Carry canoe on top of trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-04-2018, 08:21 PM   #1
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Name: Devan
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Carry canoe on top of trailer

My wife and I have a Trillium Jubilee that we tow with our 2012 Ford Escape, bikes on the roof. We recently purchased a 16 canoe and are running into a space issue. My instinct is to throw it on top the trailer and tie it down to the frame. Does anyone have experience doing this? Anything I need to be concerned about with weight up there? Canoe is also fibreglass and not that heavy.

I appreciate any tips, suggestions, and photos! Thanks
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:41 PM   #2
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the canoe won't fit between the bikes on the roof rack on your tow vehicle ? yakima in particular has all sorts of canoe mounts for their rack rails. I always got my Yakima rails extra wide so I could move the bicycles relatively far outboard and mount stuff between them, like in the below picture..

i'd be worried about the long straps to the trailer frame abrading the sides of the trailer more than I'd be worried about the weight on the roof.


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Old 07-04-2018, 08:48 PM   #3
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When you get to camp, you have to take the canoe off the trailer and load it atop the tow vehicle to get to the put-in. And vice versa.

Either that, or you tow the trailer to the put-in.
I made one trip with the canoe atop the tent trailer and gave up on that idea.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:56 AM   #4
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Folding bikes were our solution

I felt your pain! This is why we purchased full-sized folding bikes https://www.montaguebikes.com/. We put the bikes inside massage table bags (cheaper than the bicycle bags) inside the camper or tow vehicle and the kayaks on top of the tow vehicle. Now we can travel with all of our toys. Works well for us!
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:17 PM   #5
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Check out Youtube. Lots of helpful ideas on carrying Canoes and Kayaks.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:21 PM   #6
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carrying a canoe

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevMT View Post
My wife and I have a Trillium Jubilee that we tow with our 2012 Ford Escape, bikes on the roof. We recently purchased a 16 canoe and are running into a space issue. My instinct is to throw it on top the trailer and tie it down to the frame. Does anyone have experience doing this? Anything I need to be concerned about with weight up there? Canoe is also fibreglass and not that heavy.

I appreciate any tips, suggestions, and photos! Thanks

We have a 2008 Trailblazer TV and we put the full sized bikes along with the basket of PFD's, paddles, etc inside, with canoe or 2 kayaks on top. Casita would be too high anyway. Wider Yakama rack rods would be a good choice too since you have bike cradles already.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:38 PM   #7
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In 1985 I put a 17 ft lightweight canoe on top of a pickup camper, mounted to Yakima rails and tied down by 3/16" wire rope, with turnbuckles down to the camper jack mountings. It held the canoe in place well, but when above 55 mph, the cables would "sing" due to their length vibrating with the slipstream velocity.


If I were to do it over again I would definitely strap it down to rails mounted on the tow vehicle. Much shorter straps/ropes required.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
the canoe won't fit between the bikes on the roof rack on your tow vehicle ? yakima in particular has all sorts of canoe mounts for their rack rails. I always got my Yakima rails extra wide so I could move the bicycles relatively far outboard and mount stuff between them, like in the below picture..

i'd be worried about the long straps to the trailer frame abrading the sides of the trailer more than I'd be worried about the weight on the roof.


I’m using the stock roof rack on my tv. It is not wide enough to accomplish this. I’m not concerned about abrasion as I’d tie bow and stern to the frame, no contact would be made between the tie down and trailer.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:49 PM   #9
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Make your own bars out of 2 x 2s or buy them from one of the many rack retailers.

Beats carrying a canoe on your shoulders for 2 miles from the campsite to the put-in.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:28 AM   #10
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It held the canoe in place well, but when above 55 mph, the cables would "sing" due to their length vibrating with the slipstream velocity.
Off topic but, if you have a problem with "singing" straps tie a series of short lengths of cord to the straps (you may need more than one). This causes the strap to deform so they are no longer flat at that point and prevents them from vibrating (singing).
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:53 AM   #11
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Off topic but, if you have a problem with "singing" straps tie a series of short lengths of cord to the straps (you may need more than one). This causes the strap to deform so they are no longer flat at that point and prevents them from vibrating (singing).
You can also just put a "twist" or two into your cable straps and that will solve the singing problem.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:01 AM   #12
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Make your own bars out of 2 x 2s or buy them from one of the many rack retailers.

Beats carrying a canoe on your shoulders for 2 miles from the campsite to the put-in.
I have a "canoe rack" that I constructed out of two 2x4's that are fastened to the factory roof rack on my FJ Cruiser with U-bolts. Takes about 5 min to bolt them on and rack is ready to go. My "rack" is about 72" wide, which allows me to carry two canoes side by side, with a third canoe on top of that. If only carrying one canoe on the roof, I will sometimes also carry one or two bicycles on the roof rack as well.
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:20 AM   #13
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I'd say first think for a while on the advice given here. What are all the options? Including a different bike/roof configuration on the Escape. If you aren't willing to change that, I think there are a few good options, but most involve holes in the fiberglass shell.

If it were me and I definitely wanted the canoe on the trailer, I'd put a roof rack up there. Then you can carry other stuff, too. But that requires holes in the roof. That's ok, you just need to seal them well. Another option to prevent straps rubbing the fiberglass sides would be four metal tie-downs bolted into the side of the trailer, two on each side, sticking out a bit. Again, holes in the shell.

Montague is an option, but an expensive one, and personally, I don't much like the bikes. I have one, and liked it "ok" for a while, but it's really a compromise. It's not the most comfortable bike to ride. And to be honest, being a full-size bike, even when folded in half it still takes up quite a bit of space. For the same price you can keep your current, comfortable bikes and buy a nice behind-the-camper bike rack or a roof rack for the canoe and pay to have it installed.

You'd be better off building something on the back of the trailer for bikes and putting the canoe on the Escape.
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:58 AM   #14
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Why not a bike rack on the tongue or back of trailer and put the canoe on the tow vehicle? Makes getting to the canoe launch point easier.

Jason
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:19 PM   #15
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Im using the stock roof rack on my tv. It is not wide enough to accomplish this. Im not concerned about abrasion as Id tie bow and stern to the frame, no contact would be made between the tie down and trailer.
due to the distance from the roof to the fore-aft tiedown points, I'd be concerned about the canoe slipping off to one side, the longer that bow/stern line is, the less lateral holding...

anyways, I do believe I'd look into a yakima crossbar kit that would fit onto your factory rack and be wide enough for two bike racks plus the canoe...
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:06 PM   #16
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When I was a teen, we took trips with a canoe tied to the car ('73 Vega) top. But I can see it working on a trailer, too. Dad went someplace and got 4 blocks of styrofoam about, oh, maybe 8" L x 8" W x 6" H. The foam was probably a little more dense than the usual cheap crumbly stuff. And he had the place use a hot wire tool to cut indentations in the top surface that matched the gunwales of the canoe. So the canoe would rest upside-down on these 4 blocks. Then we tied the bow and stern with nylon rope to the car bumpers. The ropes made a V and went to the left and right ends of the bumper, so the canoe couldn't work its way to either side very much. The ropes did have to be tight (we didn't have ratchet straps in the good ol' days). The foam blocks never cracked or broke or anything; they worked really great and there was no damage to paint or anything.

On your trailer, you might be able to do the same thing with the rear bumper and the A frame on the front.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:11 PM   #17
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Why not a bike rack on the tongue or back of trailer and put the canoe on the tow vehicle? Makes getting to the canoe launch point easier.

Jason
I tried this last year and found the weight of the rack/two bikes to be pulling at the welds where the bumper attaches to the frame. Toungue solutions are generally quite expensive or can get into space issues with the tv while cornering.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:14 PM   #18
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When I was a teen, we took trips with a canoe tied to the car ('73 Vega) top. But I can see it working on a trailer, too. Dad went someplace and got 4 blocks of styrofoam about, oh, maybe 8" L x 8" W x 6" H. The foam was probably a little more dense than the usual cheap crumbly stuff. And he had the place use a hot wire tool to cut indentations in the top surface that matched the gunwales of the canoe. So the canoe would rest upside-down on these 4 blocks. Then we tied the bow and stern with nylon rope to the car bumpers. The ropes made a V and went to the left and right ends of the bumper, so the canoe couldn't work its way to either side very much. The ropes did have to be tight (we didn't have ratchet straps in the good ol' days). The foam blocks never cracked or broke or anything; they worked really great and there was no damage to paint or anything.

On your trailer, you might be able to do the same thing with the rear bumper and the A frame on the front.
This was my initial plan exactly, my primary concern is of the weight of the canoe on the thin fibreglass shell.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:17 PM   #19
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Thank you everyone for the advice. Seems like the general consensus is I should just find a way to carry on the tv. I will spend some time tomorrow looking at my options and try to figure out a solution. I’ll report back with my success (or lack there of) .
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:35 PM   #20
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You can buy foam blocks to carry a canoe on a roof top.
I bought them to get my new solo whitewater boat home. It was properly tied down fore and aft and midship. Just about lost it crossing the Port Mann bridge. Canoe was shifting violently from side to side.

Probably shouldn't have waxed the vehicle.

Anyway, that's the last time I used the foam blocks.
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