even an issue really.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:26 PM   #14
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Yes, definitely research the appropriate uses for each kind of boat. An inflatable kayak (IK) is great for playing around in slow rivers, or along the beach. Certain IKs are great for whitewater rivers, from very mellow rapids to pretty scary ones. IKs, unlike hard shell kayaks, will not "track" along the water (go in a straight line). They're just floating on top, so every paddle turns you around almost completely. It can be mitigated but is not nearly as fun on lakes as a canoe or hard shell. Any wind that comes up on a lake or river and you're hating life in an IK. An IK absolutely would not have worked on a river like the Missouri. We would have been blown upstream.

So it's not like anyone needs to become an expert, but understanding some of the basics if you're switching from a canoe to an inflatable or getting your first boat is pretty important.

For some the packability of an IK will outweigh all other drawbacks. Then you just limit yourself to floating on water that works well with an IK. If you have specific types of water you want to float, though, then you want to get the appropriate boat, even if it takes up more space and is heavy and awkward. But for someone who just wants the ability to get out on the water when they're camped near it but aren't picky, and want something they can stow away, there are a lot of different inflatables that can work well. Including the old standard inner tubes
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